At What Point Do We Become Bitter? June 4, 2013Posted by Onely in As If!, Food for Thought, Marital Status Discrimination.
Tags: army marriage, bitter single man, bitter single person, bitter single woman, tickets to Japan
Copious Readers, we at Onely (Lisa and Christina) hate the stereotype of the Bitter Single Woman who has become older without finding a partner. We have fallen victim to this stereotype ourselves, most often when we have spoken too vehemently about marital status discrimination. Have you–male or female–experienced this?
We started this blog with a “Rah rah rah, gooooo singles!” attitude. And we continue to insist that the solo lifestyle (which often isn’t so solo after all!) is a valid one that needs to be more recognized in our culture and especially in our laws. Single women, single-and-seeking women, and especially even older single-but-seeking women, are not necessarily bitter and sometimes they’re the very opposite.
(You’ll notice I say “women” and not “men”. Although “bitter” is more often applied to women, we would love to hear from men who have been called bitter for defending their unpartnered lifestyles.)
A very close friend of mine whom I shall call Renata said she was worried that if I stayed single, as I grew older I would become “bitter and alone”. Renata remains my close friend only because normally she is an otherwise sensible, giving person. I think her “bitter” comment happened just because I caught her off guard; she told a story and my reaction was not what she expected. Copious Readers, how would you have responded to her tale?
When the army shipped (a verb I always find sort of stupid and scary) Renata’s male friend to Japan, his civilian girlfriend got left behind. But wait! Her army love guy pined and pined for his girlfriend. So he went back on leave, proposed to her, and then they were married! Awww. And then they both got “shipped” (eewwww) to Japan together. ‘Cause they were married.
Renata smiled at the story. And I freaked out.
THAT IS FUCKING BULLSHIT! THE ARMY IS USING OUR TAXPAYER DOLLARS TO BUY A GODDAMNED INTERNATIONAL PLANE TICKET FOR THIS WOMAN JUST BECAUSE SHE SIGNED SOME SHITTY LITTLE PIECE OF PAPER.
See, I had forgotten that Renata was not my co-blogger Lisa. If she had been Lisa, I could have inserted far more expletives into that rant and Lisa would have nodded her head in rhythm with the beat of my fist on the table.
AND THAT’S NOT EVEN COUNTING ALL THE TICKETS WE’RE SUBSIDIZING FOR THEIR R&Rs.
Renata’s eyes were huge. But I needed to keep going. I had to.
AND AN UNMARRIED COUPLE DOESN’T HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS, EVEN THOUGH THEY MAY BE JUST AS DEDICATED TO EACH OTHER. PLUS, WHY CAN’T A SOLDIER BRING OVER A SIBLING, OR FRIEND?
Renata suddenly had to go to the bathroom. (To cry? To throw up? To reconsider the overblown role of marriage in our society?) (more…)
Tags: Eric Klinenberg, forrent, living alone, single blog, single homeowner
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We here at Onely like to experiment with guest posters! We love having them and the interesting perspectives they bring (which may or may not completely jibe with Onely’s optic). Today we are moving from pure text to something a little more visual–an Infographic. This medium is new to us so we’ll be interested in hearing your feedback on both the form and the content, which in this case has to do with the growing trend of Living Alone. Click on the graphic to see the whole image on ForRent.com, an apartment search company exploring this new trend. Normally Onely does not advocate specific businesses, but we believe in companies that consider renting or building alternative housing for non-traditional familes such as single people, and so we appreciate that ForRent has taken notice of single dwellers.
In 1950, only 9% of households had single occupants. Comparing that with today’s 27%, it is easy to see the trend of solitary living. With extending life spans, the average age of marriage slowly increasing and large rises in urbanization, we are on a path that will not be changing in the near future. The economy is in a slow recovery yet, surprisingly, a very small amount of young adults have moved back into their family homes.
In this infographic, we will take a look at some of the other factors influencing Americans to forego residential companionship and instead prefer to live by themselves.
“Alone But Not Lonely” infographic designed by ForRent.com
Single? Blogfest Explains How to Get Screwed 1,000 Times! April 15, 2013Posted by Onely in As If!, Bad Onely Activities, Food for Thought, Guest Bloggers, Guest Posts, Marital Status Discrimination, Singled Out, Singles Resource, Take action, Your Responses Requested!.
