jump to navigation

Valentine’s Day and Singles Empowerment Day: Recommended Reading February 15, 2021

Posted by Onely in book review.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

For a combo celebration of Valentine’s Day (14 February) and Singles Empowerment Day (15 February), I want to flag a beautifully written and meticulously researched historical fiction series that examines religion, racial identity, ablism, cross-cultural conflicts. . . and romance. Lots and lots of romance. If that seems like a strange reading recommendation for a blog built on challenging our couple-obsessed culture, hear me out:  The coupled characters in this series of four books have deep emotional, intellectual, and physical kismet beyond anything possible in real life. It’s escapist fiction, reminding us that such whirlwind affairs really only last in stories. Their intense love lives cause all sorts of dramatic problems, which are intriguing to read about but also make me glad I’m single. What’s more, the author uses the romantic plot threads as a scaffold to show bigger and more interesting stories: a Catholic priest’s reckoning with his mixed race background, an abandoned White baby raised with Native Americans, spousal abuse, and slave revolts.  I almost never read historical fiction (not enough about cats and cupcakes), but I devoured this series. But don’t just listen to me! It’s been a nominee or finalist for several large awards, and it’s earned two Editor’s Choice designations from the Historical Novel Society.

The author Elizabeth Bell is a single woman who works full-time at a real (non-writing) job. Tired of the genre-obsessed gatekeepers in the mainstream publishing industry, she established her own Indie business to publish this series. As such, she not only writes and edits epic books, but she manages her own cover design, social media, and publicity. Yay Elizabeth!

That’s why I wanted to recommend these books for Valentine’s slash Singles Empowerment Day.

–Christina

Photo credit: Elizabeth Bell

My Office Gets Singlist About COVID-19 January 28, 2021

Posted by Onely in As If!.
Tags: , ,
4 comments

So the other morning, I walked into the lobby of my office building and saw these helpful hints on the digital message board: 

Living Single in COVID: 

Structure your time

Treat yourself well

Maintain a schedule

I watched the board for a minute to see if it would give me advice on living coupled in COVID. I knew it wouldn’t, and it didn’t. The board flicked to a new screen that told me masks were required in the building, and that yoga class would be in the gym at 12:00. 

There’s been discussion in the singles advocacy community about whether it’s appropriate to single out (sorry) singles during COVID as needing special help. (more…)

Kamala Harris’ Singles Comments: Problematic or Progressive? November 8, 2020

Posted by Onely in Celebrities, Food for Thought.
Tags: ,
3 comments

Now that we in the U.S. have narrowly dodged the apocalypse (so far), we can start holding the new presidential administration accountable for singlist language. My fellow intrepid singles advocates Dr. Craig Wynne and Dr. Bella DePaulo have written about the repeated and problematic use of the term “families” by politicians on both sides of the aisle. But today I want to examine a different sort of relationship rhetoric. Twice in the last year, Kamala Harris has said variations of this statement:

Let’s remember to check in on our single friends. 

Is this progressive or problematic? Considerate or patronizing? (more…)

When Singlism Turns Dangerous: The National Alliance on Mental Illness September 25, 2020

Posted by Onely in Food for Thought.
Tags: ,
add a comment

The National Alliance on Mental Illness published an article about smiling depression that was good, except for this part in the second paragraph: 

People with smiling depression are often partnered or married, employed and are quite accomplished and educated. Their public, professional and social lives are not struggling. Their façade is put together and accomplished.

It’s common to see marriage, which is not inherently positive, lumped in with a list of attributes that are arguably inherently positive (employment, education, accomplished). I can think of several fiction and nonfiction books on my shelves that use similar groupings to describe people. My favorite was when an author described a woman accused by consipiracy theorists of masterminding an elder-killing scheme–the author said this was ridiculous, in part because the woman was “married with two children.” (more…)

I Prefer a Team to a Spouse September 2, 2020

Posted by Onely in Bad Onely Activities.
Tags: , ,
3 comments

If you are single and live alone, you need to be prepared to deal with random catastrophes. Generally, I handle stuff ok. Like the time I returned from a long workday, opened the front door, and wondered to myself, “Why is it raining inside the house?” (Answer: Spontaneous toilet tank crack.) I managed the flood just fine. But recently I encountered a problem I couldn’t manage at all. So I had to call in Team Christina.

Dr. Peter McGraw of Solo and Craig Wynne of The Happy Bachelor have talked about how single people have “teams”, and Dr. Bella DePaulo has said that married people have The One and singles have The Ones.  I have been assembling an ad-hoc Team Christina during the two decades I’ve lived in Northern Virginia. Mostly the Team was just for hanging out, sharing Netflix shows, and reassuring me that my author photos didn’t make me look like a serial killer. But the latent power of Team Christina became clear when I found my sweet little cat dead in the basement window well.

