Valentine’s Day is here again to remind us all that we are still living in a rape culture. No matter how prettily the greetings card companies attempt to dress it up, an entire day dedicated to the celebration of men stalking women is beyond reproach. If you celebrate Valentine’s Day, you are actively participating in the continued normalization of sexual assault. Think about that. The majority of cards and gifts sent today will have been sent anonymously and without prior consent. As a society we are actively encouraging ‘gift rape’. If this doesn’t already sound sinister enough to you, then strap yourself in because it’s about to get a whole lot bumpier.
The very concept of ‘romance’ is an obsolete myth sold to us by capitalist oligarchs, a means of plying the exploited masses with the hope that ‘love’ will somehow make their drab little lives more meaningful in order to extract more moolah from their comparatively meagre bank accounts. (Imagine, if you will, a Gerald Scarfe Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’ style animation; a row of giant warthogs wearing top hats and monocles, symbolically dipping long golden spoons into tiny eggs desperately held in the arms of frightened mice, and then feasting on the yolk. If you can picture such a scene, then I am confident this will help you to understand the full genius of my writing).
Romance is featured across all aspects of our media: Disney, movies, music, Disney, TV, books, video games, Disney etc, and is seen as something we are encouraged to aspire to. In fact, it is often presented to us that if we don’t find that special kind of love in our lifetime, then we have somehow failed. We are brainwashed into thinking that the idea of being in love and of being loved in return is ‘enjoyable’. What even is ‘love’? I ‘love’ chickpea curry but I don’t want to go to bed with it. ‘Love’ is a way of disguising lust as something more acceptable. Don’t get me wrong, lust is perfectly fine between two consenting individuals who respect each other’s boundaries and pronouns, but Valentine’s Day is a farce. And a dangerous one at that. If you think about it, the symbol we use for love itself is a lie. A heart. The heart is the organ that pumps blood around the body via a vast circulatory system.Why is that considered the recognized symbol for love? We may as well stick a cartoon representation of a kidney on a card and say that it signifies the purification of our feelings for others and the letting go of toxic expectations (note: actually, I think there’s something in this, remember to call Moonpig). If greetings card companies can mislead us in this way, what more are they not telling us?
Ever since the first caveman flexed his patriarchal forehead muscles and smacked the female object of his affection over the head with a large wooden club during the first prehistoric baseball game (recreated in The Flintstones episode #2.4), women have been conditioned to accept that men are entitled to their attention. Valentine’s Day is simply an extension and indeed an affirmation of this draconian mindset. The man purchases a token (card, flowers, chocolates, ‘humorous’ penis-shaped popsicle, kittens etc) and gifts it to the woman who is then expected to show her gratitude towards his generosity. It’s unintentional prostitution, plain and simple. I am not saying there is anything wrong with being a sex worker of course, but they usually tend to earn a bit more than a card and a bunch of gas station flowers.
Don’t buy into the hype. If you receive a card today, write the words: ‘NO RAPE CULTURE PLEASE’ across the middle of it. Then set it on fire.