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Like Wolverine crushing on Jean Grey even though she loves Cyclops, almost all guys will develop feelings for a friend who doesn't feel the same way. There wasn't a snappy way to describe this universal phenomenon, except for "unrequited love" or "hey, look at that pathetic bastard!" And then someone, somewhere coined the phrase "Friend Zone."
Dudes everywhere began using the term. However, over the weekend, geek icon Joss Whedon -- the writer/director behind "The Avengers," "Buffy The Vampire Slayer," "The Cabin In The Woods" and "Toy Story" -- tweeted that it's time to find a better metaphor:
"Friendzone" means any woman who doesn't have sex w/a guy is doing him an injustice. The term debases everyone. Can we retire it?
— Joss Whedon (@josswhedon) October 20, 2013
We're not gonna argue with the guy who gave us Buzz Lightyear and finally got the Hulk right on-screen. That said, we're not 100% sure "Friend Zone" is gender-specific, since girls can be similarly turned down, like Peter Parker telling Mary Jane, "I will always be your friend...that's all I have to give" in the 2002 "Spider-Man" movie. (Even if that scenario is as rare as, well, a radioactive spider turning someone into a superhero.)
Whatever your opinion, Whedon is a man to be admired and taken seriously, so let's give it some thought -- even though we're disappointed that he probably won't direct a film adaptation of "Duder-Man: A Superhero Who'll Save You From The Friend Zone."