Ser Scot A Ellison

"Friend Zone" memes and whining are silly (Rape Culture discussion)

64 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

So, I'm a fan of the long cancelled show "Stargate Universe".  Because I've liked the show on Facebook I will, from time to time, get memes about the show.  One of the Characters, "Eli" was a geeky guy who had a crush on another character Chloe.  Fans like to slam Chloe because her character "friend zoned" Eli and hooked up with another character who people liked less.  Here's the meme that started this entire discussion:

https://www.facebook.com/officialstargateuniverse/videos/vb.155245387918569/1141200939323004/?type=2&theater&notif_t=like&notif_id=1490875266800518

 

It really got me to thinking how silly and poorly thought out "friend zone" whining is.  I say this and one who engaged in such whining in my time too.  Nevertheless, it really is about controlling the choices of people you like.  It is about being entitled to their romantic interest when, fundamentally, we are not.  

I've seen it defended as simply "unrequited love".  That made me think, is "unrequited love" genuine?  I think it exists but that it is not really "romantic love" because for "romantic love" to exist it must be reciprocated such that it can bloom into something more than mere mutual acted upon crushes.  Ultimately, I think "unrequited love" is simply a crush that is long term.  It's not really love... it is desire.  

The anger that accompanies the "Friend Zone" is really what frightens me.  To see people talking about how horrible someone who "friend zones" someone else is projects such an incredible sense of entitlement.  It is about ownership and control of other people.  I saw one fellow defend the anger at "friend zoning" as being about people who seek to use crushes to control the people who have the crush.  But that line of argument presumes so much power upon the person who is desired.  It projects the person with the crush as powerless and helpless before the person they desire.  It is so... juvenile.  

So, I think the "Friend zone" is pretty stupid.  I think that folks still complaining about it are not thinking their complaints all the way through.  I think it is a method of shaming and attempting to control others.  

Discuss.

Edited by Ser Scot A Ellison

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Ok, I think one thing you've failed to mention is that "friend zoning" is often exclusively attributed to women.  Meaning, it's seen as something that women do to men, and people who use this term typically imply that the woman has done something wrong by not returning a man's affections.  It suggests that men have a right to our affections.  "You friend-zoned him" is often synonymous with "How dare you not give him what he wanted".  It makes it seem as though being friends is bad, that men who are friended by women are lesser and that they should demand more.

It's not just 'juvenile' or 'pretty stupid'.  It's dangerous and contributes to rape culture.  

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8 minutes ago, Dr. Pepper said:

Ok, I think one thing you've failed to mention is that "friend zoning" is often exclusively attributed to women.  Meaning, it's seen as something that women do to men, and people who use this term typically imply that the woman has done something wrong by not returning a man's affections.  It suggests that men have a right to our affections.  "You friend-zoned him" is often synonymous with "How dare you not give him what he wanted".  It makes it seem as though being friends is bad, that men who are friended by women are lesser and that they should demand more.

It's not just 'juvenile' or 'pretty stupid'.  It's dangerous and contributes to rape culture.  

Yes.  Yes, it does.  One of the things that is frequently mentioned in the thread I link to is men complaining about women "manipulating" men with the "friend zone".  That's what I talk about in my 4th paragraph.  It is very nasty.  

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It comes out of self hatred and is directed at others. Let's be honest if you can't put your true feelings on the line and come out and tell someone how you feel then you don't deserve to get anything out of it.

Part of it is this Hollywood myth that the nice guy can worm himself into a girls affection by going under the radar, thinking of themselves as somehow better than the jerks she's banging. 

But that's just something to let guys sleep at night. The truth is women don't owe them anything

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Scot, I think you're going to get a lot more agreement than actual discussion.  The sulky, resentful entitlement of the friend-zoned cannot be defended and it's just a less direct facet of rape culture whereby having a sufficient desire for something(someone) entitles you to have it. 

I have no doubt that there are some people of both sexes who knowingly and willfully take advantage of their attractiveness to use others, whether directly for material gain or favors or indirectly for an ego or emotional gain -- I've known both men and women who did this, although I cannot think of an instance since my 20s, probably because it relies on naivety and infatuation with looks that life experience should nullify.

I would suggest there are many, many more friend-zoned trying to emotionally manipulate the object of their desire than there are attractive sociopaths using, and being permitted to use, others for their benefit. 

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38 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

So, I'm a fan of the long cancelled show "Stargate Universe".  Because I've liked the show on Facebook I will, from time to time, get memes about the show.  One of the Characters, "Eli" was a geeky guy who had a crush on another character Chloe.  Fans like to slam Chloe because her character "friend zoned" Eli and hooked up with another character who people liked less.  Here's the meme that started this entire discussion:

https://www.facebook.com/officialstargateuniverse/videos/vb.155245387918569/1141200939323004/?type=2&theater&notif_t=like&notif_id=1490875266800518

 

It really got me to thinking how silly and poorly thought out "friend zone" whining is.  I say this and one who engaged in such whining in my time too.  Nevertheless, it really is about controlling the choices of people you like.  It is about being entitled to their romantic interest when, fundamentally, we are not.  

