Feminist scholars have deemed romantic love an oppressive ideology that reproduces unequal gender relations and serves capitalist interests
Neither do I provide any generalised definition of romantic love
Footnote 6 I do not mean to deny this interpretation. In fact, I am convinced that romantic love is well embedded in the power and market relations of contemporary societies. However, during my research into love, marriage and sexuality in the late Franco era, I had to admit that, in addition to having innumerable flaws and patriarchal implications, romantic love could also have democratising meanings in this context, in which the Catholic emotional regime had fundamental political influence. The defence of one or another love ideal had political consequences, as did the attempts made to create legal ways to improve the possibilities for romantic love. In the case at hand, I argue that it had destabilising symbolic effects on the dictatorship. Nevertheless, given the limitations of this paper and my intent to make it as concrete as possible, I do not venture any claims about experience of romantic love, nor do I delve into its indisputable connection with gender inequalities. These are important issues which should be the focus of a different study. I do not use love as a fixed or unequivocal category of analysis. I prefer to look at how its meanings are articulated in a particular context.
This discourse voiced a defence of the freedom to love, following only dictates that came from within the individual and rejecting external coercion from the community, the state or the Church
The love standards analysed in this article make sense in a broader context in which growing emphasis was being placed on the emotional and sexual fulfilment of marriage, especially after the Second World War. (далее…)