We’ve got a treat for today’s Mama Bear introduction: Chairman Mom’s Digital Community Strategist Amy Muller is dropping by to talk about a cause that’s important to her this Valentine’s Day.

This week in our Chairman Mom community, the question “Is Valentine’s Day a big deal in your relationship?” was asked. For some, it’s a special day to celebrate love and a good excuse to binge on chocolates and for others Valentine’s Day has come to be known as that “Hallmark holiday” that solicits eye rolls and scoffs. I have kids so I do like to do something special for them—they’ll get Valentine’s Day cards, special treats, and eat their breakfast out of heart-shaped bowls that we’ve had forever and which only emerge once a year. My husband & I sometimes make an effort to do something depending on how busy the particular week is. This year we’re taking it as an excuse for a dinner and movie date night. No, we don’t have a dinner reservation yet but we’ll wing it. 

However, I personally am also celebrating Valentine’s Day in a more significant way this year—by joining women across the globe in One Billion Rising. One in three women across the planet will be beaten or raped in her lifetime. That’s ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS. And so during the month of February, women gather around the world to bring awareness through dance to this devastating statistic as well as this year’s focus—the exploitation of women. Many of these demonstrations will be happening on Valentine’s Day itself. What better way to turn what’s often seen as a fluffy, insignificant holiday into one of great import?! 

A little more on One Billion Rising from their website: “Every February, we rise – in countries across the world – to show our local communities and the world what one billion looks like and shine a light on the rampant impunity and injustice that survivors most often face. We rise through dance to express joy and community and celebrate the fact that we have not been defeated by this violence. We rise to show we are determined to create a new kind of consciousness – one where violence will be resisted until it is unthinkable.”

Through the One Billion Rising website you can see if there’s a dance flash mob nearby that you can join. And there’s still time to learn the fairly simple dance. Here’s one of many instructions videos available online. Even if don’t want to dance you can show up to cheer the dancers on and show your solidarity. I live in Amsterdam and am part of the American Women’s Club of Amsterdam who’ve organized an event on Valentine’s Day afternoon in the densely populated area of Rembrandtplein. If you happen to be here too, join me! If not, I hope you’ll join me in spirit and find an event near you.

* * * *