A couple months ago on Modern Family, Manny, the “old man stuck inside a child’s body,” yelled at a girl for sticking him in the friendzone. Now, Modern Family is usually deemed as this progressive show (there’s a gay couple, y’all!), despite its lack of broad understanding of different income levels, cultures, and aspects of the queer community as a whole. Furthermore, it is perpetuating cultures that pigeonhole women into stereotypes of submissiveness and idiocy (when was the last time Sofia Vergara said anything other than “AYYY JAY!!!”). And now, little innocent Manny is portrayed as the victim of heartbreak because a girl decided to have free choice. Poor little Manny is so loudly living in the friendzone.
We all know what the friendzone is, right? That guy, that “nice guy” asks you out, you’re not really into him because you believe very rightly so in your own free will and choices to date whoever you please, and when you say no – you’re the rude b-word who turned down the nice guy! How could you, though? He’s so nice. He’s nice to you and you turned him down? You said no? Now, you’re the girl who broke the nice guy. You’re the bitch. You said yes to someone else? You’re the slut.
We’re the bitches and sluts. This one word is bigger than just saying “no” and being the girl who hurts the nice guy. This friendzone is a trap that puts women into two groups – sluts or bitches. This zone shouldn’t be called the friendzone, it should be called the slutzone or the bitchzone because it cages all women into a group of people who are supposed to give in to whatever men please. This concept is the view that women are items being sorted into certain zones where we answer the way you want, living our lives submissively and by patriarchal standards. When we say yes we’re too promiscuous. And when we say no, we’re crazy and hurting the guy that’s ruining his own life to be so nice to us!
The friendzone is the basis for the broader issue that we can’t make our own choices about our sex lives. And when we keep using this term and keep writing it into our TV shows, women are constantly being told that saying no makes them the “bad guys.” I’m about 300% done with the idea that I still, in 2013, can’t make my own choices. Why does every choice I make have a label? Why is it any of your business? How about we just stop labeling women over every single thing they do? Why is this so much to ask? Let’s stop saying girls are sluts when they decide to say yes and let’s stop saying that we’re prudes and bitches when we say no. We can do whatever we want, and it is sheer sexism to constrict us into groups based on our sex lives.
The worst part about the friendzone is that if I say no and you yell at me for putting you in the friendzone, that wasn’t me putting you in the friendzone. That was me saying to get out of my life forever because if you don’t want to be nice to me out of sheer common decency then you’re not getting near my pantszone and we sure as hell aren’t living as friends in your patriarchal misogynyzones.
Written by Anisha Ahuja