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The Wrong End Of The Ring: Please Like Me! November 12, 2018

Posted by Onely in Uncategorized.
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Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

–Martin Luther King Jr.

Copious Readers,

If you “like” or comment on my NUHA article about marital status discrimination here, I get points in a social justice blogging contest. Please help me spread the word about singlism! I wrote about how it overlaps with, and amplifies, so many other “isms,” such as racism, sexism, ageism, and ablism. Thanks so much!

The NUHA Foundation‘s mission is “to foster effective learning communities by supporting existing structures.” Their name “combines the acronym for ‘Nurturing Human Activity’ and the transliteration for the Arabic noun meaning mind, intellect.” For this contest, they gave bloggers a selection of three topics. I chose to write about MLK’s quote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” There are 1,000+ laws in the U.S. federal code that privilege married people over unmarried people. This institutionalized discrimination not only stigmatizes single people, but it bleeds over into stigmas against women, people of color, seniors, and disabled people. I elaborate more in my NUHA post:

https://nuhafoundation.org/home/blog/bloggingentries/2018/uncategorized/the-wrong-end-of-the-ring-the-insidious-issue-of-marital-status-discrimination/

Thanks in advance for any likes or comments (at the NUHA site)!

–Christina

 

 

The Dangers of Living Alone: Doorknob Edition September 27, 2018

Posted by Onely in Uncategorized.
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Gold_doorknob_cropWelcome to the latest installment in our series “The Dangers of Living Alone”.  Although living alone is a privilege, it also brings serious risks–as described in this earlier post, where Christina encountered terror in the toilet. That same bathroom terrorized Christina again just recently, as described below. We hope you can learn from her mistakes.

I never imagined I would hear myself thinking those words, but there they were, loud in my head:

I may have to kick down this door. I may have to kick down this door. I may have to kick down this door.

Copious Readers, if you live by yourself in a house with embedded door latches, here is a list of things you shouldn’t do, in the order in which you shouldn’t do them:

1. Do not say, “My guest bathroom doorknob is ugly. It needs replacing.” No it doesn’t. It is fine. Just leave it.

2. Do not unscrew said doorknob, then remove the handles and bolting mechanism, and then leave the bolt aka spring latch inside the door because you can’t figure out how to remove that part.

3. Do not go to Lowe’s for advice, then return home with your mission unaccomplished because there were working no automated carts available and your legs are too weak to walk all the way to the Doorknob Department. (The weak legs will become important later.)

4. Do not decide that even though the latch doesn’t retract anymore and could theoretically get stuck in the strike plate, rendering the door inoperable, it’s ok, because you will just remember not to close the door the whole way.

5. Do not drink a liter of coconut water, because in your manic sprint to the bathroom you will forget Operation Embedded Latch and slam the door behind you on the way to the toilet.

If you follow these instructions, you won’t find yourself zipping up your jeans and then slowly starting to claw at the empty ring in the locked door where the doorknob used to be. I had several thoughts when I realized I was trapped in the bathroom, all of which essentially amounted to,

I’m gonna die!

“Where’s my phone?” Not in the bathroom. 

“Will someone hear me if I scream?” No.

“Will anyone come looking for me?” Not for a few days. 

“What about the cats?” Yes, good idea! Just shout through the doorknob hole at Theo to retrieve a crowbar. 

“No, I meant what will they eat?” What will you eat? Are you gonna stick your hand through the door hole and grab a cat?

“Can I kick down the door?” You just reamed out the Lowe’s manager for not having working motorized carts for your poor legs, but by all means, do kick down the door. 

“What am I gonna doooooo?” I don’t know. What sort of escape vehicle can you fabricate from a toothbrush, toilet brush, towel, and mauve lipstick?

Days before, in a fit of uncharacteristic craftiness, I had decided to replace the knob on the vanity with a Petoskey stone from Lake Michigan. I’d put the Petoskey stone, bolt, super glue, and a screwdriver in a box next to the toilet, but then my craftiness fit passed and I returned to my normal state of Netflix-induced interia. Now my wide, panicked eyes saw the box. Using the screwdriver, I was able to pry the latch out of the door jam and free myself. In five seconds. This would have been a far better story if I I’d also had to use the stone, bolt, and glue to MacGyver my escape, but survivors can’t be choosers. If that screwdriver hadn’t been in the bathroom, I would still be in the bathroom.

