Today's post is by Carrie Jenkins, Canada Research Chair and Professor of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia, where she is heading up a multi-year interdisciplinary research project on the Metaphysics of Romantic Love. She lives in Vancouver, and she is @carriejenkins on Twitter. Her new book is What Love Is And What It Could Be (2017, Basic Books).
One of the book’s overarching goals is to push back against what I call the romantic mystique (named after its counterpart, the feminine mystique): a disempowering ideology that seeks to mystify love, celebrates ignorance of its true nature, and promotes passive acquiescence in the status quo. The romantic mystique serves the interests of those who benefit the most from the way romantic love is here and now. By understanding and resisting its operation, we empower ourselves to create something better.