Another Valentine’s Day. I wonder if this one will be different what with #MeToo and #TimesUp?
I wonder how the new woke moment in terms of sexual harassment, assault, and gender equality will change how we view courtship and romance. Or, in the days of Tinder and hook ups, are those dirty words anyway?
Think about Cupid, shooting people with arrows. Assault. Think about all the romance tropes in which a man doesn’t take “no” for an answer. Harassment. I won’t get into Christian Grey’s behaviour. He’d be in jail in real life, but the fictional version is the hero of a trilogy of movies that have sold more than $1 billion dollars in tickets. Some fans cried because this was the end of the series. (Critics cried because they would have to find new movies to snark with words like “flaccid”.)
There are countless instances in pop culture that encourage and even celebrate bad behaviour.
Will our feelings about romance and love change? Or are these private fantasies that have no place in real life with mortgages and kids and stretch marks and fatigue?
And what of young men who take their cues on “courtship” from pop culture or even porn? Can we blame them for being confused about what is sexy or acceptable? Can we blame them for not knowing what women want?
That is a conversation we need to have. And soon.