A Feminist Valentine

by Carmen Rios

My Valentine’s Day experience is pretty similar year-to- year.

(This is to say that I’ve spent every Valentine’s Day trying to get over the fact that it’s Valentine’s Day.)

I’ve always struggled not to be overly cynical of the entire day; being a feminist has often made accepting cultural messages about sexuality and relationships difficult. Since most of my activism has been directed at changing that landscape, I am glad to be taking steps toward doing that this Valentine’s Day with THE LINE.

THE LINE Campaign is an interactive, media-based campaign to end rape and sexual assault. The purpose of the campaign is to start dialogue through a documentary film of the same name and then continue the discussion, asking activists and survivors everywhere the same question: where is your line? We’re hoping to use that model to inspire people everywhere to set and respect boundaries, be open and communicate with their partners, and ask for consent in all kinds of sexual situations.

So this Valentine’s Day, we took the holiday’s old model of and we turned it on its head, producing a short video that expresses what we’re really hoping to get from our partners this year: dialogue and respect, and to be asked. The fundamental vision of THE LINE Campaign is to create a culture where people are comfortable talking about their own sexualities, whether they’re single, hooking up, dating, or married. The longer we delay talking about sex, relationships, and even sexual violence, we continue to repress the sexualities of all people everywhere.

This year, I want people to think about the conversations they could be having over chocolates and flowers.



“Ask Me” from Nancy Schwartzman on Vimeo.

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