I've seen it defended as simply "unrequited love".  That made me think, is "unrequited love" genuine?  I think it exists but that it is not really "romantic love" because for "romantic love" to exist it must be reciprocated such that it can bloom into something more than mere mutual acted upon crushes.  Ultimately, I think "unrequited love" is simply a crush that is long term.  It's not really love... it is desire.  

The anger that accompanies the "Friend Zone" is really what frightens me.  To see people talking about how horrible someone who "friend zones" someone else is projects such an incredible sense of entitlement.  It is about ownership and control of other people.  I saw one fellow defend the anger at "friend zoning" as being about people who seek to use crushes to control the people who have the crush.  But that line of argument presumes so much power upon the person who is desired.  It projects the person with the crush as powerless and helpless before the person they desire.  It is so... juvenile.  

So, I think the "Friend zone" is pretty stupid.  I think that folks still complaining about it are not thinking their complaints all the way through.  I think it is a method of shaming and attempting to control others.  

Discuss.

Ha, since I'm a SGU fan, I got that meme, too, and saw your post there. I don't have much to say on the matter, but I think there is a number of viewers who identify with Eli either due to their personalities or simply being nerds/geeks, and some of them may hate seeing it on TV over and over again. The problem is with them, though, not with the women in their lives, or the fictional women on TV, so I agree with you and the others here.

No, the more important subject of discussion is whether or not there is potential for this show to be brought back. :P Considering that MGM's idiotic plan of allowing Devlin and Rommerich to reboot the movie franchise is a bust, and Atlantis is getting a measure of continuity via a comic book, can this wonderful story also be revitalized?

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I think connecting it with 'rape culture' is a bit of a over statement though there is definitely elements of it that can be dangerous.

if I was going to , if not defend it, but try and understand it, especially from a male point of view I could point to a number of reasons why it tends to happen:

- men often misinterpret female friendliness as flirting. I don't know if this is inbuilt as it seems almost universal but us guys tend to over state our own attractiveness and assume women find us attractive. 

- we live in a society that teaches us that women will love us if we are really nice to them, it's in most aspects of our culture. That this isn't true doesn't matter. Lots of guys believe it.

- due to the more traditionally direct nature of male courtship, women often dismiss men's affection as friendship if its not explicit, and so move men into the friendzone.

- telling someone you aren't interested is difficult socially and so people avoid doing it. 

 

I had had a few of these situations when I was younger and now I look back and think 'what an idiot'. But it was because I simply didn't understand the dynamics of relationships. As I got older I started to work it out.

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Rape culture, like most things, is a continuum. There are elements in it that are more clearly directly contributing to normalizing rape, and there are elements in it that are perhaps less obvious. Generally speaking, attitudes that build on the assumption that affection and romantic interests are owed to someone is the same part of culture that says if a man buys a woman a fancy dinner and a drink then she's obliged to put up with groping or even consent to sex.

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IP,

Once upon a time. When I was much younger, I had a tremendous crush on a woman.  She was always dating someone else but they were generally out of town so we spent a great deal of time with each other.  I, at the time, I waited for her to "see" me.  

I look back on it and I'm... embarrassed.  It was so whiney and emo of me.  It as creepy on my part.  How uncomfortable must I have made her?  That was 27 years ago and I still get cringes when I think back on my behavior.  I really wish this possessiveness could be trained out of kids.  This idea that you are somehow entitled to someone else because they are nice to you.  

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12 minutes ago, Corvinus said:

Ha, since I'm a SGU fan, I got that meme, too, and saw your post there. I don't have much to say on the matter, but I think there is a number of viewers who identify with Eli either due to their personalities or simply being nerds/geeks, and some of them may hate seeing it on TV over and over again. The problem is with them, though, not with the women in their lives, or the fictional women on TV, so I agree with you and the others here.

No, the more important subject of discussion is whether or not there is potential for this show to be brought back. :P Considering that MGM's idiotic plan of allowing Devlin and Rommerich to reboot the movie franchise is a bust, and Atlantis is getting a measure of continuity via a comic book, can this wonderful story also be revitalized?

I would love to see SGU brought back for a third and fourth season.  But this element of the discussion should go to Entertainment. :)

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Has nothing to do with this imaginary idea of 'rape culture'. It is a simple extension of the "I deserve this because I'm me, and I'm special" mentality virtually everybody seems to have in some shape or another. They like someone, and they can't even possibly imagine that perhaps the person they are interested in just does not find them that interesting or appealing. I see edgy highschool guys post memes like this everywhere I go on the web, and they come across as whiny, pathetic, and childish -  not realizing that these very qualities are things a woman does not want in a man. They think "I was nice to her so why doesn't she like me more than that douche in my math class?" without taking into account they smell like axe body spray, have no confidence or no notable personality to begin with, do nothing but play computer games all day, etc. They can't get a woman and they refuse to admit it has anything to do with themselves, so they blame the woman. Nothing more, nothing less.

