A dilemma: I’m a feminist. Am I allowed to like the “patriarchal nonsense” that is Valentine’s Day? The answer: I sure as hell am, if I want to.
Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays — I show loved ones that I care, and it’s not for a holiday or because society dictates that I ought to give out chocolates or flowers. It’s just a little reminder day to mark off on my calendar with the added bonus of perfume and chocolate sales.
But it’s extremely important to understand that the mainstream celebration of Valentine’s Day is flawed.
It’s dominated by heterosexual capitalism and was created as a day of mass media marketing. It makes people everywhere — regardless of sex, age, or gender — feel obligated to be with someone. And finally, it can make people feel ugly and worthless, like they do not fit society’s beauty standards.
Valentine’s Day “sadness” is marketed everywhere, mostly because it feels like we’re required to be in a relationship. It’s not hard to see why Valentine’s Day is problematic for many feminists out there.
But that doesn’t mean you should totally hate Valentine’s Day.
What feminism teaches us is that holidays or people are much more than society makes them out to be. We are more than our genitalia, we are more than a picture in a magazine, and we are definitely more than what the media or some holiday tells us we are. A day isn’t just a day because people tell us what it is. It’s what we make of it.
So go out and bring chocolates home to your loved ones, and buy a case (or three) for yourself. Never stop loving the people you care about, and never stop loving yourself. Never stop loving love.
And if you don’t like Valentine’s Day? That’s quite alright. Just don’t bash on other feminists for loving it.
Kaity Gee is a high school junior at The Harker School in San Jose. She is currently multimedia editor of her school paper, The Winged Post. Kaity has won multiple awards for her journalistic works, including CSPA’s Gold Circle award for Broadcast and Graphic Design; Honorable Mention and 2nd place nationally, respectively. She has also been awarded 2nd place in the National Federation of Press Women’s prestigious Feature Category for her piece on eating disorders, 3rd place in Photo Illustration and Graphics.