How To Have a Feminist Valentine’s Day

Here comes Valentine’s Day! You can celebrate it as a lover, a friend and a feminist.

As a feminist, how about joining a political campaign in honor of Valentine’s Day?  Saint Valentine was arrested for marrying couples against the wishes of Emperor Claudius II, so what better way to honor the day than to continue fighting for the right to marry? Celebrate Freedom to Marry Week, which concludes on Valentine’s Day, by adding your voice to those supporting the freedom to marry or by asking Congress to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. You can also join or organize a marriage license counter action on Valentine’s Day to protest Prop. 8. Be part of a global movement to end violence against women and girls by attending a V-Day event–“The ‘V’ stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina.” You can always send a Planned Parenthood Valentine’s Day e-card to your special someone. February 14 is also National Condom Day, so take part by being safe and using one.

As a lover, don’t wait for your significant other to plan something–take charge! Why not cook a romantic meal together instead of going out for one? Take a couples yoga class and get centered together. A lot of dance clubs–especially salsa or tango ones–offer classes before big-night events, so you can learn or brush-up on skills before breaking them out on Valentine’s Eve to impress your honey on the dance floor.

And if you just want to snuggle with your sweetie on the couch, might I recommend my favorite romantic comedies? I suggest Kissing Jessica Stein, Imagine Me & You, Ira & Abby, Saved!, The Birdcage, Pretty in Pink, But I’m a Cheerleader, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Stardust and of course Annie Hall for big laughs and swoons.

If you’re single on Valentine’s Day, don’t sweat it. Celebrate yourself, because self-love matters, too. As RuPaul says, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?” I say just because Valentine’s Day is about love doesn’t mean it has to be about romantic love only. Buy a box of valentines at the drugstore (the more child-like in theme the better, as far as I’m concerned) and hand them out to all your friends like you did in third grade. Better yet, hand-make some valentines for those closest to you. Send some flowers to your mom or your sister or your best friend. Invite all your friends over for dinner. Don’t just save your love for your partner; tell everyone you love how much they mean to you.

Image by brooklyn under Creative Commons 3.0


Dahlia Grossman-Heinze is a feminist, an avid viewer of every Real Housewives series and very into Britney Spears.