FROM THE ARCHIVE: FUNNY WOMEN: Feminist Valentine’s Day Gifts


This was originally published at The Rumpus on February 12, 2018.

Like your love, this Valentine’s Day is unlike any other. It’s a new dawn and that means new giftware. For the #TimesUp woman and for the heterosexual man in her life walking on eggshells, check out these unique gifts that will help her experience real pleasure and are 100% Instagrammable.

Show her sexism is dead but romance isn’t with a custom-crafted #TimesUp broach from Jared the Galleria of Jewelry.

A copy of the Equal Rights Amendment
For long-time lovers looking to enrich their intimacy and spice things down.

Everything from radical feminist theory denouncing normalized harm against women to Feasible Positions—books have it all. Ditch clichés the night of to take turns reading out loud in an egalitarian frenzy that culminates in an intoxicating explosion of open and honest dialogue.

A piece of carpet
A lot of couples enjoy carpet to feel sensations or as a metaphor to encourage softness and indestructibility in a symbiotic relationship.

A rivet gun
For the woman who already has carpet.

A hammer
For the woman who already has a rivet gun.

A glass ceiling
For the woman with a hammer.

A bouquet of flowers
An old standby to remind your soulmate that the patriarchy is wilting and will be thrown out eventually. Like love, a shift in power dynamics is in the air.

Mystery box
There’s nothing inside, you say? Wrong. Inside is the legacy of silence into which all women are born and were bound to live out their lives within until a few months ago. And below that is a bite-size piece of dark chocolate!

Crotchless panties
Do these look hot and feel sexy? To the eye? To your touch? No. Not “stereotypically.” These crotchless panties are actually “granny panties” with a few holes in them from extended wear. Because what is desirable now? For her to be comfortable and to speak her truth.

Bottomless wine
Get the person you like a lot a wine-store membership so that she can say “RECLAIMING MY WINE” as often as her mouth desires.


Pornography for mega-fans of the USA Network’s gentle comedy series.

Nothing says “I am fully invested in equalizing emotional labor and also there’s a CVS by my work” like balloons in the shape of engorged hearts.

A voucher for night school
Leave your comfort zone and light her fire by enrolling in programs designed to prep you for a lifetime of worthwhile, romantic evenings disassembling hierarchies simultaneously.

Not lingerie
Interested in role-play to build respect in your partnership? Gift her reasonable outerwear like the shapeless shit you get to wear every day. Show her you don’t subscribe to gender norms and watch her eyes light up from under the eclipse-grade welding goggles you bought her for the upcoming matriarchal revolution.

For your empowered partner to make a citizen’s arrest on misogynists reinforcing institutionalized gender-based oppression—or anyone Skyping right in the middle of the coffee shop. (Free shipping, free of charge, 100% free.)

Riot gear
When misogynists and Skypers fight back. (And because you never know when the white men in power will form a rat king.)

Because nothing on earth is better than voting for women in the midterm elections.

A tote
Because women love tote bags!

Vibrating cock rings
Energy efficient and hand-carved in reclaimed wood—these are actually just wooden rings and may cause lesions. You’ve experienced enough pleasure, don’t you think? It’s her turn. Plus, it’s sexy when men have teeny-tiny carbon footprints.

A vibrator
We should have mentioned this one earlier. Really what she wants is sex stuff she likes. Narrow the orgasm gap and enhance bedroom time with this fantastic sexual aid for couples who have made it official. Buy her a vibrator no matter what.

A vibrator
We weren’t kidding when we said it’s her turn.

The Andrea Dworkin Sex Toy Line
These sex toys are penis disposals!

The Girl-from-Social-Media-Whose-Life-She’d-Trade-Hers-For Sex Toy Line
These sex toys are dresses with pockets! Pockets!

VISA Gift Card
Avoid breakups and fully liberate the female libido with the gift of choice.

Conversation Hearts
Everyone’s favorite V-Day candy with lots to say has new messages for a new era: LUV URSELF, BE UR OWN PERSON, FAX ME ONLY IF U WANT 2. Tell her what your heart is thinking without saying a word because shhhh, stop talking.

Just Shut Up
Want to get her the ultimate gift she’ll never forget? Surprise her by listening to her when she talks. Listen to her deep into the night. Wake up listening to her. Listen to her standing up. Listen in public and on the kitchen island after you push everything off it. Watch listening tutorials for inventive ways to listen. Pick up manuals to heat up your listening. Did you know there are pills to help you start listening and more pills to prolong your listening? Google Eastern listening techniques. Ask lesbians and spiritualists how they listen to women. Go to the listening store for listening toys. Stretch. Listen in hundreds of different positions. Listen a little to the left; now a little to the right. Don’t stop listening, even if your hand hurts. Commit to listening. Or just buy a vibrator.


Rumpus original art by Kaili Doud


Please submit your own funny writing to our Rumpus submission manager powered by Submittable. See first: our Funny Women Submission Guidelines.

To read other Funny Women pieces and interviews, see the archives.

Elissa Bassist edits the Funny Women column. She teaches humor writing at The New School and Catapult. Follow her on Twitter, and visit for more literary, feminist, and personal criticism. More from this author →