Friendship in the age of social media has largely become appropriated by Facebook and other social media where friendship is easy although often complicated. A study showed that Americans on average has only 1,5 friends IRL. Our friendships have thus very much become increasingly owned by Facebook Inc. and other social media corporations.
Friendship has traditionally in many societies been a matter of culturally hegemonic homosociality and we need therefore reconsider the crumbling foundations of once socially hegemonic homosocial friendship in increasingly digitized society and as indeed premised on sexual abstinence within friendship as reinforcing the structural hypocrisy/unhappiness of relational monogamy/monotony in structurally oppressive patriarchy.
What if we were to devise feminist criteria as to with whom we would like to be friends IRL? While such criteria should be partly individualized need we consider the general criteria for friendship IRL. What is a true friend and what thus characterizes a true friend? Being a true friend of someone first and foremost requires fully appreciating that person, meaning both interior and exterior. If you would not consider becoming physically and interpersonally intimate with a human person whom you know to some extent do you probably not fully appreciate that very person.
In other words ought you really appreciate a potential friend both as a person and with respect to the person’s appearance in hypothetically being open to sexual intimacy with that person without in any way sexually instrumentalizing your potential/existing friendship with that very person.
Yet, it is also important that these criteria are neutral with respect to shibboleths of discrimination such as age, class, color, ethnicity, functionality and gender. This means that although you have and should indeed have preferences should these not be fully exclusive in ways that are irrational. Although you certainly ought limit the building of new relations of friendship IRL to persons whom you fully appreciate and might potentially become intimate with ought this not be limited by irrational, oppressive and physionomistic shibboleths of discrimination.
Meaning that you befriend a person because you fully appreciate the full personhood of that individual as opposed to due to primarily becoming turned on by sexual and/or other paraphernalia of one or more vertical social category. Not that it is in any way wrong to be turned on and become attracted to a person by means of such paraphernalia but you should befriend a person as opposed to an age, a class, a color, an ethnicity, a functionality or a gender. The demeaning reduction of the physical appearance of individual personhood to a physionomistic category is in fact the very essence of objectification whether sexualized, gendered, racialized, functionalized or otherwise.
Once we collapse the dichotomy between hypocritically oppressive monogamy/monotony and homosocial friendship will we in fact enter the age of panamorous (“pansexual”) polyamory (consensual non-monogamy). This is how lesbians tend to build relationships and this is the superior way both ethically speaking and practically speaking. It is essential however not to sexually (or otherwise) instrumentalize friendship and so it is very helpful to not think so much about sex (and other forms of your own gratification) that you in the process objectify your potential or existing friend.
As homosocial friendship IRL increasingly collapses needs applied feminism reappropriate and reinvent practices of friend-making IRL by means of collapsing the patriarchal relationship/friendship dichotomy as well. Feminist criteria of friendship need however importantly also apply to casual sex. Never ever do have sex with someone unless you like the full person. This of course does not mean that you must only become intimate with “perfect people” as if there are any such human beings but the issue is rather that you ought only become intimate with someone whose full personhood you respect, appreciate and cherish indeed in thus being understanding of less attractive aspects of that very person. The other person hence needs not be perfect from your perspective, as it is rather your appreciation of the other person that needs be as perfect as possible indeed.
So called “friend-zoning” has become a distinctly negatively loaded term in North American heteroculture whereby heterocultural males consider it a “disaster” to become close friends with a female whom the male fully appreciates as a person and whom he is significantly sexually attracted towards. Why then is this implausibly considered a “calamity” even by leading North American pickup coaching gurus as sharing their gospel on Youtube?
The more or less sexist pickup gurus inform us that when a female tells a male that she “wants to be just friends” does this mean that she is not really interested in sex with him – when in fact it usually means that she desires to become seduced by him in the privacy of her home as part of respectfully reciprocal friendship of genuine mutual appreciation of individual personhood.
Heterocultural persons however, unlike many gays and lesbians usually simply do not have the requisite social skills for seducing a friend in the privacy of the friend’s home. The female seeking this scenario is in fact seeking something which both she and the male lacks social skills for initiating and mutually performing and so she is really asking for something implausible albeit entirely ethical and reasonable indeed and so hence the undeservedly “bad reputation” of friend-zoning indeed. Heterocultural persons thus need to acquire, learn, adapt and further develop those social skills as widely already existing in the LGBTQI community by simply deleting their own participation in the fully dysfunctional heteroculture which is simply pure structural oppression, including by means of feminist social innovation.
Does all this preclude casual sex with newly encountered persons? It certainly does not as you may qualitatively accelerate the friend-making process such as becoming friends with someone within the course of say twenty minutes or even far less. This will however for most persons require learning new advanced feminist social skills. Yet, as a process of seduction may become qualitatively accelerated so may a process of friend-making become qualitatively accelerated as well.
The process of friend-making needs thus importantly become neutral of shibboleths of discrimination (gender, race etc.); meaning that if you truly appreciate a person and might consider becoming intimate with that person then should you probably consider that person as eligible for potential friendship and entirely irrespective of shibboleths of discrimination as long as the person fits your non-discriminatory, non-oppressive and non-prejudicial individual criteria as regards eligibility for friendship with you.
Socially innovative feminist friend-making is not about sex, yet it is also about being open to sex which is a very essential distinction here. In opening up friendship by applying your individual, non-discriminatory feminist criteria of eligibility may you cease stop the irrational quest for dystopian monogamy/monotony in becoming psychologically, socially and intimately liberated as an ethically principled and personally liberated newly panamorous & polyamorous person indeed.
The Intelligence Entrapment Methods documentation project.