This scenario brings to mind the age-old stereotype of the single person dying and rotting  alone. In the bathroom, I was horrified that no one would miss me right away, either in person or via phone. After I was free, I realized that several people I talked with regularly would have been concerned that I hadn’t checked in. The problem was that they understandably would need a couple days to realize I was dangerously MIA.  A couple days in the bathroom would have been awful, but doable. I had the necessities: water, toilet, bobby pins (all women who are growing out their bangs know what I’m talking about).  The risk seems like a small price to pay for the privilege of living alone–although I might change my mind if I lock myself in the closet during upcoming renovations. Stay tuned.

–Christina

 

 

Coming Home to An Empty (Of Humans) House June 27, 2018

Posted by Onely in Uncategorized.
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IMG_4874Copious Readers, do you have the privilege of living alone? If so, what’s the very first thing you do when you Come Home To Your Empty House?

Some years ago, my long-distance boyfriend broke up with me because he was “tired of coming home to an empty house.”  Technically, coming from him that phrase meant, “I have a local woman scoped out to ease my loneliness, but if she doesn’t work out, I’ll come crawling back to you.” But whether you’re looking for an excuse to dump someone or not, “coming home to an empty house” is almost always portrayed as a negative experience. Why is that, when so many people across the world live in too-cramped quarters? The rich/western world’s disdain for “coming home to an empty house” is rooted in privilege. It’s also rooted in our obsession with couples and the nuclear family.

So. Let’s expand how we think about “empty.” Maybe I don’t feel an emptiness when I walk in the foyer because I have plants that need watering. Maybe I have messages waiting for me on my answering machine (for the purposes of this metaphor, travel with me for a moment back to the days of landlines). Maybe I have a friendly ghost. Maybe I’m sick of real people and look forward to sitting down with my Amazon Prime friends of One Mississippi. But mostly, maybe I love coming home to an “empty” house because. . . and here we get to the real reason I’m writing this post:

CATS!

As soon as my door swings inward I start to yodel in that way that all cat people do when they are out of human hearing (and sometimes, when they aren’t). I always start out with, “Hi guize!” This is a gender-neutral form of “guys”, which is necessary because I have two man cats and one woman cat. Then my vocabulary and sentence structure just go downhill from there:

How’s my special treasure trovey muppets? Are you purrs? Hewwo Theo, hewwo Murpity. Yes, kisses! Kiiiiiissssses!! I love you so so much. You are my most special moggie buppets yes indeed. You are like angels in my life forever! Where’s your brother? Where’s Big Al? Is he sleeps? I missed you alls so much. You are so very very specialest to me!

The other day  in the midst of these linguistic acrobatics I realized that I have never, ever greeted any one of my significant other with this much effusiveness. According to Disney (more…)

Please respond: Survey On Single Life June 13, 2016

Posted by Onely in Everyday Happenings, Take action, Your Responses Requested!.
Tags: , , , ,
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Hi Copious Readers,

Some dedicated writers-slash-singles-advocates have asked me to share this link and ask you to fill out the survey you’ll find there. These researchers are exploring how single people are perceived and treated by society. The result will be a book for lay people–by which I mean, not an academic book.

The survey is simple, digital, and multiple-choice.

Please share it forward if you can!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/singlesquestions

Thanks,

Christina

Want A Green Card? Get Drunk And Throw Glitter! June 5, 2016

Posted by Onely in Uncategorized.
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Wedding-TraditionsIn a previous post, I declared our county animal shelter’s seating policy the most bizarre example of singlism I’ve seen.

Now I must amend that statement. The strangest example of singlism I currently know of goes thusly:

Background: My friend Aliza plans to marry to a Sudanese man. They met overseas but are moving to the U.S., which means he needs a green card. U.S. law says he is eligible for a green card if he marries a U.S. citizen.

(First, before I get to the weird part, I’m compelled by the focus of this blog Onely.org to mention that the green card policy is an example of one of over a thousand federal laws that privilege married people–for example, why can’t I choose a good friend to move to the U.S. with me in lieu of a spouse? And no, according to my sources there are no sponsorship programs as in Canada.)

Aliza wants a simple courthouse ceremony. Fair enough, right?

WRONG! The U.S. federal government requires that she submit, as part of the green card application process, evidence of their wedding, including photographs of their wedding ceremony. The blatant implication is that they expect pictures of relatives and friends dressed up, making speeches and getting drunk (though not necessarily in that order), champagne-dusted flowers flying through the air, a white dress, a black tux, and who knows what else the matrimaniacal legislators have in mind when they imagine a “legitimate” union between two people. The implication is that if their photographs are not convincing enough in the “traditional” way, Aliza’s husband is at risk of not receiving a green card.

