My work life over the past year has been all-involving, and I've left this site sadly neglected. One task that has regrettably been left undone has been the announcement of the 2006 Feminist Valentine Award Winners.
Since here it is already Valentine's Day 2007, obviously it's too late to even try to call for enties this year. But last year's winners were exceptional and deserve recognition.
And so, better late then never (or so I hope), I present to you the 2006 Winners of the MediaGirl Feminist Valentine Blog Awards!
Lorraine at culturekitchen wins the Pleasure IS Political Award for Orgasm and Politics:
February 13. The day before Valentine’s Day, the day we celebrate and honour erotic love in the USA. Which, of course, makes people like me laugh out loud. Americans celebrating erotic love? The same group of people who keep voting en masse to ban pleasure in all of its forms? I could spend the rest of this post linking to every news item and blog entry I can find that documents how much we hate our bodies in this culture. Our fat selves. Our messy selves. Our sexual selves. Our reproducing selves. Our natural selves. Our self-pleasuring selves. Ourselves.
But I don’t want to do that. Not today. Today, I’m willing to risk opprobrium to celebrate erotic love. (And if you want to see opprobrium, try posting something called “Erotica” on Big Orange as I did a while back and watch what happens.)
OrangeMagritte at Vicious Lidocaine wins the Valentine Angst of Grade School Award for happy valentines day no, really:
remember when you were in grade school and you had to make those damned difficult valentines boxes for all yer classmates to "post" their teeny valentines in? i remember one year i made one that actually looked like a post-box, i built a flap, and a post for it, so it was like 2ft tall. i didn't decorate it in hearts and red construction paper, instead i pasted love notes and quotes and poems all over the outside. i was in 4th grade, i'd typed all the notes myself. my parents (well, the moth) didn't help with the thing, we didn't see each other very much because she worked a bizillion miles away from home, and my brother and i were left to our own devices for much of our after-school hours. (we both were way too involved in music, i was a cellist with a Purpose, and practiced til i couldn't read the notes, even when i was tiny.)
ok, so the valentines day box.
i didn't make mine with the trappings anyone expected. although it was the most imposing in Ms Kenner's class, and the way things were supposed to go, you didn't put your name on the boxes, it was an equal-opportunity card-getting for everyone. in theory, this should've worked out well for my desperate 4th grade self: i wasn't the most adorable of children, however adorable i've become (ha), and i was a big loner based on, what i now believe, the fact i had a cello with me nearly always. celli, when you're in 4th grade, are as big as another person. it must've seemed like my best friend was always around. (i had named her (because that's what yo yo did! and he was amazing!) as much as i loved playing, playing took up most of my life.
i didn't get any valentines in my un-pink-hearted-box. despite the supposed anonymity involved, my oddity stood out like me wearing yellow shoes with black pants.
Blooming Town wins the I-Don't-Really-Know-What-You-Said-(but-I'm-sure-it's-great)-Award for 2회 페미니스트 발렌타인 블로그 어워드:
발렌타인 데이에 관한 페미니스트들의 생각을 담아 블로그가 있는 사람은 태그를 붙여 테크노라티에 핑을 보내거나, 아니면 답글에 글을 남겨서 심사기준에 따라 상을 줍니다. 작년에 이어 두번째 행사라네요.
muse and fury wins the Why Wait? Award for So you wanna be valentines...:
Of course, all the Valentiney ’stuff’ is for heteros - I didn’t see any cards this year for same sex couples. There were plenty of husband/wife and girlfriend/boyfriend cards, but none for girlfriends or boyfriends to exchange. Harumph.
This version of the holiday is also the one where women and men have preset roles and obligations (think dominant/submissive, flowers, chocolate, lace, sex), and even some self-declared feminists get goose-pimply and deck out in pink and red for this day of celebrating Loooove. This holiday is the one where a year full of shoddy treatment and neglect is forgiven by a bouquet of flowers and some chocolate - and sex. If we pretend the love game on V-day, the relationship can carry on for another year. When I was married, we ignored V-Day as much as every other day of the year. We weren’t fooling anyone.
