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The friend zone and adventures in guilt

Entitlement is the new buzzword and I was surprised to read a while back that the friend zone is about men who feel “entitled” to sex. Apparently it’s not simply unrequited love, it’s entitlement. The current popular feminist view is that the nice guy is only being nice because he thinks being nice is what gets him laid. I too was brought up by my single mother to believe that men don’t love women in the way women love men, but I have a different take.

Women are taught as little girls to feel guilty, seemingly all the time. 96% of women answered a Stylist poll saying they feel guilt or shame every day. This is another strange female thing that has always amazed me and I’m glad I somehow avoided it. I remember my mother getting angry at people for “making” her feel guilty but as far as I could tell they never made her feel anything, she just felt that way. I think when you have a feeling you need to own it, explore it, feel it and then let it go, not get all huffy about who made you feel that way. I believe this may be where the hostility towards men who feel they have been friendzoned comes from (excluding the violent ones, we can all be angry at violence). Some women feel guilty for making their friendzoned friends upset and then they get angry for being made to feel guilty. This is understandable as most of us were not taught to deal with our emotions properly. I have my own set of emotional issues I’ve had to deal with but I have never felt hostile toward someone who was disappointed that I wasn’t attracted to him. I may have felt compassion, empathy, awkward and yes even guilty. But I did not ever turn it into his fault for making me feel guilty. That was my emotion to own and deal with. Again I want to be clear, I’m talking about the usual story where a guy is disappointed, not the rare one where the guy goes all postal and beats, rapes or murders her. Abnormal and criminal behaviour should not be shaping our opinions about normal, non-criminal life.

Which brings me to this. We need to teach our children how to deal with emotions properly. Stop teaching our girls to feel guilt all the time, stop teaching our boys to stuff their emotions down preferring to become angry and violent before they can be vulnerable. Its not about teaching boys to respect girls, we need to teach all children how to respect each other mutually. We do that by treating our children with respect; by not spanking them, by not forcing them to do things your way all the time, by not shaming them when they get it wrong sometimes. We are absolute crap at respecting children and then we wonder why no one knows how to treat anyone with respect. Kids learn by example not by lecture. So when I saw this:

I thought, yeah, lets teach boys to respect girls and girls to respect boys. Lets all be nice to each other. This is a great idea.