Tags: #SinglesBlogfest, #UnmarriedEquality, Atlantic Magazine, bella depaulo, Christina Campbell, Cindy Butler, Eleanore Wells, Marital Status Discrimination, singles blogs, The High Price of Being Single, Unmarried Equality
Marital Status Discrimination: Today, Onely joins forces with dozens of other bloggers to highlight the problem of Marital Status Discrimination. Why? Because on Tax Day, Uncle Sam picks the pockets of singles at the same time he’s rewarding couples for getting married.
So what? So this: The U.S. government–a democratic government, a government “By the People and For the People” and all that–discriminates against fifty percent of its population: unmarried people. Our federal code alone contains over 1,000 laws where marital status is a factor, and in most cases single people lose out.
Because this phenomenon was a problem with no name, we at Onely christened it “institutionalized” Marital Status Discrimination. In January we made a big slam-dunk stink about it in The Atlantic.
The Million-Dollar Difference: According to our very conservative and basic calculations, a single person earning $80,000/year could easily pay at least a million dollars more over her lifetime than her married counterpart, based on only a few of the most discriminatory laws (such as Income Tax, IRAs, and Social Security).
What’s more, our hypothetical scenarios did not consider state laws, nor the many ways Marital Status Discrimination shows up in corporate policies–such as when singles pay more for all sorts of insurance. These factors could easily push the million-dollar figure higher. Much higher.
But money isn’t everything: That’s why our government has thoughtfully provided other laws that don’t impact single people’s pocketbooks. These laws instead impact single people’s peace of mind. For example, as we described in 2010 on Psychology Today, an anti-stalking law promises protection to the victim’s spouse. Phew! But a single person being stalked is offered no such additional protection for a loved ones.
Any stalker who does his research (and we imagine this is all of them) would know exactly whom his stalkee loves most. R.I.P. Grandma; if only you had married your grandson maybe there would have been cops by your door when his stalker came calling. . .
The U.S. Government thinks being unmarried means: a life free of connections and cares, and full of discretionary spending. Unfortunately, even if this were true (and we at Onely fervently wish it were), no society is at its best when half its members are treated differently from the other half.
So let’s get started obliterating Marital Status Discrimination! Our first step is to. . uh. . . We will start by. . . ahem. . . Our next move should be. . . um. . . Well, as you can see, while we at Onely are skilled at pointing out these problems, we aren’t so sure what we should do next.
So, Copious Readers, here’s where we need your help: Now that we’ve gotten the dialog started, what do you think our “next steps” should be? How do you think we should take action (and by “we,” we mean the collective blogosphere standing up for single people everywhere)? What subject matter experts are best positioned to spread the word or propose legislative change? Do you know tax professionals or legislators friendly to our cause? (Or can you convince them to embrace our cause?)
Please share your insights and spread the word: Comment below. Or tweet #UnmarriedEquality and #SinglesBlogfest. Or share this article on Facebook!
If you have more questions about Singles Blogfest, please write to Onely@onely.org or to email@example.com. Huh? Clue? Yes:
The Communication League for Unmarried Equality (CLUE):
We at Onely were not the only ones who instigated this effort. We were honored to have had lots of help from three of the most active voices in the progressive singles’ movement, who jumped on board the Singles Blogfest project with unparalleled enthusiasm and expertise:
Thanks Copious Readers, We Love You!
Photo Credit: The Atlantic.com
Tags: benefits of being married, civil rights, critical of marriage, gay marriage, human rights, marital privilege, marriage debate, U.S. Supreme Court
Marriage is not about love. But most of the public conversation about marriage – most recently, the conversation about gay marriage – tends to treat marriage as the equivalent of love. Marriage, public discourse suggests, makes love official. And who could argue against that? Just as you generally can’t have a satisfying debate with a religious person about the existence of God, you’ll be booed off the stage if you say there’s something wrong with being in love. In popular rhetoric, the word “marriage” is used to signify (stand in for) the concept of romantic love.
Let’s be real; let’s stop saying marriage is about love.
In the best of cases, marriage stems out of love. But marriage itself is not the same as love. In truth, marriage is decidedly un-romantic. It is a legal, and sometimes religious, contract between two people. The contract ties the partners together – in no uncertain terms – in terms of finances, law, and kinship. These are not romantic concepts. In fact, in certain contexts, these concepts can be downright terrifying.
But public rhetoric wants us to ignore the ugly reality and focus on the feel-good. As a result, it’s challenging – almost impossible – to take a critical stance toward the institution.
