On Walt Disney, masturbation and love
In America – the country of liberalism, self-determination and the promise of happiness for everyone – a new phenomenon is becoming more and more common. Organised group of people meet on regular basis to masturbate together, but at one condition: everyone is forbidden to touch the others. Slavoj Zizek often takes this example to describe the condition of the modern subject. According to the Slovenian critical thinker, the state of our society is akin to a crowd of lonely people. A situation in which everyone appears locked in his own onanistic world and watches the others without the possibility of touching them.
A friend of mine, a beautiful and clever spanish girl, recently told me that she was so frustrated in terms of relationships and boys that she has been thinking of creating a blog called “no-sex and the city”. Loneliness rules. The truth is that this difficulty of building satisfying relationships seems in complete contradiction with the fact that technology is creating more and more ways to find partners, whatever your sexual orientation.
Grindr, Gayromeo, Tinder, and even Instagram (I personally know some girls that use Instagram as a dating agency, and their pictures as the display for their glamour), are generating more chances to find a stable partner but somehow it does not work. Why? Over the years I came to an explanation. All began with Walt Disney and his amazing and romantic fairytales. We all grew up with the idea that at some point a charming prince, the perfect rich and handsome man would have come to rescue us from our humble condition.
This happened in the twentieth century, an era in which divorce was becoming more and more acceptable because the idea of marriage was transforming. Getting married stopped being a social compulsion, something that every girl and every boy at some point had to embrace, and the very meaning of marriage became love. It has not always been like that. If I think about my grandparents, for instance, I don’t think they ever asked themselves whether they were loving each other. The goal of being married and raising children was the reason for staying together, so marriage was the condition for love rather than the opposite.
But since love became the very goal then the everyday efforts to make a couple work somehow weakened, and this because marriage was not something to fight for in itself, but was becoming a ritual with a beginning and a potential end. In this social transformation there is nothing disruptive except if we link this with Walt Disney. The truth is that the charming prince does not exist, we know it but we still wait for him. So we open Tinder, Grindr or Instagram, we look at the potential partners, and we try to find the perfect one, the one moulded on the imagery that Disney generated. The one to make love with. Defeated by the imperfections of the single people we carry on looking, having dates, trying to find perfection and perfection never occurs. What we lost is the ability to accept the other’s imperfections. Love should be seen not as a fairy tale but as suffering each other’s limitations and caring about each other for what we are.
We should re-write Snow White. It was probably better for her being single or remaining with the dwarfs that really loved her, rather than going away with a gay-looking blond man that did not take any part in the story and just appeared the last five minutes to ruin everything. Or we should stop identifying with the girl and start cherishing the idea that the beautiful Queen was definitely a better example.
This post was written by a RWL Guest Blogger – Giuppy d’Aura has a BA in film studies, an MA in History of Cinema and is currently completing a second MA in History and Culture of Fashion, at LCF. Writing about fashion, cinema, sex and lifestyle is what he really enjoys the most. He considers himself a provocative, feminist and queer thinker (or terrorist, if you prefer). Hates politically correctness and prefers to go wrong rather than embracing a weak opinion. Giuppy writes for several online platforms, including Against and [In]Tangible. (Images via Tom Bricker and Sonia Luna‘s Flickr photostreams.)