Jill Soloway's new show, I Love Dick, based on Chris Kraus' 1997 memoir-ish book of the same name, explores a relationship where a woman is passionately infatuated with a man and the man... could really care less. He accepts the attention as his due, but is mildly confused at the woman's passion for him. He, ultimately, is not worth this woman's time but she can't seem to get him out of her thoughts.
Soloway calls the show a chance for the "female gaze," or "a woman returning the [male] gaze," of becoming a subject instead of an object. By showing her affections loudly and proudly, partly because they're not being returned or even acknowledged, Chris (Kathryn Hahn) becomes the subjective gaze on her object of affection, Dick (Kevin Bacon). It's a tale as old as time, and one that people would rather not see. Girl meets boy, boy ignores girl, then maybe sleeps with her, then ignores her, then remembers she's around, then forgets again and lives his life. Girl yearns for this punk the whole time, despite his complete indifference to her existence. Which, GIRL.
Anyone who has a passion for stories knows this has been a regular theme in the history of human heterosexuality, but so often we hear and see it from a man's point-of-view. The guys might be rewarded with returned affections. Woman in the same situations are often seen as foolish and open to judgment. But there are predecessors to I Love Dick -- dating way, way back.