The recent conversation about gay marriage, currently at the center of two cases heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, is a prime example of the consequences of our popular discourse. Our discourse suggests that the right to marry is an issue of civil rights (in the States, as some have pointed out, the Human Rights Campaign has problematically dominated this kind of discourse). While we at Onely agree that the achievement of marriage equality is an admirable goal, it does not in fact achieve the larger goals of civil rights, which would ensure that all people – regardless of their marital status – are treated equally in the eyes of the law.
As we have argued time and again on this blog and elsewhere – marriage creates and maintains a social hierarchy that grants specific financial, legal, and kinship benefits to individuals based only on their marital status. And guess who loses, precisely because they are not married? More than 50% of the population, single people.
Do You Have a Best Friend at Work? March 11, 2013Posted by Onely in Everyday Happenings, Food for Thought.
Tags: amatonormative, best friend, Human Resources, singles blog, Surveys
Everyone in my office had to fill out some HR office morale assessment questionnaire. I know, I feel your fear of the letters “HR”. But in this case our HR department was working to (ostensibly) improve morale and alleviate any antagonism. Now, I *love* surveys–I love people asking me what I think!–but one particular question stumped me:
Do you have a best friend at work?
Guest Post: 3 Tips to Creating Happily Ever After…YOUR Version February 12, 2013Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Guest Posts.
Tags: Jacqueline Boas, kerry david, lessons of being single, michelle cove, singles blog
Onely is thrilled to offer a guest post by award-winning author and filmmaker Michelle Cove, with extensive input from her co-director Kerry David and her lead character, Jacqueline Boas. Cove, David, and Boas discuss a question people often ask them:
What is your biggest “takeaway” when it comes to being a single woman?
Copious Readers, what are *your* biggest takeaways (we welcome input from our male readers as well)? Please note that the opinions expressed in guest posts may or may not be those of Onely.org (although they usually are!).
When Michelle Cove and Kerry David started making Seeking Happily Ever After (www.seekinghappilyeverafter.com)– a feature-length documentary that explores why there are more single 30-something women in the U.S. than ever–they had plenty of theories about why women are staying single longer and whether the trend would stick. One of the many questions: what would happen if you took a 30-something woman who was perfectly happy being single and forced her to spend a year at singles events so she could get friends and family off her back? Would she be happier one year later like they insisted? Michelle and Kerry put 30-something Jacquie Boas to the guinea-pig test. We’re not going to give away the twists and turns, but here were some of the big takeaways they each experienced. (more…)
Is There a Place for Practical Marriage? February 6, 2013Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Your Responses Requested!.
Tags: international relationships, marital privilege, marriage for practical reasons
Christina and I are on record saying that neither of us is interested in getting married. However, our Copious Readers know that we are not against marriage per se; rather, this blog is devoted to the deconstruction of marital privilege wherever it exists – in our society, our institutions, and our laws.
Copious Readers – especially those of you, like me, who have never planned to get married – I am curious about your opinions on this question: In what situation would your resistance to marriage crumble?
To speak personally, I have never looked forward to getting married – even as a child, this was not a life event I imagined for myself. I did look forward to falling in love and experiencing intimate relationships – and I have had these experiences, among many others that were equally significant.
But the question I have now stems from my current life outside the U.S., where marital privilege is equally ubiquitous. In my location, marriage is not only connected to cultural expectations, as well as the relatively mundane financial and social benefits, but it is also deeply connected to the ability to live with those you love – to be a part of a relationship that is recognizable according to the eyes of (international) law.
When I lived in the U.S., in a practical sense I thought I would never need to marry in order to enjoy and maintain a relationship. That’s not to say that marital privilege wouldn’t affect my life in profound ways: If I were in a relationship in the U.S., my partner and I would need to take extra steps to ensure that our partnership, and the rights we wanted to give one another (in terms of health care decisions, property, and other benefits), was legally recognized. And although the extra steps would cost us time and money, the important thing is, it would be possible to take those extra steps
But what if you find yourself in a serious relationship that crosses national borders? At what point should the practical benefits of marriage override one’s resistance to the institution? Let me give you two hypothetical examples, based on real situations that we’ve been told about by our friends, to illustrate how important the question is: (more…)
Singles and Asexuals: Their Intersextion January 23, 2013Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, sex, single and happy, We like. . ..
Tags: asexual, AVEN, david jay, happy singles, single blog, swank ivy
To many people, this sounds startling, or freakish. They may say it’s impossible; the asexual person must have something wrong with them.
A ‘non-seeking single’ refers to someone who doesn’t particularly care if he or she finds The One or gets married.
