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Apathetic Echidna

Is amatonormativity a product of capitalism?

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Basically a rant, but I think I have a point. Please comment! expand the general idea or specify a part of the idea

 

I was reading this great topic and things stewed in my mind. If romance functions like a drug in our brain people will pay to get their fix.

Look at the costs of weddings and the profit made on Valentine's Day. The piles of books and movies and tv shows. Weddings have always been about showing off, but now there is an entire industry built around diamond engagement rings and white dresses that are only worn once. Romance and stereotyped love is big business dealing with big bucks.

Commercially it is not in their interest to support alternative weddings, but rather to make the most frivolous and expensive romantic gestures the normal, like 24 imported long stem red roses, engagement rings where bigger is better and designer dresses for the entire wedding party.  The industry has no reason to value diversity and every reason to support amatonormativity ideals. Because they have the money they fund things to get more exposure which filters into society....then more people buy into the ideals and spend more money on it, giving them more power to get more exposure. 

 

The most insidious of these things are the reality tv shows. Unlike books or scripted media these shows are seen as being 'real' people in 'achievable' relationships, and possibly even role-models. The Bachelor(ette), Love Island, Married at First Sight, Real Housewives, Wife Swap, I know people who would watch these things on their lunch break to get their 'fix' to help them get through an afternoon of work. Generally the romance is overblown or the people involved are chosen to be provoking (but still in a relationship). 

I think when people say "sex sells" they also mean voyeuristic romance, because what really is The Bachelor except romance porn? yet it is acceptable to televise for family viewing. 

 

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Yeah probably tbh. After all, Valentine's Day sure is, and how would they made their money if nobody cared so much about romance? 🤔

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I think this is a good point! I would also like to point out that up until about 150 years ago you didn't really get married for love, you either had an arranged marriage,  you found someone you liked-ish that your parents also approved of, or you married the first guy that got you pregnant (sexual purity culture is actually a fairly new thing). The focus on marriage for romantic love only got popular during the Victorian era (1837-1901), which was notably also right around the time the industrial revolution started to taper off (1820-1840) and capitalism as we know it today started to really take hold.

 

Correlation of course doesn't equal causation, but I would be shocked if industrilzation and the advent of modern capitalism didn't have any influence on our modern view of romance, just based on how close together they are on a timeline.

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Talking 'bout Commercialization of love.
Wikipedia isn't a reliable source for scientific well founded articles, take it with a grain of salt, but I have found it interesting nonetheless.

Quote

Eva Illouz is a professor of sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Illouz's research has always focused on several different topics and themes such as the study of culture, communication and especially emotions. In particular, the theme of commercialization, or commodification, of love is well analyzed in her first book Consuming the Romantic Utopia, where indeed she describes how capitalism has transformed emotional patterns.

I'm thinking about getting her book, haha.

When it comes to weddings the first think I always thought wasn't how "romantic and beautiful" it is but how much money they probably going to throw out of the window because of it (unless one decides to keep it very minimalistic). It's their money and their event but from my outside perspective I can't shake the impression of oddity.

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5 hours ago, bananaslug said:

I think this is a good point! I would also like to point out that up until about 150 years ago you didn't really get married for love, you either had an arranged marriage,  you found someone you liked-ish that your parents also approved of, or you married the first guy that got you pregnant (sexual purity culture is actually a fairly new thing). The focus on marriage for romantic love only got popular during the Victorian era (1837-1901), which was notably also right around the time the industrial revolution started to taper off (1820-1840) and capitalism as we know it today started to really take hold.

Something to consider here is that arranged marriages still exist. Including places such as the Indian sub continent. Note that "someone you liked-ish that your parents also approved of" can fit the definition of "arranged marriage".
I'm not sure that even within Britain, Europe, USA and Australasia romantic marriages were that common until the 20th century. With there being being a forced arranged marriage of Prince Charles in 1981.
Something which also needs an explanation is the way in which marriage suddenly became very popular after the second world war, then declined again over the next 60 or so years.

 Even more oddly is that as marriage rates have been falling the hyping of marriage within popular culture has been increasing. 

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17 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

Valentine's Day sure is

It is such a large black hole sucking in money. I have to wonder how much of Valentine's Day purchases are just about fulfilling perceived social expectations, providing fodder for bragging to others or gossip. 

 

14 hours ago, NotHeartless said:

I'm thinking about getting her book, haha.

If you do buy it, it would be great if you did a review of it here 😃

 

10 hours ago, Mark said:

Something to consider here is that arranged marriages still exist. Including places such as the Indian sub continent. Note that "someone you liked-ish that your parents also approved of" can fit the definition of "arranged marriage".

That is pretty much how two of my neighbours explained their marriages and they call it an arranged marriage, and yes they are all Indian/Sri Lankan. Australia had a heap of arranged marriages in the 1950s-1970s mainly in the Mediterranean migrant communities because they would want to marry a girl from their hometown. 

 

10 hours ago, Mark said:

Something which also needs an explanation is the way in which marriage suddenly became very popular after the second world war, then declined again over the next 60 or so years.

isn't it around then that white became THE colour for wedding dresses? because there was fairly large quantities of white parachute silk around the place so it was the easiest thing to use for a dress that wasn't going to get much wear. 

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