What a funky world. Or maybe it's just me. Obviously love, and meeting "the one", has been a universal quandary since the creation/evolution of the higher brain. So why hasn't society developed a better way of dealing with love? (and sex, which often comes with it) Many societies have tried - from the Victorians' attempt to drown passion through strict rules (when in fact they made people even crazier) all the way across the spectrum to societies in which the emphasis is sexual freedom (like ancient Greece). Our society seems to be sending us a mixed message about relationships and love. The media (da da da dummmm...) sends everyone the message that love is this state of being in which life is peaches and roses, even when there are problems (think Titanic). Love does not magically transform people into cheery, selfless individuals. Obviously I can't speak for everyone, but I feel like I've been getting crossed signals: "throw yourself into LOOOOOVE" from movies, magazines, tv (shudder) - and "don't get pushed around - look out for your own interests" from the girl power/femenazi front. Actually, the media feeds us both images, having sucked up and regurgitated the femlib voice while continuing to spew its own message. All this adds up to give us a completely unrealistic picture of relationships. Sure, sure, some media try to depict "real" life, but how deep into anyone's reality can you get in two hours? (or a half hour if it's a teevee show) And all the cheesy romance movies that are so popular end so idealistically it's disgusting. Even in Titanic, which is supposed to be sad, their love is all smushy to the bitter end. Movies like that train us to look for one person who was "created" for us to fall in love with. As if love is that simple. I would have enjoyed the ending far more if that amazingly wonderful resourceful boy (ooh, that was just drippy with sarcasm) managed to find a way to save both his lover and himself. It wouldn't have been too difficult, what with all the debris floating around. That door was not the only flotsam that broke free of the boat. But it had to end with Jack a martyr for love. Awwww. (All this doesn't mean I don't want to go see Titanic again - I'm a subscriber to the "true love" theory just as much as anyone, even though I know it doesn't always work out like it's *supposed* to... And the boat story was excellent.)

Anyway, I think it's ridiculous that society tries to maintain its grasp on our old Puritanical values while also subtly encouraging kids to rebel and implying that if we're not experimental, sexually and otherwise, we're somehow not fully mature, or we're "missing out." It's like we're being forced to choose one side or the other. If we choose the strait-laced path we're seen as prudes; take the other route and we're labeled sluts. (remember that scene from The Breakfast Club?) What's up with that, anyway? That's not fair. It's a lose-lose situation, to re-coin that much-used phrase. Anyhoo, not being much of one to care what other people think, I've chosen the more "prudish" path. But it's a tough choice, and no one is lowered in my estimation because they've chosen to have some sex. ("Yes, Holden, 'some sex'. That's all it was." ~Alyssa, Chasing Amy) No one should be forced to feel shame for choices they've made.

I wish our culture would just make up its mind. It would make everyone's life a lot easier.

Got comments? Tell me about it.

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A Home-Grown Product of Sparky's Brain ( )
Written 02/03/98