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How to be woke AF this Valentine’s Day in a #metoo world

How do you approach Valentine's Day?

by: Julie Donald | 14 Feb 2019
happy black girl in blue

I started this article writing YET another drab article about what to eat this Valentine’s Day and I realised just what a lot of malarkey this holiday is.  

Before I start this rant, let me clarify my own position, I am a happily-married, 40-ish-year-old white woman with 3 kids (including toddler twins) so I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in at least 3 years. (This almost certainly makes me extra-snarky).  

My hubby and I flop exhausted onto our sofa at night with a bottle of wine, thinking about “sparking joy”.  Netflix and chill or Netflix and chill.  I will leave that to your imagination. 

The only difference between Valentine’s Day and any other day is that we usually throw in a family-sized pack of Lindt balls on Valentine’s Day.  So… bafflingly, we are probably not the target market for the innumerable “happy couple ads” despite being a happy couple.

These ads, personified by a doozy that a local retailer pulled from their stores (in case you missed it) are narrowly aimed at hetero-normative, stereotyped couples. And what exactly are they trying to sell us?  

I find it faintly concerning that we need large retailers to remind us to tell our nearest and dearest that we love them (with overpriced flowers and chocolates in a narrow range of colours).  It strikes me that a lot of stereotypical “wooing” behaviour might accidentally be construed as “stalking” in 2019.  

Some examples…

1. “Let me send you a symbol of my obsession with you, in secret” (tres stalker).

2. “I really like you and now I am guilt tripping you into going out with me because I bought chocolates”  (controlling gas-lighter).

3. “If I buy you a fancy dinner I can own you for a night” (I see you as human chattel).

4. “Let me throw in some sexy attire so I can objectify you” (because you are only here for my viewing pleasure). 

Now I don’t want to be the party pooper feminist (I get a fair bit of flak for being a little TOO PC).  But for those wanting to change the world in small ways join me this Valentine’s Day in smashing the patriarchy and celebrating love in a really happy inclusive way this 2019.

- Make yourself an un-Valentine’s cake and celebrate that special relationship you have with yourself (and your internal organs).

- Boys are whatever but cats are forever.  For those that would really rather be snuggling their pets this Thursday evening.

- Make a rainbow smoothie bowl and invite all your friends for brunch, no matter who they do (or don’t) love.

- Let your special someone know that you enthusiastically consent but not in a creepy way.

- Include your kids (if you have them) and show them that love is all around by baking cookies for a good cause.  

- Skip the “aphrodisiac” foods (It seems to me 90% are only so named because they loosely resemble a proud male member or a faintly risqué version of the female form) and just eat really delicious food that you love.  Because… well… choice.

- Instead of flowers this year, consider a lovely edible plant.  

- Celebrate your curves with a boudoir/dudoir shoot or up the game with a milk bath selfie (because I am trying to keep this peripherally about food).

- Tell everyone that this year, they don’t need to be yours, they need to be themselves.

- And if all else fails just eat the family-sized box of chocolates. Alone, in the dark, while they sleep.

ALSO READ: Why I don't go out on Valentine's Day

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