14 February 2009

Valentine's Day

I'm sure many of you know an old joke that goes something like this:
Person 1: Will you have sex with me for a million dollars?
Person 2:  Of course!
Person 1: Will you have sex with me for ten dollars?
Person 2:  What, do you think I'm some kind of whore?
Person 1:  We've already established that, now I'm just haggling over the price. 
From what I can gather of businesses marketing their Valentine's Day wares, most of the population apprently views its romantic relationships as a similar bargaining of goods in exchange for sex.  Should you fail to produce a bauble or widget of significant dimension, we are warned by the ad copy, and your partner may decline the transaction and, in a worst case scenario, even terminate the relationship.  

I suppose it isn't surprising that capitalist advertisers would believe such things.  It's only natural for them to see all human interactions as goods-for-goods exchanges.  And, of course, the demonstration of your personal material power is the jungle-capitalist version of a mating call.  What better way to show your fitness to survive in the current environment! 


That's really all I've got for the big day this year.  For a bit of a follow-up on last year's post, I recommend Deborah Cameron's talk at last year's Marxism conference in the UK "The Myths of Mars and Venus," following up Cameron's book of the same title. (h/t