Alabama State President–Victim of Singlism January 16, 2014Posted by Onely in Celebrities, Heteronormativity, Take action.
Tags: Alabama State, discriminatory housing, Gwendolyn Boyd, history of singlism, singles blog, singlism in school, valerie strauss
Even the unmarried president of Alabama State, Gwendolyn Boyd, accepts discrimination against single people, aka ‘singlism’. That shows how insidious singlism is in our society. Even a woman with a master’s in mechanical engineering from Yale buys into the myth that couples are better than singles. I must presume she is a highly intelligent, driven, open-minded woman. But then why, Copious Readers, would she end up accepting these terms from the university:
Her contract stipulated that she could not share her prime university housing with anyone except a husband.
And she didn’t fight back.
Check out this Washington Post article by Valerie Strauss to get the whole story, and to read about all Boyd’s *other* accomplishments that make her complacency in this matter even more startling. (more…)
The Wife Date December 9, 2012Posted by Onely in Bad Onely Activities, Dating, Heteronormativity.
Tags: (not) looking for a wife, dating checklists, dating for fun, single and happy
As our Copious Readers know (but as we often have to clarify to our not-so-Copious Readers and Friends), Christina and I are not against coupling per se. We’re against the privileges associated with coupling, especially when they are unequal to the privileges provided for singles.
Why am I giving you this caveat? Because I went on a date recently. And I didn’t want anyone to think that, by going on a date, I was not being Onely. We believe it’s possible to be Onely and have a love life too.
That being said, I have something to say about the date, which I am heretofore nicknaming The Wife Date. Perhaps by the nickname you can guess how I felt about it. But in case you can’t, let me explain:
Have you ever gone on a date where the conversation consisted of a series of generic questions, rather than from finding mutual experiences or interests in common? (more…)
Onely’s Adventures in Accounting: The Math of Marital Status Discrimination September 22, 2012Posted by Onely in As If!, Heteronormativity, Your Responses Requested!.
Tags: amatonormative, marital privilege, singles blog, singlism, unmarried discrimination, us government discrimination
Phew, pant pant pant. We at Onely almost missed National Unmarried and Single Americans Week! (Lisa says it’s because she was too busy having fun as a single person.) And indeed, lately there have been a ton of articles (“All the Single Ladies,” “A Confederacy of Bachelors”) in big media about how single people are happy being single (gasp!). Which is good.
But it’s not enough to celebrate social aspects of being single. These articles about the Rise of Satisfied Singles, while important, don’t address the underlying problem of how our society views singles:
Discrimination against unmarried people is institutionalized in government laws (and by corporate policies, which follow the government’s lead).
Take, for example, the unmarried Canadian soldier killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. If he had been married, his spouse would have gotten Death Benefits of $250,000. But because he had no spouse, that $250,000 remained in government coffers to be given to a married person. His and other parents challenged this practice, protesting that in the absence of a spouse, the money could just as easily be allocated to them.
Do you think these parents are
B) Hmmm, what an interesting idea;
C) OMG HOW SELFISH?
If you answered A, then you understand why we at Onely believe marriage as a legal institution is overvalued and oversanctified. If you answered C, then you’d better stop reading now. We are going to prod at your stale paradigms – with the sword of mathematics. En guard!
We’ve never done the math of Marital Privilege. No one has. Until now. (more…)
Tags: iafrica, singlism, singlist media, south african singles, taking privilege for granted
Thanks to one of our Copious Readers from South Africa, Amelia, for bringing to our attention a ridiculously offensive article published recently in iAfrica, entitled “The Benefits of Being Single.”
Amelia told us,
I was very much looking forward to finding out what the financial benefits of being single are, as it’s always seemed to me more expensive not to have anyone to share the rent and other expenses with. But boy, was I in for a surprise!
Like Amelia, we had high hopes for the article. After all, the intro sounded promising:
There is a growing trend in South Africa (and it’s probably already a worldwide trend) for people to choose to remain single…. We no longer have to be married in order to be counted as serious or dependable (unless we are running for president).
