Please respond: Survey On Single Life June 13, 2016Posted by Onely in Everyday Happenings, Take action, Your Responses Requested!.
Tags: Marital Status Discrimination, Melody Abrahams, Meredith Zeitlin, singles blog, singles survey
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!
Want A Green Card? Get Drunk And Throw Glitter! June 5, 2016Posted by Onely in Uncategorized.
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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.
Photo Credit: The Wedding Band Shop
Tell Bill Maher “Singlism” Is a Thing He Should Broadcast April 17, 2016Posted 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
Nuclear Families Defy Laws of Physics April 12, 2016Posted by Onely in As If!, Marital Status Discrimination.
Tags: foster pets, singles blog, singlism
I 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.]
Photo credit: Wikicommons
Tackle a Bad Day with This Tip March 24, 2016Posted 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.
Marriage–Even The Dead Are Doing It March 21, 2016Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Great Onely Activities, Look What Google Barfed Up, Uncategorized, We like. . ..
Tags: Atlas Obscura, Buy Me A Bride, Ella Morton, Ellen Schattschneider, Ghost Marriage, Marital Status Discrimination, Rebecca Traister, single people, singles blog, singlism
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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.
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.
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.
Tags: All the Single Ladies, financial advice, Marital Status Discrimination, married money, Rebecca Traister, singles blog, singlism
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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. . .
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?
PS. See also: http://nymag.com/thecut/2016/02/political-power-single-women-c-v-r.html by Traister
Photo credit: Wikicommons
Singlist Quote Of The Week February 27, 2016Posted by Onely in As If!, Look What Google Barfed Up, Marital Status Discrimination.
Tags: cell phones India, Marital Status Discrimination, singles blog, singlism
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Let them study, get married, then they can get their own phones.
–Ranjit Singh Thakor, president of the Mehsana district in Gujarat, India, speaking about single women.
Per this Reuters article by Rina Chandran), an increasing number of villages in Gujarat and Bihar Provinces forbid girls and single women from having cell phones, because the phones ostensibly “distract them from their studies” or cause them to elope. (No word on why men are not similarly affected by cell phones.)
Hmm, I recall a couple hundred years ago (I’m very old) when another leader supposedly said of a marginalized demographic:
Let them eat cake!
Whatever happened to her?
Singles: Married People’s Poop Pollutes Less Than Yours February 11, 2016Posted by Onely in As If!, Marital Status Discrimination.
Tags: marital privilege, married property rights, singles blog, singlism
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Copious Readers: Just FYI, my long absence from Onely is not because I have lost interest in singles’ issues–on the contrary, I read about them every day in my Google feed–but because I have been sick. I had to focus more on the immediacies of daily life: food, medicine, mortgage, and, ahem, reruns of “Worst Cooks in America” on Netflix. But I was inspired to fight my way back to the keyboard through the pain for you, Copious Readers, to let you know that if you single, you had better get married, because if you’re married, your sh&t don’t stink.
A tiny article in my parents’ local paper on Thursday, June 18 2015 announced: One Quarter of Septic Systems Found To Be Failing. (It doesn’t seem to be online; but here’s the article that predated it.)
Never one to shy away from an opportunity to read about poop, I explored this issue further, and I found the strangest instance of singlism (discrimination against single people) that I have yet encountered in all my years of writing this blog.
But first, some background: My parents live in a little log cabin on a lake within minutes of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Native Americans considered it sacred long before my great-grandparents built a cabin there. My great-grandparents settled there long before the area was named “the most beautiful place in America” by Good Morning America. After that, the park drew increasing numbers of the kind of tourists who had a lot of money, but not a lot of imagination–the kind of people who have to be told where to visit, instead of inspiring themselves with their own research. (Yeah, yeah, bitter much?)
With the resulting crowds and McMansions in the woods (our little cabin is now megavintage), there’s been a struggle to maintain the area’s aesthetic integrity. Nearby Glen Arbor Township became “the first township in [Leelanau] county to require septic and well inspections for properties changing ownership,” according to the article. Failing or poorly constructed septic tanks can contaminate groundwater in a watershed that feeds dozens of small lakes, as well as Lake Michigan.
But here’s the thing:
If you sell the property to your spouse, you do *not* need to get your septic tank inspected.
Your twenty-year-old tank could be leaching poop-laced water into the surrounding earth 24-7, but that’s ok, because if you’re married, your poop doesn’t contain bacteria and toxins that pollute the soil and water tables. Or so it would seem, according to this ruling by the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department. As soon as you say, “‘Til death do us part,” your colon automatically purges itself of all environmentally toxic and pathogenic micro-organisms and chemicals (which is why wedding clothiers are increasingly offering the Silk Diaper option as an add-on feature to your dress or tux).
