Sarah Irby, Editor in Chief~

Ah, the Friend Zone. The imaginary corner where every guy is banished to stroke his poor ego when a woman he likes rejects him. Notice I said imaginary. Because it doesn’t exist. Plain and simple. This is one thing that pisses me off beyond belief, because it’s just a made-up term to help comfort guys who think they deserve a woman but can’t get her.

I want to know what butthurt guy came up with this term in the first place. It’s used when women reject them, when they say they just want to be friends or they just don’t see them in that way. But what is the big deal? People get rejected one way or another every day. But some of us take it too far. Why do you need a label like this to make you feel better by making a woman look bad simply because she isn’t into you? Just because you’re a “nice” guy and “not like the others,” doesn’t mean she owes you a thing (and clearly you’re at least a little like the others if you have to resort to this childishness). If she isn’t interested, then she isn’t interested. It shouldn’t have to be questioned – ever. I don’t see men being persecuted for turning down women, and I don’t see women getting so personally offended about it that they have to go and make up a whole new concept to help them explain why they didn’t get what they wanted. It’s deluded. Honestly, you might as well just be a little brat and go cry to your mommy. But hey, that’s just my opinion.

Illustration by Genevieve Griffin

Sorry if this is your comfort word – your metaphorical binky – but it’s time to grow up. Let me also point something out about the good chunk of you who think you’re the “nice guy” that always finishes last because women want guys who are a**holes. You might think you’re nice, when in reality you’ve probably started making the woman feel incredibly uncomfortable. It’s likely you’re being creepy without realizing it, hanging around her all the time and doing stuff for her, thinking about how unappreciative she is that you’re making such a huge effort. Really, it’s that she’s in a devastatingly awkward and uncomfortable situation, but doesn’t know what to do or say because she probably doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings – especially if you’re her *gasp* friend. As a woman, I can’t even begin to tell you how stressful it is to be in these situations. I don’t like hurting anyone, but I’m also not big on men who think they’re entitled to my time, presence and energy simply because they’ve chosen me as their current romantic interest. I’m not trying to be anyone’s conquest.

Again, just like “the walk of shame,” the term “friend zone(d)” is superfluous. It’s another phrase that imposes double standards on women and makes us out to be the bad ones, because we won’t do as we’re expected and give in to every whiny or pushy guy who wants our attention. There is absolutely no reason why any woman should be automatically expected to give any guy the time of day if she doesn’t want to.

So, this is a reality check. Stop throwing these “glorified” tantrums when you don’t get your way with a woman.  You can’t force someone to be attracted to you in a certain way when they’re just not. We’re tired of getting attacked when we say we’re not interested or we just want to be friends. No means no. It’s a really simple concept, I promise. Maybe just try being a decent human being and respecting our wishes and boundaries because we’re not objects to be acquired.