Valentine’s day always brings a lot of talk about women— get your wife flowers, bring your girlfriend out for a nice date. Jewellery sales go up, flower prices go up, men’s stress levels go up.
Valentine’s day is about men buying things for women. This is basic marketing when you think about it— women are the primary consumers in most households, so you must advertise to men to increase sales.
I’m sure on some level the intent is chivalrous, but it seems to be an afterthought. We tend to make romantic gestures about obligation rather than desire or respect— at least in terms of Valentine’s day. I’ve often heard men say, “I have to get her something or she’ll be pissed”. How sad! I don’t want someone to do something for me because they feel they must.
I don’t actually like Valentine’s day in case you couldn’t tell. How many saint’s days do we celebrate with blatant shows of capitalism? “This guy had his head chopped off— here’s some overpriced chocolates to commemorate!”
What Valentine’s day always brings to my attention is how romantically unfair we are to men. No, this is not a meninist post. If anything, the idea that men should have equal representation in romantic life is feminist. Men are excluded from the receiving end of romantic gesture. I don’t think it is about women not wanting to be romantic towards their partner, but rather a traditionalist sentiment that sentiment is for women. Women are supposed to be taken care of, duh.
As a feminist, I think women should be realistic about how romance is supposed to be. Nothing in relationships is ever 50/50, but there is a lot of pressure on men to be romantic and no real pressure on women (except, perhaps, to put out).
Personally, I am in favour of going dutch for tacos— or staying home and having sex. Fun for boys and girls, girls and girls, boys and boys. The point is, keep it equal, kids.
Men have as much right to a treat as women do. So this Valentine’s day honor a decapitated dead guy with tacos or sex— but you probably shouldn’t attempt both.