Photo credit: Jim Duncan, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1TZlwKHVo0
Onely On the Warpath September 7, 2015Posted by Onely in As If!, Bad Onely Activities, Heteronormativity, Marital Status Discrimination, single and happy, Take action.
Tags: childless discrimination in military, illegal discrimination in military, marital status discrimination in military, navy nurse discrimination, singles blog
Enlisted sailors go out and get married and have children. Because it works to their advantage.
A well-meaning coworker said this to my close relative–let’s call her Megan Muster–after Megan was finished crying in the bathroom. (Or maybe she was kicking the toilet, I’m not sure.)
Megan is a navy nurse who has spent months deployed to an unpleasant place which we’ll call “Stinky Stress Land”. She recently sent my family an excited email saying she was coming home, and I was set to meet her at a naval base near my house on a certain weekend.
But all that changed when her superior officer, the “Senior Nurse Executive” (SNE)–let’s call her Donkeybreath–told Megan that Donkeybreath was extending Megan’s deployment. Donkeybreath explained that of the three Navy nurses who were eligible for extension, Megan was the only one who didn’t have kids. So she had to stay in Stinky Stress Land.
In her email to my family, Megan said the SNE (Donkeybreath to us) told her the decision “ultimately came down to the person who had the least responsibility at home [italics mine].” At that instant Megan knew what was coming. Donkeybreath said, “LCDR Smith has a son at home, and LTJG Jones has two children. LTJG Muster, I know you don’t have any children at home. I’m so sorry, but I have to extend your Orders”.
Copious readers, I’m sure you can spot Donkeybreath’s many errors in logic. I’ll break them down for any new readers of Onely.org (welcome, and I promise I’m not always this p*ssed off. No, actually I guess I am). Let’s use some of Megan’s own words:
It doesn’t matter to the military that I have a family that I care about every bit as much as the next person.
Onely adds these thoughts: What if Megan had an uncle or a close friend that she was normally caretaker of, as opposed to children? Or what if LTGJ Jones were a closet alcoholic who beat his kids? Wouldn’t the kids be better off if LTGJ Jones stayed deployed and the kids remained with their stable, kind, grandparents?
Doesn’t matter! Not in our nuclear-family-obsessed culture. I’m concerned that our U.S. military is draconian and unimaginative and inflexible. I know we’re not Stalin or Pol Pot for goodness’ sake, but having a limited view of what and who constitutes “responsibility” can only undermine the morale of our troops.
As Megan also said in her email,
It doesn’t matter to the military that I have traditions with close friends that I was planning on.
No, because friendship is deemed less important than blood ties–for no real good reason that I can see. (And those traditions she’s talking about? Some of them include. . . actual children! No, she doesn’t roast them with a splash of cooking wine. For seven years she and her close friend have given kids candy on Halloween–the good stuff, peanut butter cups, not taffy sticks. Yes, gasp! She’s childfree but doesn’t hate kids! Craziness!)
But Megan wasn’t finished with her note yet:
Why should I even sit there and justify to her why my life is every bit as valuable as someone’s who has children? And the poor LCDR Smith who had to sit there and listen to her say this B.S. to me. He was squirming in his chair from the discomfort!
Whoa. Donkeybreath not only committed a crime–illegal discrimination–but she did it in front of a witness! Copious Readers, does anyone out there have legal expertise in situations like this? Any suggestions of what Megan should or could do in this circumstance? There is a law in the U.S. federal code that states it’s illegal to discriminate based on marital status (everyone ignores this law), but I’m not aware of a law that specifically states you can’t privilege breeders over non-breeders.
I’ve never like the word “breeders” much, but I’m using it here because I am so angry. Maybe later I’ll go back and change it to “parents”. Meanwhile, “Breeders breeders breeders breeders breeders!!!!!”
And here’s the O.Henry twist: The extension was “only” for two weeks, said Megan, who continued:
So whatever. I’ll survive. But it’s the principle of the thing.
And moreover, if it’s “only” two weeks, who gives a poop about kids or no kids? The majority of children left home in the States with a spouse or grandparents or whomever are not going to be much affected if their deployed parent stays away another two weeks. After spending months away from the military parent, the children are either fine, or damaged. Two weeks won’t make a difference. So what Donkeybreath should have done to choose between the three nurses for a two-week extension is flip a fvcking coin.
Onely hasn’t posted in a while, because I’ve been sick and just able to attack the daily necessities as life throws them at me: hunger, thirst, work, and–if I and my coworkers are lucky–personal hygiene. But upon receiving Megan’s email I spasmed and roared like a zombie bursting out of the earth, and this post came screaming out of me.
Screamer posts often attract haters and heteronormaholes. Welcome! I look forward to verbally hosing your a$$es, unless you bore me, in which case I won’t bother.
Copious Progressive Readers, I hope some of you will have thoughts on how Megan can proceed after this disappointing interaction with this particular Military Mindset.
Photo credit: Wikicommons