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What makes your heart sing?
Kathy Magnuson and Norma Smith Olson
Kathy Magnuson and Norma Smith Olson

"Love is something if you give it away,
You end up having more."

-"Magic Penny"
by Malvina Reynolds

"And we'll sing this song
Why don't you sing along,
And we can sing for a long, long time."

-"Song of the Soul"
by Cris Williamson

by Kathy Magnuson and Norma Smith Olson

As neighbors and friends sang "Let Me Call You Sweetheart," a couple celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary waltzed in the background. Last month we attended a Community Sing event these friends had hosted to honor their milestone. We shared songs of love, purpose and intention. As around 200 people sang, kids played and new friends were made.

The love in the room was a contrast with many cultural stereotypes of romantic love.

Love it, hate it, the book "Fifty Shades of Grey" and its sequels are a best-selling pop cultural phenomenon. In the books, a young, naïve, insecure woman's heartthrob is a powerful, rich, handsome man who controls her life down to how much she works out, what she eats, who she spends time with and what she wears. Their titles in a legal document about their sexual relationship are "Dominant" and "Submissive." And those words describe all aspects of their relationship.

It's a sad commentary when such a popular example of the ultimate romantic relationship is based on a controlling, yes, even abusive dynamic.

In this month of Valentine's Day and in this "Matters of the Heart"-themed issue, we bring some alternative views of love:

Shannon Drury, one of our regular columnists, writes about her feminist husband. Athena Kildegaard shares an essay of her experience of writing a love poem every day for a year. Linda Slattengren speculates whether or not her gay son can ever get married in Minnesota. Lenor Scheffler talks about the importance of family, mentors and community. In thinking about women's hearts, we've included information about the warning signs of a heart attack for women, which are very different than signs for men. You'll also find an interview with Anne Litwin about her research on how women form friendships differently than men and how our often unspoken expectations can sabotage those relationships.

We feel fortunate to have work we love-sharing women's stories and voices in ways that create community and change the universe.

Coming up: March's theme is "women as peacemakers." When was a time that you were called on to be a peacemaker? Tell us about it.
Send a paragraph or two to editor@womenspress.com
Deadline: Feb. 10, 2013

March advertising sections:
• Camps & Activities Guide
• Elder Guide
• Spirituality Guide
• GoSeeDo Guide
Deadline: Feb. 10, 2013

Music is our focus in April and we're asking: What would be the theme song of your life and why? Tell us about it.
Send a paragraph or two to editor@womenspress.com
Deadline: March 10, 2013

April advertising sections:
• Grrrrls Go Green Guide
• Home Guide
• GoSeeDo Guide
Deadline: March 10, 2013

TCPride.KathyGriffin.InContentTile 5-2016

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