If you're searching for a way to express your frustration with a holiday that requires you to a) be in a relationship and b) purchase heart-shaped things to prove your commitment to said relationship, you now have a place to go. Meet Occupy Valentine's Day.
Founded by Samhita Mukhopadhyay, author of the very smart Outdated, Occupy Valentine's Day is a Tumblr where users can submit their own critiques of the holiday. Mukhopadhyay explains,
Celebrating love is wonderful and romance can be great too. But we don't need corporations to dictate how we should do it, a mainstream media chastising us for not doing it right or traditional ideas touted over and over by our friends and family. That shit is oppressive and hurts us more than helps.
As an alternative to purchasing the perfect box of candy, she suggests you submit "a video-blog about your worst Valentine's Day date" or "a list about why the latest 'trend story' about how single women will die alone and unhappy is wrong." One user sent in a pic of her and her sister and wrote,
There is something to be said of sisterly love, that relentless, "I've got your back no matter what" kind of love. That "Do you need me to take you to the clinic?" love. My sister, the one in two-toned braids embracing me above, is 10 years my junior. She is a stand-up kid whose passion in life is photography and fighting racist, sexist and homophobic bullying in her high school. She is my sister but I have never known a love like this before. This February, sisterly love will be underrepresented, yet it will be just as valid.
Even those of us who have happy memories of Valentine's Days past (my mom used to put candy hearts next to our breakfast bagels) may well chafe at the holiday's takeover of pretty much the whole first six weeks of the year — truth be told, we started getting Valentine's Day-themed press releases at Jezebel in December. And while there's nothing wrong with setting aside a special day for being extra-nice to someone you love, it's obnoxious that the terms of said niceness, and the identity (and gender) of the someone have been codified to such a degree that the whole holiday can feel like a list of boxes to check. Luckily, if you're sick of checking those boxes, you now have a place to say so.
Occupy Valentine's Day [Official Site]