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.

Valentine's Day: Celebration of love, or self?

by Shannon Smith

With Valentine's Day less than 24 hours away, a handful of Hampton University students had no problem voicing their opinions on either the holiday or the idea of celebrating being single, what some called "single-awareness day."

"Yes, I will celebrate myself and have no problem with treating myself to a box of chocolates, roses or even a movie," said Ongelique Sherman, a sophomore.

As for Valentine's Day, Sherman said that she thinks of "love...unconditional love that should be celebrated every day."

Darren Rainey, a senior, psychology major, believes in celebrating and splurging on himself as well. Valentine's Day, he said, is "a Hallmark business scheme that allows many companies to make a lot of money. I personally do not celebrate Valentine's Day."

Rainey said he is in a relationship however he does not believe in or celebrate Valentine's Day. "If you really care about someone," he said, "you should show how much you care for them every day.

"However, if my girlfriend asked and wanted to celebrate Valentine's Day, I would."

Kyle Mason, a sophomore, said, "I believe in celebrating myself every day."

To Mason, Valentine's Day is "a hustle that is a way to boost the economy."

Yet senior Raven Powell believes this idea of "single-awareness" day "sounds like a very lonely holiday," but she also believes in valuing herself: "I don't dread being single, and I value my mental and physical space too much to be pressed to share it with someone else."

Powell said on Valentine's Day, "I will be attending 'The Dating Game,' hosted by the Gamma Theta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., and right after, I will be at the Phi Mu Alpha concert."

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

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