In which there are so many ways to love

Since we are generally in agreement about how great love is (although we tend to approve of certain kinds more than others), it only makes sense to think about some of the ways we

Since today is about love – celebrating it, making time for it, soaking it all in – I thought I would take some time to post about some things that interfere with the ways people experience and send love.

For example, violence against women interferes with experiencing and sending love. One billion women and allies are rising today to call for an end to the violence perpetrated by guns, rape, economic dependence, controlled and denied access to reproductive care, removing children, prisons, and police. (More on One BIllion Rising, and what it has to do with Valentine’s Day, and “enthusiastic consent is sexy” here.) Rape culture and dominant, hegemonic masculinity hurts us all (yes, men and masculine people too!) and imposes made up limits about who can love who and what ways they can show that.

All of the -isms (including cissexism, heterosexism, racism, classism, ableism, nationalism) and all of the -phobias (including Islamaphobia and fatphobia) also interfere with the ways people send and receive love.

I’m also sending love near and far, and thinking about wise words from radical peeps that challenge me to love myself and those around me – even those I have never met – more deeply and more genuinely. I’m loving the positive women in my life who expose injustice around the criminalization of HIV non-disclosure, amongst other things, and appreciating the feminists, intersectionalists, and good old activists that have come before and work alongside.

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Check out considerations on all forms of love from the following social justice activists who are inspiring my thoughts today and always:

Today is a day where there are so many ways to love. They might not always be easy. They might challenge your privilege, political views and personal decisions. But, as ever, what the world needs now is love, sweet love, and good things aren’t always the easy ones. Happy Valentines Day -may yours be filled with a celebration of love in many forms.

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