Whether you are looking forward to Valentine's Day or dreading it completely, it's that time of the year again. With Feb. 14 on the horizon, it's time to start planning feminist ways to celebrate Valentine's Day. Aside from covering everything in chocolate, obviously. Count me in!
First, let's establish one thing. Feminism isn't about boycotting relationships, love, and adoration for another person. It's not about being single or scoffing at the thought of getting involved with someone. Instead, it's about being a badass, independent woman whether you're single or in a relationship. It's about valuing yourself as a person instead of depending on someone else to "complete" you. A feminist in a relationship aims to grow alongside a partner, expecting equal love and respect from both ends.
With that said, you can celebrate a feminist Valentine's Day regardless of your plans. It all comes down to exercising self-love instead of falling into the silly expectations of the holiday. Use this opportunity to work on honing your pride as a woman. This can be anything from speaking your mind to spending time with your girl gang. There are so many possibilities.
Need some inspiration? Start off with this list of nine ideas. Happy Valentine's Day!
1. Dress up however you want
Whether you're meeting with a significant other or the delivery guy, dress however you please on Valentine's Day. Wear a face full of makeup. Wear no makeup. Slip into a sexy dress, a pair of sweatpants, or yesterday's outfit. You have the choice to rock whatever you'd like on that body of yours.
2. Take turns
Society expects different things from men and women — especially on Valentine's Day. Feminism focuses on bringing that all on the same page.
Do you have a date this Valentine's Day? Instead of expecting a room full of rose petals, aim for equal effort in showing love and affection. Obviously, this will require open communication with the other person. Use your best judgement to try and meet them in the middle. For example, offer to split the dinner check, or alternate paying for rounds of drinks.
3. Embrace your period
If you get regular visits from Aunt Flo, savor it. She may be a pain to deal with, but she's also a significant aspect of your womanhood.
Think about it: Every month, our bodies do something pretty darn amazing. When it happens, it means our bodies are healthy and well enough to reproduce. It's definitely something to be grateful for.
So, on Valentine's Day, show your uterus a little love by not hating your last/current/upcoming period.
4. Hang with your girl gang
Nothing says feminism like honing your relationship with other awesome women. Make some time for some serious lady dates on V-Day — no significant others invited! Just you and the girls. That's it.
If everyone has plans, choose another day before or after the 14th. After all, it's so important to give your BFFs the love that they deserve.
5. Treat yourself
As an independent, capable woman, you are totally allowed to shower yourself with love on or around Valentine's Day. Treat yourself to a massage, new haircut, or manicure. Take a luxurious bath with your favorite wine. You can even do all of the above. Whatever it is, choose something that will help you relax and de-stress. If there's anything worth dishing out the dough for, it's self-love and self-care.
6. Do what you love
Think about the one thing that fuels your passion and energy. Whatever that is, do it on Valentine's Day.
Obviously, you can do this on any day. Every single day, if you'd like. However, doing it on Valentine's Day is something special. It's a feminist move because you are investing in your passion instead of pining over the holiday's cookie cutter expectations.
Like everything else on this list, doing what you love is something you can do whether or not you have Valentine's Day plans. Remember, there is always room to focus on your dreams and goals. Work for whatchu want, girl.
7. Admit you've been wrong
Whether or not we want to admit it, we have all made mistakes and incorrect assumptions. We've all jumped to conclusions or poorly judged something. This Valentine's Day, make it a point to admit that you were wrong during that one situation... whatever that may be.
So, who are you admitting this to, anyway? This totally depends on whatever situation you were (or are) in. Maybe it's to a friend or family member. Maybe it's to a significant other or even yourself. Whoever it is, take this Valentine's Day to apologize. It's the best way to show some real, genuine love.
This is a feminist move because you are respecting yourself and the other person. Holding yourself accountable for something doubles as acknowledging that you are human. A strong female human, at that.
8. Read a feminist book
One of the best ways to back the feminism movement is to learn more about it. This Valentine's Day, skip the sappy commercial love stories and start a new feminist book. Not only is reading excellent for your brain and imagination, but you'll feed the feminist fire within.
Fortunately, Emma Watson's feminist book club just kicked off. Talk about perfect timing! I seriously love how she is using her role in the media to inspire young women. In her club, Emma will open up the door for discussion by posting questions and quotes from each book.
9. Make a feminist craft project
Unleash your inner Martha, and take on a feminist-friendly DIY. This can be anything from t-shirts, jewelry, or embellishing a notebook. Your best bet is to think simple; you don't have to be Martha herself! A quick Pinterest search can lead you to so many easy project ideas.
Not sure where to start? Paint a pink equal sign on anything and everything. Spell out a feminist phrase with iron-on letters on a sweatshirt. Stencils and fabric paint work just as great, too.
For more ideas, check out Bustle on YouTube.