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Virginia Taxes Fund the Nasty Institute for Family Studies: Send Irate Letters! June 2, 2022

Posted by Onely in As If!.
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Copious Readers, welcome to the latest edition in our series Singles Against Stupidity, in which we compose letters to our representatives advocating for better legislation that doesn’t discriminate based on relationship and marital status.

Today we are taking on the Institute for Family Studies  (and not, unfortunately, the “Nasty Institute for Family Studies,” as indicated by the post title). If you live in the great state of Virginia, your tax dollars are going to this regressive, natalnormative nonprofit that vituperatively disparages people who (GASP!) aren’t married with 2.4 children.

If you live in Virginia, please consider writing to your reps in the state and federal congresses. You can find them by going to Who Is My. They should all have online forms. Feel free to use text from the below letter that I (Christina) wrote, and add any additional thoughts or citations you may have. Or even better, write a shorter version! (I can’t help being wordy–I’m a Gemini.)

Thanks to Craig Wynne of The Happy Bachelor for editing the letter and to Ellen B for bringing this issue to Onely’s attention!




The Commonwealth of Virginia has been funding a non-profit organization that discriminates against U.S. citizens based on marital status. As one of Virginia’s 1.019 million single women, I request you prohibit taxpayer dollars from supporting organizations like The Institute for Family Studies (IFS). The IFS wants to “strengthen marriage and natural family” because “freedom and prosperity [are dependent] upon the existence of a strong, healthy, pervasive marriage culture.”  IFS cites flawed studies that “show” marriage makes people happier and healthier, although in reality marriage does no such thing. The IFS publishes articles that portray single, child-free people—especially women–as selfish, lazy, and immature. For example, in an April 12, 2022 article on the IFS’ home page, conservative pundit Joy Pullman said, “Beyond the obvious that big government functions for some single women as a husband substitute, at least financially. . . “

First, single women don’t benefit from government largess: U.S. Treasury attorney Attorney Lily Kahng’s research shows that single people pay more taxes, and the 2013 Atlantic article, “The High Price of Being Single in America,” showed that because of marital discrimination in the U.S. federal code, a married person can easily earn at least a million dollars more over her lifetime than her unmarried peer.

Second, rhetoric such as Pullman’s gives readers permission to weaponize relationship status, especially against single women. Congressman and sexual predator Matt Gaetz aligned himself with IFA’s views when wrote this singlist, misogynist tweet about pro-choice protestors: “How many of the women. . . sadly return from protests to a lonely microwave dinner with their cats, and no Bumble matches?” Such disparaging online rhetoric can lead to physical violence, as incels look for “reasons” to target women—especially single, “available” women who won’t have sex with them.

Ironically, when the IFS attacks single people, they attack people who are actually strengthening the IFS buzzwords of “freedom” and “prosperity.” According to research by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a 2011 study in the Journal of Marriage and Family, and work by social scientists Dr. Bella Depaulo and Wendy Morris, single people volunteer more, provide more caretaking for family and friends, give more money to charities, and participate more in civics groups.  Yet we pay more in taxes—taxes that go to organizations like the IFS that disparage and harm us with their rhetoric.

I have many single and married friends who share my views. To quote an activist associate of mine: “State-funded family studies agencies are relics. They need to be reduced in size to make way for more pertinent programs.”

Thank you for your time.


And thank you, Copious Readers, for yours!


Photo credit: Liv Bruce


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