It’s hard to be a denizen of the internet without being familiar with the idea of the “friendzone” and its most frequent application which seems, in my experience, to be by angry twitter men who believe that women are cruelly manipulating them into unwanted friendships when they want to foist unwanted sex to which they feel entitled on said women, as long as they’re, say, at least a 7.
I’ve talked about the Friendzone before, though of course then I was talking about this idea, which I hate, and I’m not going to spend any more time on anymore.
So why do I want to be in the Friendzone if I hate the term so much?
Because the English language is a beautiful thing full of nuance etc. and always open to change and innovation, I have noticed a new way that young women are using the term friendzone, and that friendzone is something I well and truly want to be in.
I’ve heard other women my age (OK, so only relatively young women) use it when they are talking about getting to know women they admire. Example, a friend of mine was telling me about when she had met up with someone who had been a mentor at university, she said:
She came to see me in the play, and then afterwards we went out for coffee and talked about not-work stuff. At the end, she went for a hug and I knew that we had entered the friendzone.
And since this first revelation, I have heard other women use it that way. “I was so happy when we entered the friendzone.” You see, there ought not to be anything about the words ‘friend’ and ‘zone’ in a jolly portmanteau together that ought to strike fear or disparagement into anyone’s heart. We like friends! Zones are fine, too, I guess!
Now I’m aware that this “fetch” has only happened among my own demographic and, in fact, perhaps a small group of friends, but I want to make this positive friendzone happen. Did you have a really great chat with your boss at work? In the friendzone! Did you approach and bond with a senior academic at a conference? In the friendzone! Did you slide into the dms of a twitter friend and discuss your love of the same books or your admiration of their work? In the friendzone! YESS!
Here’s to the new friendzone. I wanna be in it.