Myshkin

"Friend Zone" as Rape Culture and the Alpha\Beta Dichotomy

301 posts in this topic

I am not going to listen to some pencil-neck tell me I'm not an alpha.  And if I have to, I'll just prove that I'm an alpha, OK?

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Will we hear you roar?

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17 minutes ago, Myshkin said:

Will we hear you roar?

That's cold.

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1 hour ago, Triskan said:

I am not going to listen to some pencil-neck tell me I'm not an alpha.  And if I have to, I'll just prove that I'm an alpha, OK?

That's some Classy Freddy Blassie shit right there. I'm not fucking with the chimp. He'll bite your face off.

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48 minutes ago, Triskan said:

That's cold.

Take heart in knowing that only maybe 4 people on this board will understand it, and 2 of them are us. Hell, I wasn't entirely sure that you'd get it. 

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1 hour ago, Myshkin said:

Take heart in knowing that only maybe 4 people on this board will understand it, and 2 of them are us. Hell, I wasn't entirely sure that you'd get it. 

Katy Perry or Helen Reddy reference?

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I think there are a few distinctly different ideas of what the friend zone actually is, a few of which are even floating around this very thread. I agree with Myshkin's definition and can I just say THANK YOU for restarting the topic and having such an articulate definition of what you want to talk about.

I think it is totally okay to feel sad, momentarily angry and frustrated with a situation in which you're attracted to someone who isnt attracted to you. But it's having the emotional intelligence and maturity to possess emotions and work through them. Some people juse want to stew in bitterness and lash out and that idea that women have power over men, that all interactions between men and women contain some element of sex, all adds to the rich shitty tapestry of Rape Culture. 

No one is saying that if you got angry at a girl once in your mid 20s because she didn't fancy you that you're a rapist or a rape apologist but I have to fundamentally disagree with Simon Steele here...it is EXACTLY these little pernicious, subtle emotions and ideas that add to rape culture and they are NOT overt and to ONLY think that these things are overt is dangerous.

Also alpha/beta male shit is NASTY, BULLSHIT and I hate the idea of little boys growing up with that CRAP. 

Sorry it's 8am and I'm tired lol just thank you for starting this thread again 

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Posted (edited)

I think the spurious connection to "rape culture" muddies the waters and prevents understanding of what is meant with "friend zone". There might be rape cultures, maybe in India or South Africa but not in Western Europe or the US. We have never before been more sensitive to accusations (and actualities) of sexual harrassment, it is plainly wrong to claim that we are callous about it or endorse it. Otherwise, please show me any recent apology for clear cases of rape (i.e. not he said vs. she said) by someone in the mainstream. And I am pretty sure that date rapes are far more likely to be perpetrated by "alphas" who think that every woman wants them than by "friend zoned betas" (who think that they are undesirable because women want to meet them socially but not touch them), so the connection is extremely dubious. In any case they are really different topics.

It is not entitlement to affection to either. I think there are several mechanisms involved. One is that for many people there often is a fairly quick gut decision if someone we meet is dating/sexual partner material at all or if we could at most be friends. Now for some people this division seems fairly rigid, for others less. There seems at least some anecdotal evidence that for (young) women the division is usually more rigid than for men (there used to be an internet meme about different "ladders" a few years ago).

So there is a considerable potential for misunderstanding. Two persons meet socially, maybe even on private dates and seem to get along really well but one of them has already decided that s/he is not sexually interested. But this is not communicated clearly (and/or not understood by the other side who thinks the other person is flirting and reacting positively to his behavior etc.). In addition, the "friend-zoned side" person might be one with a less rigid division and cannot really understand how they can have so much fun together without any sexual attraction developing from the other person. Now in a way this is actually worse than being outrightly rejected. (I assume that "friend" is meant honestly, not only as a polite form of outright rejection.) Because the other one wants to meet me socially frequently, wants to go to events, dancing, hanging out, whatever, so they must be fond of me but apparently I am so repulsive that sex is out of the question (the other one probably does not find me outright repulsive, just not sufficiently sexually attractive but such finer distinctions are lost on a person in such a situation). Much worse than being rejected because one is a grumpy and unsocial person.

