Valentine’s Day tends to get on people’s nerves. Singles are excluded by default, and many couples don’t enjoy their romancecorporatized, redwashed or chocolatey. Thankfully, there’s an antidote: a new Tumblr started by feminist writer Samhita Mukhopadhyay called Occupy Valentine’s Day. The site urges us to look past the corny, manufactured traditions of the holiday in favor of a more authentic love—with our partners, our friends, our children, our pets, even (especially) ourselves.
Sure, there are some curmudgeonly entries; one post features a stick figure holding up Cupid at gunpoint. But the lion’s share of the posts are little celebrations of everyday warm fuzzies, ones that flout the dominant image of a picture-perfect straight couple smooching over candlelight and oysters. One contributor’s valentine is her daughter: “Today I’m 29 years old with a five year old. We are going to make cookies and get manicures.” An after-school art teacher doesn’t “get into all the hoopla” but is a “sucker for Valentine’s Day crafts”: “We didn’t have to buy anything, we just made something special with paint and paper,” she writes of her art class. Occupy Valentine’s Day celebrates solid friendships, same-sex love affairs, loyal puppies, and treasured alone time with boxed wine and Netflix. (It also features a Bart Simpson gif, a George W. Bush soundbite, and vintage Sufragette leaflets.)
Other contributors do happen to be celebrating boy-girl relationships, but are redefining love on their own terms: one woman proudly holds up a sign declaring she’s “still not in a relationship on Facebook with my partner of 3 years.” Another couple asks, “Why spend money when you can spend time together?”
Despite its feisty name, Occupy Valentine’s Day isn’t out to destroy February 14th—it’s trying to make it better.
Photo courtesy of Occupy Valentine’s Day.