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6 minutes ago, Maelys I Blackfyre said:

Has nothing to do with this imaginary idea of 'rape culture'. It is a simple extension of the "I deserve this because I'm me, and I'm special" mentality virtually everybody seems to have in some shape or another. They like someone, and they can't even possibly imagine that perhaps the person they are interested in just does not find them that interesting or appealing. I see edgy highschool guys post memes like this everywhere I go on the web, and they come across as whiny, pathetic, and childish -  not realizing that these very qualities are things a woman does not want in a man. They think "I was nice to her so why doesn't she like me more than that douche in my math class?" without taking into account they smell like axe body spray, have no confidence or no notable personality to begin with, do nothing but play computer games all day, etc. They can't get a woman and they refuse to admit it has anything to do with themselves, so they blame the woman. Nothing more, nothing less.

I disagree.  This is an aspect of why some people feel entitled to "take" what the believe they are "entitled" to.  That is "rape culture".  It is a justification for why some men are willing to rationalize their actions and claim it isn't "rape" to coerce a woman into sex.

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2 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

I disagree.  This is an aspect of why some people feel entitled to "take" what the believe they are "entitled" to.  That is "rape culture".  It is a justification for why some men are willing to rationalize their actions and claim it isn't "rape" to coerce a woman into sex.

Can you please elaborate on that statement? Rape is forcing sexual acts onto another person without receiving consent from said person to do so. From your above statement you are conflating the term rape and misusing it.

Friendzoning has nothing to do with rape. It is about "beta males" finding it easier to blame someone else for their problems rather than taking responsibility and admitting there is something wrong with themselves and they need to better themselves.

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2 minutes ago, Maelys I Blackfyre said:

Can you please elaborate on that statement? Rape is forcing sexual acts onto another person without receiving consent from said person to do so. From your above statement you are conflating the term rape and misusing it.

Friendzoning has nothing to do with rape. It is about "beta males" finding it easier to blame someone else for their problems rather than taking responsibility and admitting there is something wrong with themselves and they need to better themselves.

Can you elaborate on your statement about "beta males"?  What the hell is a "beta male"?  My point is that the attitude regarding "friend zoning" is how some men justify their actions in coercing women into having sex.  That is "rape" culture.  

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I would not necessarily turn the idea of "friend zone" directly on the person being zoned. The original post talks about third parties calling out the dynamic but a lot of this discussion is turning towards the male in the "friend zone" relationship.  I know plenty of people that are perfectly happy having friendships even though they recognize that moving towards a romantic relationship would be preferable. In my experience the bad turns happen when third parties call the dynamic out and try to denigrate one or both party because of it. Regardless of this, I think it requires some further step to slide into "rape culture". Not sure what that is but simply calling it out or recognizing it is not passing a boundary into something that serious. Just seems like we are setting the bar pretty low.  

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Posted (edited)

28 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Can you elaborate on your statement about "beta males"?  What the hell is a "beta male"?  My point is that the attitude regarding "friend zoning" is how some men justify their actions in coercing women into having sex.  That is "rape" culture.  

"Beta males" as in men lacking confidence, charisma, skill (whether physical or mental), those who would rather others take charge so they don't have to really do anything. I'm sure you can remember some people who fall into this category from your highschool or college days. Many of them remain this way into adulthood.

I'm not sure how you associate complaining about being "friendzoned" as "coercing women into sex". It seems to virtually always be the case of these boys/men whining because they cannot admit they do not meet their desired partner's standards. Again, the use of the word rape in any sense is not appropriate and in my opinion leads to the desensitization of the word. And if that is the meaning of the term "rape culture" then perhaps you should opt for a name less misleading or downright wrong.

Edited by Maelys I Blackfyre

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Maelys,

By that definition when I was single I was a "beta male".  

My point about rape culture and the "friendzoning" complaints is that men who complain about "friendzoning" can only do so if they are of the opinion that they know better than the women themselves who those women should be having sex with.  As such it is absolutely about a sense of entitlement to a woman sexuality.  That sense of entitlement is what some use to justify coercion.  Coercion when used in a sexual context is "rape".

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Posted (edited)

18 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Maelys,

By that definition when I was single I was a "beta male".  

My point about rape culture and the "friendzoning" complaints is that men who complain about "friendzoning" can only do so if they are of the opinion that they know better than the women themselves who those women should be having sex with.  As such it is absolutely about a sense of entitlement to a woman sexuality.  That sense of entitlement is what some use to justify coercion.  Coercion when used in a sexual context is "rape".

If you have to wind through that twisted road to get to that outcome, the term rape is still very inappropriate. "If this, this this this this this and this happen, and then happens in this certain context, its rape" then just brushing over everything with the magical term of "rape culture" is very sloppy. If you do that, then everything is associated with rape, and everything is given that same reaction as rape is. I think its very scary how much people generalize and label things.

It's 2017, well past time to leave this sort of nonsense behind. Videogames aren't sexist, rape culture isn't a thing, and so on and so forth. 2015 is over.

Edited by Maelys I Blackfyre

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I'm not sure who is more divorced from reality - a person who believes the earth is flat or a person who thinks rape culture isn't real.  

 

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