So. It’s almost here.
If you’re single, you’re VERY aware of this fact, amirite? #SinglesAwarenessDay
I hear lots of hate about Valentine’s Day this time of year: “It’s anti-feminist because it’s all about the men pleasing the women. All the commercials are about buying the woman chocolate and roses and diamonds, after all.” Or, “It’s stupid to celebrate your love one this one commercial day a year. It’s consumerism taking over once again.” Blah blah blah.
Okay, sure. Maybe it is. But so is Christmas. So is Halloween. So is St. Patrick’s Day. All of those things tap into consumerism, and when we’re talking about gift-giving, we ALWAYS see stereotypes and heteronormativity and sexism — sexism against men and women.
If you’ve read much of this blog, you know I’m a pretty big feminist. I believe in gender equality and I believe in it with all my heart. But Valentine’s Day isn’t anti-feminist or misogynistic unless you treat it that way. Maybe there’s a history with Valentine’s Day because back in the day when it was way more socially acceptable, it was more about women being on the receiving end of the gifts in heterosexual relationships because the men were pursuing them, and apparently buying gifts would make a woman fall in love. Maybe it was because men felt that they had to “keep the women happy,” and maybe not. But it’s not inherently terrible — the same way that Christmas is all about family, Valentine’s Day is focused on appreciating your partner, or partners. We don’t have to stick with the old ways of showing affection. I mean, dating used to be all about men “chasing” women — that doesn’t mean nobody is dating anymore! Instead, the “conventions” of dating are changing.
If you treat V-Day as the ONLY day you give your significant other something special, or the ONLY day you show appreciation for them (because money and things don’t buy happiness!) then maybe you need to rethink things. But if it’s just a day to do something nice with your loved one, whether it’s going out for dinner or setting that day aside to hang out at home, what’s wrong with that?
How is that anti-feminist?
Valentine’s Day is about showing appreciation of and celebrating your loved one (or loved ones), plain and simple. (It’s also Singles Appreciation Day, which is great too, obviously. #foreveralone #selflove) There’s really no need to get into gendered stereotypes or gender roles here if that’s all it’s about. Yes, nowadays our ads are all “make her smile…” “get her the diamond of her dreams…” and you never hear ads about what a woman could get a man, a man could get a man, or even what a woman could get a woman. And yes, that’s shitty. But it doesn’t need to ruin the holiday. I mean, those ads are kind of stupid anyway — who honestly buys diamonds every year?!
In the end, it’s totally your choice to participate, and I won’t judge. Just don’t tell me it’s because you’re a feminist and you hate how anti-feminist Valentine’s Day is.
My plan is to see Deadpool and eat pizza. V-Day is just an excuse to go out. G and I decided months ago that since it’s coming around Valentine’s Day, that would be our date. And if it wasn’t Valentine’s Day… I mean, we’d be going to do that anyway. But this just gives us a day where we can tell everyone else to leave us alone — it’s the only day where we’re not being judged for taking time for us. Thank freaking goodness!
Do you think Valentine’s Day is anti-feminist? What are you plans for this year’s V-Day?