Not one to celebrate Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d upload this month’s edition a little after… #latebutinearnest
My only gift this year was seeing my article published next to one of my all time favourite images by Alfred Eiseenstaedt calledin
Read the full article below or here
It Started With a Kiss…
So, Valentine’s Day is supposed to be the most romantic day of the year right? An opportunity in which to show those you love just how much you care with chocolates, flowers, jewellery and cards: this demi-holiday is certainly one for us ladies! That is not to suggest that our partners don’t get their fair share of treats…
There are a few tales of how this holiday begun, but the earliest depicts a festival of fertility amongst the Pagans called Lupercalia. Young men would slaughter a goat, tear the hide in to strips, take to the town and whip the backsides of the women with the blood-dipped-goat-skin to improve their fertility. According to legend, later in the day all the young women’s names were put in to an urn for the bachelors to choose a year’s match from. Quite the primitive swinger’s party!
As the origin of Valentine’s Day was somewhat of a mating match, it seems that the integral component of this celebration has not actually changed. We are still the women who were lined up in the town waiting for love, but now we are all waiting in much more subtle and complicated ways that the men-folk find hard to decipher.
Of course there is more than one side to this story, just as there are in all. So, I scrutinised my single friends and those in relationships, both men and women about their thoughts on Valentine’s Day to find out exactly how they felt about it. The ultimate consensus that I gathered was that people fall in to two categories when dealing with the day of love: those who ignore or hate it and those that love it or enjoy to celebrate.
As you’d probably have guessed, the “lovers” are the die-hard romantic types who think every day should be Valentine’s because it produces a loop hole in which you are allowed to behave overtly schmutzy without being socially shunned. People who love February 14th are best suited with other lovers or celebrators of the day, for safety of the heart, as Valentine’s Day has become so much more complicated than being whipped with bloodied goat skin.
For the rest of us who either hate the day for something we maybe still a wee bit bitter about, or who choose not to celebrate for a phenomenal list of reasons. Valentine’s day has become the dating minefield of all days due decrease of romance in everyday life and the ever increasing equality of the sexes.
Since women have developed a place within society as respected thinkers, the dating dance has swung from requested and respectful twirling to the bumping and grinding of strangers. The old question of whether romance is dead or not could perhaps be explained by thinking about what women have won in equality, they have lost in right to romance.
Back in the day, men were used to dating and then marrying women who needed them, but we don’t anymore. We no longer need a partner, we just want one. Our place of power means we can voice our wants and desires alongside with our disappointments with no dire repercussions like there used to be.
We still desire to be treated as ladies from the Austen era when declarations of love came on horseback with wax-sealed love letters, not “treated” to Snapchat’s 5 second flashes… Perhaps if we were all honest with each other, we’d admit that we do want it all, we want our fairytales. Though we can’t expect to have it, it doesn’t stop our hope.
When special occasions and events occur in our lives, it opens the window of expectation and following this, unfortunately, the opportunity for disappointment should it not go as desired. Let’s face it, us women have been given the grace to act irrationally every now again without being blamed, it is Biology after all, and that is oath. However, as the women in the position that we are today, we may be hoping for too much.
If we are on a level playing field with men professionally, then they view us as more masculine. The connection doesn’t stop there either. Any “male” traits than a female partner is more adept at, say socialising, DIY, humour, activity levels, strength, wealth education etc, is considered less appealing to men as it threatens their hunter/gatherer and provider instincts.
As women’s powerful position is ever rising, most men have shied away from the romancing that was once commonplace within the wooing process. Do they fear that they will lose more respect or appear too vulnerable if they are open of the heart when some of their female counterparts are not?
A notion put to me as a way to bring back romance; perhaps successful women should re-learn their submissive manners in order to attract a mate who desires a lady. The Taming of the Shrew effect. After all, a man who isn’t threatened or intimidated by you is certainly more likely to sweep you off your feet.
This lead me to an entirely different perspective on Valentine’s Day to the one I begun with.I have always been in the mind that it is Hallmark hell that is devoid of all sincerity. The expectation to partake alongside with unoriginal gifts of sentiment have as much impact as doing anything else that you have to without wanting to.
A passing thought to scribble a note on a piece of scrap paper on any other day has so much more romance to it than an expected bunch of overpriced red roses bought on Valentine’s Day that will die in a week. However, if romance is dying and if the only way that us women are to receive any guaranteed romance is by either crawling back in to our boxes of times passed, or embracing Valentine’s Day, I choose Valentine’s Day. It’s better to have a backup plan than to expect anyone to be able to decipher the complexities of women’s hinting.