So we all know what February 14th represents. For some, the idea of celebrating Valentine's Day on 14 February fills us with joy as we prepare to shower our significant other with declarations of love.
Regardless of how (or if), we celebrate or even acknowledge the day, there is a little red heart on almost every calendar printed in Australia and many parts of the world (the calendar on my desk has one that I'm staring at right now!).
And while I have no objection at all to the holiday, this year I am a little more interested in the less well known “holiday” that falls one day earlier; Feb 13th.
February 13th is the unofficial, mostly unknown “holiday” of Galentines Day. And for those unaware of its meaning, and as the name would suggest, Galentine's Day is a celebration of female friendship.
And I LOVE this idea! Why?
Well for one, I love Amy Pohler and Parks & Recreation but more importantly, what started as a just another segment in a TV sitcom has, in recent years, become a symbol of female empowerment and solidarity.
“February 14th, Valentine’s Day, is about romance. But February 13th, GALENTINE’S Day, is about celebrating lady friends. It’s wonderful and it should be a national holiday.”
— Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation
The fictional holiday, introduced by Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler), was a day filled with "ladies celebrating ladies." Since the episode aired, Feb 13 has become a real-life celebration of women's triumphs rather than oppression — and I believe it's more important than ever today.
An article in The Atlantic best described the impact of Galentine's Day. "The holiday has become associated with feminism, friendship, and the broader celebration of women. It is, in the most cheerful ways political," Megan Garber stated in the magazine.
And yes, if you don't think Leslie Knope wasn't the least bit feminist or political then were you even watching Parks and Recreation?
From her office tributes to Madeleine Albright to her group activism disguised as social outings, Knope promoted civic engagement entwined in female friendship. Knope convinced the younger generation that, just like going out for drinks or to the spa, engaging in politics is something worthwhile that women should do together.
And savvy viewers could not help but link Knope’s political engagement to that of Poehler and her real-life friend Tina Fey, such as their 2008 endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president during “Saturday Night Live.”
Funnily enough, the Galentine's message doesn't seem to have caught on as much as you'd expect it to especially here in Australia. I say it's high time it did.
In the past few years, there's been a wave of movements questioning the status quo and giving women and (men) alike the chance to speak out against injustice. The Women's March became a worldwide protest and fight for women's rights.
As more issues arise and more people step forward in fighting for women's rights, activism and dealing with the challenges women face every day at work or in business can play a role in one's mental health and that can put a toll on anyone’s mindset.
Studies have shown time and again that connectedness improves health and wellbeing. However, romantic relationships are just one of many types of relationships we can experience.
"For most ancient Greeks, for example, friendship was every bit as passionate and valuable as romantic-sexual love. Aristotle regarded friendship as a lifetime commitment to mutual welfare, in which two people become 'second selves' to each other".
Never have truer words been said.
For me, this is a huge reason why Galentine's Day should be celebrated and made into an official holiday! It can be the self-care day for women. The “day” provides a break from the chaos, allowing us to come together and grow a support network for the rest of the year.
It's a chance to praise and raise the women in our lives (similar to Mother's Day and International Women's Day) and prepare for what's to come.
Galentine's Day is not on the calendar or a day off from work. There are no traditions to follow or rules to break. It's one day out of the year that can influence the rest of the year of women solidarity.
At a time where the world is divided by politics and social views, it's a refresher to use a day to celebrate how badass women really can be.
We want to make you a Goddess, A Glorious Female Warrior!!
In the words of Leslie Knope - "I am a Goddess, a glorious female warrior"! Yes, YOU are. Want to learn how to be badass in everything you do and build a badass brand for yourself, schedule a no holds barred chat with me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will show you how to become that glorious female warrior you are meant to be.
Who are we?
HERWIT is thought leadership, personal brand, content, and social media and PR company dedicated to doing exactly this, creating more women thought leaders and bridging the gender gap.
We work for and with female leaders, womenpreneurs and corporate executives to craft compelling messages that ignite society, raise awareness of issues that affect women and elevate the profiles of awe-inspiring women.