The Friend Zone

I’ve recently become a fan of spoken word. Before a few months ago I had only heard spoken word a few times but I always found it really interesting and beautiful. As my love for poetry grew so did my love for spoken word. My recent spoken word binge led me to this video titled “Friend Zone”. Sometimes I find spoken word to be a little too moody and liberal for my taste but this was one that I really enjoyed. It had a really good balance of being both funny and serious (which sometimes I think spoken word lacks). Also at the beginning of the poem you can’t really tell where he’s going to end it which makes it all the more interesting.

I don’t really want to ruin the experience for you so if you want to read the rest of this blog without spoilers for the actual piece then I suggest you watch the video now before reading on. I’ll include the link here:

Hi again! I hope you liked it. I figured I’d talk a little bit now about what I thought about this poem. So essentially the message of the poem was about the idea of “the friend zone”. For any of you who don’t know, it’s this modern idea of the nice guy who is a great friend to a girl and (in his mind) the perfect fit for her but she doesn’t notice or appreciate him (or in the case of the poem, sleep with him). The best example of this that I can think of at this moment is Gordo and Lizzie McGuire (shoutout to my childhood).

Anyways, before listening to this spoken word I’d honestly just thought of the friend zone the same way everyone else did, as a real, unfortunate thing that girls did to boys probably unintentionally. But this poem really got me thinking. The idea of “the friend zone”, and it’s negative connotation, actually really devalues the idea of friendship. Basically it allows boys (or even equally girls because you can’t say that boys don’t also put girls in “the friend zone”) to think that if they’re nice and listen to you that this automatically means that they’re entitled to sex or a relationship, but this just isn’t true. Sex (at least to me) isn’t something that you just give to someone just because they’re nice to you….and I hope that most people would value sex in this same way. I mean nobody owes sex to anybody, as the poem states “sex is not a transaction”. Being friends with a girl (or boy) is not a punishment (as “the friend zone” idea makes it out to be) but something to appreciate. Doesn’t it seem weird to anyone else that boys (or girls) can deem a friendship with someone as not being worth it unless that person is banging them? It seems weird to me. I want my guy friends to be nice to me because they are genuine people and like to be around me, not because they want me to sleep with them.

Disclaimer: I’m definitely not saying that every boy who has ever been friends with a girl is just looking to sleep with her, because this isn’t true, I’m just addressing the idea as presented in the spoken word.

My intention for this blog is not to be overly controversial or to anger anybody by my views (which is why I will usually keep them to myself), but in this instance I just wanted to expose my readers to a spoken word that I really enjoyed listening to and that got me thinking. I hope it did the same for you!

(Also Gordo was a great friend to Lizzie without ever complaining about being in “the friend zone” and in the end she kissed him on a rooftop in Italy after becoming a pop sensation for a night, so I think the whole “being nice without expectations” thing worked out in his favor. You go Gordo.)

From me for you,

Julie

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