In addition there is of course the possibility that is still present in many movies (and was probably far more frequent in times when premarital sex was mostly taboo and people met socially for many months or even years before becoming engaged) that one can win the affection of person by a longer process of courting and wooing. So one person puts (false) hope in such a longish process but does not realize (or falls to self deception) that this has been out of the question from the beginning. Because of the rigid division between the friend zone and the sexual partner zone.

So obviously, a lot of this is the "fault" of the person in the friend zone. And all said so far is at least in principle independent of gender and orientation. But it can hardly be denied that there are some people (and they are usually females*) who delight in having a bunch of admirers they would never have sex or a serious relationship with. So they don't completely discourage them, don't clearly tell them that a relationship is now and ever out of the question and that it might be better not to meet for a while etc. but keep them around as "courtiers".

(*Not to excuse males: Males in a similar position of power, i.e. with one or more female admirers are not unlikely to use them for "pump and dump" which is of course much worse behavior than keeping one around as friend for social occasions and admirer. So if there is a connection to sexual misbehavior there seems more danger in the case of females in the "friend (=occasional ONS) zone" of an attractive male, not the other way round.)

Anecdotal evidence: When I once was in such a situation I decided at some stage not to meet socially for a while and stopped calling the person I fatuously kept pursuing. After several weeks she apparently made a friend of her call me and ask why one had not seen me around or heard from me for such a long time. I was both furious and confused. She knew  well that I had completely fallen for her (I was even somewhat angry at the mutual friend because she also must have known about my infatuation and should not have acted as intermediate in such a way but she was very young, rather shy and probably did not really grasp the implications). It later turned out that the object of my desire was most of that time in a messy on-off-relationship with another poor sucker (in another town so this was not obvious) and probably herself pursuing still another one who did not want her, so she really could use some nice company and admiration... I did not really know about that background until later, so stupidly I again got my hopes up and met her again. Of course this was stupid. But it was also exceedingly unfair by that woman who clearly had the power in this particular case. (And we were not teenagers but both in our 20s.)

 

 

Edited by Jo498

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Posted (edited)

Wow, there's a whole lot to unpack in there, but since it's nearly 2 am I don't currently feel up to it. Maybe tomorrow.

ETA: But if you want proof of the existence of rape culture in western society, feel free to look into the previously referenced case of Brock Turner.

Edited by Myshkin

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I'd really suggest that, if at all, "rape culture" should have a separate thread.

But briefly, I fail to see what the Brock Turner case is supposed to show here. He was interrupted and apprehended by two young men (in a "rape culture" one would have expected them to cheer him on or take their turns with the poor girl), he was arrested, he faced charges and trial etc. The only thing is that he got away with a comparably mild sentence (I cannot really comment on that not being familiar with US laws and sentences) and that friends and family members defended him. But they blamed alcohol, not the girl. Again, defending a friend is not supposed to be an unbiased ethical evaluation and nobody will understand it as such.

And again, a star athlete getting drunk and assuming "she wants it", not realizing (or not wanting to realize) that she is passed out drunk) is about as far from "beta friend zoning" as possible which shows how spurious that connection is. Sure, there are probably also cases of "beta males" taking advantage of drunk girls because they would not have a chance otherwise. (There is a similar scene in the Dead Poet's Society movie although the real boyfriend intervenes and beats the other guy up and it is at least implied that the girl, though drunk, was fond of the Dead Poet trying to kiss or grope her but locked in a relation with that quarterback type.)

But tainting the whole discussion with such a spurious connection prevents an unbiased perspective on the social dynamics of expections, misunderstandings and other communication failures I tried to sketch above.

