Cupid's double-sided arrow: Does gender matter?

by Nakiya Morgan

"With the Valentine's Day love bug in the air, many people are running around asking, "Would you be my Valentine?"

This day is dedicated to showing that special person how much you really care about them, but is this romantic holiday targeted to females more than males?

Some Hampton University students expressed their opinions.

"Valentine's Day is a day for couples to show how much they appreciate each other," said Julene Sinclair, a sophomore, pharmacy major. "As a couple in a relationship I believe that you should get gifts for one another and embrace the time spent with each other. Both parties in the relationship should be catered to."

Leticha Heflin, Hampton University's freshman class treasurer, thought otherwise: "Valentine's Day is for the females only. If you decide to do things for that male in your life that's fine, but the men should focus on the women.

"It is our day."

Matt Cyrus, a sophomore, 5-year MBA major, believed that Valentine's Day is "stereotypically for females," but he doesn't mind "showing a female the love and appreciation that she deserves."

Valentine's Day, he said is "a biased holiday that many companies take advantage of. It is targeted towards women because that is where they will benefit from. By targeting women, [companies] are gaining more profit because men are steadily trying to keep their women happy."

Cyrus said he has received gifts on Valentine's Day before but he would much rather see someone else happy: "If you care about her that much, you wouldn't need anything but a smile in return."

Many stores across America have stocked up for Valentine's Day, anticipating frantic last-minute shoppers. Aisles are dedicated to holding balloons, flowers, teddy bears and cards, leaving shoppers with many choices for both genders.

Wal-Mart is known as a last-minute shopper's play land because of the variety.

Ejana Bennett, a Wal-Mart employee, said, "We see more males in the store around this season. Females come in as well but the males seem to dominate this holiday."

According to Bennett, many males actually seek her advice on gifts. They are so focused on making the women feel special.

"Every day this week a guy has approached me asking what I would want for Valentine's Day, and I find it so cute," said Bennett.

"I have never seen females as worried as the guys."

Justina Ward, a sophomore, business management major, believes that love is love and it should be expressed no matter who you are: "It doesn't matter what group of people Valentine's Day is geared to, what matters is that you guys are making each other happy."

Ward said that this Valentine's Day, "I will make sure I cater to the people I care about and I will expect nothing less in return."

The writer is a student at the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

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