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Warren Farrell warns fellas to watch out for the “Repair Friend” Zone

Ladies! Look only at the picture of this sexy, sexy Alpha duck and do not read the post below.
Ladies! Look only at the picture of this sexy Alpha duck and do not read the post below.

Hey fellas! While we’re talking about the evils of the Friend Zone and possible legal sanctions against the women who so often and so maliciously put us there — and while the women are distracted by that picture of Scrooge McDuck above — I’d like to warn you of another kind of Friend Zone you need to be wary of: the “Repair Friend” Zone.

I learned of this danger from none other than Warren Farrell himself, in the pages of his book Women Can’t Hear What Men Don’t Say (which amazingly does not have the subtitle “But It’s Not Like Angry Dudes On The Internet Are Going to Shut Up Any Time Soon”).

Here’s how old Warren explains it, perhaps exaggerating the innocence of the wily female Repair-Friend Zoners:

Single moms who rely on male friends for repairs — “he’s just a repair friend” — are often unaware that the man really isn’t sacrificing his Sunday afternoon in exchange for a Sunday night dinner. The truth is, if he’s making that type of sacrifice, it’s usually because he’s interested in her.

That’s right, ladies! Men never actually want to be just friends with you. Never. And when they act friendly, it’s just because they want to [insert weird creepy Warren Farrellesque euphemism for sex here]. Only instead of making a move on you they’d rather make a move on your car, and just sort of hope you’ll get the hint.

I’ve seen many single moms who have men who they claim are “just friends” work on their cars, do repairs, help them move. They think nothing of it. (Which says it all.) When she starts dating someone seriously, the “repair friend” feels hurt and her new boyfriend feels suspicious. And Mom feels caught between a rock and a hard place, so to speak.

Is Farrell making some sort of awkward boner joke here?

Anyway, for Farrell, this is somehow all the fault of women, and feminism, or misandry, or something.

This attitude rests on a deeper foundation. Just as women who are poor turn to the government as a substitute husband (in the form of welfare and AFDC payments), so women without husbands often unconsciously turn to substitute husbands, such as dads, “repair friends,”and male neighbors.

So, fellas, be careful out there. One moment you’ll be chatting casually over the fence with the former Mrs. Jones, and the next thing you know you’ll be in her basement buried deep in her washing machine trying to fix, I dunno, whatever is inside of washing machines that might need fixing, I’m not really very mechanical.

Come to think of it a female friend of mine had me change a light bulb the other day that she couldn’t reach. Granted, I don’t want to have sex with her, and also she’s fixed my bike on several occasions and sometimes brings me cake, but, still, I think I may have just been Light Bulb Friend Zoned.

692 replies on “Warren Farrell warns fellas to watch out for the “Repair Friend” Zone”

“Part of the reason I’m so in-your-face about my preferences is because it does freak some men out so much. I figure it’s like free therapy – it’s good for them to confront how totally wrong their assumptions about female sexuality are.”

Uh-huh. This.

If people don’t believe there is a double standard on how straight men are allowed to have preferences and women are shallow bitches for the same thing, I think it’s good to ask them this about Beauty and the Beast

If Disney made a new version of the movie Beauty and the Beast where the roles were reversed, how do you think people would react? What if a man was the beautiful person and a woman were the beast? Would people expect the handsome man to look past her being a literal beast and judge her only on her personality, intelligence, and kindness? I honestly don’t think such a movie would be made in the first place. The main requirement for a Disney princess is that she has to be beautiful.

In the movie The Hunchback of Notre Dame, though, it was okay for Esmerelda to pick the man she was attracted to. Both Quasimodo and Phoebus loved her, and she chose Phoebus, who was more conventionally attractive. The movie didn’t make her a villian or a shallow bitch for it either. Quasimodo was hurt about it, but he had to come around and accept that she does not owe her love to him even though she cared for him as a friend. Nice guys™ would probably accuse her of “friendzoning” though.

The way a few of our trolls here have carried on about how heeedjus they are, they could practically do the whole “The bells! The bells!” schtick …

Actually, I don’t think “Beast” in that particular “Beauty and the Beast” movie was particularly, well, beastly.

Sure, he didn’t look human and sure, everyone tells you: “Oh, he’s a terrible beast that one!”. But it always struck me as a very informed attribute, something someone just said and we’re meant to accept. I mean, what exactly is so beastly about the Beast? His strength, kindness, cunning, intelligence, symmetrical eyes, beautiful fur, large tusks, hulking figure? There was nothing overtly… disgusting, I guess? No clear focus were you could obviously see “This is what the witch meant to turn him into!”.

