Palentine’s Day 2021 tries to solve the puzzle of loving

Kate Caforio, Staff Reporter

Valentine’s Day is the one day a year where expressing love for others is required. The Feminist Collective at Case Western Reserve University wanted to communicate a different message in 2021. Their message for this Valentine’s Day was that in order to love someone else the right way, we must first learn to love ourselves. 

The club’s president, second-year Snigdha Chawla, explained, “We want people to be able to love themselves before they look for love in other people … College is a very relationship focused place, where you feel very lonely, very easily. We want people to be able to understand that they can be happy by themselves, even if it doesn’t feel like that.”

The Feminist Collective is a CWRU organization focused on highlighting issues faced by women and other minority groups on our campus. The organization focuses on the equality and rights of women, but also works on behalf of all disenfranchised groups. On campus, off campus and abroad, these issues are present in some way, and the Feminist Collective is dedicated to working through and rectifying these issues in any way they can. 

One of the ways that the Feminist Collective is working with students this semester is through virtual programming for students on and off campus. On the afternoon of Valentine’s Day, the Feminist Collective hosted a virtual “Palentine’s Day” celebration, complete with snacks for participants, a discussion of what it means to love yourself first and a viewing of “Jigsaw,” a stand-up by Scottish comedian Daniel Sloss. His comedy routine is one of many that Netflix has produced over the years, but this special led to turmoil for many relationships––and even some marriages. After its production, Sloss estimated that nearly 35,000 relationships and 100 marriages have ended due to his routine. Throughout, the young comic compares life to a giant puzzle, and people spend their lives searching for a specific puzzle piece in the form of their significant other.

Sometimes, however, the piece we find is forced into fitting into the puzzle of our lives, even if it is not the right fit. This realization is what marked the beginning of the end for many relationships. Fortunately the individuals end up better for it as they learn to love themselves, instead of just loving who they are with simply because they are with them. 

Chawla went on to outline some of the plans she has for the organization on campus and abroad, which, in the time of COVID-19, will be primarily philanthropy based. One organization that the Feminist Collective plans on fundraising for is a global rape prevention program, No Means No Worldwide. The operation focuses on what it means to give and receive consent, in addition to educating young women in Africa about how to protect themselves against potential attacks, as well as teaching young men how they can help decrease sexual violence. Over the years, they have educated over 300,000 young men and women and have decreased rape rates by nearly 50% in some areas. This organization represents exactly the type of message that the Feminist Collective seeks to support, and as Chawla stated, “Even if I can donate just $50 to them, that is one thing I would like to do.”