But also, it's cis-gendered and heteronormative. What better way to perpetuate and condone societal definitions of "love", "relationships" and "lifestyles" than going into any store and only finding cards that adhere to the idea of a "heterosexual norm". It hasn't hit mainstream stores yet, but, the only GLBTQ related cards I have seen thus far come from the creative minds on Etsy (obviously not as accessible as Target, although much more supportive of individual artists).And back to these gender-stereotypes...there is some weird dominance surrounding Valentine's cards/greetings, some strange sort of romantic-aggression that I find disconcerting. Maybe I'm looking at too many vintage cards from the '20s where the man-figure in the card persisted, relentlessly, to pursue the woman-figure in the card. Or why is the woman always a tease? It's mysoginistic and demeaning to define a woman's role in comparison to a man's role (to state the obvious) but it even shows through in romantic gestures. By defining women by their relationships to other people is hardly an act of romantic expression. Why isn't the woman showering the man in this heterosexual card with flowers and chocolate and puppies? Pretty sure men like that stuff, as well...I mean, they are human...who doesn't like sugar and cute animals?
I also believe that, with all this focus on out-doing someone romantically or, "since its Valentine's Day we have to do something extra special and loving and we have to be extra nice and caring towards one another more so than we do any other day of the year", we tend to forget that we should show love and gratitude and appreciation 24/7. Not just to our partners, but to the guy on the street, the woman in the library, the elderly neighbor shoveling their snow. Small acts of kindness that occur everyday of the year are much more meaningful than stressing over buying last minute flowers. Love for a stranger, for fellow-humankind is just as strong and necessary. (although I do appreciate that this holiday tries to spread the feeling of love versus that of hate).
And what better way of celebrating a Saint who secretly married people against the law (because HEEELLOOOO love transcends laws and should be allowed to EVERYONE) than going to a Freedom to Marry protest? Let's make Valentine's Day love inclusive to everyone! Where are my Homo-tine cards at?!? Or, celebrate Valentines day by celebrating VDAY. Spread love to your Vagina, treat it well, show som appreciation for yourSELF
I may be cynical when it comes to Valentine's Day, simply because I think we should spread love all year 'round, and I believe that we all forget that or simply do not consider it a necessity, but I'm also hyper-aware of the holiday's faults. Granted every holiday has turned into a commercialized Frankenstein's Monster representing what Dr. Capitalism desires it to represent (getting all Mary Shelley up in here), but not a lot have made me, personally, feel left out and restricted from its celebrations ((when I was a kid I was always afraid my classmates wouldn't give me valentines because I never had any friends and I was the weird kid and I thought that if I didn't get one of those Walgreen's VDAY card packs I wasn't loved/liked. And now as a grown-up, still weird, with slightly more friends and in a pretty great relationship, I still feel left out, because of my sexuality, because I am constantly told (even if it's not so blatant) that my lifestyle is unacceptable) More than Valentine's (is it just me? am I imagining things, or do y'all simply adore this holiday?). The idealized notion of love should include everybody because, in reality, EVERYBODY feels love, at least some emotion close to it. Granted, I love getting chocolate and flowers from my mom and I WILL bake heart-shaped cookies for my friends BECAUSE I feel like Valentines day should encompass every sort of relationship that a human-being can have, not solely romantic/physical ones. I love all my friends, all my family members. Whether you be Gay, Straight, Bisexual, Lesbian, Transgendered, Queer, Black, Brown, White, any and all genders, any and all colors from the spectrum, a unicorn or a sloth...I love you all the same...365 days a year.