Marriage–Even The Dead Are Doing It March 21, 2016Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Great Onely Activities, Look What Google Barfed Up, Uncategorized, We like. . ..
Tags: Atlas Obscura, Buy Me A Bride, Ella Morton, Ellen Schattschneider, Ghost Marriage, Marital Status Discrimination, Rebecca Traister, single people, singles blog, singlism
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Even though single people–especially women–are taking the Western world by storm in politics and pop culture, our culture still has an unhealthy (unrealistic) obsession with marriage. Historically, marriage played many different roles in different cultures and this post does not intend to demean all the traditions behind marriages across the world.
Onely.org does, however, feel that marriage’s strong roots in abuse or belittling of women require that we look at the institution closely to see if it still meets our social needs, or how it can be adjusted to be a more equitable institution (IMO: Separ-ate Sex from State!). Or, allow marriage between the dead and the living. Either way, things need to be shaken up.
I am a previously-avowed Sinophile, but I don’t know the current status of the following tradition, so Copious Readers, feel free to weigh in:
The Ghost Marriage tradition (which is supposedly no longer legal, but happens anyway sometimes) developed from (shocker) the patriarchal family structure. When a childless single woman died, she left no one behind to honor her spirit. (Sound familiar? How many of you childfree woman out there have been asked, “But who will care for you when you are old?”) Part of the problem was that the woman’s birth family could not display a memorial for her; it had to be put on an altar in her husband’s home. But no husband, no altar. Solution? Ghost marriage. According to Morton,
A woman’s spirit can be worshipped by bringing her into the family of a husband who has been chosen for her after her death.
I am a new Japanophile (?), having recently started Beginner 101 Japanese and read all about the classic Haiku travelling poets (Issa named himself after the bubble that comes up when you put a teabag in hot water–I plan to rename myself as well a soon as I come up with something half as fantabulous). However, I do not know about the ghost marriage aspect of Japanese history/culture so I’m hoping some Copious Readers can additional provide perspective.
According to Morton, who quotes Bride-Doll Marriage scholar Ellen Schattschneider, people who died early resented the “sexual and emotional fulfillment” they never received through living marriage. (Sound familiar? How many of you unmarried people have been told that you just don’t know what love really is, or that your life is meaningless, or that you aren’t as good at communicating and sharing as married people?) These supposedly repressed, frustrated single dead people took out their frustrations on the living. Says Schattschneider:
Spirit marriage, allowing a ritual completion of the life cycle, placates the dead spirit and turns its malevolent attention away from the living.
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
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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.
Dear Quirkyalone: Am I Too Picky? August 31, 2009Posted by Onely in quirkyalone.
Tags: bartenders, Dating, hamburgers, office romances, plumbers, single life, single people, sushi, tofu, too picky
“Dear Quirkyalone: Advice for QuirkyLiving” is a weekly guest column by Lisa and Christina (crossposted at Quirkyalone). It appears every Monday. When you’re making up your own road map for (quirky)living, you need thoughtful advice. We’re here for you. Quirkyalone and Onely welcome your questions; send them on to onely AT onely.org.
Here’s my short answer: No, and No.
But to be more specific:
First, I’d like to consider the phrase “too picky.” The way I see it, being “picky” is not in and of itself a “bad” thing, though our culture often seems to say so. Let’s say we’re talking about food: If you order the specialty burger at your favorite restaurant that comes loaded with toppings – in this case bacon, blue cheese, arugula, avocado, and mushrooms – but the taste and texture of mushrooms make you want to puke, it’s pretty reasonable to ask for the burger without the mushrooms. If you are too shy, uncertain, or simply unaware to articulate this taste, you’ll likely leave the restaurant dissatisfied and/or hungry. (more…)
Tag-team Blogging March 24, 2009Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Great Onely Activities, Secret Lives of the Happily Single, single and happy, We like. . ..
Tags: blogging as a team, importance of friendship, single friends, single people, we love being single
When I told a friend of mine about Onely, he said, “Does anyone ever mention how funny it is that there are two of you writing a blog together about being single?” No, no one ever does. In fact (says Christina), the irony hadn’t even occurred to Lisa or I until that friend of mine mentioned it.
And it is ironic–on the surface. While Lisa and I are jumping up and down on our respective couches yelling about the benefits of solo living, behind the scenes we’re running Onely sort of like a marriage: we are a small team, bound together through common interests and goals, but also through logistics (shared copyrights and creative license, server bills, etc). (more…)
Book Review: The Challenge of Being Single March 15, 2009Posted by Onely in book review, Reviews.
Tags: bella depaulo, eleanor hoover, health insurance for singles, loneliness, marie edwards, marriage mythology, penguin group, Rachel's Musings, signet publishing, single people, singles' health, taxes on singles, the challenge of being single, thomas wolfe, why aren't you married, women's rights
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Marie Edwards and Eleanor Hoover. The Challenge of Being Single: For Divorced, Widowed, Separated, and Never-Married Men and Women. Signet, New American Library: New York 1975.
This book review will be done in the style of movie previews.
IN A WORLD where the ideal woman is still a homemaker and the ideal man her breadwinner, where “computer dating” means you fill out a paper form and send it via snail mail to a company for matching via punch card, where divorced women can’t pay their bills, and where landlords turn away singles and unmarried couples–ONLY ONE WOMAN has the courage to stand up for the rights of single people everywhere. Facing down bitter myths about unpaired people, FEARLESS PSYCHOLOGIST MARIE BABARE EDWARDS launches her workshops “THE CHALLENGE OF BEING SINGLE” through the University of Southern California. Then, with the help of INTREPID JOURNALIST ELEANOR HOOVER, she turns her workshop experiences into a ground-breaking book that, well, judge for yourself from these excerpts. Here’s Edwards in her own words, (more…)