By Julie Shopcake
Most girls have guy friends, and most guys have girl friends. Sometimes, those friendships can mean more to one party than it does for the other. This can create a problem more commonly known as the “friendzone” phenomenon. Basically, one person confesses his/her love to someone who is already their friend, but that friend just can’t reciprocate.
In this particular society we live in, the friendzone is more often associated with the follied love attempts of a male towards his female friend. Admittedly as a female, I’m aware that I’ve had male friends tell me they like me, and subsequently I’ve “sent” them to this friendzone place. And if I’m going to be even more honest, I’ve actually been sent to the friendzone myself, so I know it sucks. Trust me, it’s not just for guys, despite what’s constantly being shoved down your throat.
However, I never really thought about any deeper meaning in terms of male entitlement… probably because my friends aren’t assholes and didn’t make me feel bad about not having feelings for them. But with the emergence of Elliot Rodger, the Santa Barbara shooter, who was so sexually frustrated with women (and let’s not forget completely insane) that he decided to shoot as many of them as he could as well, as other males whom he considered competition, it made me explore this a little more. But first, let’s play out a simple scenario between a guy and a girl:
A boy and a girl spend time together. They get to know each other, they make each other laugh, and they understand one another very well. As time goes by, the boy wants to take things to the next level. He wants to hold the girl’s hand, kiss her, and maybe explore some of her lady bits in a consensual, loving manner.
“I’m sorry Dan, I just don’t have those feelings for you,” Jen says, gently letting down her platonic male companion. “But I like hanging out with you as a friend.”
“Oh, OK,” Dan dejectedly replies. While this might be his only verbal reaction, Dan’s brain could be processing many other thoughts, so let’s think about what some of those thoughts might be. I’ve narrowed it down to two major schools: respect and entitlement.
In the first category, Dan feels hurt that Jen doesn’t have the same feelings he does, but understands that she is a human above all else and has the right to choose who her romantic partners are. Although he is sad she doesn’t feel romantically towards him, he still wants to be friends.
Pretty simple, right? And seems like the way it should be. Now here’s the second one, where Dan feels like he has been slighted by the girl:
“I don’t understand,” Dan thinks to himself. “I’m a nice guy! She should want to date me, I’ve done everything that guys are supposed to do.”
This is where the “nice guy” stigma loses all meaning, because Dan here seems to think that acts of generosity and being courteous, i.e. basic human decency, should be rewarded. And if that were the case, I suppose every girl should just lie down and spread her legs for every man who holds a door for her. Yes Dan, you did well when you kept her warm with your sweatshirt, and you did well when you gave her a shoulder to cry on when one of her friends said something mean behind her back, and you absolutely did well when you got her home safely and left a glass of water by her bed because she got so blitzed she couldn’t even say her name. But are these not things a good friend should be doing anyway?
Just because you’re a guy and you’re doing nice things doesn’t mean you get a cookie or a free trip to the sack. So if you think that’s the reason you should be a “nice guy”, then you’re not really a “nice guy”, you’re just an asshole, like all the other “assholes” she dates for reasons you simply can’t comprehend.
And then we have Rodger, a demented guy who clearly did not understand the concept that women have a right to their feelings and emotions. This kid was a virgin at 22, and if you watch that creepy video he posted called “Retribution” where he maps out how he feels about all these “dumb girls” who choose to date assholes instead of nice guys like him, you’ll likely quickly understand why.
But what was even more disturbing about Rodger’s video were some of the comments left by other guys, who honestly felt like the girls are to blame for this, and that Rodger did the right thing. You know, to send a message that we need to be bound and forced to date the “nice guys,” because they so clearly deserve it and because they clearly have the best interest of the girl in their minds. Thank you, oh knights in shining armor, for saving us from our own stupidity. Our small, feeble female brains just couldn’t see how valiant you are because we are so stupidly blinded by our emotions that have no weight in the situation. It must be because of our periods.
Shopcake has had some interesting experiences in her life, and can’t wait to share them all with you. Making you laugh is important to her, but if she makes you stroke your chin and look towards the sky, deep in thought, she’ll chalk it up as a victory.