At The Personalist Project: Can Men and Women Be Friends?

At The Personalist Project: Can Men and Women Be Friends? April 6, 2017

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A couple of days ago, a writer at The Federalist went on a “just-kidding-but-not-really” rant about how the “friend zone” is dooming Western Civilisation and how it is all women’s fault for thinking men actually want female friendship in the first place.

Unable to resist the opportunity to both rip down some idiocy and explore the nature of friendship, I spent the last day reading up and preparing a response, which is now up at The Personalist Project in two parts.

From Part One:

The author’s argument can be summarised thus:

  1. “Americans need to raise our sagging birth rates.”
  2. To reverse this, young men and women need to marry earlier.
  3. Friendship is transactional, and women need to understand that “There’s only one thing you can give his man friends can’t,” and this means “You don’t have any guy friends. You can’t have any guy friends.”
  4. Conclusion: Women need to reverse the waning birth rate by either dumping or marrying their male friends.

Along the way, the author paints a picture of male friendship that is stuck at the preschool level of parallel play. And that’s being generous. At one point the author describes friendship as “a good that people acquire in exchange for the currency of their time.” That’s not far from a toddler’s definition of a friend as “someone whose toys I like.”


From Part Two:

There is little difference between the man who befriends you only because he “wants to convince you to open up the supply chain of a romantic relationship to him” and the childhood friend who only wanted to spend time with you if he could use your new NES game system.


Read the rest at The Personalist Project. 


What do you think? Is friendship with people of the opposite sex worth the trouble it might occasionally entail? Is the “friend-zone” a real thing, and if it is, is it a bad thing? I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts.


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