Say You’re Sorry by Slamming Single People March 14, 2015Posted by Onely in As If!.
Tags: Ko Wen-je, national security, single people, Taipei mayor, Taiwan, unmarried women, 柯文哲
Dear Copious Readers, Onely continues its quest to provide you with news articles about discrimination against single people (singlism). We strive for timeliness, which is why we’re bringing you this article merely a month after it appeared in the China Post.
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) pissed off a bunch of people when he said that
Single women over thirty are A Threat To National Security.
Sexism! Stupidity! yelled everyone with half a brain. But no one that we are aware of yelled Singlism! Until now. Onely, with our full brain (Lisa and I together make one intact mind), yells Singlism Singlism Singlism! between giggles.
Copious Readers, what kind of laughter, if any, does Mayor Ko’s statement engender in you? I usually have one of several responses when I read about singlism. First, there’s the kind that “makes me go hmmm“: such as Best Cities For Single People! which implies single people should move to Chicago or Minneapolis just to find a partner–never mind that they already have a great job and friends and balaclava in, say, Fargo. Then there’s the kind of singlism that makes me mad, such as discrimination against single parents (see these Guardian articles here and here). Then there’s the kind of singlism that makes me laugh. I’m not sure if it’s angry laughter like that of the bad guy in the last scene of a James Bond movie, or if it’s laughter like I get when watching, um, Will Ferrell movies, or if it’s the hysterical laughter of hopelessness. Probably the latter.
The story gets even crazier. Mayor Ko’s words created such a ruckus that he was forced to apologize. And this is how he apologized (I paraphrase here):
I didn’t mean single women over 30 are threats to national security. I meant that all unmarried individuals over 30 are threats to national security.
Oh well in that case, you are no longer sexist, so we forgive you.
Again, few people noted that Ko simply replaced his sexism with singlism.
The article describes his rationale nicely, but we’ll summarize here: Ko said instability in a country creates problems with national security. (Ok, we’ll give him that point.) Low marriage rates create instability. (Really? Taiwan doesn’t have enough instability from other sources, such as typhoons and earthquakes and economic disparities and Big China looming just over the straits?) The magic percentage of unmarried people a country–or at least Taiwan–can handle before it falls into complete disarray is. . . 30. (Really? Not 27? Not 36?) A low marriage rate leads to a lack of families. (Because apparently the only valid kind of family is one with a hetero couple at its head.) Without enough nuclear families, there will be a lack of social well-being (nonsequitor much?) and the government will have to step in to make things better (God forbid). Thus diverting resources from national security.
Full discloser: I used to live in Taiwan. I understand that Taiwanese politicians face a constant pressure from the threat of mainland China’s claims on the island, and this influences the politicians’ opinions about national security. However, in this instance I think Ko has cracked up.
And when I read about his singlist theory, I cracked up too, with laughter. So for that, I thank him.