Saturday, March 19, 2005

EOTM: Boycott VD (Valentine's Day)

Each year, the majority of men in this country (USA) are forced under threat of dire personal consequences to participate in the largest most meaningless orgy of purposeless consumption and empty demonstrations of "love." Meaningless because they are contrived, forced, and are in no way real and spontaneous expressions of authentic affection, but are rather the worst and most hypocritical form of tokenism.

Last year the local paper carried an article on VD entitled "Instructions to men: DON'T FORGET." The article covered many aspects of the tradition of male->female gift giving in the "romantic" setting and cited such analogues from other species as male bears giving female bears fish and male chimps giving female chimps pieces of fruit as inducements to copulation.
However, the real agenda of the day was shown in the quote from one woman who said "It's no thrill standing by watching some friend's arms pile up with flowers, candy, and teddy bears while you stand there empty handed." The purpose of the day is not demonstrations of affection, but competition between women to show off who has been able to capture the attentions of the highest status ( read: wealthiest ) males.

The article also covered the resentment many men feel over being coerced into these insincere, contrived, and meaningless displays of affection. A direct quote from the article - "Women's response: 'TOO BAD! Do it anyway.' " The article went on to make it clear that there would be hell to pay for any man who failed to comply - including being exiled to the couch.

Given how obnoxious the choices facing men are these days when it comes to "romantic" involvements, it is a pretty good time to ask whether making a stand against the female defined and enforced "rules" about this day would really make things enough worse that putting up with them might not be worth making a position statement here. If enough intrepid "Rosa Parkses" of gender refuse to give up their seats on their position that coerced displays of "love" are meaningless, who knows where it might lead?

Think of it as a sit-down strike against being pressured to pump more money into the pockets of the jewelry store and flower shop owners, so THEY can use it to shower meaningless tokens of affection on their "one and only beloved."

Just say no.

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