Valentine's Day. Whether you're with someone or not, the holiday can be difficult to really enjoy. You're either dressing up to eat at a restaurant with an overpriced "specialty" menu, or you're disappointed in the date your partner has planned for you and end up crying into a discounted box of chocolates on Feb. 15. OK, it's not always that bad. Sometimes V-Day is really great, but if you know how to make Valentine's Day a feminist holiday, you can get even more pumped about your potential chocolate overdose.
The holiday isn't exactly known for being one that celebrates being a woman. Instead, it's considered a holiday for love and focuses more on what your SO should buy you as a gift, what lingerie you should wear, and which sexual activities you'll enjoy later. You're expected to be decked out in red and pink, to cut pancakes into heart shapes, and to basically have googly heart eyes all day long as you gush over your SO.
Who says you have to sit around all day waiting for your partner to surprise you with a box of chocolates you could've bought yourself? Who says if you're single you have to be moping and watching You've Got Mail on repeat as you hate yourself? Who says you have to give a coupon for blow jobs just because it's Valentine's Day? Girl, it's time to turn Valentine's Day into your own feminist holiday.
1. Celebrate The Love You Have For Your Girlfriends
The holiday may normally be a nod to your relationship with your significant other, but girl power is worth celebrating with love, too. Whether you're with someone or not, use Valentine's Day as a holiday to share how much you love and appreciate your best gal pals. Go on a date with your squad, have everyone over for wine and cheese, or simply share a box of chocolates while you sit on the couch together.
2. Be Kind To Yourself
How can you be supportive and kind to other women and the world if you're not going to be kind to yourself? Take a bubble bath, go enjoy your favorite hobby, stop calling yourself names because you're single — love yourself. Everyone puts a lot of their self-worth and validation on the shoulders of their partners during Valentine's Day, but you don't need to do that. The Feminist Wire noted that self-love is healing, so make sure you have plenty of it for your feminist Valentine's Day.
3. Donate To A Women's Shelter
Take all that money you would spend on a new dress or overpriced dinner and donate to a women's shelter. There are plenty of lists out there about things that women's shelters need, so go shopping for something other than heart-shaped cookie cutters or pink skirts.
4. Plan Your Own Day
You know what's feminist? Doing whatever the hell you want. Whether your SO is into the holiday or not, don't feel like you have to sit around waiting for them to plan some kind of celebration. You can plan your own day if you want. Pick something to eat (doesn't have to include candlelight), pick your own clothes to wear (like your flannel pajamas), and find your own activity (like marathoning Netflix instead of sex).
5. Read 'The Vagina Monologues'
Sex may be a hot topic for Valentine's Day, but focus more on your own vagina to celebrate the holiday. The Vagina Monologues is the ultimate nod to the female body, to inclusion, and to feminism — read on V-Day to make yourself fall even more in love with your own body.
6. Make Feminist Valentines
None of this "I would be nothing without you" crap. Make some feminist Valentines and send them to friends, family, or leave them in places like the local library or grocery store so someone having a bad day can find one and be reminded how amazing they are. Way better than any overpriced Hallmark card.
7. Eat Whatever You Want Without A Self-Deprecating Comment
Seriously. No comments about how you have to starve yourself all day so you can eat a giant steak at dinner or that your diet starts once all the chocolate in the house is gone. Just eat what you want, without a self-deprecating comment, and you've already turned V-Day into a feminist holiday.
8. Belt Feminist Anthems Instead Of Love Songs
My BFF has a "boom boom" playlist specifically filled with sexy songs all about love and relationships. Even if you have a partner on V-Day, give that set of songs a rest and create a playlist of power anthems. Spice Girls, Whitney Houston, Pat Benatar — fill the list with your favorite feminist anthems so you can really rock some girl power.
9. Buy Your Own Lingerie Or Loungewear
While I think it's incredibly sweet if your partner buys you some sexy lingerie or pajamas for your night together, I think it can also be incredibly empowering if you pick out your own sets based off of what you like. Don't make the outfit to be something for your SO to rip off of you. Instead, imagine what makes you feel good and awesome, and then buy it. Even if it's an over-sized t-shirt with boxer shorts.
10. Don't Have Sex If You Don't Want To
Seriously, there is no requirement to have sex on V-Day. No matter how great your night is with your partner, you don't have to have sex if you don't want to. Remember that.
11. Be Responsible For Your Own Happiness
And finally, if you want to do something fun on Valentine's Day, do it. You don't have to sit around and wait for someone else to plan something. Be responsible for your own happiness on V-Day and you'll be feminist AF.