Episode 136: The Friend Zone

Girls are not machines that you put kindness coins into until sex falls out.
— Sylvia Plath
I definitely think the idea of the friend zone is men going, ‘This woman won’t have sex with me.’
— Daniel Radcliffe
Sure, we were friends who exchanged soulful glances, friends who slept in a bed filled with sexual tension, friends who found any excuse to touch, but I worried that we’d never take that perilous leap of faith toward becoming a real couple, a permanent team.
— Emily Giffin, Something Blue

The interactions that comprise our world are built upon how we communicate with one another and what we expect of those around us. This is particularly evident in the phenomenon of "The Friend Zone," a state often lamented by those whose sexual or romantic desires are not reciprocated. But what does this expression of dissatisfaction say about our cultural teachings? This week we welcome Chandler Davis to discuss the concept and some of its problematic implications. Why is the term often used by men to describe their relationships with women? How does a reliance upon this belief diminish more nuanced and complex understandings of others? What are other cultural values attendant to a belief in the Friend Zone?