The New Valentine’s Day

I expected things to be a little different around the campus on this journey. After all, it’s another generation’s turn to make the rules, establish the standards, and call the shots. But expecting something does not make the experiencing of that thing any less interesting.

Valentine’s Day is a case in point. According to Wikipedia,

The day is most closely associated with the mutual exchange of love notes in the form of “valentines.” Modern Valentine symbols include the heart-shaped outline and the figure of the winged Cupid…

…which tracks pretty closely with my understanding of the event. Of course, mere love notes are not considered a sufficient expression of eternal love and adoration in my marriage, so, to the cocktail of cash flow must be added flowers and outside entertainment. But my understanding is no different from other men…until I encountered the modern orthodoxy of a politicized ritual in the Halls of Academe.

Here’s a modern, feminist take on The New Meaning of Valentine’s Day that pierces my heart…

In Roman mythology, Cupid’s arrows pierced the hearts of unsuspecting mortals causing them to fall deeply in love. Today, cherubic Cupid is a common symbol of Valentine’s Day, a holiday celebrating romantic love. While most women still welcome Cupid’s attack — or at least a box of chocolates — some feminist groups seek to transform Valentine’s Day into V-Day, an occasion to raise awareness about violence against women.

V-Day originated from Eve Ensler’s controversial play, “The Vagina Monologues.” The play consists of vignettes describing the experiences of numerous women’s vaginas: from heterosexual and lesbian sex to child birth, with a focus on violence and rape. The V-Day website states that “V-Day’s mission is simple. It demands that the violence must end. It proclaims Valentine’s Day as V-Day until the violence stops.”

No matter what you think about the play, raising awareness about violence against women is a worthy goal. Ensler’s depiction of the horrors of a Bosnian rape camp highlights the appalling abuse too many women suffer in today’s world.

But why the assault on Valentine’s Day? The clear implication is that violence and male/female relations are somehow naturally linked. It’s part of a disturbing strategy by the women’s movement — and particularly by women’s-studies departments on college campuses — to convince women that traditional institutions like marriage are inherently patriarchal and oppressive.

So this is Valentine’s Day on my campus. A week of the “Vagina Monologues”, rape prevention and awareness issues, and a sex-toy party for the co-eds, who are invited to “spice up their love life” with some unmentionables. Guess I’ll be getting off lightly if all I have to do is buy supper and a few roses.

I wonder if the college will, according to tradition, be holding Sadie Hawkins Day later this Spring?

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“Life’s hard, son. It’s harder when you’re stupid.” — The Duke.

Education is a companion which no misfortune can depress, no crime can destroy, no enemy can alienate,no despotism can enslave. At home, a friend, abroad, an introduction, in solitude a solace and in society an ornament.It chastens vice, it guides virtue, it gives at once grace and government to genius. Without it, what is man? A splendid slave, a reasoning savage. - Joseph Addison
The term informavore (also spelled informivore) characterizes an organism that consumes information. It is meant to be a description of human behavior in modern information society, in comparison to omnivore, as a description of humans consuming food. George A. Miller [1] coined the term in 1983 as an analogy to how organisms survive by consuming negative entropy (as suggested by Erwin Schrödinger [2]). Miller states, "Just as the body survives by ingesting negative entropy, so the mind survives by ingesting information. In a very general sense, all higher organisms are informavores." - Wikipedia

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