According to Wikipedia, “The friend zone, in popular culture, refers to a platonic relationship wherein one person wishes to enter into a romantic or sexual relationship, while the other does not. It is generally considered to be an undesirable or dreaded situation by the lovelorn person.” ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friend_zone )
But as I have argued in my previous post “The Dictionary Definition of a Dictionary Definition, (The full blog can be read here: https://therichardbraxton.wordpress.com/2016/02/24/the-dictionary-definition-of-a-dictionary-definition/ ) the full meaning of a word or phrase can never be fully encapsulated within a single definition (or Wikipedia article in this case).
Feminist articles would have you believe that “the friend zone” is a notion that men feel that just being friendly to a woman entitles them to sex. Here is a sampling of such articles:
https://feministsatlarge.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-friendzone-is-a-sexist-myth/ http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/08/time-to-ditch-friendzone-idea/ http://www.salon.com/2013/10/12/6_reasons_the_friend_zone_needs_to_die/
The feminist notion of what “the friend zone” is relies on the assumption that man can not be friends with a woman without wanting to have sex with her. But men are platonic friends with women all the time. The man that talks to you at work and helps you out when you need it, but does not ask you on a date is your friend. The man that lives across from you and asks you about your cat, but never asks you out on a date is your friend. The man that invites you over to the family barbecue to meet his wife but never asks you out on a date is your friend. And whether or not these men have any sexual feelings towards you, they are not in “the friend zone.” The problem here is that they are assuming that “the friend zone” is the same as friendship.
It is easy to make this mistake because the word “friend” is in the name “the friend zone.” In fact, there is nothing friendly about being in “the friend zone.” A more accurate name would be “the taken advantage of zone” because “the friend zone” is not the same as a platonic friendship. “The friend zone” is the zone that the pursuer of a relationship ends up in when the pursued dates the pursuer under false pretenses (In the western world the pursuer is usually a male and the pursued is usually a female so for ease of reference I will refer to the pursuer as the man and the pursued as a woman from this point further). The woman either already has a boyfriend or is otherwise uninterested in having a relationship and is dating the man only to receive the monetary benefits of dating said man for a protracted period of time without allowing the relationship to move further. This is the friend zone that men are talking about when they complain that they are stuck in “the friend zone.” And as you can see, there is no friendship or friendliness in this relationship just the woman with the power taking advantage of the less powerful man. (Notice that the word “sex” is not mentioned in my definition of “the friend zone.” This is because some of the men in “the friend zone” actually do get sex from time to time to keep them around and spending, but they will never be the only man in the woman’s life. And when she does settle down it will never be with a man that she has friend zoned.)
One thing that feminists do get right is the idea that romantic relationships are about power. And when it comes to dating and having sex the woman has all the power.The woman gets to decide whether or not she will go on a date with the man, and she gets to decide whether or not there will be sex after the date, and the fact that the friend zone exists at all in any fashion proves women’s power over men (if only in this area).