Opinion: V-Day out of date

Opinion: V-Day out of date

Opinion: V-Day out of date
February 13
15:12 2014

It’s time to let the roses dry up and throw out the chocolate. The expectations Valentine’s Day sets on men and women are not fitting of the 21st century.

Why should men feel the need to spend an outlandish amount of money simply because it’s the day when it is acceptable to do so? Why should women expect to be pampered like princesses?

We live in a time when equal pay for women is still a contentious point in politics. So while we wait for the male-dense Congress to sort the issue out, the least we can due is update our courting rituals to match our modern reality.

In a Salon interview, Samhita Mukhopadhyay, an executive editor of the feminist blog feministing.com, said that with modern cultural and economic shifts, notions of romance should not be dictated by gender role expectations.

“The way that romance was traditionally structured relied on male dominance and breadwinning, the guy as the masculine figure who asks you out, pays for the date and makes the first move,” Mukhopadhyay said to Salon.

Courting shouldn’t be about one’s sex making primitive efforts to gain or keep a mate. Courting should be about a mutually shared attraction that genuinely explores the qualities of both individuals.

Using that kind of standard would create a leveled playing field and transform the experience of finding the right person into something fun rather than it being a nerve-wracking time.

Dating is a scary thing for both sexes and Valentine’s Day only adds another level of pressure. What chocolate to buy. How many flowers to order for delivery. Is it too soon for jewelry?

Approximately $17.3 billion will be spent this Valentine’s Day, according to the National Retail Federation.

Here’s a suggestion. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars in one day, couples should consider many inexpensive dates throughout the year (if the relationship lasts long enough). A small gift coming from either partner on any given day would also be more of a surprise than a cliché heart chocolate on Feb. 14.

A Harris Interactive poll found that 53 percent of men see Valentine’s Day as the day when they can be more open about their feelings to their significant other. That’s pretty sad when you consider the fact there are 364 other days for men to openly express their feelings.

There’s nothing wrong with showing a level of openness with a significant other. Hyper-macho expectations act as leashes on a man’s true feelings. Making your loved one feel special shouldn’t be labeled a display of sensitivity. It should be seen as an act of honesty.

It is time to start considering Valentine’s Day as a culmination of romance rather than as the official day to go on a romance binge.

As for me, I’ll be home on Friday binge-watching season two of House of Cards, the least romantic show on the Internet.

Obed Manuel is a journalism senior. He can be reached at obedmanuel@yahoo.com.

Feature photo: Roses sold at Kroger grocery store. Photo by Zixian Chen / Senior Staff Photographer 

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