Happy “Gal”entine’s Day!

It’s Galentine’s Day. . .

For those Parks and Rec fans, Galentine’s Day is a holiday you know well, and may even look forward to each February 13th. It’s a day for women, no matter if they’re single or partnered-up, to come together and celebrate their lady friendships.

Yes, Galentine’s Day is an extraordinary excuse to give/receive gifts, throw a party, or simply treat yo’ self. But it’s the message behind Galentine’s Day that I find most appealing: Ladies celebrating ladies.

A common theme I hear among middle and high school students is the hurtful, demeaning and ruthless ways that girls and women find to tear each other apart; a theme today but definitely not a new one — replayed year after year, only exacerbated now by social media. At 27, I still remember the similar ways that slander or name-calling was used to create a divide between, or just simply be outright awful to female peers at my school. We might participate in it ourselves or sit idly by watching it happen. No matter our role in this ageless girl-on-girl crime, it’s time we take some advice from Leslie Knope, make an effort, and start celebrating each other. Our patriarchal society places an expectation on women and girls to be “catty” and be in competition with one another. Part of this phenomenon is rooted in the idea that a woman’s goal is to be “chosen”— be it for a job or a romantic interest— and that there can only be one. But it doesn’t have to be this way! We can and do support each other!

How to spread this message of love and support? Give your fellow girl a wave, maybe a nod or smile, or better yet, just leave her alone if friendliness doesn’t seem possible at that moment. You don’t have to love, or even like, every woman you meet but let’s practice some compassion for the struggle we all know too well.

Utilize this Galentine’s Day to remind the gals in your life how amazing, spectacular, brilliant, thoughtful and hilarious they are! Happy Galentine’s Day from one woman to many!

Thanks for the inspiration Amy Poehler and thank you to all the ladies out there working hard to show love!