A moderately postponed rant about Valentine’s day, brought on by all the blogs whose last 4 days of posts I’ve just caught up on.
Around about the 1st of February, I opened the daily paper to find a four-page spread on Valentine’s day. The first two pages were how to get a relationship before Valentine’s day if you’re a straight woman. The next two pages were how to get a relationship before Valentine’s day if you’re a gay man. (Yes, we’ve come a long way, but a lot of it was still written by straight men with gay friends, and all of it contained really simplistic stereotypes). It’s something I’ve seen several times since, now I’m aware of it.
My response to this, fed by my growing hatred of ‘buy this and you’ll be happy’, was the same as my response to a lot of the heteronormative dating crap we’re meant to eat up and be thankful for, and can be summarised thusly;
Do none of these people even realise how horrifically wrong their outlook is?
Specifically, what proportion of the population seriously enter February single and think “I absolutely have to get myself into a relationship before the commercial crapfest begins, and my consumerist overlords dictate that I must become an object of affection (and by affection, I, of course, mean money), because if I don’t manage to get myself a relationship by this particular annual event, I will have failed in the main goal of relationships, which is to use them as a crutch to shield myself from my lack of happiness (driven, of course, by my lack of possessions) and because everyone in the world is continually reinforcing the message that not to be in a relationship is to be a looser and a failure, and I’ve got to spend all my time doing that too, because otherwise they’ll suspect I’m secretly a looser underneath, and that no-one will ever validate my existance by buying useless things for me!”
And how have they been so adequately controlled to think that, and to stifle all thought of what a relationship really is, you know, two people, together because they want to be (Because THEY want to be. Because they WANT to be), and how that’s mutually incompatible with making sure you’re in a relationship on a particular calendar date? It really is a work of genius. If we (the general wouldn’t-it-be-nice-if, respect-your-fellow-people sort) had those marketing people working for our side, just think of the power.
Anyway, two smaller pieces of Valentine’s Day news.
I saw a red plastic bell which said “Ring for sex” in a card shop. I’ve decided, if I get a partner, rather than ignoring Valentine’s day, we’re going to get the most messed-up and heteronormative cards or trinkets for each other that we can find. And if I give them that one, it’ll probably still come with a link to Ily’s post.
Also, can’t figure out how to get the image over here, but a quick click over to this Valentine’s day page on Feministing is yet another example of that pesky space which so plagues asexuality.