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Worldwide Onelers: In China, Women’s Marital Status Impacts Their Careers March 9, 2010

Posted by Onely in Bad Onely Activities, Look What Google Barfed Up.
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Here is my Change.org post about how Chinese women are forced to pretend to be single in order to advance their careers, because single women are seen as less committed to family and more available for socializing with male customers.  Does anyone know what other countries this happens in? In the U.S. employers can be punished for asking anything about a woman’s marital prospects, but I’m not sure whether this actually affords female job seekers any actual protection from those annoying people who think single women will bail on the company as soon as  they find a man or get pregnant. I imagine that an unscrupulous or ignorant interviewer could make the assessment about a woman’s marital status/prospects without ever asking her anything about it, basing his judgment solely on her age and supposed attractiveness.

I promise to get back to writing posts on Onely soon. I plead clemency right now because I’m stricken with the terrible stomach flu, truly a Bad Onely Activity. Please stay tuned for my next post, which will involve Butts. (Not related to the stomach flu though.)



1. Alan - March 10, 2010

Why is being sick a bad onely activity? Unless you’re so ill you can’t take care of yourself, being sick can be a way to slow down and take stock of things.

Recently I missed nearly a week of work due to a cold, and I found that when I returned to work I felt much calmer.

2. Karen - March 10, 2010

Get better soon!

Re the topic of your post: Good Lord, I am a partner in a law firm right here in the USA — not China — and these sorts of judgments are made every time we hire a new attorney! The other side of the coin is that as a single woman I am ALWAYS expected to pick up the slack for my married colleagues, even if I significantly “outrank” them in age and experience. Bottom line: a woman’s marital status and reproductive status affect her career. I don’t mean to be cantankerous — really I don’t — but if anyone thinks that the existence of anti-discrimination laws in this country has done anything to change this, they are sadly mistaken.

3. Contented Single - March 13, 2010

Agree to with Alan about being sick, happened to me recently and was great time-out.

Now for discrimination against singles in the workplace in Australia. Like the USA, an employer can’t ask about marital status etc, although some do. I work for the government and singles are treated the same as marrieds, overtime is an option for everyone and you can refuse it.

People with children don’t even get preference for when they take their holidays, eg if I want to take my vacation breaks during the school holidays, I can.

Where it falls down is that sometimes people have to go interstate for work and the singles and childless are often pressured into this. There seems to be this idea that as a single you have no significant others. The people you are allowed time off for for caring and bereavement are basically your parents. I had three days bereavemnet leave when my grandmother died recently, but if other very dear people to me need caring for or they pass away, I would not get the leave, eg nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and close friends.

We need to get past the idea that the “norm” is still married with kids.

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