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About Onely and Heteronormativity

Onely, pronounced wun-lee, is an antiquated spelling of “Only”, as well as Lonely without the L, and of course the word “One” turned into an adjective.

When you type “Onely” into a famous web search engine, the famous web search engine asks you, “Did you mean: lonely

No, we didn’t.

We chose the name Onely because the word helps reverse popular conceptions of what it means to be single. Here at Onely, we reject the negative connotations associated with being “alone” promoted by contemporary American culture, connotations that suggest emptiness–such as “lonely” or “looking”–or that pathologize those who exist in the world outside of a coupled romantic relationship.

Instead, we believe that being single can be a satisfying and rewarding way of life, and in this blog, we hope to affirm and promote the joys of this lifestyle while highlighting and consistently questioning the heteronormative bias underlying most media representations of single people–even and especially those that emerge within supposedly “pro-single” rhetorics.

When we say “heteronormative,” we mean:

The term heteronormativity has traditionally been used in critical scholarship (esp. queer theory) to refer to (and question) the hegemonic perspective that normalizes heterosexual relationships and lifestyles, thereby excluding alternatives and insisting upon “conventional” binaries of gender and sexuality such as male/female. Although our site is not geared exclusively toward “alternative” sexualities or gender identities, we believe the term heteronormativity can and should also be used to refer to (and question) the hegemonic perspective that normalizes coupling and relationships in general. We believe that the same perspective that fails to recognize “alternative” gender and sexual identities also fails to recognize those of us who prefer living alone to coupling.

The word heteronormative, as used in critical scholarship as well as in this blog, is laden with negative connotations. A heteronormative perspective or bias is one that implicitly or explicitly believes that the only “normal” perspective is one which is heterosexual, which understands gender and sexual identity as static concepts, and which inherently desires to be in a monogamous, committed relationship. People and media that carry heteronormative perspectives see those who do not fit this perspective as inherently flawed or inferior.

That being said…

It should be clear: We, the writers of Onely, are against heteronormative perspectives.

BUT it should be equally clear: We are not against love, or relationships (even heterosexual ones), or marriage, or children.

Nope. We simply stand against the misapplication of the value of these experiences. In other words, when society values those who are in heterosexual, monogamous relationships at the expense of people who are not in heterosexual relationships (or relationships, period), we think it’s wrong. We’re definitely against that.

–Lisa and Christina

Comments

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