Is the problem you or the “friend zone”?

Kristina Agbebiyi

“The Friend Zone” is a term that culture often uses to describe women who supposedly “lead men on” into thinking that they are romantically interested in them. Once used as a joke, this mythical zone has become engrained in our society. It is a commonly used term, and it has become the theme of books, television shows and movies.

While this term may seem harmless, I beg to differ. Often times, a girl will express to a guy from the beginning that she strictly wants their relationship to be platonic. Instead of respecting her wishes, a guy will then take this as a sign that he needs to try harder to win her over. When a girl reiterates that she was strictly looking for friendship the guy will claim that he has been “friend zoned.”

I am sorry, but as a woman, if I kept pursuing a guy after he told me no, I would be perceived as clingy, desperate and not capable of taking a hint. I would not be able to bring up “the friend zone” or any other reasoning as to why I thought someone was interested in me when they clearly told me they were not.

Another issue with the “friend zone” is that it perpetuates the belief that men are owed niceness, a relationship or sex from a woman simply because they showed her manners and extended their hand for friendship. You are not owed access to my body simply because you helped me study for chem. I am not obligated to hang out with you just because you were polite to me and waved to me across campus. Just because you treated me with respect does not mean that I now must go on a date with you.

“The Friend Zone” shames women into thinking that even though they are not remotely attracted to a man, they must help him boost his self-confidence by pretending to be attracted to him. Maybe “The Friend Zone” isn’t the problem. Maybe the problem is you.