A Feminist Valentine

My Valentine’s Day experience is pretty similar year-to- year.
(This is to say that I’ve spent every Valentine’s Day trying to get over the fact that it’s Valentine’s Day.)
I’ve always struggled not to be overly cynical of the entire day; being a feminist has often made accepting cultural messages about sexuality and relationships difficult. Since most of my activism has been directed at changing that landscape, I am glad to be taking steps toward doing that this Valentine’s Day with THE LINE.
THE LINE Campaign is an interactive, media-based campaign to end rape and sexual assault. The purpose of the campaign is to start dialogue through a documentary film of the same name and then continue the discussion, asking activists and survivors everywhere the same question: “where is your line?” We’re hoping to use that model to inspire people everywhere to set and respect boundaries, be open and communicate with their partners, and ask for consent in all kinds of sexual situations.
So this Valentine’s Day, we took the holiday’s old model of and we turned it on its head, producing a short video that expresses what we’re really hoping to get from our partners this year: dialogue and respect, and to be asked. The fundamental vision of THE LINE Campaign is to create a culture where people are comfortable talking about their own sexualities, whether they’re single, hooking up, dating, or married. The longer we delay talking about sex, relationships, and even sexual violence, we continue to repress the sexualities of all people everywhere.
This year, I want people to think about the conversations they could be having over chocolates and flowers.

“Ask Me” from Nancy Schwartzman on Vimeo.

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

Washington, DC

A professional feminist by day and overemotional writer by night, Carmen is currently Communications Coordinator at the Feminist Majority Foundation and the Feminism and Community Editor at Autostraddle. She has spoken at various events including the National Conference on Sexual Assault, Momentum, A-Camp, and the founding SPARK Summit. Carmen has been interviewed and profiled by The New York Times, HerCampus, the Guardian, Campus Progress, Ms., Good Morning America, the CBS Early Show and other print, web, and broadcast media outlets for her work in feminist organizing and online activism. Her successful work for over five years in digital feminism - ranging from Hollaback!'s successful launching Kickstarter campaign to the viral #EducateCoaches petition on Change - has earned her the titles of "digital native," "intimidating to some," and "vapid and uninteresting." Carmen's writing has been featured or spotlighted online by Jezebel, Feministing, Bitch, and Elixher; she is also part of a forthcoming printed anthology about young feminism. In the past, she's blogged for the SPARK Movement, served as a PolicyMic writer, and was Managing Editor of THE LINE Campaign blog.

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