(more…)

BOOK REVIEW: An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine August 21, 2020

Posted by Onely in book review, Reviews.
Tags: , , ,
3 comments

An Unnecessary Woman, by Rabih Almameddine Grove Press, New York, 2013.

In the comments on an earlier post, our Copious Reader clofa recommended some books and authors. I picked up An Unnecessary Woman because it was the only one of the books in my library system. And I’m so glad I did! Thanks, clofa. I read it in two sittings, and I would have read it in one sitting, but unfortunately a girl’s gotta sleep and do personal hygiene.

Clofa warned that some of her friends found it depressing, and yes, it is depressing. But it’s also uplifting and I find so much to identify with. (more…)

Europe Lets People in to See Loved Ones–But Only If They Are Having Sex August 16, 2020

Posted by Onely in As If!.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

Apparently this is a thing that exists: the “Love Is Not Tourism” campaign, whose pinned Tweet reads:

Binational couples and families have been separated for almost half a year due to Covid-19 travel bans. Help us reunite them!

Normally I’d write this Twitter account off as some regressive, small-minded Tweeter not worth my time, but unfortunately, Forbes is taking them seriously, and so are many European countries. According to the Forbes article, countries are developing various policies allowing people to reunite despite travel bans. The problem? Every policy favors romantic relationships over non-romantic relationships.  

Regarding the implementation of these waivers, the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs tweeted that states should use  “as wide a definition of partnerships as possible”. This sounds very noble and inclusive, until you realize that the definition is not inteded to expand wider than romantic relationships, which essentially means people who are having committed sex, or people who have committed to having committed sex in the future. (more…)

My Company Essentially Gives Married People $25,000 August 13, 2020

Posted by Onely in Marital Status Discrimination.
Tags: , , ,
6 comments

Welcome to the latest installment in our ongoing series, “Onely Gets Pissy About Marital Status Discrimination,” where we flag discriminatory laws and corporate policies, then use our righteous indignation as an excuse to make up fun swear words. 

It’s that special time of year at my company: benefits renewal! When I got the email reminding us to go to the benefits site and select the policies we wanted, I logged in immediately, because I am nothing if not a good little corporate cublicle monkey. I started checking boxes:  $2750 in my health FSA! BAM!   Short term disability insurance! BAM!   Long term disability insurance! BAM!   $150,000 life insurance for in case I choke on arugula (a persistent fear of mine, because those long leaves dangle dangerously into one’s throat)! BAM!    $25,000 life insurance for my spouse in case he chokes on arugula! BA—   

Not so fast, little cubicle monkey! (more…)

Sitting on the Couch in Stained Sweatpants: Is it Cool? July 13, 2020

Posted by Onely in Great Onely Activities.
Tags: , , ,
3 comments

Unpartnered people are unfettered. They are free to live bigger, fuller, more intellectually and physically stimulating lives than marrieds. Singles can volunteer to build fences at big cat refuges in Namibia, or vacation in a hut on the beach in Belize, take late-night programming or language classes, or . . . SCREEEEEEEECH.

Hold on a second. Just how accurate is this trope? Pro-singleness rhetoric often says that singles have more opportunities to expand their minds and follow their dreams. But this is only true for some very privileged singles. What about single people with disabilities, financial challenges, children, or obligations to elderly parents? Speaking as a single person with an invisible disability who frankly sits around in stained sweatpants a lot (even before COVID), I feel conflicted when I hear stories that praise single people who are zooming around helping their communities and learning about different cultures and starting businesses. (more…)

“How To Be A Happy Bachelor”: Singles’ Rights From the Male Perspective July 2, 2020

Posted by Onely in book review, Reviews.
Tags:
add a comment

The conversation about singles rights has traditionally been dominated by white cis hetero women. The singles advocacy community can benefit from the voices of single women of color (see Dr. Kris Marsh‘s work), single LGBTQA people, and single cis/hetero men. This post will focus on the latter. Historically, whereas single women have almost always been seen as deficient, single men at least had a chance of being seen as positive: the freewheeling, sexually engaged, George Clooney trope. Boring, but positive. Nonetheless, single men still need advocacy. They experience the same financial and legal discrimination that single women do, and moreover, there’s a dark side to the single man stereotypes that single women don’t generally experience: the loner/serial killer stereotype. (more…)

%d bloggers like this: