Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy...uh..."V"-Day?

"Passion is the quickest to develop, and the quickest to fade. Intimacy develops more slowly, and commitment more gradually still." ~ Robert Sternberg

I was going to post a short summary of the history of Valentines day today, but I found this instead, which explains it better than I can.

Read it and understand what Valentines day is all about.

Eve Ensler, the authoress of "the Vagina monologues", has proclaimed St. Valentines Day as V-day. I don't suppose I have to explain what the "V" stands for. You can read about that here.

Read it and understand.

I frankly don't know what to say about this. Or rather, I don't know where to begin describing how offensive this idea is to me. There are many things I could say, but the emotions overwhelm me.

I will say this:

I am all for creating awareness of the horror of rape, and all other kinds of sexual abuse, and I agree with Ms. Ensler that it is indeed a serious problem all over the world. But I do not see the perversion of St Valentine's Day as a solution.

Speaking as a red-blooded heterosexual male, I can admit that the emotion I feel when hearing a woman talk frankly about her vagina is not one of heart felt sympathy for sexual abuse victims. No, the emotion I begin to feel is centered in a different part of my anatomy. And it's not sympathy. And it's not for victims.

I knew this would be difficult to convey.

It occurs to me that women describing their vaginas to a room full of hormonally driven men and emotionally charged women serves better to exacerbate the problem instead of solving the problem. Women may be able to get the message Ms Ensler seeks to convey much easier than men. I don't know. I don't understand women.

But I do understand men. And I know that when a man hears a woman talking dirty, it excites him. It doesn't automatically cause concern for the plight of sexually abused women. In fact, in some of the more unstable men, hearing a woman talk dirty might even encourage violence against women.

Personally, I love and respect women. And I understand the difference between love and lust. I think that too many people confuse the two. Watch any movie that has come out of Hollywood in the last several decades. The scenario is usually the same. Boy meets girl. Boy and girl have sex. boy and girl fall in love. They rarely fall in love before having sex.

Love and lust. Lust and love. The two are interchangable in today's society. That's not what God intended.

I think Valentines Day should stay Valentines Day. A celebration of love and romance. Not sexual perversion.

8 comments:

FrenziedFeline said...

It's okay with me if they want to waste a perfectly lovely holiday by casting a shadow on it for themselves. It's not going to affect me unless one of them gets in my face--literally. However, I don't understand why, with 350+ other days of the year they could choose from and not hit a holiday, they would choose this one.

That's okay. It's the day I married the world's best husband, and no one can diminish that, no matter what! :)

Happy VALENTINE'S Day, Mark!

Poison Pero said...

Before we know it, we'll have GLBTTBNP Day........And it won't be a 'happy' one.

Those of you unfamiliar with the acronym need to go to my glossary.
http://peroslinks.blogspot.com/2005/01/peros-glossary_12.html

Son of Lilith said...

What I think this lady is trying to do is desensitize and demystify. While I have done no research to back this theory up, I hold this opinion that sexual perversion actually stems from the taboo of speaking about sex and anatomy openly and rape actually stems from an obsession with physicality.

It's the forbidden fruit theory: if you make something bad when it seems so good, people will break rules, laws, and social niceties to get it.

Marilyn Manson sums it up well when speaking of attending a private Christian school. He says that they defined the taboos and kept them at arm's length, leaving him to reach for them.

You remove the curiosity, you remove the exploration.

Same for physical domination; any number of criminal psychologists will tell you that a man who rapes a woman is not after sexual satisfaction as much as the sense of control. Also, rape is often connected to another crime (such as theft) to further intimidate the victim. While this aspect of rape might not be curbed by openly discussing a woman's anatomy, the physical aspect of sex might be downplayed and a greater focus might be shifted toward the emotional and even spirituality of sex.

Now there are a good many "might"s in that there theory I will admit, but I'm also all for new methods when the old ones haven't worked.

And yes, young adults are just as curious about the sensations that their bodies produce as they are about the bodies themselves, which would lead me to demystifying and normalizing talking about sex in general.

But there is a difference between talking about sex in an intelligent and mature way, and a bunch of jocks describing what they did to their girlfriends last night in gross and unsophisticated detail. The latter is what pops up in most people's head when they hear things like "sex education" and "teachings kids about sex."

Which is why maybe so many people are opposed to it?

And might I say this is a damn good topic for Valentine's Day. It just...fits...in an odd kind of way.

Mark said...

Good points all, Brandon. I think what sets us normal human beings apart from those that perpetrate sexual abuse is the fact that when we are taught not to abuse, we obey those that teach us rather than rebel.

It takes more strength to resist temptation than it does to give in to it.

Gayle said...

I think it's ridiculous to try to cast a shadow on Valentine's Day, but as frenziedfeline said, if they want to ruin it for themselves, fine.

Yes, it is agreeably stupid, Mark, for a woman to talk dirty in front of men and expect the men to have any other reaction than the one you referred to.

And I find it extremely bad taste for either men or women to talk publicly about their sexual anatomy. But maybe that's just me. I was raised in a more genteel generation, thank God. :)

Your posts are always thought provoking.

FrenziedFeline said...

Well, if the play is supposed to help bring to light the mysteries and curb sexual violence, then all we need is the courts to start mandating that those convicted of rape attend the play.

Yeah, that'll help.

(Not!)

Mike said...

Guns don't shoot people ...Dick Cheney with a gun shoots people...

Son of Lilith said...

Can I quote you Mike?

I doubt any benefit of openly talking about sex will show up for awhile, as for generations it has been made a taboo.

And Gayle it is entirely possible for me to hear talk about a woman's anatomy and not get aroused.