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My Heros Pity Me for the Wrong Reasons April 8, 2020

Posted by Onely in Celebrities, Uncategorized, YouTube Style.
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After years of advocating for unmarried people’s rights, I’m kinda frustrated. Singlism still looms strong, even in society’s most progressive echelons. No, “looms” is the wrong word. Singlism doesn’t loom, it creeps. It’s insidious, pushing its tendrils into other even more nefarious isms. Its strength comes from its subtley. We need to demystify marital status discrimination and loudly acknowledge that it’s a problem, so singlism loses its ability to hide, even and especially within the rhetoric of otherwise smart and liberal influencers. Toward that goal, but with chagrin, I am flagging denigrating singlist statements made by two of my heroes: the hilarious comedian Jim Gaffigan and the progressive senator Kamala Harris. 

In which Jim Gaffigan gets mildly singlist:

The link: https://youtu.be/LcHvDJz8fUM

The context: Gaffigan is talking to Seth Myers about having been worried about being separated from his family because he was travelling internationally when the COVID-19 crisis started in the U.S. He explains that the experience inspired him to start his YouTube show “Dinner With the Gaffigans”. At 4:30, Gaffigan says, 

I know there are some people separated from their families–or they are just by themselves. I have some friends that are by themselves. So it was something to serve as a break from the constant consumption of news. . .

The problem: It’s subtle, but it’s there. Gaffigan lumps single people (or more specifically, people who live alone) in with people who are unwillingly separated from their families. The latter is an inherently distressing condition, but the former is not necessarily distressing at all. Every day of quarantine I’m so thankful that I live my myself. I can barely handle the persistent lap-seeking of my geriatric blind cat Marble (photo above). If I had to make dinner for kids every night, or negotiate chores with a partner, I might lose my mind. Side note: Some singles advocates are irritated by the use of “just”, as in Gaffigan’s “just by themselves” or more commonly, “Just one?” as said by restaurant hosts. I personally am not really bothered by this particular rhetoric. Copious Readers, does it bother you? Should it bother me? 

In which Kamala Harris gets majorly singlist:

The link: https://youtu.be/q_-pPKPaOnY

The context: Kamala Harris is talking with Seth Myers about how now is a good time to reach out to people. At 5:15, Harris says: 

Let’s remember our single friends, and our friends and relatives and neighbors who are seniors. There’s a requirement of social isolation, but let’s make sure we’re not engaging in emotional isolation. People are literally alone right now; it’s so important that people don’t *feel* alone.

The problem: Harris lumps single people with seniors. The latter are an inarguably vulnerable population right now. Singles, by contrast, aren’t inherently physically or emotionally vulnerable (more…)

Weird Things We Worship: Weddings May 21, 2014

Posted by Onely in We like. . ., YouTube Style.
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Copious Readers, welcome to the first installment of our new series, “Weird Things We Worship”. The theme of today’s post is Weddings.

Check out this Buzzfeed video “Things you would only do at a wedding that would be creepy elsewhere”. It shows how bizarre some of the aspects of marriage ceremonies are and makes you wonder just why we get all spun up about the Big Day.  That’s fine–lots of ceremonies have quirky bits, which are often fun. But weddings are different somehow. They often take themselves too seriously. And they can mirror society’s overall aura of marital status privilege (MSP). Watch the part of the video where our hero tells his friend to bring him a present. Well, watch the whole video, but especially watch that part. (Though all social analysis about MSP aside, it’s also fun to watch where our hero throws the rice. . .)



Unmarried Thirty-Somethings Rock: Support ‘2 Hopeful Spinsters’! March 2, 2013

Posted by Onely in Celebrities, film review, single and happy, We like. . ., YouTube Style.

1a2e16b2e8b07adc9aed052af4f68b69-d4molsuPeople sometimes comment on (or laugh at) the fact that Lisa and I are two people co-writing a blog about being happily and progressively single. Most other singles’ blogs are, quite logically, written by a single person. So imagine our delight when we discovered another website co-managed by pair of single women, just like Onely!  Except 2 Hopeful Spinsters consists of action-packed web video, instead of action-packed web words.Heather and Dellany (the Hopeful Spinsters)’s goal, like Onely’s, is to challenge the cobwebbed notions that thirty-something single women are bitter, jaded, ugly, and surrounded by cats (well, actually we’re not going to challenge that last one).

In their kickstarter pitch, the Hopeful Spinsters point out Webster Dictionary’s definition of spinster: a woman past the common marrying age. In the US today, that age is 27. In the pitch they also include a segment “Shit People Say to Spinsters (Inspired by actual events)”. At a college alumni shindig, the partiers demonstrate typical lines often thrown at ‘spinsters’, for example: Are you a lesbian? Have you thought about freezing your eggs? and, my personal favorite, where a man certainly over thirty years old says,

I don’t date women over 30. (more…)

Pop Culture: Scourge of the Onelys, Part 33.5a: Singlist AT&T Commercial November 15, 2010

Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Heteronormativity, Pop Culture: Scourge of the Onelys, YouTube Style.
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I have been bothered by this commercial for several months now, and I’m embarrassed to say that I wasn’t able to pinpoint why until this weekend, when it hit me: OMFG the only reason this guy becomes PRESIDENT is because (besides having AT&T, duh) he met the right girl, got MARRIED, and had kids.

Couplemania at its worst, if you ask me.

Copious Readers, please share your thoughts.

— Lisa

Funny Friday: Couplemania Meets Cannibalism October 13, 2009

Posted by Onely in YouTube Style.
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Welcome to the latest installment in our Funny Friday series, which sometimes appears on Tuesdays. 

Imagine a world ruled by the cult of couplehood, where the need–nay, the requirement!–to pair up preempts all other pursuits and common sense.  This scenario is captured with brilliant prescience in this scintillating new film. Desperate for love, a nervous young professional woman and a jaded doctor with interesting breath odor find each other and hijinks ensue:

Funny or Fucked Up? June 19, 2009

Posted by Onely in As If!, Food for Thought, Look What Google Barfed Up, YouTube Style.
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My sister sent me this video of comedian Louis C.K. “On Single People”.

Is he being sarcastic about the stereotype of the “worthless single soul”, to show that married people’s lives can be equally (or more) horrid than single people’s?  At first I thought so, because he certainly describes married life as terrible. He’s very self-deprecating about his status. So I laughed to hear him describe how I (for instance) could leave my obnoxious boyfriend with a phone call, but as a married man LCK would need hair bleach and a plane ticket to do the same thing. Because to an extent, that’s true.

However, I also believe that self-deprecation is actually a way of patting onesself on the back. (more…)

New Series: Single and Happy, YouTube style December 19, 2008

Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Pop Culture: Scourge of the Onelys, single and happy, YouTube Style.
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We’re happy to announce a new series – Single and Happy, YouTube style!

Christina came up with the brilliant idea last week to search for “Single and Happy” via YouTube. I know she’s got a few up her sleeve that she’ll share, but I’ll start us off with one of the first I found, a video of Love coach Carolin Dahlman explaining why it’s important to be happy while single:

Although Ms. Dahlman’s advice is useful, we have a few problems with it here at Onely because her advice revolves around the assumption that anyone who is single is always already pursuing/hoping for a relationship. The whole point of Onely is to challenge this kind of stereotypical assumption about what it means to be “single and happy.” Christina and I, along with many of our readers, are actually happy just being single.

(Astounding, we know!)

Here are a few funny viral videos listed under the category “Why women stay single,” just for fun: (more…)

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