Some Like It Single: Rachel’s Musings March 6, 2009Posted by Onely in Some Like It Single.
Tags: atheist rights, friendship and folk dancing, Rachel's Musings, singles advocacy, we love being single
Welcome to our newest series, Some Like It Single, where we’ll be profiling (relatively) small, independent blogs that are dedicated to exploring what it means to be “single” in American culture and, we hope, around the world.
We chose Rachel’s Musings as a starting point for this series not only because Rachel’s been mulling over and fighting against singlism for longer than we have (dob: May 2007), but because we admire her thoughtful posts and sharp eye. We regularly get heads-up and talking points from her about interesting topics or actions to take, such as advocating for single’s rights through Credo (Christina’s phone company too, yay!), or the federally-funded campaign to promote marriage, or her recent awesome discovery of Facebook groups that dislike the pre-set “relationship status” options on the site (see comments section).
Here’s what Rachel has to say about why she’s motivated to maintain the blog:
My blog was intended as an outlet for my ideas, a place to reflect on what I was reading, and overall a counterweight to my corporate job with its golden handcuffs and lack of intellectual challenge. The primary driving force behind the blog is my observation that matrimania in our society is creating a lot of pain and that our focus on The One is destroying community. These musings include ramblings on religion and the capitalist system since both seem connected to heteronormativity. How isn’t exactly clear to me – yet. Hopefully, I will gain some clarity through blogging and also by interacting with more and more readers. The other reason for my blog is a strong activist streak – fighting singlism wherever I see it and thus raising consciousness about how singles are considered less than full adults.
Rachel also advocates extensively for atheists’ rights. Here she notes how Obama’s inaugural speech mentioned “non-believers” along with the more mainstream religions. That was a major validation of atheism, whether you agree with the term “non-believer” or not. And whether you are atheist or not, her commentary is interesting reading because a lot of the marginalization experienced by atheists mirrors the marginalization experienced by singles and other stigmatized groups–in many ways we’re all on the same team.
Check out Rachel’s Musing’s blogroll if you want to branch out from singles-advocacy sites (just for a little while, right??!!): Sections include climate change, economics, feminism, growth critiques, art, mindfulness and pyschology, skeptics, societal change, work-life, and the slightly mysteriously named “Z Useful Sites.”
As for the wizard behind the curtain – Rachel herself – she explains that, like many of us, she began blogging about being single “after yet another painful break-up when I realized that I was happier being single than I ever was in a relationship.” Some of the books that first inspired Rachel to embrace the single lifestyle – once and for all – include Kay Trimberg’s The New Single Woman, Single State of the Union edited by Diane Mapes, and Bella DePaulo’s Singled Out.
Her personal history helps further illuminate why she cares so passionately about singles advocacy:
Growing up in Germany, I could count the single people I knew on one hand (though both my Grandmothers were single mothers, I never quite perceived them as single; unfortunately, they died too early, so I couldn’t ask them about their lives). Everybody was at least coupled, mostly married. That was the norm. I came to the US as a full-time volunteer but stayed after I got married to a guy I hardly knew, in part because only marriage would allow me to stay in the US since my visa was running out. That marriage lasted 4 years – the divorce happened less than a year after the birth of our son. Despite being a single mother with ongoing legal challenges to deal with, I continued my education, receiving a masters in marketing research. I didn’t start dating again until I was out of school; I was just too preoccupied. When I did start, I slowly learned that I don’t want to be tied down in a coupled relationship and that I am happier if I don’t focus on one other person …
Instead, Rachel would rather “build a friendship network and surround myself with the things that I enjoy in life, which includes folk dancing. Partner not required.”
We at Onely very much admire the perspective put forth by Rachel’s Musings - and more than anything, we appreciate hearing her voice alongside ours. We hope you, Copious Readers, will enjoy it as well!
– L & CC