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Can Couples Advocate for Singles’ Rights? December 30, 2012

Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Take action, Your Responses Requested!.
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For more than four years now, Lisa and I have spent a good deal of time objecting, advocating, railing, protesting, blathering, and even (to our shame) name-calling, all in the name of singles’ rights. We’ve been doing it every since we realized that, at the time, all pro-singles writing said it was GREAT to be happily single, but only because it made you more appealing so you could get a mate.

Lisa and I, two single women in our 30s, thought that was stupid. What if, we proposed, it was great to be happily single, period?  We were both happy, and single, and didn’t care whether we’d find a mate or not. So we started this blog, which has since been quoted or cited in several major print and online publications (and I say that only as an example of how vehemently we pushed our topic in people’s faces). 

Our question to you, Copious Readers, is: would we, could we, have ever had the same revelation–and the same work ethic–if one or both of us had been coupled? Or by extension, can a coupled/married person ever advocate for singles’ rights as passionately, accurately, or extensively  as an unmarried or socially single person? If yes, under what circumstances? If no, why not?

By singles’ rights, we mean that the U.S. government ought to stop discriminating against half its adult populace. We call this institutionalized singlism.

By singles’ rights, we also mean that people–regular people like you and Lisa and me–need to recognize that it’s not acceptable to treat single people like losers in the game of life. (“You’re not married yet? Awww.”) We call this cultural singlism. Examples are all over this blog and all over the blog of social scientist Bella DePaulo whom I linked to above, so I’m not going to retell the stories here. (I will give you some keywords though: Immature. Selfish. Desperate. Cats. Dead. Eaten by.)

Onely’s opinion is that anyone, aaaaaanyone, with an open-minded, critical-thinking type of brain, plus a (more…)

Shared Email Addresses: Convenient or Claustrophobic? November 9, 2009

Posted by Onely in As If!, Food for Thought.
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I have some friends who share an email address with their spouse. I also have some friends who keep their own email address after they get married. I don’t see any big ideological, political, cultural, or background differences between these two groups.  So why do some people merge their accounts when they tie the knot?

Full disclosure: my parents share an email address. This is convenient when I want to announce my Christmas Wish List to both of them. It’s claustrophobic when I want to scheme with my dad about what to get for my mom, or vice versa.

I think in general I’m going to have to come out against shared email accounts. If one of my girlfriends has been complaining to me on the phone about her husband, I have to make sure I don’t reference our conversation in an email to her because he might open it instead. Claustrophobic.  The merging of accounts is also an uncomfortable metaphor for the merging of lives. Sharing an email account is Total Openness. Her contacts become his contacts; his messages become hers. Nowhere does real life present such total fungibility in a relationship, except in our culture ‘s mythology of marriage as being totally open, a complete sharing. This myth sets all couples up for disappointment and frustration, and sharing an email account just reinforces that myth that two people can become one.

Copious Readership, what are the plusses and minuses of sharing email addresses? Have you ever shared an email address with a sig-other? Do you know people who do?


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