Oh, Hans, this is so bad...
How do I know this?
Well, Fiene’s article is a prime example of this exact defense mechanism in action, fully on display. It’s as if someone set out to draw a diagram of how the “Friend Zone” operates.
Fiene starts by blaming the women, specifically, for the fact that birth rates are declining in the United States. (As if that’s the worst thing our country faces at the moment, but I digress.)
Anyway, Fiene says that the best way to increase population and boost birthing rates is to stop lying to ourselves about the idea that women and men could be friends. This, to him, translates to: “tell women to stop friend zoning men.”
How does this make sense?
He says that the repercussions of the “Friend Zone” goes far beyond the usual cries that “women are b*tches” or “how dare she not want to sleep with me?” (a.k.a How dare she have agency over her body?) According to our great Hans, the “Friend Zone” will actually be the downfall of society as we know it.
I’m not making this up:
“Quite simply, for the sake of our future, the Friend Zone must be destroyed. For the Friend Zone to be destroyed, women must accept the following truths: you don’t have any guy friends and, in fact, you can’t have any guy friends.”
Not only does this thinking demean women, but it casts men in a bad light as well. Why can’t I have male friends? Well, according to Fiene, it’s basically because they will never be capable of not trying to date me …which means that by being friends with, and not dating them, I’m hurting them, somehow?
Not-So Logical Extension
He furthers the argument by saying that true, platonic friendship between men and women is impossible because female friendship can’t provide a straight man with anything more than a friendship with another man could… except for, well, you know. By this logic, a man couldn’t possibly want to have a female friend because apparently having friendships are all about tangible “gains” that are defined by Hans Fiene himself.
I don’t even know where to begin with any of this. I have a lot of thoughts, but the most important one is how telling this statement is about the mental processes of men who accept the “Friend Zone” as a real horrid place, designed by the equally horrid, maniacal manipulations of women to wrong “good men.”
While he tries to sugar coat the delivery with flowery language about the economics of friendship and what men look for in platonic relationships, what he’s actually saying (once you get past it all) is that the only thing a woman could offer to a straight man is sex. Not just that, but also… women should understand that sex is the only tangible thing they could ever offer that would be of worth to a man.