Platonic friendship is totally possible

The Friend Zone
I was lying in bed reading my eink tablet while listening to a podcast. One of my saved blogs to read was from doctor nerdlove – Why men & women can never be just friends is bullshit.

I swear I was pretty pissed off (like Dr Nerdlove) reading about how the state of platonic friendship was a lie and how men will always want it to be more. Heck Hans Fiene who wrote the original piece Dr Nerdlove was reply to; goes on to justify everything as not only being biological but bad for society. Seriously WTF!

Let’s review the logic on display here. Male relationships are inherently transactional. Men barter time for friendship with other men. Men cannot be friends with women because they need to fuck her. Therefore, by not dating or fucking them, women are cheating men by not giving them the goods that men have been paying for. 

In Fiene’s world, a woman not putting out for her male friends is bad enough. But there’s a worse crime being committed: because he’s stuck in this quagmire, he’s not fucking other people. And to be sure: that’s not his fault. He’s just too stupid to overrule his boner.

No. For real. That’s Fiene’s argument.

Repeat the “We’re just friends” mantra a thousand times. It won’t rewire the circuits of the male mind. All it will accomplish is deluding you into thinking he’s content to stay in the Friend Zone quicksand and deluding him into thinking he can break out of it by sinking even deeper.

But let’s get back to the premise. Men are trapped in the Friend Zone because being told that they’re just friends isn’t enough to make them realize that she will never sleep with him. Being friends is the trap that women, bless their hearts, can’t help but ensnare men into because Lord love ’em those boners are just SO POWERFUL. It’s only because women don’t frame the rejection in just the right way  – as is incumbent on them – to free men from their snares.

Of course its not just Hans crazy ideological view, I see it everywhere. Even my friends talk about the friendzone like I’ve been put in it like a naughty child. Most of the time its for the best of both people and friends is not lower on some imaginationary ladder. Its also not to help me ascend the status hierarchy!

My biggest problem is people treat love as binary. You are either in love or not/you are in or out. If you have been paying attention you will know love is much richer than this, it also doesn’t count for evolution, society and cultural changes.

Ruth Libby quote from Hackers film 1995
God gave men brains larger than dogs so they wouldn’t hump women’s legs at cocktail parties – Ruth Libby ~ hackers 1995

As a male feminist who isn’t a slave to his dick and can engage his brain, I find the whole discussion hateful of women and wholly offensive to both sexes. Men and Women can be good friends full stop, if one chooses to take it one step further or backwards, thats just relationships (sometimes unequal).

Typifying people (male & female) is just bollox and it needs to end here!

Author: cubicgarden

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.