At best, he’s just obviously Not Human. Quasimodo is a much, much better example of something not being conventionally attractive – which is why I’m somewhat amused by the difference (Rose and the Beast do get together, Quasimodo and Esmeralda do not HELLFIRE HELLFIRE, sorry, I have to do whenever I write Esmeral— no).

I would love to see a reversed version though, where the Princess is the Beast and some lowly scullion is the person to come to her castle. There’d be some rose from a former lover, and a story, and dancing lamps and a chandelier choir.

The first version of Beauty and the Beast I knew was in the Little Golden Book “Blue Book of Fairy Tales”. I adored the illustrations in that book, and thought the Beast just gorgeous- and the prince at the end a very poor substitute.

(I thought Beauty with her stunning hair and the sleeves that came over her hands was pretty damn cool, too.)

In the movie The Hunchback of Notre Dame, though, it was okay for Esmerelda to pick the man she was attracted to. Both Quasimodo and Phoebus loved her, and she chose Phoebus, who was more conventionally attractive. The movie didn’t make her a villian or a shallow bitch for it either.

But some of my friends sure did. We would have all watched it as young children (it came out when I was 7) and I remember discussing it with some friends when we were 13 or so. General conclusion, from the boys and the girls, was that Esmerelda wasn’t very nice to reject Quasimodo and that it was, in fact, very shallow to choose the more handsome man. I seem to also remember something about how of course she was shallow, because she was beautiful, and beautiful women never learn compassion because everyone worships them and they just lap it up. Or something. I’m probably not relaying the details perfectly from this conversation more than a decade ago XD. But it’s interesting how young we are when we internalize these toxic messages about men and women.

Looking back on it now I realize that two men were interested in Esmerelda, so unless she was going to set up a polyamorous relationship she had to reject at least one of them. And Phoebus was kind to her too, so would my child friends have believed that he also deserved a relationship in return, like Quasimodo did? I actually think they probably wouldn’t have, because Quasimodo deserved to “get the girl” because he was the protagonist. Which is how I think a lot of “Nice GuysTM” view themselves.

Re: beauty and the beast

I think the beast (in disney’s version) actually was kind of beastly, what with the anger issues and everything.

I also remember (as a little kid) being disappointed when he turned into a prince, too, though, because I thought his beast form was cute, like a puppy, and his human form was dull.

I was discussing the Disney version. I don’t know, do the other versions also have a beautiful woman make a choice between a handsome hero or Quasimodo? If so, it would work the same way for them, too.

And Phoebus was kind to her too, so would my child friends have believed that he also deserved a relationship in return, like Quasimodo did? I actually think they probably wouldn’t have, because Quasimodo deserved to “get the girl” because he was the protagonist. Which is how I think a lot of “Nice GuysTM” view themselves.

Exactly. Both men were good. They both helped Esmerelda and treated her well. Phoebus is an important character, but still secondary to Quasimodo. So when people assume that Quasimodo “deserved” Esmerelda, it’s because they’re so used to viewing female characters as prizes for the main protagonist. I have seen some cases where a female protagonist “wins” a man, but it’s not as common as the other.

But it’s interesting how young we are when we internalize these toxic messages about men and women.

Exactly, it can be hard to pick up on these messages because they are so common. Even when we pick up on them, it can also be hard to verbalize what exactly it is that is wrong. So if someone says, “Esmerelda was mean for rejecting Quasimodo!”, I might think “I know there is something wrong with that, but I can’t quite put into words why that is wrong”.

Sorry to double post, but I forgot to say add me to the list of people who were disappointed in the human version of the Beast. He looked like he should be on the cover of a cheesy romance novel, or a Fabio wannabe.

I have always been disappointed because Beast had a wonderful voice (I guess they mixed in some animal growls) and the prince’s voice wasn’t nearly as interesting.

@fibinachi

Actually, I don’t think “Beast” in that particular “Beauty and the Beast” movie was particularly, well, beastly.

Me too. I liked him better as the beast because a) he looked so generic as the prince and b) he was so cute and fluffy! /I am weird.

The Disney beast basically just looked like he was half human and half lion – nonhuman, but not hideous or particularly scary looking. What was beastly about him was that he had anger management issues that made it seem like he might turn violent at any time, which could have been an interesting metaphor in the hands of a company less devoted to reinforcing backwards social tropes as Disney.

The fact that Viscaria’s friends got angry at Esmerelda for picking the one she was more attracted to out of the two men who were both equally kind to her just makes me sad, especially if some of them were girls. This stuff really does start early. I wonder how much of it is cultural-dependent, though? I seem to have completely missed out on the “you shouldn’t prefer good looking men and if you do you are a bad woman who should feel bad” programming, and I’m not sure if that was because of the place and time I grew up in or just because my parents didn’t reinforce any of those ideas* and a lot of cultural programming starts with the parents.

