Polina Aronson in Aeon:
The clash of romantic regimes was precisely what I was experiencing on that day in the school library. The Seventeen girl was trained for making decisions about whom to get intimate with. She rationalised her emotions in terms of ‘needs’ and ‘rights’, and rejected commitments that did not seem compatible with them. She was raised in the Regime of Choice. By contrast, classic Russian literature (which, when I was coming of age, remained the main source of romantic norms in my country), described succumbing to love as if it were a supernatural power, even when it was detrimental to comfort, sanity or life itself. In other words, I grew up in the Regime of Fate.
Exceptional article that illustrates, among other things, the power of cultural difference to highlight otherwise-invisible cultural presuppositions. In the end however, both “regimes” – the traditional and the progressive – are tyrannies, and both fall short of the highest view of love, sex, and romance.