The Worst Singlism Ever (And We’ve Seen Some Bad Stuff)–Protest It! February 9, 2013Posted by Onely in As If!, Celebrities, STFU Celebrities, Your Responses Requested!.
Tags: David France, Ed Koch, new york magazine, singles blog
1 comment so far
Copious Readers, get your pens on! We need to write letters to the editors of New York Magazine, which published an article by (supposed) social-justice advocate David France, wherein David France says single people–specifically, New York mayor and “lifelong bachelor” Ed Koch–are heartless.
In the article, ”Ed Koch and the AIDS Crisis: His Greatest Failure,” France says that in the course of his research:
That fact [that Koch "never coupled"] stood out above any other as a probable explanation for why he seemed to lack even the faintest stirrings of empathy when the AIDS crisis came. (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…)
Singles Advocates Talk Live on HuffPost January 18, 2013Posted by Onely in We like. . ..
Tags: high price of being single, HuffPost Live
Copious Readers, you may want to go to HuffPost Live to see a moderated discussion among Dr. Bella DePaulo of Singled Out, Eleanor Wells of The Spinsterlicious Life, and Christina of Onely (Lisa is on Beirut time).
We’ll be talking about about how marital status discrimination impacts single people, as described in Onely’s recent Atlantic article, and Bella and Eleanor’s books.
Comments are welcome. Except about my hair.
–Christina (and Lisa)
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
Single Women: So What If They’re Over Fifty? January 5, 2013Posted by Onely in As If!, STFU, Your Responses Requested!.
Tags: ageism, cougar, demeaning terms for singles, demeaning terms for women, lookism, looksism, sexism, singles blog, singles sexism, singlism, SMOFTY, spinster stereotype, SWOFTY
So apparently now there is yet another term to describe women who behave in a certain way: Before it was Cougar, meaning an older woman who dates younger men (implication: these women must be preying on younger men, because why would the guys be attracted them of their own accord?) . Now according to this article flagged by our reader Iolanda, as well as other articles, we have SWOFTY. This means a single woman over fifty.
Copious readers, is this offensive or empowering to women, and particularly to single women? I say offensive, and here’s why:
Where is the term for single men over fifty? A Google search for SMOFTY returned the result: Did you mean SWOFTY? . . . Um, no, sigh.
And there’s more: The term SWOFTY markets itself as a badge of honor for single women, but really it objectifies and classifies women in a three-for-one deal: according to their relationship status, gender, and age. It’s the same old sexism, singlism, and ageism that has been going on in most cultures since forever, just re-labelled. Even the fact that we get surprised by the idea that single women over fifty can be vibrant and happy — so surprised that we have to give them a name — shows just how ingrained the stereotype of the drab spinster is. It’s a stereotype we need to talk in full adult words about, not cutesy acronyms that keep reminding people how the existence of happy single older women is surprising.
And no, SWOFTY does not do anything to increase the dialogue about or dismantle the spinster stereotype (more…)
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…)
You Choose: Best New Relationship Signifier of the 21st Century! December 17, 2012Posted by Onely in Dating, Everyday Happenings, Food for Thought.
Tags: ex-boyfriend on facebook, relationship signifiers, singles blog
Many single people date. They date in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 100s. In a previous post we declared that the words boyfriend and girlfriend sound stupid when applied to people over the age of oh, say, ten. For example, stick a little gender neutrality in there and look what we’ve got:
Thanks so much for inviting me to your cocktail party, Jane, but I’ll have to pass because I’ll be in Aruba with my childfriend.
Cheers to reader Terry T for pointing out that icky yet accurate rhetorical twist. Onely’s boyfriend/girlfriend post also got other great responses (thanks to Lola for companion, my favorite because it works for people *and* cats) from people who felt passionate about this troubling gap in the English language–and, in fact, in languages around the world (thanks to Beth ODonnell for beau and paramour). So now we here at Onely are asking our Copious Readers to choose The Best New Relationship Signifier of the 21st Century!
What term should we use to describe that person (or persons) with whom we have a unique, committed combined emotional, sexual, and (perhaps) financial relationship outside of marriage? Because of the complicated, multi-adjectival nature of these relationships, you might be tempted to use an acronym (mine above turns out to be UCCESPFROOM). But instead please consider words that are easily translated. This will allow for maximum scalability around the globe (hey, we here at Onely like to aim high!)
And please remember, we are looking for relationship signifiers versus terms of endearment. = )
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…)
U.S. adults have “boyfriends” and “girlfriends”–Do other cultures also infantilize the unmarried? November 28, 2012Posted by Onely in Dating, Food for Thought, single and happy, Your Responses Requested!.
Tags: adult boyfriend, adult girlfriend, cultural expectations for dating, cultural expectations for the single woman, relationship signifiers, singles blog
The U.S.’ widespread use of “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” is a decades-old cultural relic, from a time when we married barely out of boyhood or girlhood. But now more and more adults are waiting until their late twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, sixties, or beyond to marry (if at all). So what does it say about our society that we call the people we’re dating “boyfriends” and “girlfriends”?
It SAYS that our society views unmarried people as younger/less evolved/more childish than married ones.
To be sure, our habit of using boyfriend/girlfriend in perpetuity did not arise from a concerted or conspiratorial cultural effort to infantilize unmarrieds. But the passive persistence of the terms does represent how singles are viewed. (For all that alliteration, you may thank this glass of wine.)
A thirty-eight-year-old hetero female has a boyfriend? Come on.
Progressive thinkers (usually as an extension of Queer rhetoric) have played with new terms: Significant Other; Partner; Life Partner. . . These terms allow people of all ages to achieve the rare art of sounding both stodgy and mysterious at the same time.
Copious Readers, Onely requests your responses: (more…)