For feminists, Valentine's Day can be one of the most fun but most frustrating holidays of the year. It's a great chance to show the people in your life how much you care about them, but it can also be overrun by misogynistic, heteronormative, and transphobic messaging. Here are seven feminist Valentine's Day memes you can share without perpetuating any of the negative connotations of the event.
Like many holidays, Valentine's Day has a super anti-feminist history. Before it was merged with the patron saint's day of celebration, Feb. 13 through 15 was a pagan ritual called Lupercalia dating back to the early days of the Roman Empire. According to NPR, men would sacrifice a goat and a dog, then beat women with the skins of the animals they had just killed. Not exactly candy hearts and cartoon cards.
Things have gotten a lot better for women since those days (though incidences of domestic violence against women tend to spike around V-Day.) Yet it's still important to closely monitor the holiday through a feminist lens. Reclaiming the spirit of the holiday, the appreciation of love in all its forms, is a step forward in making non-traditional relationships societally valid and respected, so share these seven feminist memes to change perceptions about what Valentine's Day means.