Valentine’s Day is always a point of contention for people. To those in relationships, it is a holiday of romance and love. To the bitter and lonely people in the world, Valentine’s Day should be renamed Single People’s Awareness Day — a holiday concocted by those bastards over at Hallmark.
I’ve always been a fan of Valentine’s Day. I tend to enjoy any holiday that involves people giving me chocolate, and it’s a great excuse to send out fun valentines to all of your friends. This year I’ve selected “Flashy Foil” Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cards –and they are rockin’.
Sadly, despite my Ninja Turtle cards and supply of chocolate, Valentine’s Day has been decidedly less enjoyable since I came to Bucknell. Around here, and on hundreds of other college campuses, Valentine’s Day is contentious for an entirely different reason. Outside the bubble, people argue about whether or not the holiday is romantic or a Hallmark creation. But here, Valentine’s Day has come to mean something completely different: genitalia. And not just any genitalia — vaginas. Vaginas, vaginas, vaginas. Vaginas will “set us free.” They are everywhere around here come February, and it makes me throw up a little bit in my mouth.
Maybe you think Valentine’s Day is just a Hallmark holiday. That’s cool. I think you are missing out on some fun (not to mention a little lovin’), but I understand where you are coming from. But if nothing else, I think we can all agree that it is not “Vagina Day.” Valentine’s Day is no more about vaginas than Christmas is about cars. It just doesn’t make any sense.
So right off the bat, you’ve got to be a little suspicious as to why V-Day would pick Valentine’s Day (which traditionally focuses on the positive aspects of relations between men and women) for their “holiday” to promote awareness of the bad things that happen in a small minority of relationships. It’s as if they want to cast a shadow of doubt on all men — “Watch out on your date tonight, ladies; that gentleman you love is just a ticking time bomb of male violence!” Kinda kills the romantic atmosphere, doesn’t it? So pick a different day, for goodness sakes. There is no reason for campus feminists to ruin a perfectly good holiday (with chocolate!) for the rest of us.
We’ve allowed the campus feminists to turn a romantic holiday into a man-hating rally where people shout vulgar sexual terms in the name of art. Yay, I feel so much more empowered now! V-Day has gained a stronghold on campus because they can easily hide behind their mission — to end violence against women — no matter what ridiculous activities they may engage in. You can’t really be against a mission like that and not go straight to hell. But you can, and should, question their methods.
I really would have loved to be a fly on the wall in the first V-Day meeting. “OK, so we’ve identified our problem — violence against women — now what should we do about it?”
“How about a play?”
“Oh, I was in a play in high school! It was so much fun!”
“What’s the play going to be about?”
“Violence against women?”
“No, that’s too obvious…I’ve got an idea. How about vaginas?”
If a play about vaginas is supposed to stop violence against women, then it’s only a matter of time before the liberals start handing out free popsicles to end global warming. Sure, they are equally ridiculous courses of action, but at least I would get a free popsicle out of the situation.
To be clear, I’m not knocking V-Day’s mission of stopping violence against women. That is a noble cause. Even if the people who run V-Day on a national level are a bit kooky or have sinister intentions, I believe that those involved with V-Day Bucknell are doing so because they think that combating violence against women is a worthwhile cause and that through V-Day they can make an important difference.
They are right on their first premise but dangerously mistaken on the second. Call me crazy, but I can think of about a hundred ways to more effectively and efficiently stop violence against women than by “celebrating Vagina Warriors,” selling vagina-shaped lollipops, and putting on a lewd play about genitalia.
The one good thing V-Day does is donate a large chunk of money to both local and national organizations that help victimized women. But there is a difference between donating money to someone to help a cause and actually doing something about it yourself.
So here’s a little tip for V-Day: if you really want to protect the women of Bucknell from experiencing violence in their lifetime, teach them how to defend themselves. I’m not talking about karate chops or yelling, “No means no!” every week at a CardioKicks class. Why don’t you team up with the Bucknell Rifle Association and teach women how to shoot? After all, the best way to not become a statistic is to be able to protect yourself.
I have a simple plea for Bucknellians: don’t let the radicals hijack Valentine’s Day. Despite what you may hear in the Vagina Monologues, men are not the enemy. Instead of sitting around talking about your genitalia, celebrate Valentine’s Day. Share time with your loved ones, whether it is a date or just hanging out with your best friends. Don’t let the cynics of the world win — it is supposed to be a happy day.
Allison Kasic is a student at Bucknell University.