Previous Valentine’s Day Posts
(Alternate title: 14 movies with strong female characters to watch on Valentine’s Day instead of Movies that Portray Women as One-Dimensional, Subject to the Sexual Dominance of Toxic Masculinity, and Lacking Physical/Emotional/Sexual Autonomy.)
Welcome to my third annual Valentine’s Day blog post.
To summarize what I have said in years past, February 14th is a commercialized “holiday” that celebrates the societal pressure of exchanging expensive objects and/or feelings and/or bodily fluids. Basically I think it’s dumb.
I’m not hating on celebrating love here, don’t get me wrong, but I think commercializing love and creating a culture where happiness is based on whether or not you have a significant other is downright ridiculous.
It creates an environment where love and sex are glamourized without being discussed in educational ways.
Valentine’s Day is a great time* to talk to the people you love (and/or random strangers!) about consent, healthy relationships and safe sex. Have discussions about feminism, marriage equality, intersectionality, and LGBTQ+ issues. These are vital when it comes to maintaining the healthy relationships the media keeps telling us we need.
Love and relationships are more diverse than the media lets on, and it is important to bring these discussions to the table with your partners, parents, children, friends (and almost literally everyone else).
With movies like Fifty Shades of Grey hitting theatres on Valentine’s Day, it’s especially important to talk about consent and the difference between a healthy relationship and an unhealthy one. For this movie to be released on Valentine’s Day–the most “romantic” day of the year–it should not go unnoticed that this film (and its sequels) is causing debates about manipulation, abuse, consent, and BDSM.
These are good conversations to have.
Valentine’s Day is also a perfect day to support portrayals of women in media that are actually, you know, awesome.
So instead of spending $50 to see a movie where women are yet again diminished to nothing other than a submissive, vulnerable, materialistic, sexual being, why not watch a movie starring some strong women in the comfort of your own home?
People are perfectly capable of existing without a romantic relationship, in case you thought you were going to crumble into dust because you’re single. No worries. You are not going to crumble.
So as per internet tradition, I’m providing you with some alternate ideas on how to spend your V-Day, whether or not you’re spending it with your partner, your parents, your friends, or your cat.
This year I’m going to throw some movies at you starring badass ladies who don’t need no man.
Or even if they have a man, they are not entirely dependent on him for literal survival.
1. The Hunger Games
Katniss not only faces the physical and psychological challenges of the Games, but also society’s obsession with beauty and romance. She kicks ass (literally and metaphorically), fights perceptions of material beauty, and literally overthrows a government with the help of some very badass female and pro-female characters.
2. Mary Poppins
A business woman who takes no crap from no one, Mary is a sharp-witted realist who don’t need no man and just enjoys their friendship. (Suggested by Cassie.)
3. Little Women
Jo March, her sisters, and Marmee have been my heroes from childhood. Unconventional, independent, and unafraid to defy society, they are all talented, autonomous, and role models to those around them. Ripe with female relationships and highlighting female strength, just watch it. Please. (Suggested by Cassie.)
4. Elizabeth the Golden Age
She’s a warrior. She’s unmarried. She doesn’t need sex, romance, or a man in order to rule as the greatest monarch in British history and kick patriarchy’s ass in the process.
5. The Messenger
How often do we see a woman pull an arrow out of her own chest?
6. The Help
I don’t recall any moments where these women backed down because the patriarchy told them to. Not to mention teaching girls about self-esteem and the value of treating others as equals. (Suggested by Jordan.)
7. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
In which total of three (THREE) female characters are formidable business women who balance sky-high careers with relationships, family, marriage, and politics. (Admittedly they are all white, heterosexual, and cisgender women…but I mean, it’s a start and still deserves a pat on the back because this is still far too rare a sight in film.)
9. Frozen and/or Brave
Yes I went there. No you cannot see Frozen or Brave too many times. And Elsa, Anna, and Merida make up quite the matriarchy if I do say so myself.
10. Jane Austen movies
Because who doesn’t love sassy, fierce, independent women ahead of their time? (Emma suggested by Sarah.)
11. The Iron Lady.
Because female politicians. (This is on my personal to-see list.)
It’s based on Jane Austen’s Emma who is one of the most badass female characters in classic literature. Sooo. (Suggested by Cassie, Sarah, Jordan. I haven’t actually seen it, yet. If this many different people suggested it…the people have spoken. Also read this article).
13. The Color Purple
“It’s a movie with such strong female characters and how strong they freaking are. The support they give each other defines the way women should treat each other.” * *
14. Thelma and Louise
“So many feminist overtones. It re-scripts typical gender roles of society and it’s in general a great film about strong and capable women, and the struggles they face.” * *
*It’s always a good time to talk about these issues!
**Jordan kindly offered these brief descriptions since for some reason I have yet to see Thelma and Louise or The Color Purple and I feel like these are important to include.
