Celebrate Galentine’s Day all year

Sydney Erhardt, a sophomore majoring in international affairs, is a Hatchet columnist.

Now that Valentine’s Day is over, and chocolate is half-priced at most convenience stores, it’s time to talk about the other big event of the week – Galentine’s Day. Galentine’s Day is a day for ladies to celebrate our female friendships.

Unfortunately, female friendships often go underappreciated in our everyday lives. According to Ruthellen Josselson, author of “Best Friends: The Pleasure and Perils of Girls’ and Women’s Friendships,” when women are busy with their work or family, their first response is to push away from their female friendships. Galentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to honor these forgotten gal pals.

Galentine’s Day came to life in a 2010 episode of  “Parks and Recreation.” Leslie Knope, the spunky, small-town bureaucrat and star of the show, explains that the occasion is “ladies celebrating ladies” and says it should be a national holiday. But the holiday is far from just fictional, and it’s now a major part of the week of Feb. 14. Google searches for “Galentine’s Day” have been rising and Pinterest reported that searches for “Galentine’s Day ideas” have increased at a whopping rate of 1,780 percent. Last year, Snapchat even designed a “Be My Galentine” filter, and I shamelessly sent love notes to all my female friends.

Galentine’s Day is a “no boy’s allowed” occasion, according to Leslie Knope, so leave your boyfriends and husbands at home so we can celebrate our girlfriends separately. Galentine’s Day is observed on Feb. 13, the day before Valentine’s Day, so that women with romantic partners can partake in both. The unique love that comes from a sisterhood with female friends may have more health benefits than a love from a romantic partner. There’s a scientific explanation for why we get the urge to purge our feelings whenever we get together on an occasion like Galentine’s Day: We’re hardwired that way.

A common female response to stress is to “tend and befriend.” Women actively seek out friendships with other women due to the large amounts of oxytocin released into the female bloodstream. Men function differently when responding to stress. Men release much smaller amounts of oxytocin, leading them to respond to stress with “fight or flight” responses or bottling up their emotions. Women shouldn’t feel bad about needing girl time to vent, joke and maybe enjoy too many waffles at brunch. After all, it’s good for our health.

Of course, Feb. 13 is just an arbitrary day that takes advantage of all the great discounts during this season of love, but our “galentines” deserve love every day of the year. No matter the date, I hope all my ladies remember to recite Leslie Knope’s Code of the Woman: “I am a goddess a glorious female warrior. Queen of all that I survey. Enemies of fairness and equality, hear my womanly roar.”

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