So several days ago people all over the world were celebrating the loveliest day in this month if not the year (well, technically it’s every year) called the Valentine’s Day. I wasn’t exactly aware about how the tradition to give chocolates to the people you like/love on that day started, but it happens every year and just like people in other countries, Indonesian people also celebrate it the same way. People were giving out chocolates, flowers, gifts, presents, romantic dinners, romantic dates, etc etc etc. And the date 14 February is associated with couples celebrating their love and the singles are just silently wishing for all the lovey-dovey act to quickly pass (not really lol).
Seeing as I don’t have any boyfriend or whatsoever to give some chocolates to, usually I give them to friends and families, but since I’m totally not good with romantic gestures such as giving someone chocolates or flowers (I think I’m just socially awkward and just don’t have any idea what the society expects me to do…Hmm…) so I’m gonna skip that as well. So, the question is what did I do during this so-called Day of Love? Well, I’d like to think that Valentine’s Day doesn’t always have to be associated with sweets, chocolates, flowers, and all the good things in life. And for several years now, I’m including myself in the movement One Billion Rising (check them out if you don’t know about this movement yet. Really. Seriously. Go!) and usually they have their annual activity during Valentine’s Day. Basically, it’s a movement about women (seriously, check them out) and since it’s an issue that I’m concern about, of course I want to be a part of this movement.
However, despite all the talk about me concerning myself with issues about women and gender, I was never that involved in their annual activity as well. But this year’s was quite different. The theme this year just hits quite close to home. Their topic for the social media uprising this year is sexual harassment at offices/work places (you’ll know what I mean if you’ve read my previous post. Subtle promotion for my other posts here. Lol).
So, this year I tried to be more involved by actually creating an artwork (well you can’t really call it an artwork if it’s this bad). I know my ability in creating things aren’t that good, aside from creating a bunch of words to post in this blog, so I’m quite happy with what it turns out. I just want to say with this simple picture that sexual harassment in offices really does happen. It can happen to your colleagues without you knowing, your friends, your family members, or even yourself. And it happens both ways too, not just for women but for men as well. And based on my experience, there will be a thousand things in your head that are stopping you from speaking out. And it’s just as bad for men as it is for women. I mean, what will you think when a male co-worker admitted that he’s been sexually harassed by his boss or other colleague who happens to be a woman? Most people will just laugh at him. And that’s only if he can actually tell someone about it instead of keeping quiet since, he is a man and men just don’t get sexually harassed. Women do. Men don’t. Well, that’s just a bunch of crap. It can happen to everybody and it does happen. So let’s talk about it and do something.
So that’s why this Valentine’s Day, I’m flooding people’s (those who follow my Instagram account) Instagram feed with posts about things that matter to me and what people should really start to think about. Aside from the One Billion Rising (OBR) related posts about sexual harassment in the work place, I also can’t help but reposts those related to women issues in general, such as FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) that apparently still happens in many countries around the world including Indonesia.
Or child marriage that is also still a tradition done by many people in may countries all over the world.
And during that one day, I realized that there was more to Valentine’s Day that just all those sweets, chocolates, and flowers. I’m not saying that giving out chocolates and sweets and flowers to your loved ones aren’t important, but there’s always other ways to celebrate this lovely day. That day, I stumbled upon some very inspiring posts and I really thought that this year’s V-Day (yep Valentine’s Day shortened is V-Day. Coincidence? I think not. ;)) was really well-spent for me. Even though I couldn’t do much except reposting and making this post, but I believe that every single thing we do to shed light to these issues matter. We need to raise awareness about these things. We need to make people start to question things and that way they will start to talk about it. And by talking about it, we can find solutions, plans, and actions to make it all better. So, let’s talk and rise! 🙂
P.S.: All credits for the pictures go to their respective owners. These are just the ones that I reposted in my Instagram account that day. 🙂