Ethical, sustainable and magnificently feminist galentine’s gifts for the humans in your life that you want to shower with love…
Sex educator and pink haired icon, Ruby Rare – in a glorious talk about non-monogamy with Sexpression Edinburgh – introduced me to the idea of romantic love between friends. Ruby presented a Venn diagram that had sex, friendship and romantic love overlapping. When explaining it, she made a beautiful case that people can fulfil different categories in your life and that partners don’t necessarily need to incorporate all three. We have a narrow idea that on one hand we have friends and on the other we have romantic partners (who we ideally would share sex, friendship and love with). The reality is that we might come across individuals that fit into more nuanced combinations.
The idea that there can be an element of romantic love within friendships resonated. There is something magical and empowering about close friendships, particularly amongst women and femme people. These relationships allow for more of an open expression of love, without the pressure of masculinity, than many other dynamics. Obviously, the ideal is for everyone to feel able to express feelings and shower each other with love but this tends to be especially hard within friendships between two cis, straight men. It’s so special to make/buy the people whom we are closest to gifts, cook them a nice meal or go watch a sunset together. Currently, with the majority of us stuck at home once again, these little things become even more meaningful; romance (food, wine and good, virtual, company) is getting us through.
So, in the name of spreading love between our closest most empowering relationships, here are 6 romantic FEMINIST gift ideas for those gorgeous human beings that you adore…
MAKE A VEGAN SWEET TREAT:
Gift something homemade and tasty to brighten your soulmates day. From a 3 course meal for someone you wildly appreciate (in your household) to putting a sweet snack on the doorstep of a wonderful pal who lives nearby, you will be spreading love and full bellies this February. Recently, I have become obsessed with the fabulous vegan recipes by Sadia Badiei from Pick Up Limes:
Watch these aesthetic and delicious recipes on YouTube or read them from the Pick Up Limes blog. I tend to watch them in the bath (highly recommend)!
BUY THEM RADICAL JEWELLERY:
Wanna conform to heteronormative Valentines stereotypes and treat your galantine to some jewellery? This is no Swarovski…
Go check out ‘Fuck the Tories’ and wet your left-wing pants with delight. I certainly did. From ‘fuck the patriarchy’ hoops to ‘fuck fascism’ necklaces, there is an abundance of feminist bling. Many of their pieces are partly or fully supporting vital causes, from Calais Action to Medical Aid for Palestinians. https://www.fuckthetories.co.uk/
Alternatively, for all the super creative and practical beans out there, make your loved one some jewellery yourself!
SUPPORT FEMINIST ARTISTS:
Treat your nearest and dearest to gorgeous artwork for their bedroom wall or work desk and support your favourite local artists in the process. Looking for artwork that’s both feminist and affordable? I recommend @beeillustrates for wholesome and powerful art on gender, sexuality, mental health and other social justice issues.
WRITE A LOVE LETTER
Channel Daphne from Bridgerton as you pick up a modern-day quill (i.e a biro) and pour your heart out to a dear friend. Tell them what you had for breakfast, what you’ve been reading or how much they mean to you. There is something more intimate about writing thoughts down to someone. It is also so exciting to receive something in the post that isn’t a dominos pamphlet or the electricity bill.
CHOOSE LOVE THIS GALENTINES…
Choose love this galentines…and buy your special someone(s) an e-card from the Choose Love store, whilst simultaneously buying a real-life item or support package for refugees and asylum seekers. You can choose something invaluable (from hot food and hygiene products to women’s and lgbtq+ support) that you know your friend would want the money to go towards.
TAKE YOUR PAL AROUND THE WORLD:
Spend an enchanting evening looking outside a window anywhere in the world. From New Delhi to Warsaw, you can mindfully watch the view from someone else’s window with a dear pal, all from the comfort of your own bed. A wonderful virtual activity to do whilst listening to music (I recommend Clitbait’s creatin’ playlist or our witchy one if you’re feeling a wee bit eerie)
Finally, it goes without saying that we should be showing love and lifting up those around us not just on February the 14th, but all year round. After all, Valentines is just a capitalist ploy anyway! If you are able to and want to buy a gift there are so many ethical small businesses and charities that offer fabulous presents and need our support, especially in the pandemic. There are also endless artsy things to make, goodies to bake, Netflix parties to hold and online events to join. Romantic gestures are priceless and loving friendships are to be cherished. Happy Gal(/pal)entines Day!