The other version of the holiday is the twisted game the kids play. The one where they each have to bring in little pieces of paper - one for every kid in the class, no ‘friends only’ trading - and pass these out at lunchtime. The cards are usually store bought and branded with whichever television or pop character is trendy this year. They all say “Be my Valentine” or “You’re cool, Valentine” or some such hideous phrase that no child would ever say outloud to their classmate, but yet on Valentine’s Day, on a slip of paper, it’s okay.
Why do we do this???????
Everyday Goddess wins the Oh, Please Spare Me Award for I know it's hard for you, my baby:
The fact that prices jack up and everyone goes out on the same night definitely causes hassle and expense, especially in a big city. But, still, something was bothering me...
And I finally realized that what it was was that I take on that sort of hassle like TEN MOTHERFUCKING TIMES A DAY. OOOHHH, do you have to deal with expense and hassles LIKE A FEW DAYS A YEAR???
GO TO AN EFFING BABY SHOWER. DEAL WITH A BRIDAL SHOWER. HELL, SCHEDULE THREE KIDS AND DRIVE THEM AROUND. MANAGE MY LIFE AND MY SCHEDULE.
Please. Make some reservations and buck up, already. Or order dinner in. Hell, have pizza and a romantic movie and a back rub. Buy a card. What's the problem???
Honestly, if I get the whole negative-on-holidays line from a guy, I just know that I would rather go the next ten years without sex OR romance rather than deal with that whiny, negative, un-spirited and un-fun-loving lump of bullshit for even ten minutes.
liza at culturekitchen wins the Valentine Orientation Award for Be my valentine! Heterosexually yours?:
"But valentines are only supposed to be between boys and girls!"
These were the words that rolled off my oldest son's lips after I suggested the make valentines for all his team mates and soccer coach. "For my coach? Ewww. He's a man", said heterosexually my eight year-old. It's funny, but Thing #1 seems to be deciding these days he likes the girls and their smoochies after all.
His father is quite alarmed that I made this observation impassively, diagnostically. Well, I do look at pregnancy, mothering and the whole parenting thing as one big human Wild Kingdom experience. It's like I am looking at animals in the zoo but I am one of them.
And let me tell you, there's a couple of boys that by their choices are really hell bent on liking Peter and Paul waaaay more than Mary. It really is amazing to see, how some of us are just, well, gay from the day we were born. I think it's beautiful.
EL at My Amusement Park wins the True Love is It Award for Happy Valentines Day!
Valentine's Day isn't just for preppy, thoroughly non-alterna monogamous heterosexuals. If you want to give roses, chocolate, and a red teddy bear, be my guest. If you want to skip the celebrating and make it any day of the year, do it. If you want to protest the capitalist and heterosexist and sexist elements of the way many Americans celebrate, grab your sign and hit the streets outside Hallmark. But My Amusement Park believes in true love (and the power of "reclaiming".) And true love is nothing if not deeply personalized. So we're going to get you in the mood.
Ann Bartow at Feminist Law Professors wins the The Small Gestures Really Count Award for this untitled post:
The long slog through the rest of the semester loomed interminably, and I knew that the only respite from the tedium would be the reoccurring fear of finals. I was too heinously depressed to even buy myself some chocolate. Then I went to my student mailbox, which was really just a hanging folder, and found an unexpected valentine, from a casual law school friend, and by casual I mean completely and unambiguously platonic. It was just a small, extremely inexpensive valentine of the sort children buy in bulk to exchange with classmates, and it featured a smilling cartoon bumble bee with the legend “Bee Mine” or some equally silly pun, but it completely and profoundly brightened my day.
OrangeMagritte at Vicious Lidocaine wins (again) with the Deconstructionist Valentine Award for news fails:
Derrida wrote that world view comes from textural interpretation. We make words out of everything we see in order to make sense of it. There's no other way to do it. When a therapist suggested my online life was obviously depressing me, i slammed derrida at him in retort, to which he had no reply (being he was a therapist, i wasn't surprised). Beckett's moving novel Watt speaks (oh my. a pun) of the importance of language and the devastation which occurs when it isn't accessible any longer.
What started as "chat" with the otherh rapidly became "camaraderie." What spun from there was the awe we share that we ever found each other. Having spent three years never having met wasn't relevant, our Dasein didn't need a handshake, or a hug or a long, hard kiss. That we are mitdasein has everything to do with togetherness, and i'd wager, roughly nothing to do with the fact we share 24hrs a day in the same space.