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Posted (edited)

I'm glad this topic got restarted as it was an interesting topic before it was hurriedly closed down. But I'll be careful what I say because giving the wrong opinion can get topics closed down rather quickly. 

Firstly on 'Friend Zoning', I think a lot of people have given different views as to what the friend zone is, maybe we all have different experiences. For the OP's point that relationships can develop out of friendship, this is very true, but I think its mostly an exception. Usually there is an element of sexual attraction between 2 people and its never brought to the surface because of circumstances or miscommunication or shyness. 

The Friend Zone is something else IMO, its where one party is infatuated with another, but the object of admiration has little to no interest sexually in the other. Either out of not wanting to offend or just ignorance of being a love object, they carry on as friends because they enjoy the friendship. 

My point is that most people who get friendzoned are there because they don't understand sexual dynamics and are hiding their true feelings in the willful hope that things will change. But usually if someone doesn't find you attractive then that's not going to change unless circumstances, or you, change massively.

As for 'rape culture', well I think its a pretty badly worded term and causes a hell of a lot of confusion, as nobody really ever agrees on exactly what they are referring to when they talk about it.  Jo is right, it really deserves its own topic because its a big subject. My problem with the term is that it conflates a bunch of different behaviours and groups them into a 'rape culture' even if they are unrelated.
I think this is a really great example of it actually. What we are really looking at is a number of cases where people are emotionally incapable of handling rejection and also unable to look within themselves to understand why things have happened, so push the blame onto others. That really has very little to do with entitlement or rape culture, it says more about the emotional development of these individuals.
Its just another case of people looking to categorize a number of behaviours and group them together to create an easier, less complex answer. 

 

Quote

but they are going to be the ones who make excuses for the people who do go out and rape someone. That's rape culture.

I don't think there is any evidence for this statement and thats why its dangerous. Very few people actually think rape is fine, almost nobody in fact. Is rape culture about excusing rape? I don't think we live in a society that excuses rape in any shape or form. There might be arguments as to what constitutes rape or when it occurs, but that is something very different. 


As for Alpha /Beta males, yes it is mostly bullshit. But  why the concept exists is to illustrate to some guys the idea that there are a bunch of men who do very well with women ( end up with the most attractive women, sleep with as many women as they want), and they often have a number of characteristics, and there are a number of guys who do very badly with women ( end up as virgins, or get married to the first girl who allows them to sleep with them, live a life of frustration) and they often have a number of characteristics. 

That doesn't mean you need to be an Alpha Male to have a happy sex life, but it was a useful tool to help frustrated guys understand why they were not happy with their love lives, and what they could do to change it. That many guys misunderstood the message and tried to badly mimic these behaviours is unfortunate, but beside the point. There is still an element of truth in the concept, as hard as that is to hear for some people. 





 

Edited by Channel4s-JonSnow

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A good chunk the concept of 'friend-zoning' seems to come from the idea that attraction and love is a sort of tick-box exercise. As in, if I do x, y and z, I've done the things that should make this person want to sleep with me/fall in love with me, and if they don't, that's their fault because I did all the right things, so I've got the right to be angry at them for still just seeing me as a friend.

It very much seems to discount the fact that attraction, and even moreso falling in love, is a really, really subjective, individual thing, and even if I try to tick all the boxes that a person says they want in a partner, it doesn't mean that those things make me the person that they will want to be with. And that's obviously hard to accept, but it doesn't change the fact that no one can force themselves to be attracted to, or fall in love with, someone that they just aren't. 

 

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8 hours ago, Myshkin said:

Take heart in knowing that only maybe 4 people on this board will understand it, and 2 of them are us. Hell, I wasn't entirely sure that you'd get it. 

I get it. ;)

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Posted (edited)

From as far as I understand it's a novel enough idea that can be translated to any sort of violence or undue harm. War, fighting, etc etc. Don't get mad when you don't get your way, it can lead to violence and unnecessary conflict. Easy to say, harder to do.

