Well, I sure do hope that everyone has a good Sugar and Flower Companies Shoot Feminism in the Kneecap Day!
“Now, wait a minute!” our friend Strawman McDunderhead might be saying as they read this. “How does Valentine’s Day have anything to do with feminism? It’s just a lovely day for partners to buy things for each other.”
Well, no it isn’t.
Now, I am willing to entertain the notion that there are many couples in which the men pretend that the Valentine’s hoops they jump through are something they want to do, and enjoy doing. I know that for the women in these relationships, it is important that their men lie about what they enjoy and what they want.
As Tori Amos put it: “she controls the way she makes you crawl.”
Whatever your deal is, that’s your business, but over here in the real world I am in no way obliged to maintain the fantasies of the dysfunctional and delusional.
The entire engine that drives the holiday is “romance.” Not true romance, but the consumer driven retail version. This is capitalism doing what it does: amplifying a basic human or societal impulse with advertising and then exploiting it.
The “romance” here is all about the male partner jumping through hoops set out by his female. He buys her shit solely for the purpose of keeping her happy, and to avoid being tarred and feathered as a “bad” boyfriend or husband by her friends and family.
This is a reinforcement of what ought to be an archaic practice in courtship: the male essentially buying his access to females. In the patriarchal model, the male provides everything: he pays. In the early stages of courtship, the female need only provide her presence and, at a certain stage sexual access.
Valentines Day, as it is pitched, sold, and policed through our societal norms and expectations does nothing but reinforce that pattern. Men buy the shit and women consume it. There is no reciprocity beyond the assumption of a guaranteed lay.
So, if a woman says they are truly a feminist, and at the same time care about what their man buys for them on this bullshit, made-up holiday, they are full of shit.