*Quite the opposite in fact – both of my parents were always quite vocal about the idea that certain boys who were showing an interest in me just weren’t cute enough or interesting enough for me to consider dating.

With Hunchback – it’s interesting how far any of the films are from the book. Partly it’s from censorship in the 20s and 30s. In the original story, Phoebus is an arsehole who’s only interested getting Esmerelda into bed. She’s in fact the protagonist, not Quasimodo, and both of them end up dead (I think Phoebus does, too) – she is hanged and Quasimodo seems to starve to death at her grave, where his skeleton is found later. There’s really no question of her choosing between Phoebus and Quasimodo, because although she pities the latter, she’s also repulsed by him to the point where she won’t let him kiss her hand. The story is as much about Notre Dame as any of the characters: its original title is Notre Dame de Paris.

/wiki, source of all knowledge

Feminist Lies. In the MRM it is very well known, and accepted, that women are looks-focused. Attempts to deny this are bald-faced lies, because is the fulcrum upon which the “carousel” and “hypergamy” tropes operate.

Can I suggest that maybe we just ignore socky? After all, we’ve all ridden this particular carousel many times before, and it’s gotten a little dull.

I mean if anyone feels like another ride on the creaky old horse would be fun then go for it? I’m just really bored with this particular brand of trolling.

I’m only gonna poke the troll on the other thread (unless you guys want us to ignore him on both). But otherwise he’s gonna be stinking up two threads.

The only thing I’ve got on my mind is I’ve had a headache all day and I still have to clean my guinea pigs’ cage 🙁

…um I hope I’m making sense today.

Actually I think he’s posted (the same thing) on pretty much every active thread now.

@cassandrasays

Wow. guess I don’t have many open, cuz I thought it was just the two. :p Why’s he wanna stink up all our threads?

Well, what’s up with you all over here?

Right now I feel like he’s that one shitty song that every radio station is playing every 10 minutes because payola is still a thing.

Feminist Lies. In the MRM it is very well known, and accepted, that women are looks-focused. Attempts to deny this are bald-faced lies, because is the fulcrum upon which the “carousel” and “hypergamy” tropes operate.

Fulcrum? Are you fucking kidding me?

What’s with MRAs and their horrible pretentiousness?

Also, fuck off you misogynistic dipshit. Your claim for your support for equality is a lie.

It just tastes vaguely like tuna salad. Take about a cup of cooked chickpeas and mash them up, add chopped red onion or scallions, parsley, capers, and mix with a little vegan mayo and lemon juice to taste. Surprisingly tasty. YMMV.

@cloudiah

That does sound nice. I’d check out the recipe if you want to post it 🙂

I mean if anyone feels like another ride on the creaky old horse would be fun then go for it? I’m just really bored with this particular brand of trolling.

I like this troll! Can we keep him? Please, I promise to clean up after him. I’ll never ask for anything again, I promise.

Mr. Feminist Horseshit, can you please enlighten us about this cock carousel? I’ve never seen such a ride, not even at Silver Dollar City.

Mr. Feminist Horseshit, can you please enlighten us about this cock carousel? I’ve never seen such a ride, not even at Silver Dollar City.

Didn’t they replace it with the Alpha Cock Rollercoaster?

Is the alpha cock roller coaster also called the roller coaster of love? Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

But some of my friends sure did. We would have all watched it as young children (it came out when I was 7) and I remember discussing it with some friends when we were 13 or so. General conclusion, from the boys and the girls, was that Esmerelda wasn’t very nice to reject Quasimodo and that it was, in fact, very shallow to choose the more handsome man. I seem to also remember something about how of course she was shallow, because she was beautiful, and beautiful women never learn compassion because everyone worships them and they just lap it up. Or something. I’m probably not relaying the details perfectly from this conversation more than a decade ago XD. But it’s interesting how young we are when we internalize these toxic messages about men and women.

I reacted similarly, but I put the blame not on Esmerelda as a character, but on Disney: Every other guy is handsome and gets rewarded with a girlfriend; Quasimodo is ugly, so he doesn’t get one. Because, setting aside the gender aspect, there is an undertone of “people should love you for who you are and not for how you look, but they shouldn’t, like, kiss you, because you’re a hideous hunchback and ew.”

Busband goes over to fix things for our elderly neighbour all the time. Does that mean he wants to get with her, and the only reason he hasn’t is b/c she repair-friendzoned him? Come to think of it… I do stuff for her too. Holy crap, have I been repair-friendzoned? Why won’t my elderly neighbour sleep with me already? That’s it, I’m not letting her borrow my shopping buggy ANYMORE.

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