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That day is upon us…
That loved-up occasion…
Infused with red hearts,
Balloons, and bursting emotions…

A day of love…
And roses and gifts…
Of candle-light dinners…
Soft music, and “ifs”…

“If he offers that ring,
I’ll marry him!”
And maybe disappointment,
If he doesn’t go proposing!

Instead of a day of love…
It’s a day of gender roles…
When heterosexual acts…
Are played out as time supposed!

As if we’re not reminded…
364 days of the year…
What we’re “supposed” to be…
We have one more to add…
So that we may see…

It starts in college…
Even in school…
Where little children are “taught”,
The Valentine rule…

And if a single woman…
Isn’t showered with “love”,
Translated as flowers, chocolates…
And gifts from “above”,

She is condemned ….
Society may scorn her…
Perceived as undesirable…
Society mourns her!

Why isn’t it convention,
For a woman to search…
For a Valentine of her own…
Rather than sit on a perch…
Pining and alone?

No she cannot…
That’s not her “role”,
That’s reserved for the dominant…
Never condemned for being alone!

Men aren’t subjected to ….
The pressure of V Day…
(Maybe that’s why they forget such occasions always!!)
Because being a single male…
Doesn’t translate in any way…

To being unwanted…
Or unlucky in love…
They’re the gay bachelors…
Never to be shunned…
Proudly Casanova-ish…
They don’t need to be hitched!

What is a woman called,
If she doesn’t marry?
She’s called an old maid!
This is the real tragedy!

On Valentine’s Day…
In established relationships…
Stereotypes are more at play…

Adverts of husbands…
Gifting wives diamonds…
Wives wiping tears of love…
Because husbands are so benevolent!

Firstly this shows…
Only wives must shed tears…
Show so much emotion…
As husband “provides” for her…

We assume that men don’t cry…
When, in fact, their emotions also run high…

We also assume…
Only men must give…
And women must take ….
At least, in the ads…
That’s a claim they make…

This is a troubling notion….
Inadvertently limiting men…
In their behavior in relationships…
Why can’t people come to grips…
With the fact that…
Men are emotional too…
They can be needy and mushy…
And on their partners they can spew…
Many tears if not a few!?

Like many ads are based…
On occasions that we celebrate…
Anniversaries and birthdays…
Or Valentine days…

They generally imply…
That women care a lot…
And men are “busy”…
And forget, and care not!!

So the commercialization of a celebration…
Reinforces a regressive idea of roles…
A woman cries as she feels “hurt”….
Her partner then grandly doles…

Out all the gifts and desserts!
And the woman is “happy”…
Feels “wanted” once more…
When actually she should…
Kick all this out the door!!

Such misnomers, our ads,
And our behaviors, portray…
Not just about gender…
But of the idea of love, anyway…

And as we become more…
Of a “developed” society and progress…
All the show and tell… really…
Makes us regress!

The very idea…
Of dolling up for this day…
Let’s a partner know…
THEY are special in a way…

Why doll up just for a day?
Shouldn’t love be celebrated
Everyday?
Shouldn’t it be unconditional…
Anyway?

You just wait and see…
These warped individuals,
Men and women both…
On every strata and level…
Will increase their use…
Of Facebook and Twitter…
And Insta, and abuse…
These sites, cause a flutter…
Just because…
They’re professing “love”,
Regressing more…
Much more than enough!

By Scherezade Mansukhani

Scherezade Mansukhani

Scherezade is a Clinical Child Psychologist, Part-time mother, blogger, French teacher and IATA teacher. She has worked with the differently abled, and now works on and off as a teacher.

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