We’re not sure that shots of me and Aliza wearing sundresses (or maybe sweats–in any case, the bride will wear polka dots) signing papers at a court desk while our respective date and husband stand sober in suits in front of some random photobombers (other couples? speeding tickets?) will make the cut.

–Christina

Photo Credit: The Wedding Band Shop

 

Tell Bill Maher “Singlism” Is a Thing He Should Broadcast April 17, 2016

Posted by Onely in Uncategorized.
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Hi Copious Readers,

A few people on the Facebook group Community of Single People (not/not a dating site) noticed that recently Bill Maher used the term “singlism” on his show, but he seemed to think he had just come up with it on the spot. The term “singlism” has actually been around for years (coined by Bella DePaulo to mean discrimination against singles), and we think he should know that–and should be interested in discussing the phenomenon on his show.

Tweet it: @billmaher @realtimers #singlism

Thanks!

–Christina

 

Nuclear Families Defy Laws of Physics April 12, 2016

Posted by Onely in As If!, Marital Status Discrimination.
Tags: , ,
3 comments

Cute_grey_kittenI want to foster a cat(s), so I signed up for our county shelter’s foster class. Years ago I went through a phase of fostering Special Needs cats–with kidney, skin, urinary, psychological, and projectile snot issues. So I’m no feline foster virgin. But rules are rules, so I have to get my butt in a chair at the class.

But did you know that human rules can override the rules of physics? Yes! Especially when we’re talking about rules of singlism/matrimania/heteronormativity. Check out this paragraph from the orientation letter for the foster class. I don’t even really need to comment on it, because the WTF factor is perfectly apparent. Aw heck, I’m going to comment anyway, because my snark filter is broken:

Apparently, according to our county shelter, spouses and children of potential foster parents don’t take up any physical space in chairs! So they don’t need to RSVP for the class–they can just show up randomly and seating magically appears for them. If I wanted to bring a friend to the class, though, she would have to RSVP because she, as a mere friend, *does* take up physical space and require am actual, non-magical, reserved chair:

Please only RSVP for yourself. If you are bringing your children or spouses (which is allowed – but please be mindful that training room space is very limited, and the presentation is about an hour long), you do not need to include them in the number of people attending. If you have friends who are also interested in the program, they need to fill out the application and wait for an email inviting them to RSVP for themselves.

[Bold and italics are mine.]

–Christina

Photo credit: Wikicommons

 

Tackle a Bad Day with This Tip March 24, 2016

Posted by Onely in Uncategorized.
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Onely.org is opening a dialogue on the effects of chronic illness on single people. Singles are discriminated against by the government even when they’re healthy. I’ll get into the nasty, nitty-gritty politics later.

Today we offer a Tick Disease Survival Tip:

 

Like many chronic illnesses, tickborne diseases go up-and-down. For patients who can leave their houses, it’s often nerve-racking and overwhelming if you have one, or more than one, errand or social event to attend in one day. You ask yourself, “Will I crash in public? Lose my temper with friends? Keel over in pain in a random parking lot?”

No matter how many loved ones you have in your support circle, you can not just grab one and stuff her in your purse or pocket to comfort you on your spontaneous errand.

What you *can* do is put your best old plush friend from childhood in a Ziploc bag and take him along. Freaking out at the volume level of Hendrix playing in Trader Joe’s? Stabbing pains in your buttcheeks?Just stick your hand in your purse and there’s your little friend. Aw.

If you’re a man, and your plush friend is bigger then a wallet, this may require you use a murse (man purse). But why not? We’re bending the “rules” here in many ways. Wouldn’t it be a better world if adults carried around their teddy bears? 

I had an awesome coworker who brought a bear to work every day. But his bear was dressed in chain mail so he’s bad ass, not babyish. Unlike my little dog Cow Pup pictured above, who wears all the latest trends in Mange.

-Christina 

Marriage–Even The Dead Are Doing It March 21, 2016

Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Great Onely Activities, Look What Google Barfed Up, Uncategorized, We like. . ..
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
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Even though single people–especially women–are taking the Western world by storm in politics and pop culture, our culture still has an unhealthy (unrealistic) obsession with marriage. Historically, marriage played many different roles in different cultures and this post does not intend to demean all the traditions behind marriages across the world.

