Monday, January 27, 2014

The Friendzone, aka You don't get to own me.

On my fb page I shared the following image, which is a pretty damn nice way of phrasing it: 

This is a man's response it received (not from any friend of mine): 

"The problem with that post is that it makes it sound as if women aren't just as (and in most cases I have seen, more) shallow and materialistic as men. The "Friendzone" works both ways. Yes, men and women have different 'plumbing' and our mental algorithms can vary from slightly to polar opposite, yet in the end we are all human and have the same shitty faults. I think it's about time we stopped trying to figure out who is to blame or which gender is better. I think it's time we start focusing on what we can do to improve ourselves and through that improvement increase our chances of finding that special someone who's insanity matches our own."

Welcome to male privilege and patriarchy folks. If you just nodded to any of that post, that's a HUGE fucking problem.

My response on facebook:

"Unfortunately, your comment actually ignores the entire point and tries to shift the blame back onto women. The point is that men expect to be entitled to a woman's body regardless of how she feels. This is called rape culture. It's why the "friendzone" is so despised by men, a woman is a 'bitch' or 'shallow' just because she doesn't happen to want to drop her pants for every dude who thinks he deserves it because he made a pretense of treating her like a f**cking human being. 
Let me be very clear: bringing male privilege to my page will not go well."

That's the short version and here's why agreeing to that post is THE problem. To be able to justify and/or ignore despicable behaviour simply because the majority agrees with you is the ESSENCE of privilege. "But I don't do those things!" you might say. Are you sure? What makes you feel discomfort? Are you being challenged? Would you have stood up and said, "Wait a minute, expecting her to conform to your idea is kinda fucked up and proves the whole thing to begin with." 

If you can look me in the eye and say yes, I have and do confront people of my own identity to change this, then we're on the right track. If your response is like this person, "well what about THEM," you ARE the problem. If you're experiencing discomfort, GOOD. I'm not here to coddle your ego. Dig into that shit and get rid of bad programming. It's empowering to do so, for yourself AND others. 

If you still think a "nice" guy earns sex because he didn't force someone, here's a enlightening post in comic format.

 Change isn't easy. Growth isn't comfortable. Writing this is also about challenging ME to sit up, take notice and fucking do something about it. So what are YOU going to do today?


  1. That guy's comment is irksome! "Shitty Faults" is not an excuse for poor behavior for anybody!

  2. Found your post via Thracian Exodus here:

    Damn fine response! As to your question, I've done some advocacy work in the past on the topic of Military Sexual Trauma (MST). I backed off for a few personal reasons, but continue to make myself available for interviews with reputable sources; I'm incredibly picky these days. Why?

    You should see the comments on anything written in newspapers or anything posted on blogs regarding this topic. If you think the above is offensive, those comments will set you on fire and though I'm an old crone with plenty of life experience under my belt, my skin is still quite thin when it comes to rape culture.

    What's worse is I, like many women I know, have been flagged as "man haters" and called "bitches" when quite the opposite is true. I absolutely love men. I just can't stand anyone, man or woman, who behaves like a jerk. And the only reason anyone may think me a "bitch" is because, though my skin may be thin, my backbone is made of steel.

    It's been forged of steel from the experiences with far too many, men and women alike, who simply still don't understand that any woman who has the nerve to stand up for herself, her beliefs, her integrity, and her honor, and is attractive as well, simply cannot be intelligent enough to understand that each human being owns their own body, their own spirit, and their own mind.

    I was not put on this earth to be who you (the collective "you") expect me to be. I was placed here to be who I am now, and who I am meant to become.

    The sooner we all understand this, the better off we'll all be.

    Thank you for this post.

    1. Thank you for your insight and input, Rose. You are of course very correct that the response was extremely mild as such things go. I used it as a starting-point for myself to enter this discussion. I haven't been quite ready to tackle my own trauma publicly though it is all tied together.

      Again, thank you for your on point and well-written comments.

    2. You're welcome, Corvus Cardia. If this is a starting point from which to tackle your own trauma, I believe you've entered the discussion from the right space and a very important, and relevant space at that.

      I'd like to clarify something I said within my comment above: I don't wish to imply that only attractive women suffer any of these indignities, for they certainly don't. I hesitated to include that, but decided to do so since it has been my experience that if one is attractive, one is most certainly expected to "put out" regardless of the situation; whether one has gone out to dinner, or a drink has been accepted... and even the cat calls simply walking down the street are getting to the point of being disturbing; even at my age. I've stopped accepting dinner dates unless it is made clear in advance that no expectations for anything other than interesting discussion is had, and I never accept drinks anymore, which is a shame really.

      And I'm perfectly fine with being "friend zoned". In fact, I've told many men I'm very comfortable with being their friend, and only their friend. The last gentleman I told this to had a girlfriend. I had no motives other than to be a friend to him during a difficult time and specifically told him that if he wasn't comfortable with being friends outside of a certain situation, please let me know. He never had the integrity to say anything further to me. I found that rude.

      I'd also like to point out that many heterosexual men are raped as well. I personally know one who is a very effective advocate (for both men and women) and the abuse he's received in the form of back-stabbing and name calling (from women mostly) is completely unacceptable.

      We are all human beings. I wish we could all act like compassionate human beings.

      I wish you the best with publicly dealing with your trauma once you feel ready to do so. And, whether public or private, please know you have an ally to whom you can speak should you ever feel the need.

  3. I very much agree...

    And, unfortunately, sexual orientation differences don't alleviate the difficulty, either. Some gay men are just as bad with this kind of thing as straight men are with women: because "saying no to sex is for chicks" in their mind, because all men should want to fuck anyone/everything all the time.

    Do I need to say: fuck that noise. (?!?)

    I'm not a man, but I've been mistaken for one consistently throughout my life, and it gets real tiresome to be treated in that fashion by rape-culture-entitled men, no matter what their sexual orientation happens to be.

    Rape culture is something that unfortunately connects several different sections of the population, and I truly wish that in certain subcultures and communities (including queer ones) that it was realized this is a problem that doesn't just negatively impact straight people. (And pointing this out has earned me the pejorative of having "internalized homophobia" from some ass-hats, unfortunately, because "If sexuality really were totally free, shouldn't you want it all the time like everyone else?" Nope, sorry...)

    In any case, thank you for writing this--our Thracian colleague linked to your post, and I wanted to come by and say "hello" as I read and appreciated it. :)

    1. Thank you so much for reading! You're absolutely correct and I debated opening this post up to reflect that it's not a gender-binary problem but a majority-privilege issue. I've decided to put that in my next post and let this one stand on its own.

      I'll also mention that I find your posts very insightful, as I was reading some earlier (our mutual friend again). ;) I look forward to PantheaCon and at least meeting you!