Categories
creepy evil sexy ladies friend zone misogyny rape rape culture rape jokes

Bloomingdale’s date rape ad shows why the idea of the “friend zone” is so pernicious

No, Bloomingdales. no.
No, Bloomingdale’s, just no.

If you haven’t already seen this on Twitter, here’s something terrible for you: the image above comes from a catalog for Bloomingdale’s.

Because, apparently, a group of actual human beings sat around a table trying to come up with new ways to sell clothes this holiday season and decided that, really, there was no better way to do that than by conjuring up visions of holiday-themed date rape.

The ad copy is bad enough, but the picture really clinches the ad’s full terribleness: the happy woman, enjoying herself obliviously at some holiday party while her predatory “best friend” contemplates the best way to render her unconscious.

Happily, enough people were publicly disgusted by the ad and its creepy implications that Bloomingdale’s has now apologized for it, though somehow I doubt they will feel apologetic enough to rerelease their catalog with the offending image removed from it.

To me, one of the creepiest things about the ad was its implicit invocation of the notion of the “friend zone,” that mythic land where poor suffering men are exiled by cruel women who just can’t see that the best guy for them is already sitting by their side listening patiently as they cry about the latest bad boy to break their heart. You know this stale old story by heart.

The idea of the “friend zone” turns a woman’s lack of romantic interest in a guy into a sort of injustice that she has supposedly inflicted upon him. It encourages a seemingly contradictory sense of wounded, hopeless entitlement amongst guys who would do far better if they either accepted the friendship of their crush for what it is, or, if this is too painful for them, just moved on.

Guys who see themselves as being trapped in the friend zone feel they are being denied something — well, someone — that should rightfully be theirs. After all, they’re such nice fellows, the best friend a woman could ever have!

But really not.

Needless to say, a “best friend” staring at a woman and thinking about ways to spike her drink is not a friend at all. Neither, really, is any guy — well, anyone of any gender — who considers themselves stuck in the friend zone, which is not actually a zone of friends at all; it’s a zone full of thwarted, passive-aggressive clingers-on who think the fact that they’re your friend(and not something more) is a terrible crime against them. And that’s just as creepy as this Bloomingdale’s ad.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

102 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Buttercup Q. Skullpants

Why are the most vocal women the least productive of anything of value, and the most productive of bile and vengeful thoughts?

Well, that’s inaccurate. Quiet women also think you’re a fool.

It might have something to do with your inability to interpret Madison Avenue dog whistles, and your odd belief that great advancements can only happen if people would just keep their traps shut.

katz
katz
4 years ago

This is definitely a guy who creeped on a woman and is really offended that she noticed.