This year, celebrate the other V-Day
So it's Valentine's Day. For most, the past few days have been filled
with scrambling to make this year's commercial love festival the most memorable
one yet with the acquisition of chocolate, cards, roses, restaurant reservations,
chocolate, massage oils, beauty appointments, wine (sangria or Pinot Grigio
works best) and more chocolate.
I feel sorry for my special someone who has to read this, probably licking
her sultry lips in anticipation for all the chocolate I'll bring home,
when the truth couldn't be further from the aforementioned.
Because despite being romantically involved, I won't be celebrating
Valentine's Day this year. It's not that I don't believe in the virtue
of Cupid and commercialism; I'll be celebrating another similarly named
holiday on the same day.
V-Day was started in 1998 by a collective of feminist thinkers who wanted
to refocus the holiday back on women and strive to bring awareness to the
world about the atrocities women still endure.
Of course, atrocities against women are still committed in this country
every day, and generating awareness through portraying a message of solidarity
with the victims of sexual violence is important in convincing new victims
of the impending necessity to speak out about what has happened to them.
It has been predicted that a lot of such abuses never go reported because
of the victim's fear of retaliation.
V-Day seems like a more sincere holiday to me, whereas Valentine's Day
seems too materialistic and insincere.
Imagine the scene: "Ahh ... here's a giant teddy bear, a dozen roses
and a box of chocolate-coated caramel to prove my love for you ... Now
let's go eat at an expensive restaurant where I can further pressure you
to either a) take advantage of my vulnerable bleeding heart or b) prove
that there is no such thing as a free meal."
This American holiday is saturated with intense amounts of pressure
on both parties involved. For instance, some people are still in relationships
they wouldn't normally still be in because they are waiting to "cash in"
on Valentine's Day.
Also, celebrating a good cause such as promoting the end of violence
toward women is much more rewarding than spending money because society
says you must. And with the recession and all, most of us need a great
excuse not to spend excessively.
One way to celebrate V-Day is to buy tickets to this weekend's performance
of The Vagina Monologues, which will be performed by five UH students
in the Houston Room at 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday nights.
The event is sponsored by the V-Day at UH student organization, which
in the words of its president, Kristen McClintock, is a "sister organization"
of the UH chapter of the National Organization for Women.
Tickets to the event are cheap — only $10 with your student ID if bought
before the show and $17 at the door. The students behind this verbatim
adaptation of Eve Ensler's dramatic event had hoped to donate all the money
to charity, but the greedy hands that be at the University charge a myriad
of fees to rent out the Houston Room for the weekend.
The University will scrape off around $500 worth of "fees" for the use
of the Houston Room, which would have benefited the two charities that
will reap all the proceeds of the event: the Houston Area Women's Center
and the Revolutionary Association for the Women of Afghanistan.