Celebrating a Socially Distanced Valentine's Day in 2021

Angela Kaufman
3 min readFeb 8, 2021

Valentine’s Day has been heavily commercialized over the centuries, like every holiday that has been watered down in service of the white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy. But if you really want to show someone special how much you love them this Valentine’s Day, remember to start by dismantling heteronormative traditions based on patriarchal ideals of coercion through gift giving.

Who says the way to your true love’s heart is to buy an expensive gift that was harvested using exploitative and degrading means? Why, capitalism, of course!

Show the special someones in your life just how much you love them by refusing to shop for diamonds, products made by sweatshop labor, or candy harvested from the bodies of animals or the palm tree some orangutan needs much more than you do.

Just think of all the ways you can share your love without conforming to patriarchal standards of romance. In lieu of a card or overpriced gift, consider showing love to the Black community by directly moving equity (money) into the hands of Black people. When you pay reparations, you’re acting in the true spirit of love and reconciliation.

Sad because you can’t enjoy a safe and socially distanced romantic evening out for dinner and a movie? Fuck that shit. Instead, safely deliver a meal to one of thousands of American families now facing food insecurity because of gross mishandling of the current pandemic.

And nothing says “I love you,” like masking up and keeping your biohazards to yourself.

Want to impress your love interest with the gift of a book in their favorite genre? Don’t you even fucking think about ordering off of Amazon. Instead, learn how you can support the workers at the Alabama warehouse who will spend the holiday showing love by voting to unionize.

Don’t forget to pack some sweet treats in your car along with gloves, warm clothes and a few extra masks to share with people in your community who are unhoused. Because nothing says “I love you,” like actually giving a shit about whether your fellow humans starve to death in the cold.

You could woo your love with poetic words of love, or show your love by advocating for them to have access to affordable healthcare, a livable wage, no student debt and demilitarized police.

Valentine’s Day isn’t just about love and romance, it’s also a chance to experiment with your kinky side. No better time to fuck the police. Because true love means putting an end to military style occupation of low income and Black communities.

And remember, though the forces of capitalism would have you convinced that Valentine’s Day only comes once each year, we all know that you can spread love and revolution all year round. And there’s no better time to celebrate love in a socially responsible way than while you’re socially distancing yourself from the clutches of the diamond and chocolate industries.

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Angela Kaufman

Angela Kaufman is the author of Queen Up! Reclaim Your Crown When Life Knocks You Down. Her new novel Quiet Man, is available now through Trash Panda Press.