Unfortunately, the article takes a nose-dive shortly thereafter, when we learn that:
the beauty of being single from a financial standpoint is that you are cheaper to maintain!
(Yes, the exclamation point was in the original…!)
You … don’t have to take other people’s needs into account, such as which area to buy a home in and how large that home should be.
when going on holidays a single person can afford to travel more as there is only one airplane ticket to buy, one holiday package to purchase. If you don’t like holidaying on your own there are many travel clubs with groups to join and new friends to make.
And – my god – did you know that:
you can start that business that you always wanted with less personal risk. If the business does not pan out you have no family home that needs to be sold or repossessed by the bank, no children that need to be moved from their school after a forced evacuation. There is only yourself that will go through hardships because of mistakes you made and lessons you learned. Also, you can work the long hours it takes to build a business without paying too little attention to anyone.
So, let’s outline the problematic assumptions at work here
- Being single somehow means your expenses are lower, in spite of the fact that having two (or more) incomes and splitting the bills, sharing a house, paying for insurance, and even taking a vacation is significantly cheaper per person for couples and families than being single.
- Being single means that you have no significant relationships or obligations to maintain.
- Being single means that you have plenty of time on your hands.
- Being single means personal risk doesn’t matter, and it probably also means that you’re male, extroverted, wealthy, and/or white.
*Sigh.* Three cheers for the heteronormative mainstream media!
– Lisa and Christina
photo credit: http://www.fam.tuwien.ac.at
What Every Woman Wants? July 22, 2012Posted by Onely in Dating, Food for Thought, Heteronormativity, single and happy.
Tags: bad hookups, coupl, couple-mania, Dating, flaky guys, happy and single, Heteronormativity
The following is a story about the perils of couple-mania. The victim is me. The moral: Always trust your gut – you are a smart and intuitive person. Don’t let couple-mania get the better of you.
A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to help a friend – let’s call her Reem – celebrate her birthday at a beautiful beach in southern Lebanon with her boyfriend (let’s call him Ramzi), and another friend of theirs (we’ll call her Rose). The beach was lovely – sunny, hot, relaxing.
A few hours into the afternoon, a few of Ramzi’s acquaintances from his football league showed up. We mingled. One of the guys started talking to me. We’ll call him Beach Dude.
Beach Dude seemed to be a genuinely nice guy. He’d grown up in the States but was of Lebanese descent. Talking with him, I felt comfortable, relaxed. He even asked me the topic of my dissertation; no one ever does that. We watched the sunset and chatted until I had to leave for Reem’s birthday dinner. I thought nothing of it.
But apparently, Reem, Ramzi, and Rose had thought about it plenty. They started teasing me.
Them: “Wow, Lisa, Beach Dude really likes you!”
Me: “What are you talking about?”
Them: “He stayed to talk to you when all the guys left to play football!”
Me: “Well, that’s true… but…” My gut just felt they were wrong.
Them: “Lisa, he’s totally into you.”
Me: “I think he was just being friendly.”
Them: “You guys have got to hook up!”
After all their badgering I began to wonder if maybe they were right, and I had in fact entirely misinterpreted Beach Dude’s manner and motivations. Maybe he was totally turned on by the sexy concepts of historiography and disciplinarity (the subject of my dissertation). Still, I squirmed and blushed as they kept insisting that they had seen something I hadn’t.
I already hate couple-mania enough when it’s “out there” – in magazines or on television – but I truly despise it when it’s targeted at me. (more…)
Onely Commits Heteronormativity (Again) April 5, 2012Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Heteronormativity.
Tags: couples hypnotism, heteronormative, single faux pas, singles blog
I’m beginning to worry I’m a subconscious heteronormahole, one of those annoying people who frame everything in the world in a hetero couple matrix. Regular readers will recall that in the past I’ve made unintentionally singlist or heteronormative remarks about housing and parenting.
