I used to love Valentine’s Day. In the blissful ignorance of youth I saw it as a day where magic could happen. A day where I could profess my undying love to the woman of my desires in the form of a well-written valentine accompanied by candy or flowers and suddenly the veil would be lifted from her eyes and she would leap into my arms seeing what a great guy I was. After all, how could she resist my grand romantic advances? Needless to say it didn’t work out quite the way I planned, but that didn’t stop me from trying the same exact thing the next four Valentine’s Day…toward the same girl!?! (It hurts just typing that!) After all, eventually it will work. It had to. Everything I ever saw and heard about romance told me so. I was eight years old.
This is the very message that poisons our core beliefs about romance in our society. The notion of romance in our consumer culture has shifted from a focus upon the feminine need for masculine polarity to a call for men to place women on pedestals and buy their affection while bypassing masculinity altogether. The result is men are taught that the way to a woman’s heart is through showering her with gifts and kissing her ass, while women learn that if they are not getting this sort of attention there must be something wrong with them. In the end the men are emasculated, the women are left unfulfilled and insecure and everyone settles for less. Read the rest of this entry »