“What’s Galentine’s Day? Oh it’s only the best day of the year. Every February 13th my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies.” – Leslie Knope
Whilst there are days in the calendar for celebrating partners, mothers, and fathers, time is rarely set aside to celebrate your friends. For many of us, our friends are the family we chose.
This is why the conception of Galentine’s Day is such a fantastic idea. It gives us the opportunity to show our friends how much we love them and how much they are valued. This is particularly important for female friendships which are often looked down on or seen as superficial or cliquey.
There seems to be great pride in claiming that you “are not like other girls”, which is great. Let’s all celebrate our own uniqueness, but often, this statement has a far more insidious meaning. By setting yourself apart from other girls, it creates an other – and if studying political theory has taught me anything, it’s that when we ‘other’ someone, this is rarely a good thing. The exits a certain stereotype of girls as being gossips, drama queens, bitches – and this is what is being alluded to, but really is it true? Men, and non-binary people, can be just as bitchy, dramatic, and gossipy as women, in fact we only have to open up a history book to challenge the idea that it’s women who cause “so much drama.”
Furthermore, being female in our society is seen as a competition. We are taught to compete for men, for attention, to be the most beautiful, to be the best. This competition makes us hate other girls who threaten our chances at being the best. But do you know what? Her success is not your failure. We can all succeed and we are all unique. There might be somebody who is equally as good at something as you, if not better. But look at all the other stuff you can do as well: you can sing, you can draw and you’re really clever. Somebody else’s success does not diminish yours – and actually imagine what you could achieve if you worked together.
We must stop looking at other girls as competition, and instead celebrate each other’s successes. This is my main motivation behind hosting a Galentine’s Day celebration in the Union this Saturday.
Whilst the initial idea of Galentine’s speaks exclusively about women, we recognise that there are other groups who are often also diminished, undervalued, and spoken over in our society. This is why we have chosen to explicitly include non-binary people in our celebration, but it is important to stress that this event is open to anyone of all genders. We are running a full day of activities that look at issues and topics that are important and can be used in an empowering way. Whether you want to learn Thai Boxing, Pole, have a discussion about sexual assault, or learn about women and Islam – we’ve got you covered.
Best of all – it’s all for charity.
Please come along to Galentine’s Day on Saturday 13th February in LUU between 11am and 5pm. Find us on Facebook if you want more information or to see a full schedule: https://www.facebook.com/events/978827032197331/