Question of the Week: January 10th, 2017

What is your relationship with platitudes about love?

I may be giving away my own opinion by using the rather pejorative word “platitude” in the question.  I don’t much care for aphorisms in general, and am prejudiced to believe each and every one of them is wrong.  But platitudes about love have a special place in my heart as being particularly awful.  Like the saying that LGBT rights are all about LOVE.

And the worst thing about them is I can’t question them without outing myself as a curmudgeon.  It’s a lot like interrupting someone’s prayer to say how much I dislike prayer.

About Siggy

Siggy is an ace activist based in the U.S. He is gay gray-A, and has a Ph.D. in physics. He has another blog where he also talks about math, philosophy, godlessness, and social criticism. His other hobbies include board games and origami.
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7 Responses to Question of the Week: January 10th, 2017

  1. Carmilla DeWinter says:

    I tend to meander between shrugs, amusement and internal eyerolls, but it’s yet to keep me from reading fanfiction …

  2. Sara K. says:

    I don’t care for them, but I’m pretty numb to them (well, unless it is a particularly obnoxious usage, such as using platitudes about love to shut down a conversation which has some substance).

  3. Writer Ace says:

    I think the two things that bother me the most are, as someone (probably) on the aro spectrum the “love is love” pro-lgbt campaigning, because I’m queer regardless of if I’m in love, and acceptance of me shouldn’t be contingent on that, and anything where love cures mental illness, because that’s very much not how it works.

  4. TreePeony says:

    What I actually dislike the most is “love conquers all” type plots in fiction, though. Love conquers, apparently, illness, space-time, social constraints, economic hardships and…death. Apparently having a lover is the thing that’ll guarantee your surviving through the zombie apocalypse. I mean, wth. The only time I think I prefer the real world over fiction is when I realise that, in the real world, there’s no such rule, and people on their honeymoon are just as capable of dying in a car crash as I am. I know this makes me seem cruel, but… I don’t see why being in love should make you any more special than anyone else.

    And, as others have mentioned, the whole “LGBTQA+ stuff is okay because love knows no gender,” which, even though not relevant to me at all, completely ignores that the primary tenet of not just LGBTQA but also heterosexuality is sexuality, not romantic preference.

  5. Nowhere Girl says:

    Ouch! What does “platitude” mean and what does “curmudgeon” mean? Mind, these are not words you’d find in an ordinary English-to-foreign dictionary…

    • Siggy says:

      Platitude = a saying, with the implication that the saying doesn’t have any real meaning. Curmudgeon = someone who is grumpy or cynical.

  6. Rachel says:

    I’m somewhat cynical about the whole thing.

    In fiction, love works better for me when it’s “show, don’t tell.” Stories that just invoke love like it’s a magic word that I’m supposed to accept at face value don’t mean anything to me, stories that invest time in showing love through behavior mean a lot more. It is behavior, not words, that justifies love.

    In real life, I have to be skeptical about cliche discussions about love for multiple reasons. As an aro ace, most people talk about love if ways that passively or even actively exclude me, so I have to be suspicious. Also, as someone whose family has a dark history of mental illness and abuse in tandem, the way people speak about love as though it’s automatically worthy or meaningful is alienating. Yeah, my abusive, mentally ill relatives did love their children, but that didn’t stop them from mistreating said children.

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