Friendzone vs. The Invisible Woman
What makes me the most upset about the “friendzone” bullshit that guys perpetuate is that it occasionally puts me in one of two categories with a new male acquaintance, either “fuckable” or “non-existent.” Which means that he doesn’t see me as an actual person. If I’m in the “fuckable” category, I’m apparently expected to eventually fuck him. Well shit, I didn’t even realize this. Is that in some sort of handbook I forgot to read? Can I get a Cliffsnotes version?
Like always, some men just make up the rules as they go. While guys are crying about being friendzone’d I’m over here like, “Please, put me in the friendzone! I thought you were really cool before realizing that you’re a misogynistic twatwaffle. In fact, you know what, nevermind about that. I didn’t really think that through.” I think of men as people. People who I might want to be friends with above all else, because I don’t sexualize every man I meet who I find attractive.
The dangerous thing is that the discrimination is subtle. I could be somewhere and if just one guy disregards me and makes me invisible socially, it makes me feel like crawling under a rock because of my anxiety. I’ll often just step away and let them win. The slight is obvious probably only to me, so other men in the room don’t necessarily notice it, and sometimes it’s even contagious. Even with how this treatment makes me feel, I’ve never once considered it a reason for violence.
Easy solution here for men: Stop and think how you would treat me and other women if we were the exact same person, but just a dude. This benefits you in lots of ways, because as a married woman I’m not in your dating pool to begin with.
For some men though, my lack of availability doesn’t seem to matter because, remember, I’m not a person to them. Or, my lack of attractiveness to them is like an insult that they can’t get past. My height just magnifies that intolerance, because as a woman who is sometimes physically more imposing than men I meet, I can be intimidating.
All of it makes me sad, because who wants to be judged by fuckability? Not men, surely. Remember the whole point of this is the “friendzone” that men cannot tolerate to the point where they threaten violence. Women who dismiss men based on their looks and refuse to speak to them at all are labeled “bitches” and “stuck-up” or “frost queens.” Last time I looked, those were negative labels.
I don’t see those kinds of labels on men who act the same way. I’ll make up a new term for it! I call it “The Invisible Woman.” While dudes are outright threatening violence because a girl wants to having a friendship with them instead of just wanting to fuck them, guys are flaunting their privilege by doing the exact same thing, but worse. Instead of remaining friends, that girl they don’t think is attractive or already has a partner now doesn’t exist at all. She is a ghost.
To the men of the world–please friendzone me. Treat me like a person, not a machine that you drop kindness coins into until sex falls out. Don’t threaten me with violence. Treat me like a human being, not a thing that you get to disregard just because there’s no shitty power dynamic between us where you find me fuckable and I’m supposed to be thankful for it.
The Good Men out there, the guys who already treat me like a human being and respect me, who already think of women as equals–hold the rest of your community accountable to treating women like people and ending the implied violence of “watch who you friendzone.” Because at this point, with how much violence against women I see in my culture, either be an ally or get the fuck out of my face.