Make no mistake, I love Love. Whether happily single, sadly recovering from a break-up, or delighting in new fields of play, I have never given up on Love
for long. I believe this is healthy, that I am a healthy human, and that we all deserve love.
However, what I absolutely don’t need is a dumb card and cheap chocolates.
Or even a smart card and expensive chocolates.
So if any human out there felt a little blue they had no Valentine, or was let down by an unsatisfactory experience, let me inspire you: why not organize a Galentine’s Day, or a V-Day flash mob?
What are these 2 curious offerings you wonder? My favourite Australian feminist writer Clementine Ford drew me to the first one, when she recently offered a picnic in the park experience for 100 women, bringing gals together. It’s been around for a decade or so, and is about celebrating female sister-like connections; it’s so easy to let friendships slip by when we’re busy with work/kids/household chores/ageing parents etc.
But who else are you gonna call when the chips are down? Not Ghostbusters I hope, but your best sistafriend! So on Galentine’s Day, make a date to eat yummy food, dress up, paint your nails perhaps, feed each other chocolates… whatever feels like a celebration to YOU.
And if (like me), you are becoming a feisty older lady, my second suggestion may suit you as well: to produce or participate in a flashmob dance protest about ongoing global violence against women and children, under the banner of One Billion Rising.
“One Billion Rising is a global campaign, founded by Eve Ensler, to end rape and sexual violence against women. It was started in 2012 as part of the V-Day movement. The “billion” refers to the UN statistic that one in three women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime…”
I am one of the organizing commitee that puts it on every year, and it’s an empowering experience for all who attend. We wear red; meet at dawn at the most Easterly point of the Australian mainland, where the sun’s rays hit first; then dance in solidarity with women all around the world who demand and deserve freedom from oppression and aggression.
Men are welcome too of course, but on the sidelines: let us take up space. I am a lucky, liberated, fully empowered woman, with no history of sexual or physical abuse, but a lot of women aren’t, and it’s important that survivors of abuse be seen and heard. After a rousing speech and two tries at the dance routine (where it doesn’t actually matter if you know the steps or not- I seem to fudge it ok every year), we strip and dive into the ocean.
Now that’s a beautiful experience to share.
The DJ keeps playing while we swim (the ocean was so warm this year), and then we keep dancing (albeit salty and damp) until 8.30 or so: it’s the best way I’ve found to celebrate February 14.
So there are my two best alternatives for the insipid Hallmark construction that is Valentine’s Day. If you do Feb 14 romantic celebrations with authenticity and loving care, I’m delighted for you. But please do NOT struggle with it if you are single, as though you’ve ‘failed’ somehow, or are missing out… simply create your own pleasure, your own ritual, and truly Be the free daughter of those witches who were burnt so long ago!
With gratitude for behaving disgracefully, & my sistas all around the world, including YOU, my blogging buddies, love G xO