I would not need to deck our bed in roses for the otherh to know my feelings. I would not need to mail trinkets, baubles, naughty things and the like in order to highlight the depth, breadth and endlessness of my love. the otherh just *knows*.
LotionBarBunny at I need to vent wins the Love's Tinfoil Hat Award for The Valentine's Day Conspiracy.
I'm just taking a stab in the dark here and saying that I think Valentine's Day is a conspiracy. Propoganda made up by retailers to get you to spend lots of money with them by hiding behind love and mushy stuff. I suspect it was started by Hallmark, Russell Stover, FTD Florists, and Victoria's Secret. Then Kay's Jeweler's and the people who make those candy hearts caught on. They figured out that they could convince women that their should be a Holiday all about them, because hey, we WANT to be showered with affection and expensive gifts. And really, if you think about it, are their really Valentine's advertising geared towards women to buy gifts for their man? Nope. It is all about the men taking us out to dinner and wooing us with overpriced chocolates, soon-to-be-dead-I-just-spent-my-entire-paycheck roses, sappy cards that they think will get us into bed with them before dessert, and please-be-slutty lingerie.
LotionBarBunny at I need to vent (again) wins the It's Not Tinfoil If It's True Award for happy valentines day no, really:
And it is the stupid Valentine's Day conspiracy that makes me this way. Thinking I should be special today...not to mention the freaking fact that today is our 8th wedding anniversary. He wanted to get married on Valentine's Day so that he would not forget our anniversary because he loves me so damn much. Ugh. Did he even say "Happy anniversary," or "Happy valentine's day my awesome wife and kick a$$ mother of my children, for whom I will forever cherish"? Nope. Nothing.
He'll be likely to come home tonight with a last minute card and some roadside flowers. Things that tell me I am not important enough, however...just important enough so that he isn't sleeping on the couch.
Note: Click here to see what happened.
Chaos Theory wins the As If! Award for happy valentines day no, really:
I was reading this message board thread and I found myself getting more and more irritated with the comments of some of the posters. The posts were along the lines of (summarized):
"Just spend time with me."
"We're not into gifting."
"I don't need gifts."
"All I want is a card."
"We never do dinner on the day. So many crowds!"
"We're not into holidays. We just spend it like every other night of the year, at home with dinner and the TV."
And the more I read Smug comments like that, the more my inner Bridget kept coming out and getting annoyed. Like, "Wow, you're so shallow for WANTING stuff or special attention on that day." And "Who cares about holidays? Why make it special?"
Diane at The Dees Diversion wins the Love Only with a Gun Award for A valentine with no heart:
On my bookshelf is a photograph of my father showing my mother how to shoot a rifle. They are standing in front of an old shack in the middle of nowhere, both looking smart in their 40's trousers. My father towers over her as he stands behind her, helping her steady her hands on the gun. She looks like Hedy Lamar in a still from a pre-war Western.
I found this gem several years ago, after my mother died and I had to go through her things. The picture haunts me. The entire time I lived with my parents, I never saw my father help my mother do anything, and the only time I saw them stand close to each other was when he was punching or slappping her. They didn't dance together, though my mother was a great dancer. They didn't sit near each other. They barely spoke. There are no other photographs of them together.
It is somewhat ironic, therefore, that the one photo I have of them in a position of physical closeness is one in which the focal image is an instrument of violence.
s at jelly-fish consciousness wins the Big Shrug Award for Pain and Intimacy: a few Valentine's Day thoughts:
I really have no strong feelings about Valentine’s Day. I’ve very rarely been in a relationship on Valentine’s Day, so I don’t really have any special memories associated with this holiday. On the other hand, Valentine’s Day never really made me bitter that I always seemed to be in a perpetually single state. And I get mildly annoyed over the whole commercial manipulation of the holiday, but I would say I have stronger feelings about the commercialization of Christmas (which is actually a holiday that I love). So, as I ponder what to write in a feminist Valentine’s Day post, I find myself thinking more about love and relationships in a general sense rather than phenomena associated with the day itself.
Thank you all for entering last year. I'll try to do better next year. (Heck, maybe next year Valentine's Day will be more for me than something that happens to other people.)