Edited by DunderMifflin

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Jon,

How many people who defended Brock Turner did so by claiming what Brock Turner did "wasn't rape" or said the woman he raped bore the brunt of the responsibility because she got so drunk?  Is is those automatic defenses that are offered in those cases that have a cultural element and that I believe are why a "Rape Culture" exists.

To tie this back to the "friend zone".  It is the unjustifiable anger presented in the "friend zone" memes that ties into "rape culture".  The idea that because someone will not choose to sleep with you your emotional response is somehow justified because you are a "nice guy" and deserve better is just not justifiable in my opinion and the anger and vitriol lobbed at women is fundamentally inappropriate.

Consider how weird it would be if gay men who you are friendly with started using "friend zone" memes to express their frustration that their straight friends who they find attractive didn't want to sleep with them.  It's the same situation more starkly defined.  One party to the friendship doesn't find the other sexually attractive and the "rejected" party then vents their anger and frustration.  If it is proper for "nice guys" who are "friend-zoned" by women why wouldn't it be appropriate for homosexual men who have a crush on a straight friends to do the same?

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15 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Jon,

How many people who defended Brock Turner did so by claiming what Brock Turner did "wasn't rape" or said the woman he raped bore the brunt of the responsibility because she got so drunk?  Is is those automatic defenses that are offered in those cases that have a cultural element and that I believe are why a "Rape Culture" exists.

To tie this back to the "friend zone".  It is the unjustifiable anger presented in the "friend zone" memes that ties into "rape culture".  The idea that because someone will not choose to sleep with you your emotional response is somehow justified because you are a "nice guy" and deserve better is just not justifiable in my opinion and the anger and vitriol lobbed at women is fundamentally inappropriate.

Consider how weird it would be if gay men who you are friendly with started using "friend zone" memes to express their frustration that their straight friends who they find attractive didn't want to sleep with them.  It's the same situation more starkly defined.  One party to the friendship doesn't find the other sexually attractive and the "rejected" party then vents their anger and frustration.  If it is proper for "nice guys" who are "friend-zoned" by women why wouldn't it be appropriate for homosexual men who have a crush on a straight friends to do the same?

Cant speak for others but I'd be completely fine with this.  I'd probably be flattered if any of it was about me.

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2 minutes ago, DunderMifflin said:

Cant speak for others but I'd be completely fine with this.  I'd probably be flattered if any of it was about me.

You'd be cool with the anger and sexual entitlement such anger would represent?

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Posted (edited)

@Ser Scot A Ellison
On the Brock point, well I don't know enough about the case, as it wasn't widely reported over here. We have similar cases, but I think you'd have to take them all on an individual basis. My point is that very few people think rape is justified  almost everyone agrees it is terrible and shouldn't happen. Where there is disagreement is on what constitutes as rape, and that can be quite a grey area. Its quite a step to call that part of a 'rape culture' and I think thats where a lot of the frustration comes in when these discussions happen.

On your other point, I've had women act angrily when I've rejected them in the past and called me all manner of names and said some terrible things to me. Are they part of rape culture? 

Edited by Channel4s-JonSnow

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Are women who express anger or insult men who reject their sexual advances part of "rape culture"?  I have to say yes.  The idea that anger and insults are appropriate responses to sexual advances being declined is a problem.  Sex requires mutual consent.  If one person says "no" anger and insults are a method of coercion.  Coerced sex is rape.

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Posted (edited)

11 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

You'd be cool with the anger and sexual entitlement such anger would represent?

Yes. You aren't likely to get the same views on this from men as women. I'm going to go out on a limb and say men in general don't as much know what it's like to be sexually desired so there's not as much focus on the negative parts of being desired and more focus on the positive parts of it. Most people of any gender would probably like to be found attractive and sexy if they are rarely or ever thought to be that. Plus I just don't have any fear or reason to believe that a gay man will ever rape me. not saying it isn't possible but I think the chances are pretty low.

Edited by DunderMifflin

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