Hype around Valentine’s Day — what to wear, where to go, gifts to give — has just begun. If there’s no valentine in your life right now, you may be sick of the buzz already. Don’t get mad, get a plan.
Best option: Focus on someone other than yourself. February 14 is also V-Day, a global day of activism to end violence against women and girls. Launched 15 years ago by playwright Eve Ensler (The Vagina Monologues), the effort involves activists–including women like you– in 160 countries. The website OneBillionRising.com offers all you need to create your own event or find one that’s already planned near you. (John Carroll U., perhaps?)
If you do sign up, what will you have to do on Valentine’s Day? Besides paying attention to premieres of related films and ads, the big clue is in the V-Day slogan: “One in 3 women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. One billion women violated is an atrocity. One billion women dancing is a revolution.” Yep. You’ll need to dance. Shake your moneymaker to remind the world it is, and will forever be, yours, and you want to keep it safe. Ms. Ensler explains,
“One Billion Rising is an appreciation, amplification and an escalation. When One Billion bodies rise and dance on 14 February 2013, we will join in solidarity, purpose and energy and shake the world into a new consciousness. Dancing insists we take up space. It has no set direction but we go there together. It’s dangerous, joyous, sexual, holy, disruptive. It breaks the rules. It can happen anywhere at anytime with anyone and everyone. It’s free. No corporation can control it. It joins us and pushes us to go further. It’s contagious and it spreads quickly. It’s of the body. It’s transcendent.”
Valentine’s Day falls on a Thursday this year, a worknight for most of us. If it’s ‘just another night’ at home alone, you can still support the V-Day campaign by sharing critical data on Facebook and Twitter.
Otherwise, you can always spend the evening hooking up with friends, but do it for laughs, not man-bashing. You’ll probably want to get together at someone’s house, or yours, because every eating establishment from white tablecloths to rib joints will be full of couples. Get your carry-out fare early.
On TV, traditional choices won’t ignore the holiday, especially the sitcoms. Same old tropes: somebody’s really lonely, maybe the guy (Arrested Development, The Office); or the guys have dates but the girls don’t (Friends); or the women get in a catfight (Two & A Half Men); or the guy plans a spectacular date but something goes awry (Big Bang Theory).
Better to head for Redbox or Hulu. Or, OneBillionRising.