Onely.org does, however, feel that marriage’s strong roots in abuse or belittling of women require that we look at the institution closely to see if it still meets our social needs, or how it can be adjusted to be a more equitable institution (IMO: Separ-ate Sex from State!). Or, allow marriage between the dead and the living. Either way, things need to be shaken up.

The below information on GHOST MARRIAGE comes from the very interesting Salon article by Ella Morton.

CHINA:

I am a previously-avowed Sinophile, but I don’t know the current status of the following tradition, so Copious Readers, feel free to weigh in:

The Ghost Marriage tradition (which is supposedly no longer legal, but happens anyway sometimes) developed from (shocker) the patriarchal family structure. When a childless single woman died, she left no one behind to honor her spirit. (Sound familiar? How many of you childfree woman out there have been asked, “But who will care for you when you are old?”) Part of the problem was that the woman’s birth family could not display a memorial for her; it had to be put on an altar in her husband’s home. But no husband, no altar. Solution? Ghost marriage. According to Morton,

A woman’s spirit can be worshipped by bringing her into the family of a husband who has been chosen for her after her death.

 

JAPAN:

I am a new Japanophile (?), having recently started Beginner 101 Japanese and read all about the classic Haiku travelling poets (Issa named himself after the bubble that comes up when you put a teabag in hot water–I plan to rename myself as well a soon as I come up with something half as fantabulous). However, I do not know about the ghost marriage aspect of Japanese history/culture so I’m hoping some Copious Readers can additional provide perspective.

According to Morton, who quotes Bride-Doll Marriage scholar Ellen Schattschneider, people who died early resented the “sexual and emotional fulfillment” they never received through living marriage. (Sound familiar? How many of you unmarried people have been told that you just don’t know what love really is, or that your life is meaningless, or that you aren’t as good at communicating and sharing as married people?) These supposedly  repressed, frustrated single dead people took out their frustrations on the living. Says Schattschneider:

Spirit marriage, allowing a ritual completion of the life cycle, placates the dead spirit and turns its malevolent attention away from the living.

 

(more…)

Single? Then you don’t have money problems with your family or friends March 2, 2016

Posted by Onely in As If!, Heteronormativity, Marital Status Discrimination.
Tags: , , , , , ,
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Billets_de_5000Warning: May contain unsound rhetoric such as rants and name-calling. (Welcome to the blogosphere!)

On the surface, it seems single people are now Cool. For example, the media has been regularly highlighting the importance of singles, especially women, in regards to the U.S. economy and politics. Feminist writer Rebecca Traister’s book All The Single Ladies has gotten many (deserved) favorable reviews from a range of outlets. However, we singles advocates need to not get too comfortable or complacent.  There is still singlist bullpoop out there, in huge steaming piles. For instance, someone is starting a new organization to help people manage money–but only in the context of the nuclear family. The founders declare themselves “a Christian organization” but obviously their “Christian values” only extend to people who have state-sanctioned sex.

How do I know this? I subscribe to a website that solicits help naming various new companies. They regularly announce contests to name new startups, or a revamped doctors’ offices, or what have you. According to an email I received, the above-described financial consultation organization’s goals are to

help families create a strong and healthy relationship with money in their marriages. We are focused on married people and families with young children. . .

and to

help families strengthen their emotional, spiritual, and practical relationship with money. . . think of relationship enrichment and financial advice combined. . .

Because apparently single people don’t have any loved ones they share financial issues with and so don’t need any guidance navigating those murky money waters. According to the founders of this organization, my single cousin doesn’t need help managing the low-interest loan she took from my parents for nursing school; according to this company, as a single person, I  didn’t need help recovering the 500 dollars from a ticket incurred on my car by a former friend of mine; according to this company, only spouses and children pass money between each other, and those are the only financial relationships that need “enriching” (probably no pun intended–I doubt the authors were smart enough).

So why would the founders limit their demographic so severely? Because they’re small-minded, ignorant, and ultimately on the road to self-destruction before they even get started. Given the many federal laws that privilege married people over singles financially, you’d think that maybe singles are more likely to need money guidance (for example, how to pass property or money to a non-spouse without paying a huge gift tax).

The organization says that for their new name, they are “open to both abstract and names that clearly describe who we are”. Ok then! A few suggestions, for names and slogans:

Financial Help from Heteronormaholes

We Tell You Who’s Important

Some Hearts Are More Equal Than Others

Matrimania In Your Wallet

Copious Readers, do you have other suggestions?

–Christina

PS. See also: http://nymag.com/thecut/2016/02/political-power-single-women-c-v-r.html by Traister

Photo credit: Wikicommons

 

 

 

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