5 Feminist Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day

Written by Amanda Huettner

I’m going to be honest with you all:  I don’t hate Valentine’s Day.  When there is so much hate and fear and all of those “isms” oppressing the people of the world, an arbitrary day designated to expressing love seems kind of great.

Don’t get me wrong, Valentine’s Day promotes a lot of BS by focusing on heterosexual love and treating coupledom as the goal everyone should aspire to.  But you know what feminists have been excellent at doing throughout history?  Changing things that don’t work for us.

FACE BC’s Valentine’s Day is a celebration of LOVE in all its forms. We celebrate the beauty of queer, asexual, aromantic, poly, single, hetero, platonic and romantic love.

Here are a few ways to #reclaim today and make it a feminist Valentine’s day:

1. ATTEND THE DTES WOMEN’S MEMORIAL MARCH

Remember and honor Canada’s murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG). The march happens every Valentine’s Day in Vancouver, and there are supporting marches in Kamloops, Victoria and other areas across the province.  Allies:  please show your support by allowing those impacted by tragedy to have the floor at this event.  Leave your protest signs at home unless they are in memory of MMIWG.

2. CELEBRATE V-DAY

Consider a gift that gives!  V-Day is a global movement to prevent violence against women and girls (trans and non-binary inclusive).  Started by the revolutionaries that brought us the Vagina Monologues, the work V-Day does across our planet has a profound impact. Check out www.VDAY.org.

3.  RAGE AGAINST THE CAPITALIST VALENTINE’S DAY MACHINE!

One of the things I hate about Valentine’s day is the promotion of “the more you spend, the more you love”.  This just isn’t  true!  Avoiding store bought gifts is an easy way to protest the commodification of love.

My favourite gift from my partner was a drawing of them and my cats on torn pieces of paper (the title image above).  How about a special meal, a foot rub, a crafty knitted, sculpted or drawn gift, or an activity like feeding ducks at the local park or heading up a mountain to play in the snow?  

4.  LOVE YOURSELF!

As we mentioned, Valentine’s Day only celebrates coupledom, but we like to use it as a way to celebrate our greatest love: our damn selves!  Give yourself a gift, make your favourite meal, and treat yourself to a long, candle-lit bath!

One thing we highly recommend is starting the tradition of the annual Valentine’s Day love letter to yourself.  What do you love about your personality?  What are your favourite physical attributes?  What are some things you’ve accomplished or overcome this past year?  

This can be a tough exercise, but it's also one that has a lasting impact.  Writing down and reading (and re-reading when you’re feeling low) internalizes these positive thoughts and can change that little voice inside of your head into your own personal cheerleader.

5.  DO WHATEVER YOU WANT

A powerful form of activism can be as simple as ignoring something’s existence, thus, taking away the power and impact it has on your life.  Don’t like Valentine’s Day?  Then don’t recognize it!  You don’t need a date on a calendar to tell you to give and receive love!

Whatever you decide to do today, FACE BC is sending love your way!