Not into the sappy, ridiculously archaic, and largely heteronormative values rooted in Valentine’s Day? Good news: you can now mark the holiday from a decidedly more feminist standpoint, thanks to a selection of locally crafted Valentines distributed by Hollaback Vancouver.
The Valentines, which range from a riot grrrl–inspired invitation to fight online bigotry to a hearty fuck off to those side-eye–worthy dudes that ask random girls to strike a smile on the street, are the winners of a contest conducted by the Vancouver chapter of the international organization, which aims to end street harassment and gender-based violence.
“We wanted to shift the focus and give the people who follow our work the opportunity to kind of shift the conversation about Valentine’s Day and think about all the things that we can actually celebrate that don’t involve outdated gender norms,” says Stacey Forrester, coordinator for Hollaback’s Vancouver branch, in a phone interview with the Straight. “It’s taking a feminist stand on a really un-feminist holiday.”
Printed copies of the contest’s four winning Valentines are currently available at Hunter & Hare (334 West Pender Street) or by email. Individual cards are $2 each or $10 for four and a pack of Hollaback goodies, with all proceeds going toward the local division’s upcoming campaign for International Anti-Street Harassment Week in April.
Hollaback Vancouver has also released a number of honourable mentions from the contest on its website, which are available for free download.
Check out the winning submissions and artists below.