- Camila María Concepcíon, trans activist and Netflix writer, dies at 28 Thursday 5:46 PM
- Chrissy Teigen calls out fan who made weird comment about her daughter’s feet Thursday 4:57 PM
- TikTok’s ‘clean queen’ says videos are helping her figure out ‘adulting’ Thursday 4:12 PM
- Clearview clients include ICE, Macy’s, Best Buy, leaked data reveals Thursday 4:08 PM
- Women are clamoring to get their photos on a Twitter feed of ‘hot mugshots’ Thursday 4:06 PM
- ‘Love Is Blind’ finale: Somehow, real love emerged from this dystopian setting Thursday 3:57 PM
- Creator of ‘Say So’ TikTok dance appears in Doja Cat music video Thursday 3:51 PM
- Is TikTok’s algorithm actually pretty racist? Thursday 3:45 PM
- Fans freaking out over ‘Say My Name’ horror remix featured in Jordan Peele’s ‘Candyman’ Thursday 3:33 PM
- CDC graphic warns most facial hair isn’t compatible with coronavirus protection measures Thursday 1:31 PM
- Tutoring website refuses to take down ad sexualizing Asian women Thursday 1:24 PM
- MSNBC pundit loses air time after saying Sanders staffers are ‘island of misfit Black girls’ Thursday 12:36 PM
- Court says YouTube isn’t subject to First Amendment scrutiny Thursday 11:06 AM
- Russian models are Instagramming life in Wuhan Thursday 11:00 AM
- Hilary Duff suggests ‘Lizzie McGuire’ revival was halted over adult storylines Thursday 10:37 AM
The ‘girlfriendzone’ flips the ‘friendzone’ myth on its head
When you like a girl but she doesn’t like you back, she’s “put you in the friendzone.” You can tell why this is dumb.
Teenage boys have been whining about girls since way before the Internet gave them an anonymous space to be sexist little turds about it. But the “friendzone” is a relatively new idea, and like vomit on carpet, it’s a stain that’s hard to scrub clean.
What’s the friendzone? When you like a girl but she doesn’t like you back, she’s “put you in the friendzone.”
You can already see what’s dumb about this. She didn’t put you anywhere. Humans are complicated; so is human attraction.
But the friendzone poses an alternate theory: She stuck you there because you’re a nice guy and girls only like assholes. It’s not your fault she’s so shallow; that’s just the way girls are. And you’ll never “get a girlfriend” because you’re not a brick-jawed 6-foot-2 Channing Tatum clone.
To take the theory to its inevitable conclusion, the friendzone is a place where girls put boys because they’re evil, heartless little tarts who like playing cat-and-string with boys’ emotions.
The theory of the friendzone is especially popular on male-dominated social media hubs like Reddit (there’s even a small-but-active r/friendzone subreddit) and 4chan. Communities like pick-up artists discuss various methods of “breaking out of the friendzone.”
Other users post image macros like this, calling out girls for not responding in the right way to lovelorn male attention:
It should be no surprise that a lot of women find this whole thing really silly.
So here’s something new: a reaction to the friendzone, called the “girlfriendzone.” It comes from Reddit, whose feminist communities are becoming an increasingly large presence in the culture there, calling out bullshit and misogyny and forming a safe space for women to converse openly and honestly. Or to give advice to male redditors.
“She’s not friendzoned you, OP,” ObscenePenguin writes. “You’ve girlfriendzoned her. … Seeing a female friend only as a girlfriend is girlfriendzoning.”
It’s flipping the script: identifying the friendzone as an entirely male creation, and putting the onus on dudes not to be entitled pricks about it when girls don’t throw themselves at them.
First time I’ve seen the word ‘girlfriendzoned’ as a response to ‘friendzoned’. Excellent. pic.twitter.com/9BgIDi12XM
— Captain Tracy King (@tkingdoll) January 23, 2014
— Susan Krashinsky (@susinsky) January 23, 2014
She’s still your friend. She’s just turned you down for a date. She’s probably sitting at home thinking wtf, have I been girlfriendzoned here? Has this dude only been nice to me for the last 5 months so he could get into my knickers?”
You need to remove this girl from your girlfriendzone. … Every time you catch yourself thinking of her, imagine her scratching her arse and sniffing her fingers.
Now’s the time for a little self improvement. Stop using the term ‘friendzone,’ when women hear it we translate as ‘immature neck beard with misplaced sense of entitlement’—it’s not attractive.
The phrase has picked up a tiny bit of steam on Twitter:
There’s a difference between being friendzoned and girlfriendzoning someone.
— Devina Heriyanto (@DevinaYo) January 23, 2014
Maybe the era of the friendzone is finally starting to end. Elsewhere on Reddit, pick-up artists in r/seduction have caught on. One redditor admits, in a post titled “The Friend Zone Myth,” that he has a “strange feeling”:
“The friend zone is a place that you put yourself, not where the girl puts you.”
Photo via Telache/Flickr
A former assigning editor for the Daily Dot, Cooper Fleishman's work focused on the web culture and niche internet communities. He joined Mic as a senior editor in 2015. His work has been published by HyperVocal and the Good Men Project, and he previously copyedited for Rolling Stone, Men's Journal, and Us Weekly.