Love, Valentine’s Day and ‘50 Shades of Grey’
Just a week from now, we’ll be celebrating once again Valentine’s Day. It’s a special day for lovers, many of whom expect to receive gifts from their loved ones in the form of chocolates, flowers, etc.
Valentine’s Day, however, seems to have lost its essence. Society has trivialized love into something as casual as a gimmick, as ordinary as a routine. Society has twisted the essence of love, which is other-centered into something self-centered. Society has changed the nature of love from being unconditional to being conditional. Because of the confusion brought about by the past years of media brainwashing, mostly done through television series with the theme of infidelity, society no longer knows what love is all about.
Together with the celebration of Valentine’s Day is the screening of “50 Shades of Grey,” which is no less than a pornographic film based on a pornographic book. It showcases women as mere objects of pleasure to be used rather than people to be loved. This film, with elements of bondage and sadomasochism, degrades women and even men, as well as the value, beauty and sacredness of the sexual act. It pains me so much reading posts on Facebook by women so excited to see the movie, not knowing how it tramples on their dignity. This is a movie that goes contrary to the very essence of Valentine’s Day and should not be shown.
So this Valentine’s Day, instead of watching “50 Shades of Grey,” instead of getting condoms given away at Dangwa, spend time instead with someone you dearly love—be it your spouse, your girlfriend or boyfriend. That is the best gift one can give, worth more than a dozen roses or a box of chocolates. The gift of time and the gift of presence are two aspects of love one can give. Slowly, one can make an impact in society and create a paradigm shift from a selfish culture to a culture that is other-centered.
—JOHN WALTER BROWN JUAT, University of the Philippines Diliman, [email protected]
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