Time and again, there are inaccurate claims that love is dead in this generation. But is it really? If anything, I think our generation stands to redefine love and relationships as we know them. Here’s why……
There are quite a number of basis on which people make this untrue conclusion. First being the fact that relationships, marriages even no longer last as long as they used to back then. Second being the fact that more and more women love themselves enough to leave the table when love is no longer being served. And the other that has sparked so much rage in people is women simply pursuing freedom and personal happiness over marriage and like relationships with men. In pursuing these things, women deviate from the norm, they unashamedly explore their sexuality, leave dysfunctional marriages, choose celibacy and leading single life’s as opposed to tolerating men’s mediocrity. Women have shaken and continue to shake the table, disrupting the single idea of what and how a woman should be. Hence the birth of statements like “We are never going to meet women like our mothers” “Our kids will never have praying mothers” “What is wrong with this generation, our grandparents had everlasting marriages”. Throughout this discourse, I’m more than delighted to sip on male tears, cause the bulk of lamentations come from their side. Moreover they refuse to acknowledge the workings of patriarchy and the fact that these happenings are in fact breeding ground for better, healthier and balanced relationships.
First things first, the longevity of relationships in past generations had very little to do with love. Ask around, they will tell you. If relationships and marriages were so perfect, women wouldn’t have fought for better. Furthermore, the manner in which women were treated under patriarchy back then leaves a lot to be desired. It is not so long ago, as we have old (our grandmothers) and middle aged women (our mothers) detailing their experiences and at most times subtly expressing their regrets. Most of them were pressured into marriage both by society and circumstance. This is at moments when women did not have access to capital, land, property or anything to guarantee their livelihood independent of men. This is even why they encourage us non stop to get an education, get our own monies for when men start to men. They know it all too well. We’re talking about a time where your value even in your own family was defined by how many cows you brought home, a time where value was assigned dependent on one’s proximity to men. These values have become a part of our culture and such a view of women is still dominant. Some were hoodwinked, and did not have an option to leave. I’ve heard stories for days of women being married off because the men in their lives needed the cows, hoes, gold. Now how do you tell me that love was present in such an age, and is lacking now that women want better?
Love is not dead. It’s going through redefining and rebirth, by force. Healthy relationship standards are increasing, self consciousness as well. Women want better, and aren’t settling for less, therefore upsetting the masses. Comparisons are always made of women right now, and our mothers and grandmothers. Somewhere in the matrix, men saw their mothers enduring abusive behaviors and being the popular definition of “wife material” such that this is the dynamic that they aspire for. While it us very appealing from a patriarchal standpoint, we tend to forget that love and dominance can not coexist, where there is abuse love is lacking (cheers bell hooks). We did not inherit the silence of the women before us, while they may have been unsuccessful in revolting a good number of them subtly encourage we do, or at least have safety nets.
If love and life before was so perfect, women wouldn’t have fought and continued to fight it.
You’re looking at people who spent the entirety of their lives making themselves small so that the men around them feel big and worthy. To imagine what love looks like in such a scenario is impossible. We at least have to acknowledge the fact that for the majority love simply wasn’t present. Now this reality is difficult to fathom as we tend to internalize the things around us, and growing up hearing that married people love each other leads us to the conclusion that the people we grow around do to and use those as models for love. The status quo for most relationships hinges on on women being belittled, even dating advice to women is comprised of those same talking points. Fortunately, this is constantly being met with resistance, and by so doing only can we start to reframe love in meaning, talk and action. Relationships informed by patriarchy do not foster growth for women, they don’t offer safe spaces and room for self discovery, I’m happy more of the girls want less of that.
People are unhappy that women are choosing not to suffer in the name of love. Despite even the fact there still is a good number of women who really don’t mind. Claims that love is dead in this generation and like conclusions are scare tactics, and strategies at manipulating the narrative. Women coming out and demanding a fair end of the stick has men shaking in their boots and coming up with silly theories. By order of patriarchy, burdens of any relationship fall on women, and now enough women love themselves enough to denounce that and choose to not participate in relationships guided by such notes. For men it’s a difficult reality (not that I care tbh) that there’s more coverage of how much of horrible human beings they are and terrible partners and that women now have the means to get rid of them, finally. The abuse our mothers and grandmothers endured will end with our daughters because they will not undergo what women before them did, they will not put up with injustices and they will not tolerate shit. It’s seeing patriarchy and the behaviors they have seen, the relationships modeled in their eyes turning obsolete. It’s the refusal to fulfill their ends of the obligations as in a balanced relationship.
There are endless attempts at modeling healthier intentional and reciprocative relationships. Love, acceptance, growth and safety for both parties. If that’s not the advent of love, then you tell me what it is.