Happy Smash-the-Patriarchy Day
Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
Aces and aros are valid,
And their relationships are, too.
Today is February 14, and you know what that means: GeekGirlCon ’20 is only 260 days away!
It’s also Valentine’s Day, a super fun holiday with no negative connotations whatsoever for anyone whose life isn’t playing out like a romantic comedy—or for anyone whose life is playing out like a romantic comedy, but who hasn’t yet made it to the happily-ever-after part.
There isn’t much room in this celebration of mostly straight, mostly white, mostly cis, mostly monogamous, mostly neurotypical, mostly abled, mostly affluent, mostly sexually active, mostly romantic love for anyone whose life, gender, sexuality and relationships don’t perfectly fit the status quo. And while, yes, Valentine’s Day is only 24 hours long, marginalization is a year-round constant.
Last June, I told you all about how I discovered that I’m a biromantic asexual, and how I had to explain during the process of coming out that, no, the asexuality piece didn’t make the biromantic piece “not count.”
I encountered a similar mentality pretty frequently during my time in the online dating sphere. One of the things that I appreciated about dating apps was the ability to state my sexuality right on my profile, so people would know what they were getting into before we ever met in person. This did, however, lead to a good number of messages from cis men—it was always cis men—who saw my sexuality as a flaw that could be fixed through exposure to their genitals.
Putting aside the fact that asexuality doesn’t preclude you from having sex, this pervasive belief that sex and sexual attraction is the epitome of relationships and personal happiness is both untrue and insulting.
There are seven commonly identified types of attraction (sexual, romantic, platonic, aesthetic, sensual, queerplatonic, and alterous) and at least five kinds of love (sexual, romantic, platonic, familial, and self). In a culture that holds sexually-active romantic relationships as the highest social achievement, current studies show that single people are healthier, have a wider network of relationships, experience more personal growth, and are more likely to volunteer and connect with their communities than married people.
So, if Valentine’s Day isn’t giving you the warm fuzzies this year, or you’re feeling isolated in a culture that’s obsessed with one very specific form of relationship, consider taking a minute to connect with your friends, family (biological or found), or yourself. Science says you’ll likely be happier for it, and you’ll be smashing the patriarchy at the same time, so win-win.