Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"Nice Guys" and "The Friend Zone"

Welcome back readers! The Women's Center is resuming our regular blogging schedule for the spring semester. We are also pleased to welcome five new staffers to our office! Keep your radar tuned for their upcoming posts.

My blog today is inspired by the short comic entitled "The Friendzoner vs. Nice Guy" by mamamantis. The author has requested that this work not be copied, so please feel free to follow that link to the original source.

"Nice guy" and "friend zone"--I am relatively certain the majority of our readers have heard one or both of these terms at some point. If this is the first time these phrases are entering your awareness, they can be a bit deceiving. In the context of this blog, "nice guy" refers to a (usually) heterosexual male who proclaims himself to be a part of a larger, conceptual group of men who are incredibly kind and good-hearted, yet are never the person of sexual interest to their female friends. "The friend zone" is where this man is said to be when the woman of his interest rejects the possibility of a relationship and claims to value him only as a friend.

If this hasn't happened to you personally (on either side of it), then I imagine you have heard about it from someone you know or seen it in a movie. But when you think about the subtle implications of what is being assumed in cases of unrequited love like this, the sebtext can be pretty alarming.

I have a lot of difficulty accepting the notion that treating a woman with kindness somehow entitles a man to her romantic or sexual interests. Fun fact: women (and all people, for that matter), have every bit of say in who they wish to see and who they do not have interest in. They are allowed to change their minds at any point, and no one else can make these decision for them. The idea that doing more nice things can build up some sort of credit that can be exchanged for a sexual or romantic relationship is ridiculous. To feel a sense of entitlement to another human being's body and mind sounds suspiciously misogynist. These traits are not ones I would normally attribute to a nice guy. In fact, it seems "nice guys" in these situations are not very nice at all.

For a more visually interesting representation of these points, please do follow that link posted above. That comic is full of witty and spot-on quotes on the subject.

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