To many people, this sounds startling, or freakish. They may say it’s impossible; the single person must have something wrong with them.
Whoaaaaaa there, some of our Copious Readers might say. Why are you comparing asexuals to singles? You’re just perpetuating the stereotype that non-coupled singles don’t get any sex! And that’s not true! We get a LOT of sex! Sometimes!
No, this is not about that. This is about rhetoric. Asexuals and singles of many stripes are alike–in that they suffer from (or are irritated by) the same kinds of prejudiced rhetoric. I recently watched the documentary (A)Sexual. Its primary hero is David Jay, the founder of AVEN, the Asexuality and Visibility Education Network. The film also follows asexual advocate Swank Ivy. I stared with fascination as she described her Top Ten List of Things People Say To an Asexual.
If Onely had compiled a Top Ten list (why didn’t we ever think to do that?) it would be pretty much identical to Swank Ivy‘s. (Although her online list varies slightly from the verbal list she gives in the movie, their essences are the same.) Note that she writes from the point of view of a hetero woman, but the list could easily be tweaked to fit men: (more…)
Finally, People Care That Singles Get Screwed! January 16, 2013Posted by Onely in As If!, Food for Thought.
Tags: atlantic.com, high price of being single
We here at Onely slaved, slaved, slaved over our essay The High Price of Being Single. We did a bunch of math. Over Skype. Some tears were shed, some fists shaken, but we got a decent draft together. Then we slaved over marketing it. We received a pile of rejections. Except unfortunately most were electronic rejection letters, so we couldn’t pin them to the wall like Stephen King did with his Carrie rejections, but rather we had to file them away in a sad little cyber folder.
So now we really want to thank The Atlantic’s Sexes section for believing in our mission and publishing our ravings. As a result, many more people are now aware of the problem of marital status discrimination.
Specifically, the problem is that unmarried people pay much more–easily a million dollars more–over their lifetimes than marrieds. In our article, we describe just a few of the ways that the U.S. government, and the corporations that follow its lead, discriminate against unmarried people. Our calculations are not comprehensive, but they are accurate and illustrate the problem. And we only considered federal laws, not even state laws. (If any of our Copious Readers out there want to do the math for their individual states, please do so!)
We also want to thank the over 7,000 Atlantic readers who Liked the article on their Facebook pages, and everyone who added us to their Twitter feeds. We also thank all the other websites (ten pages of Google hits) who flagged the article for their readers. We thank everyone who took time to comment on the article, even the haters, because you’re bringing to life a dialog that should have been going on long, long before this.
You do care after all! You really, really care! You get it! We love you all!
–Christina and Lisa
Can Couples Advocate for Singles’ Rights? December 30, 2012Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Take action, Your Responses Requested!.
Tags: couple communication, singles advocacy, singles blog, singles versus couples, singles' rights, singlism
For more than four years now, Lisa and I have spent a good deal of time objecting, advocating, railing, protesting, blathering, and even (to our shame) name-calling, all in the name of singles’ rights. We’ve been doing it every since we realized that, at the time, all pro-singles writing said it was GREAT to be happily single, but only because it made you more appealing so you could get a mate.
Lisa and I, two single women in our 30s, thought that was stupid. What if, we proposed, it was great to be happily single, period? We were both happy, and single, and didn’t care whether we’d find a mate or not. So we started this blog, which has since been quoted or cited in several major print and online publications (and I say that only as an example of how vehemently we pushed our topic in people’s faces).
Our question to you, Copious Readers, is: would we, could we, have ever had the same revelation–and the same work ethic–if one or both of us had been coupled? Or by extension, can a coupled/married person ever advocate for singles’ rights as passionately, accurately, or extensively as an unmarried or socially single person? If yes, under what circumstances? If no, why not?
By singles’ rights, we mean that the U.S. government ought to stop discriminating against half its adult populace. We call this institutionalized singlism.
By singles’ rights, we also mean that people–regular people like you and Lisa and me–need to recognize that it’s not acceptable to treat single people like losers in the game of life. (“You’re not married yet? Awww.”) We call this cultural singlism. Examples are all over this blog and all over the blog of social scientist Bella DePaulo whom I linked to above, so I’m not going to retell the stories here. (I will give you some keywords though: Immature. Selfish. Desperate. Cats. Dead. Eaten by.)
Onely’s opinion is that anyone, aaaaaanyone, with an open-minded, critical-thinking type of brain, plus a (more…)