Saturday, February 14, 2009

Celebrating a feminist Valentine's Day  

I'm not the biggest fan of Valentine's Day. I find it to be a "holiday" made up by the greeting card industry as a ploy to sell heteronormative "I love you" cards to sappy couples who believe that it's necessary to have one special day to share love with each other, when in reality, that should be done every day.

That being said, I don't fault you if you celebrate it, because even I planned a fancy dinner with my sweetie for V-Day.

But. Let's do more today than stuff our faces with chocolate (although, mmm, that does sound good) and don our red/pink apparel. I'm on board with all feminists who want to take back Valentine's Day, and transform it into V-Day. I suppose it was Eve Ensler who came up with the idea as a way to raise awareness about violence against women, while promoting the Vagina Monologues. I'm fine with that. I think that having V-Day as a day to celebrate our vaginas, while being conscious of those women who are treated as if their bodies don't belong to them, is a wonderful idea.

Today, I encourage self-exploration. Seriously. If you're a woman, and you haven't squatted down over a mirror to examine what's down there, take time today to do so. Read up on how to perform one, and do a self-exam as a way to better familiarize yourself with your body - you can also use it as a way to ensure that everything's healthy down there.

Additionally, visit the official V-Day website. Find performances of the Vagina Monologues near you, get involved if there's still time, or simply attend a performance and offer support and loose change to help stop violence against women. This year, Eve Ensler has chosen to spotlight women in the Congo. I can't think of a better cause.

Also, February 14th has become National Condom Awareness Day. As a day of "love," safe sex is certainly important.

Here's something fun from Planned Parenthood: send Obama a valentine.

There's plenty of ways to have a feminist V-Day. If you have a sweetie, there's nothing wrong with giving her/him a little extra love today. Just make time for yourself. Be kind to your vagina or your partner's vagina, put on comfy pajamas, watch a feminist movie, and take a few minutes to do something to fight violence against women, even if it's just reading a little bit about the Congo and better educating yourself. If we have to celebrate Valentine's Day, let's at least use it for something other than buying overpriced stuffed bears and eating those horribly disgusting sweet hearts.

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2 comments: to “ Celebrating a feminist Valentine's Day

  • February 17, 2009 at 11:55 PM  

    I really like this post. I didn't know that Feb 14th is National Condom Awareness day but it did make me wanna share this story:

    Two years ago on Valentine's day when the relationship between my first boyfriend and I was blossoming, our dorms gave out bags of candy and condoms. We were childish about it at first, we were only 17. However, we did end up using those condoms. At that point it wasn't a question of whether we'd use them or not, they were literally handed to us so it seemed pretty obvious that we should make use of them.

    The dorms never gave out condoms after that year, I think because there was a new woman in charge who seemed too conservative for that. But I must honestly say that the fact that they were provided to us for free tripled the likelihood that we used them the first time. After that, I didn't feel embarrassed shopping for them and thankfully my boyfriend at the time was educated enough to know how to use one.

    People don't understand that sex is going to happen either way. I prevented pregnancy and disease however, because the dorms facilitated it and encouraged it. This is exactly why I'm so for proper sex education and an advocate of free birth control. It's a great thing, especially for women, if we don't have to pay for it and don't feel ashamed for seeking it out.

  • February 5, 2011 at 6:25 PM  

    I don't do Valentine's day because I've always found it too consumerist and silly for my taste. Still, I love this post, and I also loved Cathy's comment, especially about how sex will happen either way. Definitely, which is why we need sex ed, so people can have sex without worries.