Valentine's Duh: There's Nothing Funny About Stalking.
Valentine's Day is next week—a time for Occupying VDay, celebrating Galentine's Day, or, for the more traditional among us, spending lots of money on fancy cards and pink candy. While a polarizing event to be sure, Valentine's Day is, in its purest form, about love (and candy). What it is not about, at all, is stalking.
You know who missed the "stalking is not romantic in any way and therefore should not be included in any Valentine's Day paraphernalia" memo? LOTS OF PEOPLE.
One of MANY from Zazzle...
One of MANY from Etsy...
One of MANY from someecards...
Considering the very unfunny fact that 54% of femicide victims reported stalking to police before they were killed by their stalkers, and well over a million people are victims of stalking in the US each year, I don't think my Cupid's arrow is off the mark here when I say this is not something that should be made light of or associated with Valentine's Day. AT ALL.
Why then, is this acceptable Valentine's Day "humor"? Sure, many of the outlets selling stalker valentines are user-generated (someecards, zazzle, Etsy), but why are users generating them in the first place? Is holiday-themed violent crime that much of a chucklefest? Why not a line of Christmas murder cards, then? A set of assault-themed wedding invitations? (Please no one make those cards.) My guess is that, since the vast majority of stalking victims are women who know their stalker, some misogynist douchebags have decided that knowing someone who commits a crime against you is the same thing as loving them. And that it's fine to make light of crimes that are typically perpetuated by men against women (see also: rape jokes). I mean, they're just women, right?! Can't they take a (stalker-themed, humorless) joke?
No matter how you feel about Valentine's Day as an institution, I'm sure I don't have to tell you that stalking humor shouldn't play a role in your celebration. But I'm telling you (and the purveyors and purchasers of these cards) anyway: Stalking isn't funny, and it sure isn't romantic. Stick to the sappy hearts and pink candy, people.
There's a Care2 petition you can sign to ask Target to take the stalking card off their shelves before Tuesday.
Further reading: Hollaback!
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