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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Opinion

Staff Editorial: Do away with Valentine’s Day


Thomas Dwyer/The Cougar

Some holidays are celebrations. Some are for spending time with friends and family. Some are to honor those who have served, died, or both. There’s only one that focuses strictly on lovers:  Valentine’s Day.

February 14 stands alone as a de facto national holiday. Candy, cards and flowers abound at many establishments aiming to boost business. Their sole purpose is to make you buy things that you will give as valentines to your significant other. 

The Roman concept of Valentine’s Day was a Christian feast meant to honor the martyred Saint Valentine.

The American concept of Valentine’s Day is a day in which a winged, diaper-wearing baby Cupid covertly shoots his arrow into a man’s backside, forcing him into a trance where his sole motivation becomes to somehow convince an unsuspecting woman whom he views as an object of desire to agree to be his lover.

Aside from being ridiculous, the idea that desire is a one-way street in which men slowly wear down women’s free will until they are forced to accept their advances is absurd in 2018. Gay, lesbian and transgender folks can marry whomever they choose, women can Bumble their way to a match, and men who don’t respect boundaries are increasingly being ostracized from society.

Expecting men to ask women out and make displays of their bravado and wealth is as patriarchal as it gets.

Around the clock, our whole lives are on display. If you value the people in your life, you can tell them that at any time. You can send them a heart-eyed emoji and your face in a pet-themed filter.

Valentine’s Day feels like an archaic souvenir of another time. In the era of #MeToo and increased representation of women in entertainment, politics and business, society is moving into a space of equality and further away from long-outdated gender roles.

We shouldn’t need a holiday to give us the motivation to show our affection for those around us. The true spirit of Valentine’s Day needs to be reshaped to encompass the totality of the amount of time we spend with our friends and partners.

Valentine’s Day is stale, out of place and long ago lost its true meaning.

So this year, skip the midweek dinner, pick out your favorite Netflix show and ask your date to bring the popcorn. Let’s all ditch the overly packaged holiday together.

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