This isn't a rant. Who am I kidding? Of course it's a rant.
It all started when I was watching a show from my current Netflix obsession, "I Zombie."
Liv Moore (yep, that's right - not only a Zombie, but she works in a coroner's office!) randomly says 'I hate that phrase, "Make Love."' It kinda snagged me out of a show I'd always found well-written and highly entertaining as they discussed acceptable alternatives. While searching for the full line to quote, I was shocked by the sheer quantity of bile and ridicule for the phrase.
This triggered a ripple effect, crystallising a number of internal rants which have been building up for a while as my days repeatedly feature exposure to the toxic attitudes abounding in today's world. It feels like every aspect of life is geared toward reducing the amount of Love and replacing it with hatred, mistrust and fear. And let’s not forget rudeness and bad language.
Flick back to the 80’s and 90’s – working in British factories, I watched a slow and steady decline of manners. Men who’d once treated every woman venturing into their territory with old-world chivalry, no longer apologised when the odd swear-word slipped out. I put my hand up and admit to my part in the decline – in my effort to be treated as an equal, I frequently demurred at their apology. I would then assure them no offence was taken at the vulgar language, even though it made me cringe inside. Eventually, they believed me and the standards in the (mostly male) engineering office dropped. Not for me: although I will admit to the odd “sh*t” or “b*ggar,” I still can’t say the f-word in company. In the privacy of my own car, I am frequently driven to uttering atypical oaths.
I vividly remember the uproar when the f-word slipped out on a live TV interview in the 80's. For decades, anything remotely resembling a swear word was studiously beeped out on British TV. Nowadays, you are hard pushed to find a show without one per minute. I'll know my world has died when they infiltrate Disney productions.
My take on other gallantries, such as holding the door open for a member of the gentler sex, was mixed. Firstly, it’s a common courtesy I subscribe to – I still hold the door open for anyone approaching, and in particular, anyone following – nothing worse than having a door shut in your face. However, there are times it becomes awkward – I really disliked those who stood in such a position you were forced to squeeze past their bulk, or even worse, scrunch under (invariably sweaty) armpits. You know the type: cheap thrill takers who would never otherwise get that close to a woman; the ones who insisted on following you up the stairs to ogle your butt.
The sort who forced women to take a stand against this slimy behaviour.
But what I really mourn is the death of Love resulting from this. The number of (increasingly vicious) retorts of “I’m not your love” which have stopped men from using that term of endearment, along with dear, pet and sweetheart, because they are too afraid of the potential litigation from women who deem it patronising. The conspiracy side of me is convinced it’s a plot by lizards to eliminate Love and replace it with Hate. As if to reinforce this theory, I recently came across the term “Hate-sex” in “Orange is the New Black.” A complete shocker. And revered as a good thing.
I stopped listening to the news a long time ago when I realised the articles had swung from having just over half of the doom and gloom variety, to nothing but man’s inhumanity to man.
A mere murder is no longer headline news unless it involves multiple victims, gross perversion or children. Books and TV storylines don’t sell unless the body count is high enough to appease this apparent thirst for violence or the sex scenes are graphic (and frequent) enough to have been considered pornographic only a few decades ago. Anything less is considered too “Mary-Sue” for modern-day tastes.
Stop the world, I want to get off.
Oh look, they’re re-running "Charmed" on E4 – that’s about as much violence as I want to let into my life.