I only posted 14 movies…well, because Valentine’s Day is the 14th. I know there are more movies out there, so leave them in the comments below or tweet them to me @LibbySometimes!
2014’s V-Day Post: 28 Things to do on Valentine’s Day (Illustrated with Harry Potter Gifs)
I admit, it can be cute, and I love individual aspects of Valentine’s Day.
Chocolate, for one. And roses. And love. Those are all nice things.
**warning: next paragraphs are over-exaggerated, melodramatic, and full of gifs**
Buuut, it’s basically a holiday that boosts the greeting card industry, lingerie sales, risk of diabetes, attendance at bad romantic comedy films starring Taylor Swift, and stress (which in extreme cases over time can cause health problems and even death).
We single ladies/men are expected to moan about being alone, sitting at home eating ice cream from a container and watching The Notebook in our pajamas. We single ladies/men are expected to be unhappy.
See this BuzzFeed post. While it’s funny, it’s sarcastic implications are concerning.
I’m not going to dwell on this, because of course everyone knows Valentine’s Day is a great time to be single. While all your attached friends are out having awkward dinners and forgetting to take their birth control, you can do WHATEVER YOU WANT. It’s like Christmas, but without the loud relatives and Michael Bublé music blasting from every radio station.
Here are some suggestions for how you can spend your Valentine’s Day, if you’re single or not.
1. You can go out.
Alone or with friends. Or with the Dark Lord. Source here.
2. You can stay in.
…we probably have similar definitions of staying in. You know, pajamas, friends, etc. Source here.
3. Chocolate. I mean, it’ll be on sale tomorrow so you could wait. But you probably shouldn’t.
Filch it. Filch them all. Source here.
4. You don’t have to shave your legs. (You don’t have to shave your legs, ever.)
Even Snape is happy about this. No more Venus razors for me, suckers. Source here.
5. Watch endless episodes of Simon’s Cat.
This is why they invented internet, for ancient Egyptian cat worship. Source here.
6. Dance to your playlists from highschool in your underwear.
Pretty sure I have the Lovegood dancing gene. Just let loose, man. Dance. Source here.
7. Invite your other single ladies/men over and play board games — because playing board games with your friends is highly underrated.
I’m no chess wiz. I’m more of a checkers type girl. Source here.
8. You can do nothing. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to exist. You can go about your life as usual and ignore consumerist attempts to get you to buy heart-shaped pillows that match absolutely nothing in your house.
Harry is talking the talk. Source here.
9. Buy your cat another bag of Temptations (because I’m sure you already have at least one bag).
Especially if he eats ears. Give the cat some treats. Source here.
10. Send your mom an embarrassing collage of all the selfies you’ve taken together.
No source necessary. We all know where this came from.
11. Rearrange your Harry Potter books.
Because you’re the only one who knows how to do it correctly, and with love. Source here.
12. Send terrible jokes to Facebook friends you don’t really know.
How many wizards does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Source here.
13. Cuddle.With a pillow, a cat, a dog, a friend, your favourite stuffed animal left over from childhood. Cuddle.
Nothing is better than a long hug. I’m sirius about this, guys. Source here.
14. Blast Serena Ryder.
Dumbledore knows what’s up. Source here.
15. Stalk cute people on Twitter even if they live in a different country.
Twitter flirting is the best flirting. @LibbySometimes 😉 Source here.
16. You should probably be nice and share your chocolate with others. Sharing is caring (even if it’s hard).
Bless her heart. I could never do it. Source here.
17. Spend hours on IMDb planning all your trips to the movie theatres for the next year.
Research is important. Source here.
Reminisce about your exes. Laugh at all the poor attached people having to suffer through dates and other assorted pressures.
Gotta love uncomfortable social situations. Source here.
19. Eat lots of food for no other reason than because you can.
My life. Source here.
20. Write a passive aggressive blog post/Facebook status/Tweet about Valentine’s Day.
Vent your feelings. I am. Source here.
21. Watch Jurassic Park.
And do you best raptor impression. Source here.
22. Watch V for Vendetta.
Hugo Weaving causes excitement where ever he goes. Except future British governments. Source here.
23. Watch Sherlock.
MY FEELINGS. Source here.
24. Watch The Big Bang Theory re-runs.
I applaud your nerdiness, Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, and Roj. Source here.
25. Watch anything with Liam or Chris Hemsworth’s pretty faces and impeccable
One gif for Chris…
26. Practice your axe-throwing. (Maybe start with darts. Or packing peanuts.)
You know, safety first. Source here.
But I won’t judge you. Source here.
28. For each person you love, send them a single, anonymous red rose with a note that says “I’m watching you.”
That’s a special kind of love. Source here.
So happy Valentine’s Day, if you’re single or not.