Man. Woman. Friends?

Apr 12, 2012

Could these two just be friends?

It’s only in the last several decades that friendships between men and women were even a possibility, given social norms. For instance, the terms “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” weren’t introduced until the 1890s. After the social revolution in the 1960s which led the way for women to receive equal rights and working conditions as men, a new world existed in which men and women could no doubt become friends on a level playing field.

Nowadays, one only needs to cite empirical evidence to see instances of male and female friendships. It’s gotten so ubiquitous that the term “platonic friendship” is redundant. Whether its through school, shared activities or work, there are tons of pairs of guy and gal friendships out there. Surely you can think of some in your own life.

So, since it’s well established that these relationships exist in the real world, why is pop culture still fixated on the issue of whether or not men and women can “get past the sex thing,” as said by the male lead of “When Harry Met Sally.” Even though it’s well documented in private life, television shows and movies are constantly placing male and female characters together to see if they can stay friends, or if they end up becoming lovers.

What gives, entertainment industry? Why does such a gap exist between reality and what we see on the screen? Where do you fall on the issue: can men and women remain friends? Is sex inevitable? What examples do you have in your own life?

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