“Take Back the Date”

Have radical feminists ruined romance?

Topics: Broadsheet, Love and Sex,

The Independent Women’s Forum has launched a cleverly titled campaign to rescue romance from radical feminists. Take Back the Date, a project of the IWF’s campus outreach program, is an effort to “reclaim” Valentine’s Day (a holiday that interested my college classmates and me not at all) from V-Day anti-violence activists — that is, from “radical feminists on campus who use a day of love and romance to promote vulgar and promiscuous behavior through activities like The Vagina Monologues.” I’m taking this as good news: Apparently, feminists are finally as powerful as Hallmark.

TBTD encourages students instead to engage in good old-fashioned dating, providing a handy conversion chart to help young women calculate how much they should put out based on which entree they ordered. Kidding! Seriously: TBTD does exhort students (male and female) to ask each other out (buy flowers, hold doors, the works), write editorials about the “dangerous messages that V-Day promotes,” and plaster “V Monologues” marquees with downloadable “Free Cupid” posters. (“Wouldn’t you prefer to restore mutual respect and a dash of romance to your campus on Valentine’s Day?”)



I’m all for a good old-fashioned DATE date, no matter who pays; the campus “hook-up culture,” such as it is, furrows my brow as well. (And yes, I too have “Vagina” fatigue.) But what I’m also tired of — besides the IWF’s quaint “radical feminist”-phobia — is this: the stale implication that feminism is incompatible with healthy, hearts-and-stars romance, and that chivalry — or, in the 21st century, what we might call courtesy — is incompatible with equality. “The Vagina Monologues,” for one thing, might not be the best choice for a date, but it’s hardly a threat to the very future of eros. And speaking of romance, here’s one TBDT-approved anti-violence activism suggestion: “Teach female students how to safely operate a firearm — by far the best method of self-defense. Invite V-Day members to participate. If they decline, point out their hypocrisy.” Isn’t that sweet?

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of BreakupGirl.net. She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 13
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Api Étoile

    Like little stars.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Calville Blanc

    World's best pie apple. Essential for Tarte Tatin. Has five prominent ribs.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chenango Strawberry

    So pretty. So early. So ephemeral. Tastes like strawberry candy (slightly).

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chestnut Crab

    My personal fave. Ultra-crisp. Graham cracker flavor. Should be famous. Isn't.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    D'Arcy Spice

    High flavored with notes of blood orange and allspice. Very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Esopus Spitzenberg

    Jefferson's favorite. The best all-purpose American apple.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Granite Beauty

    New Hampshire's native son has a grizzled appearance and a strangely addictive curry flavor. Very, very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hewes Crab

    Makes the best hard cider in America. Soon to be famous.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hidden Rose

    Freak seedling found in an Oregon field in the '60s has pink flesh and a fragrant strawberry snap. Makes a killer rose cider.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Knobbed Russet

    Freak city.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Newtown Pippin

    Ben Franklin's favorite. Queen Victoria's favorite. Only apple native to NYC.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Pitmaston Pineapple

    Really does taste like pineapple.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>