Occupy Valentine’s Day

You probably didn’t notice, because like me, you probably don’t care that much, but Valentine’s Day is around the corner. My position on Valentine’s Day has always been pretty mixed–it bothers my cool sensibilities because I think it is corny, but i’m also a little corny and I like celebrating and expressing love and the politics it represents leave a lot to be desired. Being a single lady on the holiday that commemorates heteronormativity in it’s purest form, has not always been easy. It’s hard to feel OK about a holiday that is so limiting in it’s purview of the appropriate and authentic ways to express love.

So this year in an effort to push the bounds of that exclusivity that so many of us feel on Valentine’s day, I wanted to think about the ways we can rethink love and romance to resemble who we are, as singles, couples and community. Celebrating love is a beautiful thing but shouldn’t depend on if we are in a relationship or not, our sexual orientation, our class background, our citizenship status or our marital status.

So I created a tumblr called Occupy Valentine’s Day to collect our re-imaginings of love.

Here are some suggestions from the tumblr’s about section for ways you can OVD. You could…

  • Blog about how traditional ideas of romance perpetuate gender inequalities and hurt people of all genders
  • Share statistics about the growing majority of singles
  • Raise awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault like others have
  • Not be that douche-y couple on Valentine’s Day—maybe hang out with your best friends, single and otherwise
  • Shout about the lack of queer visibility in sexual rights politics
  • Have a sexy conversation by candlelight with your partner about structural inequity
  • Make a commitment to have fulfilling, accountable and loving relationships in all parts of your life
  • Commit to never settling for anyone that is not good enough for you just because you are afraid to spend another Valentine’s Day alone

Occupy is a concept and action that has a tremendous currency right now and reflects the important  protests that continue in cities all across the world. The language of occupying gives us a critical moment to radically re-envision the kind of world we want, romantic and otherwise.

So join us and submit a picture, quote, link, cat pic, whatever and happy Occupying Valentine’s Day!

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The Feministing Five: Charlene Carruthers

For this week’s Feministing Five, we spoke with Charlene Carruthers, the national director of the Black Youth Project 100 and a co-organizer of this past week’s #ReclaimMLK.

After an MLK weekend of actions in support of justice across the country, we were honored to speak with Charlene about her activism, her views on leadership, and her vision for the future.

Suzanna Bobadilla: You’re one of the organizers behind #ReclaimMLK. What does reclaiming Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy mean to you? What has been happening? 

Charlene Carruthers: When I grew up, I remember celebrating MLK Day as a day of community service, talking about peace, talking about this person ...

For this week’s Feministing Five, we spoke with Charlene Carruthers, the national director of the Black Youth Project 100 and a co-organizer of this past week’s #ReclaimMLK.

After ...