First, set a timer for one minute and 40 seconds, whenever it goes off, please, reset it.
I’d like you to imagine something with me, gentlemen. Imagine that since you were about 12 years old nearly half of the people you met wondered what you looked like naked. Imagine that you had a 15% chance of being sexually assaulted and/or raped and that there’s a 90% chance that you knew who attacked you, and that being a survivor increases the odds of your being attacked again by 700%.
Getting there? Are you imagining with me?
Perfect! Now you’re a woman ages 18-34 living in the United States.
Don’t click away, yet, boys! I’ve got some mansplaining to do.
In 1994, a show about a group of friends living painfully charmed lives in New York City popularized the term “Friend Zone” without ever bringing up the multiple times almost all of the characters hilariously engaged in sexual harassment and assault on their friends and strangers.
To be fair it was the late 90s and early 00s, it was a simpler more innocent time, excluding that reported violent crimes were nearly double what they are today. That’s also important to this conversation, “reported”. I’ll toss in a couple other numbers:
If one hundred women are assaulted, only 65 of them will file a police report.
About 13 of the cases will be prosecuted.
And less than 2 will be convicted.
There’s a 98% chance that the person who works with her, lives with her, goes to school with her, or rarely, is unknown to her will go on with his life.
You’re not a rapist!
You just really like her and really want to “take it to the next level”. But, my goodness, this isn’t a game. This is her life and well-being. There still seems to be a mindset as we stumble into the 21st Century that, as a nice guy, you are owed something for good works.
That she was putting out signals.
That she was dressed that way.
That she posted a sexy image.
That she talks to you all the time.
That she said how much she enjoyed rough sex.
That she seemed into it.
You aren’t owed a damned thing and you certainly aren’t a “nice” guy.
While we’re here, let’s discuss the “asshole” she’s seeing that you know in your heart of hearts you’re better than:
Is she happy?
Yes? Then we’re done.
No? It still doesn’t matter because it’s her life and she’s decided who get’s what access!
Still with me?
Let’s discuss a harsh truth about you.
The friend zone is where you put yourself because of an inferiority complex.
“The present study lends partial support for the notion that persecutory delusions serve as a defence against low implicit self‐esteem, although the explicit self‐esteem of these patients is still lower than in normal participants..”
In layperson’s terms, you think you suck and lash out to feel better about yourself. You lack empathy, or the ability to understand the feelings of others. You are just here for Number One. And...
When you take the time to consider it, you don’t like her, you like the idea of her.
That’s not a relationship: That’s ownership.
Has that timer gone off?
How many times?
Each time it does, a woman in the United States is statistically being raped or sexually assaulted and nine out ten time it’s by someone she knows. In a group of six women, odds are that one will be raped.
Imagine that your entire life was a game of Russian Roulette that came with PTSD, depression, anxiety, sexually transmitted infections, and pregnancy.
And you want to complain that she only wants to be friends?