On Valentine's Day, Americans spend $17.6 billion on gifts. That’s roughly the same amount as the entire budget of NASA in 2014. Yeah. We are serious about buying stuff to express our love.
For this show, we explore the connection between romance and consumerism. Professor Lisa Wade, the editor of very fun website Sociological Images, explains the weird gender dynamics of Valentine's Day gift-giving, an original essay details the once-popular tradition of sending people nasty notes on Valentine's Day, and writer Kate Redburn argues that “the chief beneficiaries of gay marriage will be Crate & Barrel, not the queer folks with the most desperate need.” Plus: listeners share their creative ideas for celebrating relationships (and yourself) without spending much money.
Even if you despise Valentine's Day, you'll find something to love on this episode. Listen below.
INTERVIEW WITH LISA WADE:
INTERVIEW WITH KATE REDBURN:
This show is generously sponsored by Oregon State University’s Ecampus, which is ranked #5 on the 2015 list of America’s best online bachelor’s degree program by U.S. News. Oregon State University Ecampus delivers more than 40 undergraduate and graduate degrees and programs online including a B.A./B.S. in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. You can start any season, so apply today. Check out the courses and enroll at ecampus.oregonstate.edu.
The illustration featured on the full show is by artist Shaleigh Westphall. The “Here We Go Again” balloon image is used courtesy of artist Adam J. Kurtz (you can buy your very own balloon, too, BTW). The article referenced in the history of vinegar valentines is called “Happy Valentine's Day, I Hate You” and is by Lisa Hix of Collector's Weekly. Read Kate Reburn's article “Stonewall Was a Wedding” in Jacobin magazine.
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