Thursday, 10 January 2013

On friend-zoning, nice guys, and the rape culture

 "Friendzoning" is bullshit because "Girls are not machines that you put Kindness Coins into until sex falls out." - Aeryn Walker

My son made a comment using the term "friend-zoned" today and I told him it doesn't exist; there is no such thing. Friend zoning assumes that the person (usually female) would have been romantically interested in another person (usually male) except somehow she got sidelined into thinking of him as just a friend and can't pull him out of that category anymore. He could have had a chance if it wasn't for her silliness.

I told my son that people who think that they've been "friend-zoned" need to grow up and face reality. There is no law that says just because you love someone romantically, they have to like you back. Even if they like you enough enough to be friends, they don't have to love you. That's called a crush, it happens and that's okay. No one dies from a crush.

Friend zoning often seems to happen to the self-proclaimed "nice guys". The ones who insist they treat women well but never get what they deserve. That makes them creeps, not nice guys. If you're treating a woman well just so you can have sex, you're not treating her well at all. You're seeing her as nothing more than an object, a means to your own personal gratification.

Which leads to the whole rape culture. We live in a society where women are taught how to protect themselves from rape. Don't wear overly tight clothes, or clothes that are too low cut or too short. Don't go outside at night, especially on your own. Don't go places alone like trails or laundry rooms or parking garages. And if a woman's assaulted, the first reaction is to wonder what she did wrong. Did she follow the rules?

What we need to do is teach the boys. We need to teach them they are better than this. We need to teach them to respect themselves and others. We need to teach them they are responsible for themselves. We need to teach them that no means no all the time. It doesn't matter if he's two seconds away from penetration. The words "no, stop" mean exactly that. We need to teach them that no one is "asking for it". No one. It doesn't matter if she's walking around naked, she's not asking to be raped. As soon as someone's drunk, the ability to consent is gone. I don't care if she's saying "I want you, lets have sex now". If she really means it, she'll mean it tomorrow and it'll be that much more special if she remembers it or doesn't throw up on you. And if she's so passed out she's non-responsive, you take her to the hospital, not your bed.

And we need to teach the girls they are worth more. They can say "no" without being frigid. They can say "yes" without being a slut. Their worth as a human should not be defined by who's been between their legs and they should give that same worth and respect to others. And we need to teach them that boys can say "no" too. No means no, no matter what gender is speaking and if he's drunk he can't consent either.

We need to treat our children equally when it comes to where they go and how late they stay out. We need to treat them equally when it comes to teaching them about sex and sexuality.

I am leaving a link with a video here. It's worth reading and it's definitely worth sitting down and viewing with your teens. The video shocked me, there are boys my son's age joking about raping a drunk and unconscious teenage girl while laughingly wondering if she's dead. But the video covers, in plain language, exactly why this is wrong and how boys should act instead.

A Horrifying Thing Happened In Ohio. Not Being Creepy Could Prevent It From Happening Again.


  1. I am glad that after over 200 years of men and women working for women's rights, people in this country are waking up to the fact that there is not a "level playing field" for women. We are still second class citizens who deserve rape, murder, 2d class pay and second class jobs. We also deserve to be the butt of jokes about the appearance of our bodies (good or bad.) Thanks for writing about this.

  2. Thanks for writing this!

    I've noticed with some "nice guys" is they expect a reward, usually sex or a relationship, for being "nice." If the girl doesn't give him what he wants then she's a "bitch" among other things.

    What's so wrong with being someone's friend? If these so called "nice guys" actually WANT to be the girl's friend then they should act and be like a real friend!