If you’re exhausted by Valentine’s Day and the need to celebrate heteronormative relationships, retailers get it and will now sell you the same stuff, updated with man-hating messaging.
Party City, Hallmark, Walmart, and other stores have been stocking up on Galentine’s Day merch, according to the Wall Street Journal, in an attempt to sell the same shit (cards, party decorations, etc.) in vaguely feminist packaging. The end goal is of course to bring in more money:
NPD retail analyst Marshal Cohen, who says younger consumers associate Valentine’s with their parents, estimates the Galentine’s phenomenon could raise Valentine’s Day revenues by as much as 20% in the next three years.
Galentine’s Day paraphernalia boldly imagines a world without men, and seems to center instead around drinking a lot with other women:
Galentine’s, by contrast, is “about celebrating friendships and each other,” says 26-year-old Kathleen Burns, who’s hosting a “Galen-Tiki” party Feb. 10 featuring pineapple upside-down pancakes and rum drinks with umbrellas. “It’s not about relationships and love,” says the residence hall director at New York’s Columbia University.
The alcohol connection is actually a weirdly important part of it—in imagining what exhausted, potentially single, or not-straight women want instead of a day of roses and chocolates, retailers came up with binge-drinking?
[Walmart] began selling items such as cards and balloons saying “girl gang” and “fries before guys” two years ago, geared toward teens and tweens. But research showed the concept appealed more to adult women, so the company shifted to products such as wine glasses that read “wine is my valentine” and flasks that say “ex-boyfriend tears”—and started referring specifically to Galentine’s Day, as the phrase gained traction on social media and elsewhere.
Galentine’s Day is just another way, the Journal notes (and then does not expand upon), that brands are trying to figure out what to sell women in light of the MeToo movement. Feminists!! So vexing. I look forward to seeing what else they’ll try next.