Debt free

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Column by Gisselle HernandezAssistant Features Editor

“I didn’t want to be rude.”

“I was just trying to be nice.”

“I didn’t know how to say no.”

We all have heard of the term “the friendzone”: the dreaded hellhole a guy or girl finds him or herself in when their affection toward a person is unreciprocated. Their “unrequited love” goes unappreciated, and it seems that the deep abyss of the friendzone goes on forever.

There have been well-rounded arguments where the entire mindset of expecting something in return simply for being “the nice guy” is deemed misogynistic, since it is usually males who find themselves in this situation with disinterested females. Recently, however, because of the ludicrous slang term, “friendzone,” and the repercussions that come with rejecting someone – being called derogatory names, fear of causing someone to spiral into depression or even fearing someone turning to violence – has led to more horrifying solution: women feeling the need to say “yes.”

Women have it ingrained in them that they should always “behave like a lady” or let the husbands earn higher wages, among other norms. Thankfully, women are now more empowered than ever, often surpassing men in the economic and political world. But 100 years ago, all women were expected to do was shut up, cook, clean and obey their macho husbands. Perhaps because of this, men have it easier to manifest the guilt trip whenever a woman rejects their advances.

Women, especially after hearing the men’s perception of entitlement, become afraid of coming off as a prude or seeming ungrateful when a guy does nice things for them. An opinion column on the Daily Trojan discussed an instance that cemented the idea of how bad saying “no” can get: In 2014, a teen from Isla Vista, Santa Barbara, shot 14 people and killed himself after girls had rejected him. With consequences that violent, who’s to blame women for fearing the result of them actually expressing their opinion?

With the friendzone memes plaguing the Internet and a lot of men feeling it’s unjust for a girl to not like them back, women have the constant pressure of consenting to “being nice” and saying “yes.” It’s not just fueling a dishonest relationship, it’s breeding a dangerous mindset for women.

Here’s to you women who are guilt tripped into going on a date with that one creepy guy who won’t stop messaging you on Tinder.

You. Don’t. Owe. Him. Anything.

You are not expected to reciprocate, especially when it’s your own happiness that truly matters. If he believes he deserves a little something after just being a decent human being by opening the door for you, be nice to yourself this time and find someone who truly values you and will respect your wishes.