This is a comment by Salvice on the post “The Ups and Downs of ‘The Friend Zone’“.
“If you remove the gendered adjectives and pronouns and replace them with gender neutral terms such as ‘they’ and ‘their’, I think that Mr. Showtime explains a pretty basic but effective model of how to establish boundaries and differentiation between intimate partners, friends, and acquaintances. Regardless of a person’s biological sex or gender expression, boundaries need to be respected.
“I think that ‘the friend zone’ only succeeds at trivializing the importance of platonic relationships. It implies relationship with a person of your romantically preferred demographic is only valuable if it involves sexual interaction. I think it would be equally disrespectful for a man to treat his acquaintances in such a way as it would for a woman to do the same to her acquaintances. Sometimes it’s not just about the biological sex or gender of the person that is writing about life experiences. If, through his own experiences as an Afro-American man, he can express how he learned to establish and become respectful of other people’s boundaries, he can urge others to reflect upon their own questions about social boundaries. I think that, as long as we are willing to listen to the stories of other people, we may find that we have many similar experiences. We all reside within the system of hegemonic norms, so surely each and every one of us has an experience that is linked to the current state of interpersonal existence.
“Can we please start seeking out the potentially constructive similarities with equal fervor to that with which we dwell upon differences? It is easy to point out shortcomings, but it requires building in a new direction to overcome our straight and narrow confines.”
Photo credit: Flickr / Andrew-Hyde