By Andrea Carlo
Ah, the friend zone. That dreaded purgatory, depicted as the living nightmare of any romcom’s male protagonist.
Sure, the concept has been expanded to include women, who themselves can be ‘friend zoned’, but popular imagination has usually relegated the term to well-meaning guys, desperately vying for the attention of their attractive crush who will usually be dating the handsome jerk instead. It’s blockbuster formula 101. By the end of the film, the endearing nerd will have “won” the love of the beautiful female lead, who will finally realise she had been wasting her time all along, and the audience cheers as these two soulmates gleefully spend the rest of their lives together.
It may seem so innocent and harmless, but the ‘friend zone’ is a quintessentially ugly, toxic concept that has no place in our society. Behind the entire notion stands a history of self-loathing, reactionary traditionalism and misogyny which, as subtle as it is, manages to rear its head whenever the word comes up. It may be the driving force of romantic dramas and hilarious memes, but it may be time we ditch the concept for good.
Here are five reasons why:
1. It devalues the importance of friendship
Friendship is one of the most beautiful things we have, mostly because it epitomises the human values of altruistic affection and unconditional love. The world can be a frightening, terrible place, and the platonic bonds we form can be the things that help us get through the worst of our trials. C. S. Lewis, in his book The Four Loves,
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