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Antivalentinism

February 14, 2009

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Antivalentinism refers to a set of criticisms of Saint Valentine’s Day (February 14th). These tend to fall into two categories, one anticonsumerist and the other a critique of romantic love, or at least its role in modern society. These two objections can exist independently, so that one antivalentinist might exchange hand made gifts with his or her beloved and spend time together without spending any money, and another might go shopping or partying with single friends. That said, the two critiques seem more commonly to exist on a spectrum, expressed in the quip that “Love is just something created by Madison Avenue to sell perfume and chocolates.”

Commercialism

Valentine’s Day has been dubbed as a “Hallmark holiday” (a reference to the Hallmark greeting card company based in the United States). The moniker is used due to the millions of valentines exchanged each Valentine’s Day; a large portion of cards that are purchased in the U.S. are Hallmark cards. Many companies and businesses make large profits from selling massive amounts of cards, flowers, chocolates, candies, stuffed animals and other gifts which can lead to those with a significant other feeling they are expected to purchase such gifts, whether they want to or not. Some people believe this takes away from the values, significance and meaning of Valentine’s Day.

Alternatives

Singles Awareness Day (SAD) is a play on Valentines Day that is usually celebrated on the 14th of February or an adjacent day to get away from the commercialism of Valentine’s Day.

St. Skeletor’s Day (SSD) is a humorous celebration on the 15th of February that rejects consumerism and aims to raise awareness of the “corporate whore-fest” its organizers attribute to modern Valentine’s Day.

Anti-Valentine Cards

Anti-Valentine Cards have been popular almost as long as Valentine cards have been. They are typically cynical or sarcastic toward romance or the commercialism associated with Valentine’s Day.

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