In 2010, Galentine’s Day was just another Parks and Rec episode, but in recent years it’s become a symbol of female empowerment and solidarity.Â
The fictional holiday, brought to life 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 â and it’s more important than ever this year.
The popularity of the day gives us an excuse to get our friends together, eat waffles, and drink cocktails. Naturally, businesses like Target, Amazon, and Walmart have tried to get in on the action and produce themed-products across the country. While food and drinks can be a great bonus to the party, the “holiday” is more than just a day brands can profit from. It is a time for women to come together to reflect on goals, dreams, and accomplishments.Â
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 wrote 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 Rec?
In the last year or so, there’s been a wave of movements questioning the status quo and giving women and men alike the chance to speak out again injustice. The Women’s March became a worldwide protest and fight for women’s rights. The #MeToo movement encouraged women to speak up on sexual harassment in the workplace.Â
As more issues arise and more people step forward in fighting for women’s issues, activism can play a role on one’s mental health and exposure to around the clock news can put a toll on someone’s mindset.
“People are tired and apathetic, seemingly hoping to escape what is going on around them,” Helania Hovitz wrote in Vice. “Some have describe a sense of feeling like they are overwhelmed and preoccupied with societal issues as they currently stand, not knowing what they can do specifically to contribute to a less hostile environment.”Â
Just another reason why Galentine’s Day can be the self-care day women need. A time to destress and reflect on positive moments in their lives. We spend so much time fighting, but never sit down to see all the things we’ve accomplished so far.Â
Galentine’s Day >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Valentine’s Day
â Danielle Riendeau (@Danielleri) February 12, 2018
celebrating my girlfriends is way more important than a dude that wonât matter in a month happy galentineâs day
â taylor (@tswxxx) February 13, 2018
The “holiday” provides a break from the chaos and offers a day to collaborate and grow a support system for the rest of the year. It’s a chance to praise the women in your life (similar to Mother’s Day and International Women’s Day) and prepare for what’s to come.Â
“We’ve been seeing the burnout rate across the board in terms of negativity,” explained Sara Becker, founder of Nasty Galentines, to NBC 5 Chicago. The new movement was created to encourage a community of women to turn their actions into policies through Galentine’s Day cards sent to politicians and public figures.
“We wanted to bring positivity,” Becker said. She, like many other women, have used this day to promote positive personal care and motivated all to make a difference.
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, it’s a refresher to use a day to celebrate how badass women really can be.