Well, folks, I did it again. Recently I saw a hypnotist for assistance with handling medical issues, but as you know these guys are famous–in TV world at least–for dredging up all sorts of nastiness from the subconscious. Even. . . heteronormativity in a woman who has spent her blogging career railing against couple-maniacs and calling them names?
What happened was: The hypnotist sat me in a fluffy recliner. To the right of me was a matching fluffy recliner. In the tiny room, the recliners were the centerpiece and the empty chair to the right of me was very close and very obvious.
“Why do you have two chairs here?” I asked, after the session. I was groggy. (After all, I had just spent fifteen minutes being told to relax and visualize happy stuff. ) “Why? Do you hypnotize couples together? Like therapy?”
“No.” She gave me the same look I would have given myself, had I been completely lucid. “Sometimes friends want to do it together. Often coworkers. Not so much couples, at least not for therapy.”
Of course. Why would two chairs automatically suggest a couple to me? Why wouldn’t any number of other combinations of peoplehood want to try hypnosis together? Copious Readers, what would you have thought if you’d seen two chairs close side by side in a small dim hypnotist’s office?
Photo credit: the-hypnotic.blogspot.com
Single’s Movement Has a Slogan! February 20, 2012Posted by Onely in Heteronormativity, Take action.
Tags: single and happy, singles blog, singles discrimination, singles movement, singles slogan, singlism
Copious Readers, let us know what you think of this for our Singles’ movement slogan (if I may be so bold):
Separate sex and state!
Advantage: If you pronounce it SeparAYTE, it has rhyme and rhythm.
Disadvantage: Some people might read it as SeparUT.
Advantage: It has “sex” in it.
Disadvantage: It has “sex” in it.
As our regular readers will recognize, the slogan reflects how many governments give arbitrary rights and privileges to married couples, at the expense of gays who cannot marry and, less famously, at the expense of single people. Yes, some companies or governments think of themselves as all progressive for providing some domestic partner benefits, but in doing so they’re just feeding back into the whole overdone trope of couple-privileging.
Moreover, “couple” is largely by default defined as two people who live together and have sex with each other on a regular basis. This prevents, or at least deters, two platonic females (for example) who live together, maybe share childcare responsibilities, and function as a married couple in all ways but one–dare I whip out the Kate & Allie reference? I do dare–from receiving or applying for domestic partner benefits.
This is why we think Separate sex from state is an appropriate slogan for progressive singles. Separate sex from state, and many other cultural prejudices about singles (selfish, lonely, always seeking “the one”) will fall away as well.
P.S. If you watch the Kate & Allie episode, aired in 1984, you’ll see how they float the idea of “family can be defined many ways.” Yet over twenty years later, so many people (and institutions) are still acting as if the hetero couple unit is the be-all end-all of family. Shameful.
Dreaming an Impossible Dream: Marriage January 16, 2012Posted by Onely in Everyday Happenings, Food for Thought, Heteronormativity, Your Responses Requested!.
Tags: anti-Onely psyche, dream interpretation, marriage dreams, married and unhappy
But what’s going on when a Oneler literally has a dream about getting married?
I’m not sure, but I can say this: It’s unsettling… Just over a week ago, I woke up at 4am remembering that I’d almost gotten married; as I put the strange pieces together and recalled the emotions I felt during the dream, I worried: did my psyche just make me a traitor to my Oneliness? (more…)
Tags: Mark Grisanti, married rights for singles, New York marriage
Who am I to say that someone does not have the same rights that I have with my wife who I love or have the 1300 plus rights that I share with her? I vote in the affirmative.
This sentence could also easily apply to single people who are deprived of those same rights (caveat/clarification: the 1300 rights Grisanti mentioned are 1300 laws in the federal code that reference marital status, and not all of them favor married people, although the vast majority do).
I’m amazed how people can advocate for Rights and Social Justice while playing right into a system that inherently disparages (the single) half of the population. Actually, I shouldn’t be amazed, because until a few years ago I was one of those advocates.
We at Onely have said it before and we’ll say it again: yes, everyone should have the right to marry, but marriage should not be privileged over other lifestyles.
Photo credit: rikkis_refuge