Structures of Belief: It’s Damn Hard to Believe a Oneler! September 5, 2008Posted by Onely in "Against Love"...?, Food for Thought, Heteronormativity.
Tags: abnormality, being single and happy, English 101, freshmen, lies
So a friend of mine, Laura (who has commented here in the past), told me yesterday that she was leading her English 101 students in a discussion of an essay written by a woman who was single and happy being that way. Her students expressed disbelief: Yeah, right, they said. We don’t believe it. Then Laura referenced me, apparently, as a “real” example of such a phenomenon, and one of her students exclaimed, “Well she must be lying! Do you really believe that she doesn’t see people kissing and miss being in a relationship?”
I can’t exactly say I blame this young woman for calling my choices into question – as Christina pointed out in an earlier post, it’s easy to claim that we’re just in denial. Or that we are too lazy to want to “work” on a relationship. (Laura Kipnis would defend us, though, and explain that having to use the word “work” underlines the problem!) And it’s even easier still for an 18-year-old who’s been conditioned by her family (probably), faith (assuming she has one), media (hello, Bachelor!), and American society in general to assume that pursuing a relationship and eventually getting married is the most “normal” goal one could have, and that anyone who deviates from such a goal is “lying”! I know that at age 18, I wouldn’t have thought much differently.
I offered to come visit Laura’s class as a guest speaker, but I don’t think it’ll happen. For now, I’ll share this story here because it just demonstrates how abnormal the Onely perspective apparently is.