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4. Taylor Swift continues to make music.
Part of Taylor Swift's girl-next-door appeal is her unwavering belief in "true love." Her relationship status gets more blog traffic than the war in Afghanistan, and it’s because she would never use OKCupid for a hookup. Not just because she’s totally famous and surrounded by dudes who’d kill to date her, but because she represents (and profits from) the idea of basing your entire image and self-worth in a one-man, one-woman relationship. And despite the fact that her relationships are about as fleeting as my desire to do P90X, she still seemingly refuses to identify as anything other than one-half of a boyfriend/girlfriend duo. And to millions of people, this notion isn't regressive; it's comforting and old-timey.
5. Masculinity is dead.
For the first time in U.S. history, women now make up the majority of the U.S. workforce, a record 101 women have been elected to Congress, and the ratio of women to men with college degrees is 3 to 2. This is progress, not equality. Men are still paid more than women on average and 80% of Congress is still male. But despite this, there seems to be a lingering fear that the traditional idea of the male as the breadwinner, lady-protector and tobacco-chewer is being eclipsed by rugged, casual-sex-wanting females. And so we say the reason men don’t buy flowers for women anymore is because they’re too busy buying tight pants. Like blaming the internet, it's easy, sensationalist, and can be supported with any number of specious evidence, but it doesn't actually address any of the deeper issues at play.
If you think about it, monogamy and courtship are really nothing more than previously-agreed-upon checkpoints for a fulfilling romance. We’ve all been conditioned to appreciate their universal worth, without really questioning if they even have any. And yet we seem poised to defend their significance at every opportunity. Maybe the reason these things are in decline is not because OKCupid was constructed by sex-loving heathens, but because we’ve realized they’re not so essential after all.