Okay. A bit dramatic for the title. But honestly, it’s kind of true.
Valentine’s Day is tomorrow (and I’m sure all of you in relationships are already well-prepared by now). In light of this fact, I decided to post on romance, a post I have been planning. The timing just seems right, so here goes!
The concept and expectation of romance is sexist.
“Are you insane?”
Yes, I can hear all you out there reading this thinking this/saying this out loud. No, I’m not crazy. Just think about it, bear with me.
Why is it that nearly every romantic movie, television show, book, commercial, etc., portrays it as the man’s option to “woo” a woman? Why is it always up to him? What have girls done, other than be born a female, to deserve this treatment?
Do NOT get me wrong. The occasions when my boyfriend (sorry babe, you were meant to be mentioned sooner or later) compliments me, does my dishes, lets me pick what to watch on tv, rubs my feet or takes me on dates are absolutely encouraged and well-appreciated. In fact, I would encourage this behavior often (hint hint 😉 ). But why is it that women constantly expect these things? And why is it frowned upon when men enjoy the same behaviors from women?
I read an article on chivalry recently that sparked my decision to even post this. Yes, chivalry is nice, and no it’s not (completely) dead. There is something sweet about a man that decides to open a door for you, and especially when he pulls out a chair for you. Things like that do not go unnoticed, and are encouraged some of the time. It shows thoughtfulness. But I also don’t think those things should be expected, especially all the time. We are women, and other than genetics, how are we exactly different from men? What did we do that makes them have to win us over? Not to mention, if someone did things like this for me all the time, I’d be a little put-off and possibly a little offended; I am capable of doing things for myself, thank you very much. So WHY is it that men are “supposed” to do these things for us? Shouldn’t we do nice things for men too, and not just expect them to constantly try to impress us?
Even when you aren’t in a relationship, and regardless of whether you are male or female, you can make romantic gestures. Why is it a man’s responsibility to initiate dating? Can’t both men and women be forward and ask one another out? And shouldn’t an already-established relationship be about treating each other with mutual respect and love, and going above and beyond to make each other happy? (No, I’m alone in that? Okay).
I can’t even begin to recount the number of times I have watched romantic movies and wondered why my boyfriend doesn’t do stuff like that for me or make big romantic gestures to show how much he loves me. But then I stop myself and wonder, what I have done to deserve that treatment? Simply exist? Though I am undoubtedly awesome, no, I do not deserve romantic gestures solely based on that. He does nice things for me, and I do them in return. If you love someone, you do nice things for them. End of discussion. Doing nice things for others is something that should just be done period.
We as women shouldn’t be getting upset because the guy we think is cute didn’t pull out all the stops to “woo” us over. We shouldn’t be upset with our male companions simply because they didn’t buy flowers or chocolates, or they don’t offer to open every door, or they don’t pamper us enough. Couldn’t we be making romantic gestures for them as well? Okay, maybe men don’t necessarily want flowers and chocolates, but you get my point; they enjoy nice gestures too. And they are (usually) appreciated.
In my humble opinion, both men and women should be making effort to do nice things for one another. The “nice things” may vary from relationship to relationship (i.e. some girls don’t like flowers/chocolates and would prefer a nice dinner; some men prefer watching things other than sports. Some don’t have the financial means to provide material things and come up with other creative ways to be romantic. Whatever floats your boat). But the concept remains; the responsibility to create romance in a relationship should not solely rest on the male. For decades, women have been developing more prominent personalities; plenty of women give out their numbers or ask men out on the first date, and women have even proposed. The fact of the matter is, if you both care about one another, why make it up to him to initiate all the romance?
Before I wind up rambling on and not making sense, I’m going to end this post on a happy note. I hope that everyone out there enjoys their Valentine’s Day; it’s not “singles-awareness day,” because valentines can come in many forms. Honestly, this is the first Valentine’s Day I will have celebrated with a boyfriend. True, I’ve had my fair share of Valentine’s Days spent feeling bitter because I didn’t have a boyfriend and life sucks and woe is me, but I did have family and friends that loved me (and still do), and went out of their way to wish me a happy day, and for that I can consider myself lucky. Love comes in many forms. Embrace it. Share it. Tell the people you love that you love them. Make someone feel special. Have a lovely day (pun intended). 🙂