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Onely Commits Amatonormativity Twice In One Conversation December 20, 2014

Posted by Onely in Bad Onely Activities, Everyday Happenings, Great Onelies in History, Heteronormativity, single and happy.
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For a blog that for years has been waving its bloggy arms and screaming about how our world is largely set up for couples, especially hetero couples, and about how they are privileged at the expense of other kinds of loves and families (this is what we mean by amatonormativity, sometimes also called heteronormativity), we at Onely sometimes screw up and act just as badly as the people, governments, and organizations we critique.

And by “we”, I mean me, Christina. I don’t believe my coblogger Lisa, who is much more in tune with peoples’ feelings, has ever been so gauche as myself.

But first some background, in defense of my recent episodes (yes, plural!) of amatonormativity:

–For years my friend Natasha has been looking for the love of her life. The perfect man. She’s suffered many breakups, after one of which she told me, “He was my everything!” When I explained that, in fact, she also had a cat and parents and siblings and friends and a house and a job, she gave a surprised little “O!” with her mouth in that same shape. As if that had never occurred to her.

–For years she talked about how she was tired of being “alone”. For years I tried to talk her out of this need she felt to be part of a couple. Find yourself first, I said. Just do things you like and be happy and it will happen. Go on the internet if you are truly in a hurry. It increases the statistical likelihood that you’ll meet someone compatible (or get killed). Lots of my friends have met this way (and even lived to get married).

Eventually I just stopped trying to Onelify her. I started wishing she would find a stable boyfriend. (That is, opposite the one in college who played basketball and one night said he was being a snippy asshole to her after one game because his team had lost, and they had to act sad and upset.) She was crankier when she was single. If she was single and I wan’t, then she got crankier at me. Then she wanted kids. I wished she would find a partner because obviously it was important to her. My bloggy diatribes about living single and confident and proud were not for her, and I finally accepted that.

SO then the other day we were talking on the phone and Natasha said she was going to an Italian speaking meetup that night. So I said, “Great!”

Do you think there will be any eligible bachelors there?

(First, who still uses the term “eligible bachelors”? Me apparently.)

Natasha was silent for a moment. “No, it looks as if it’s mostly women. But I can never make enough good girlfriends.”

Huh? Who are you and what have you done with Natasha?

I (more…)

Hard Core Onelers: Hired Hermits March 11, 2011

Posted by Onely in book review, Food for Thought, Great Onelies in History, Reviews.
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Welcome to the latest installment in our series Hard Core Onelers, where we feature people who take independence to new or interesting extremes. Today’s subject: Hired Hermits.

Copious Readers, what would it take for you to become a hermit?

Bryson, Bill. At Home: A Short History of Private Life. Doubleday, 2010. (Onely recommends: Read this book. It’s amazing.)

For a time [at estates in Victorian England] it was highly fashionable to build a hermitage and install in it a live-in hermit. At Painshill in Surrey, one man signed a contract to live seven years in picturesque seclusion, observing a monastic silence, for 100 pounds a year, but was fired after just three weeks when he was spotted drinking in the local pub.

An estate owner in Lancashire promised 50 pounds a year for life to anyone who would pass seven years in an underground dwelling without cutting his hair or toenails or talking to another person. Someone took up the offer and actually lasted four years before deciding he could take no more; whether he was at least given a partial pension for his efforts is sadly unknown.

Queen Caroline had the architect William Kent build for her a hermitage at Richmond into which she installed a poet named Stephen Duck, but that was not quite a success either, for Duck decided he didn’t like the silence or being looked at by strangers, so he quit.

Copious Readers, would you be a hired hermit? For how long? Under what sort of parameters? Before I’d make my decision, I’d need the answers to a few simple questions:

Do people have to journey through the woods and up a mountain to see me? Am I confined to the cave/cottage or can I frolic in the nearby fields too? Does the public come to watch me do my hermitting? Do I get food delivered or must I rely on my gardening and snare-making skills? Am I allowed to trim my nails and nose hairs?

