Yet, television and film continue to peddle the myth that men and women can’t ever be friends without a romantic or sexual component. Much has been written about the horrors of the “friend zone,” to which “nice guys” are supposedly banished by their female friends, as though friendship is a gateway to sexual gratification through which men should charge, no matter how many times they might hear the word “no.” And the insistence that (straight) men and women can never be just friends, once argued in “When Harry Met Sally,” persists to this day, Both tropes posit that no intimacy can exist between women and men that cannot and will not turn sexual; both contribute to a sense that women have to always be cognizant of their supposed effects on men, regardless of their relationship, and that the emotional intimacy of a friendship might just be a means to a different end for one party.

And if we don’t teach men how to respect women or confront misogyny — including the misogyny of the idea that we can’t be friends with one another and nothing more — nothing is going to change. That means more women will be hurt by men they trust without a safe way of getting justice, or even of being believed.