There’s a way to promote female empowerment without putting down kind gestures from men.

Dove Chocolate launched a new ad campaign ahead of Valentine’s Day featuring a woman buying her own Dove chocolates with the message that, “Every time a woman buys her own chocolate on Valentine’s Day, she sets a teddy bear free to follow its heart.” The #SetTeddyFree ad ends with a teddy bear playing a piano. 
This ad series includes a commercial showing three men buying flowers and raving about what turns out to be the same woman. They look like fools.
The campaign has garnered plenty of fans, including this one: 

As someone who has cringed at the Vermont Teddy Bear ads, I understand wanting to end the tradition of men buying grown women teddy bears. I also buy my own chocolates regularly. But by connecting this ad to Valentine’s Day, it unnecessarily steps into cultural commentary, sending the message that women shouldn’t want men to buy them chocolates and show appreciation on Valentine’s Day.

We live at a time when traditions are being broken about the role of women and men in society. One tradition that shouldn’t be broken is men and women treating each other with respect. And one way men have traditionally demonstrated appreciation, affection, and respect is by buying overpriced flowers and chocolates on Valentine’s Day.

Dove isn’t alone in trying to change Valentine’s Day. Teen Vogue ran an article headlined, " Why Unwanted Valentine’s Day Gifts Are Not Romantic," painting Valentine’s Day as a holiday that threatens women, listing out horror stories, such as, “When my ex and I broke up right after Valentine's Day, he still drove over with the cake he made me and I had to pretend enjoy eating it with him.”

While there certainly are inappropriate Valentine’s Day gifts, women gain nothing by ending the Valentine’s Day tradition altogether. It is not somehow empowering for men to stop buying women chocolates. Women’s empowerment won’t be advanced by ending traditional signs of respect between women and men.

So ladies, on Valentine’s Day and every day, appreciate the good men in your life who do nice things for you.