Pre-Emptive Supalpal?: A Feminist Analysis of Tales From The Friend Zone

Abstract

Tales from the Friend Zone, a web series created by Ramon Bautista and RA Rivera and periodically uploaded onto YouTube, chronicles stories of conflict with relation to unrequited love. The show features real life stories and anecdotes of university students who send in their narratives through Ramon Bautista’s Formspring account.

The ‘friend zone’ has been defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “a situation in which a friendship exists between two people, one of whom has an unrequited romantic or sexual interest in the other.” As the title suggests, this concept is a central element in all of the episodes of TFTFZ.

It has been argued that the very existence of the friend zone is patriarchal and misogynistic. This stems from the friend zone’s ties to the concept of male entitlement. Feminism as a paradigm involves various movements that aim to define and defend equal political, cultural, and socioeconomic rights among the genders, particularly advocating the dismantling of gender inequalities that occur against women. In this context, this thesis seeks to establish a reading of the continual narratives of Tales from the Friend Zone as a text that may or may not subscribe to feminist ideologies.

The qualitative method of textual analysis was used to analyze the TFTFZ episodes using the feminist theory that has been adapted by the researcher to suit the thesis’ needs.

TFTFZ was found to propagate stereotypes and gender roles across its episodes. The findings revealed that while the TFTFZ episodes were generally sexist, a number of positive indicators of feminism were found within the text as well.

Keywords: Feminism, friend zone, gender issues, Ramon Bautista, YouTube

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