I thought long and hard and decided I could last at least five years under some combination of these conditions. Time to nap! Time to write! Time to do backbends and tree pose! I would only need just a few meager possessions:

–toilet

–tub

–skylight

–warm babbling brook running through the cave floor

–some bags of cashews

–journals

–memory foam mattress

–ceiling fan

–heated floors

–my MacBook

–wifi

–my cats

–$20,000 year stipend (good cat food is expensive)

–make that $60,000 (good cat food is really expensive)

–access to medical care (assuming the doctor makes cave calls)

–visits from my family and friends (depending on the conditions set by the estate owner, these might have to be clandestine, involving parachutes and balaclavas)

Rich estate-owning readers, want to add a touch of whimsy and mystique to your premises? By following the few simple guidelines above,  you can have your very own Onely hermit, with crisply groomed nose hairs.

–Christina

Photo credit: aug.edu

Great Onelers in History and Real Time: Combo Edition November 27, 2010

Posted by Onely in Great Onelies in History, Great Onelies in Real Time, Profiles.
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3 comments

Welcome to the latest installment in our Great Onelers series, where we profile outstanding single people who refused to be marginalized or stereotyped. This special super-bonus ultimate combo post features two women who lived over a thousand years apart. It’s a long post, starting with our present-day Great Oneler. If you’re curious about the historical Oneler, skip to the end.

Our Great Oneler in Real Time is Asra Q. Nomani. You may remember her from Bella DePaulo’s Living Single post, Deleting a Friend to Spotlight a Spouse. Nomani, a good friend of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, was intimately involved in the fallout from his disappearance and eventual beheading. She and his wife were the last two people to see Pearl alive and free. After his disappearance, she held vigil with his wife and was even asked to help track down his dental records. As described in DePaulo’s post, filmmakers deleted her existence from the movie about Pearl, but we here at Onely know more than Hollywood. Nomani is a Great Oneler.

I recently read her 2005 book Standing Alone: An American Woman’s Struggle for the Soul of Islam. Nomani was raised in the U.S. by Muslim parents who immigrated from India. She recounts her struggle to reconcile the true tenets of her religion with the sexism and singlism often perpetrated in the Islamic world, by people who twist those tenets.

In search of answers, Nomani goes on Hajj to Mecca. For anyone not familiar with the logistics of this religious pilgrimage, as I wasn’t, it’s a fascinating look into the culture, rituals, and economics surrounding this time-and-body-intensive trip. But what interested us here at Onely were Nomani’s thoughts, interspersed through the story, on what it was like to partake in this Islamic tour de force as a single woman, with her son Shibi just out of infancy.

You see, while she was working as a journalist in Pakistan, she became pregnant by her Pakistani boyfriend. He freaked and left her alone to deal with her growing belly, the disappearance of her close friend Danny, and the fear that the authorities might come down on her if they found out that she had (GASP) gotten pregnant out of wedlock.  (And the filmmakers took her *out* of their movie??!) (more…)

Great Onelies in History: Sarah and Angelina Grimké December 12, 2008

Posted by Onely in Great Onelies in History, Profiles, We like. . ..
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smgrimke

Sarah Grimké

Last week we announced a new series: Great Onelies in History, featuring Frances Willard. Luckily for our copious readership, I’m finishing up a semester’s graduate course in the history of rhetoric, and so I’ve got two more important rhetorical figures for us to celebrate! This week, we’re happy to introduce:

Sarah and Angelina Grimké, Great Onelies in History!
1792-1873
Famous for: Advocating for women’s rights, suffrage, and the abolition of slavery. Angelina Grimké  happened to be married, but much of her activism work occurred while she was single — we think she deserves Honorary Oneler status!

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Great Onelies in History: Frances Willard December 1, 2008

Posted by Onely in Great Onelies in History, Profiles.
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4 comments

frances_willard_2We’re happy to announce a new series: Great Onelies in History, which we’re sure all you history buffs will enjoy. In this series, we’ll feature people who made a difference in the world and just happened to be single while doing it!

To inaugurate our series, we’re happy to introduce:

Frances Willard, Great Oneler in History!
1839-1898
Famous for: Advocating for women’s rights and suffrage, especially through her leadership of the WCTU (Women’s Christian Temperance Union)

(more…)

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