The End Of Love
Building off of the post about Alice Walker and her child loathing comes a Washington Post story about the increasing materialism and disconnect from love and connectedness that once was so important:
Today on Valentine’s Day, high school hallways and college courtyards will be scattered with flowers. Young women at work will peek at the personal ads online, and dish about who got what.
They may confess to having a crush on their chemistry partner, or confide to a friend that the guy in the cubicle next to them is “really hot.” What they probably won’t say is “I love him” or anything close to it. Because while they may enjoy the trappings of love, many young women believe that being in love, at least right now, is impractical, foolish, a sign of weakness or even unattainable.
“Love is constant effort,” she sighs, settling herself into a couch at Tryst, a coffeehouse in Adams Morgan.
“It’s so annoying,” Carolyn McGee agrees.
“A waste of time,” Alyx Ackerfield says.
A national survey of 18-to-29-year-olds by the Pew Research Center reported that almost 60 percent were not in committed relationships and the majority of those were not interested in being committed. Young women even have phrases for couples, frequently spoken with a touch of derision: They’re “joined at the hip,” or “married.”
Someone I knew in California said of this new phenomenon in American women that they “are now talking like men used to about women.” Afraid of commitment, more fond of power and material fulfillment than being a daughter or mother, it’s all very much like a flipped version of the show Mad Men:
Absent old-fashioned dating, which has virtually disappeared, the alternative for these young women is hooking up, which can happen in any semi-private place and includes anything from kissing to intercourse. The beauty of hooking up is that it carries no commitment, and this is huge, for being emotionally dependent on a lover is what scares these young women the most.
The show Mad Men, which was aforementioned, portrayed the secretaries and assistants who are preyed on and manipulated by vulture-esque advertising executives as sympathetic and vulnerable. What then are the men of today who are “hooked up” with?
Also, it would be worth noting that this gender equilibrium is not simply an equation of liberal outposts like Seattle or Berkeley. I’ve seen the same stuff at work among “conservatives.” The saddest part about all of this is that it demoralizes both genders and makes the demand for such creepy phenomena as the “pick up artist” more prominent.
Without love, partnership and actual emotional attachment, dating just becomes a technique pattern to get the other party’s pants off. The scenario of Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself, wherein a bonafied child rapist, Randy, played by Bryan White, is invited into the house and bed of the protagonist April, played by Taraji P. Henson, because he offers her no strings attached (Does that sound familiar? It should. This stuff is reinforced in popular culture.) sex is more common. A society that knows how to fuck and not how to love is not going to be a happy one.