Pop Culture, Scourge of the Onelys part 7×777: Completely Unscientific Onely Poll for Lori Gottlieb and The Nation October 7, 2008Posted by Onely in As If!, Pop Culture: Scourge of the Onelys, Singled Out.
Tags: bella depaulo, happily single, lori gottlieb, marry him!, single mothers, singlism, what was the nation thinking??
Christina alerted me recently to a debate between our (admittedly) favorite singles expert, Bella DePaulo, and writer Lori Gottlieb, who wrote a rather infuriating article entitled “Marry Him!” that was published in The Nation back in February/March 08. I’m not going to touch the conversation between DePaulo & Gottlieb (see below for links to the full exchange), but I do want to ask our valuable, intelligent, anti-singlist and happily single readers the question that Gottlieb seems to already have answered for us:
You say you’re happy being single…
So, are you lying or just in denial?
WHAT? YOU WANT MORE CHOICES?! Sorry, Gottlieb isn’t giving us any. Here are a few paragraphs from the article to give you some context:
To the outside world, of course, we still call ourselves feminists and insist-vehemently, even-that we’re independent and self-sufficient and don’t believe in any of that damsel-in-distress stuff, but in reality, we aren’t fish who can do without a bicycle, we’re women who want a traditional family. And despite growing up in an era when the centuries-old mantra to get married young was finally (and, it seemed, refreshingly) replaced by encouragement to postpone that milestone in pursuit of high ideals (education! career! but also true love!), every woman I know-no matter how successful and ambitious, how financially and emotionally secure-feels panic, occasionally coupled with desperation, if she hits 30 and finds herself unmarried.
Oh, I know-I’m guessing there are single 30-year-old women reading this right now who will be writing letters to the editor to say that the women I know aren’t widely representative, that I’ve been co-opted by the cult of the feminist backlash, and basically, that I have no idea what I’m talking about. And all I can say is, if you say you’re not worried, either you’re in denial or you’re lying. In fact, take a good look in the mirror and try to convince yourself that you’re not worried, because you’ll see how silly your face looks when you’re being disingenuous.
OK, I’ve got to admit: Gottlieb had me so freaked out that I just checked myself out in the mirror (Gee, maybe I don’t know what I think after all — as so many women have historically been told). And it’s true, I DO look silly, but — gotcha! — I ALWAYS look silly (Christina can attest to this)!
To be fair, if we were to read generously (and to tell you the truth, after reading the first few paragraphs of this article and feeling completely stereotyped and silenced, I don’t feel generous at all), I think Gottlieb would say that one of her main points is that those of us who want to be married should stop clinging to idealized versions of potential mates, because they will always disappoint (see, LG, wasn’t that generous of me? To portray you fairly?). Unfortunately, this point is muffled within dangerous, singlist rhetoric that overgeneralizes, mocks, and thereby alienates the very readers whom she intends to address.
So, Happily Single Readers, let’s give Gottlieb the feedback she’s surely looking for, and tell us:
Are you lying or just in denial?