Feminism and Valentine’s don’t seem very compatible, do they?
No other holiday pushes heteronormativity harder (how many queer Valentine’s Day cards have you ever seen?). Everything is “for her” and “for him”. It’s materialistic, gives people unrealistic expectations, and is downright cheesy. Want to know a secret, though?
This hairy-armpit-having, authority questioning, vagina revering, Sylvia Plath reading feminist loves Valentine’s Day.
I can’t help myself, I’ve always had a thing for it. From decorating my own pink and red cardboard mailbox in grade school, to the first time I ever received an anonymous carnation- it tickles my love for all things pink and covered in lace. Even years where I didn’t have a crush to call my own growing up, my mother would talk to me about loving others and yourself. “You’re always my Valentine,” she said.
Of course, It’s still important that we examine how our society celebrates Valentine’s Day and all the issues that go along with it. Healthy relationships are a constant celebration of love through respect and kindness. Our Valentine’s Day is about love expressed through expensive gifts and mass-produced novelties. Like I said earlier, non-hetero couples are severely (if not all together left out) of the equation. So how can you still celebrate without compromising your feminist values?
Celebrate V-Day! It’s a global activist movement with the intention to put an end to all violence against females, and chances are there’s an event going on somewhere near you. I saw the Vagina Monologues last night at my University, and like always I cried, laughed, and felt such pride to be a woman. If you’ve never gone to a showing you either A. Have a vagina, B. Want a vagina, or C. Love vaginas, do yourself a favor and go.
Don’t only celebrate romantic love! Like my mother always said, Valentine’s Day isn’t just about romance. It’s about all love and the power it has- friendship, family, romance, AND self love. So tell your loved ones you care with a thoughtful gift (either handmade or local) or message. Send some time getting down and loving you! She Bop is a rad, feminist online sex toy boutique, why not spoil yourself?
Watch a feminist Valentine’s Day movie! Obvious Child with the wonderful Jenny Slate is a must-see. It’s about a female comic(a profession so often mocked and put down), Donna, who is having a rough time. After her boyfriend dumps her and reveals he’s been cheating, she ends up having a drunken one-night stand which results in a pregnancy (These aren’t even spoilers, this is all on the back of the movie). After a touching conversation with her mother, Donna opts for an abortion which ends up being scheduled on Valentines Day. The movie approaches the topic of abortion realistically and without unnecessary drama or stigma. It’s also funny, super cute and actually romantic, I highly recommend it!
What are your thoughts on Valentine’s Day, any plans? Feel free to pop into the comments and let me know! I’ve included some videos below to get you feeling all warm and fuzzy. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!