A story from a woman’s perspective
A few days back, I was talking to my classmate Ved over a cup of coffee. The conversation slowly sidled into casual flirting when I mentioned, just to make things clear, that I thought him to be a very good friend of mine.
His face fell at this. “Don’t tell me you are friendzoning me?” he asked.
This took me by surprise. “I am telling you I consider you a friend, Ved. Nothing else.”
“Uhh,” he said, not making an effort to hide his disappointment. “It is so easy for girls to friendzone guys.”
He left, leaving me at the table — completely bewildered.
What happened to Ved and me isn’t an isolated incident. If you are a woman, chances are, you have heard this word being thrown around casually.
In case you aren’t familiar with the term, friendzone is used to depict a situation when a man’s romantic advances have been denied by a woman who considers him to be her friend.
If you are a youth who actively looks through memes, you must have come across the following in some form or another-
Here’s why I think friendzone is a toxic concept and people should immediately stop using the word.
It paints friendship as “bad”
Sure, a girl considers a guy to be her friend. What is so wrong with that? When used in such derogatory terms, this word devalues friendship and makes it seem as if the only relationship possible between a girl and a guy should be of a romantic or sexual nature. Anything less than that, and the world will ridicule you.
You yourself would ridicule you.
It does not respect the boundaries a girl draws
Yes, the boy must have had strong feelings for the girl, but just because his “love” is pure, doesn’t mean he is entitled to her affection. The girl has the right to exercise her free-will, and if she doesn’t see him in a romantic light, it isn’t her fault at all.
Popular culture (especially movies and sitcoms) often paint a woman who rejects the love of the nerdy male hero as “heartless”. The stories fail to show us the woman’s point of view. What if she genuinely liked him as a friend and had no intentions of ever hooking up with him? Is it so wrong to act on what you want?
It implies that relationships are transactional
A guy who is there for a girl, buys her dinner, takes her out to the movies — does he only do these things to get into her pants? Can a guy not be genuinely nice and helpful to a girl without expecting anything in return?
The word “friendzone” is an insult to the genuinely nice guys as well, who would do all of the above things for his female friends.
It is sexist
If men go out of their way to help other men with no expectation of sex from either party, no one says either man has been friendzoned. Why does this toxic concept extend only to women?
It implies that guys will be unhappy if they are in love with someone who doesn’t love them back
Yes, rejection hurts. But that does not mean it is impossible to have a functional friendship with someone who doesn’t return your feelings.
What I am saying is — it is possible to have feelings for someone who doesn’t love you back, accept their decision, and carry on being friends with them without any expectation.
Do you use the word “Friendzone” too? If you have a counter-argument, I would be happy to hear it.
Let the discussion begin in the comments.