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STFU Redbook: I’m Single and I’m Going to Vegas! March 24, 2012

Posted by Onely in solo travel, STFU.
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13 comments

I had always considered Redbook just one step above an inflight magazine. Now I’ve downgraded it to a ranking underneath inflight magazines but above the backs of cereal boxes (except for Kashi cereal boxes; those are still several steps above Redbook).  But Why? Why do we at Onely want Redbook to STFU?

Because this month’s issue has an article titled “Your perfect hotel finder!” which I eagerly picked up while waiting for my dermatologist. (Perfect skin to go with my perfect hotel!)  The article was organized spreadsheet-style, with a column on the left delineating exciting locations: New York!–LA!–Chicago!–Las Vegas! and for each location there was a row of different hotel options: Magic Castle Hotel!–Terranea Resort! And (the dreamiest-sounding) Acqualina Resort and Spa on the Beach!  The hotels options were themselves organized in columns, according to who you were travelling with: If You’re Bringing Your Kids!–If You’re Doing the Couple Thing!–If You’re Travelling Solo!

HAHA just kidding. There was no If You’re Travelling Solo! option. My eyes scanned across the Kids and Couple options looking for a Single Travellers column, but they just kept scanning right right right into the inner fold of the magazine.

That’s right, no Acqualina Spa for me, because I don’t have a kids or chronic sex partner to travel with. Probably I should write Redbook a polite but indignant letter educating them about the increasing solo traveller demographic. But I would rather just go get a wine cooler from my bathtub and sit on my back stoop in an inflatable baby pool, as single people do because there are no hotels for us.

–Christina

Photo credit: Fotopedia, Mnadi Sheraton Miramar Resort, Egypt

Single’s Movement Has a Slogan! February 20, 2012

Posted by Onely in Heteronormativity, Take action.
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4 comments

Copious Readers, let us know what you think of this for our Singles’ movement slogan (if I may be so bold):

Separate sex and state!

Advantage: If you pronounce it SeparAYTE, it has rhyme and rhythm.

Disadvantage: Some people might read it as SeparUT.

Advantage: It has “sex” in it.

Disadvantage: It has “sex” in it.

As our regular readers will recognize, the slogan reflects how many governments give arbitrary rights and privileges to married couples, at the expense of gays who cannot marry and, less famously, at the expense of single people.  Yes, some companies or governments think of themselves as all progressive for providing some domestic partner benefits, but in doing so they’re just feeding back into the whole overdone trope of couple-privileging.

Moreover, “couple” is largely by default defined as two people who live together and have sex with each other on a regular basis. This prevents, or at least deters, two platonic females (for example) who live together, maybe share childcare responsibilities, and function as a married couple in all ways but one–dare I whip out the Kate & Allie reference? I do dare–from receiving or applying for domestic partner benefits.

This is why we think Separate sex from state is an appropriate slogan for progressive singles. Separate sex from state, and many other cultural prejudices about singles (selfish, lonely, always seeking “the one”) will fall away as well.

–Christina

P.S. If you watch the Kate & Allie episode, aired in 1984, you’ll see how they float the idea of “family can be defined many ways.” Yet over twenty years later, so many people (and institutions) are still acting as if the hetero couple unit is the be-all end-all of family. Shameful.

Single People: Your Loved Ones Matter Less October 30, 2011

Posted by Onely in As If!.
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7 comments

The disaster scenarios described below are provided merely to make a point about the over-privileging of marriage. They do not in any way represent a thumbing-of-the-nose at fate and were written while knocking fervently on wood–well, on laminate at least.

Copious Readers, who should have long term care (LTC) insurance? Who qualifies?

Last Saturday night I considered these question. As I curled on the couch with a cup of tea and some LTC brochures, I imagined any number of extreme mishaps that might render me unable to “perform, without Substantial Assistance, at least two Activites of Daily Living. . . Bathing, Continence, Dressing, Eating, Toileting, and Transferring”. (You’ll be shocked to hear that in high school I was not voted Most Likely to Party Like a Rock Star.)

My company is offering a special deal on LTC coverage through Prudential–no medical history required. I’m only twenty-six (seeing as the thirties are the new twenties), but I’m old enough to know that sh&t happens. For example, last winter  I braked for a sudden backup on I-66(6), and although I had allowed enough stopping distance for just such instances, the cretin in the S.U.V. behind me had not. As I watched his headlights bear down on my rearview I thought, “It seems some sh&t is about to happen right now.” Fortunately he swerved onto the shoulder and stopped right beside me, instead of on top of me. Crisis averted, but I still need long-term care coverage because all his small-appendaged, speed-compensating friends remain out there, waiting for me.

Or maybe, I thought as I sipped my De-Stress tea, they are up in Michigan, waiting for my parents. Fortunately, the LTC literature said I could get my mom and dad the same LTC policy too. Reading further, I thought I’d better sign my sister up for the same policy as well, in case she goes jogging and encounters a particularly peckish cougar. Now on a roll, I decided I should also get the policy for my intrepid international-travelling co-blogger Lisa. At any moment she might fall off one of those Roman pillars on which she is so fond of perching.

Except, oh, just one moment here, let me squint closer at the fine print–turns out I can’t get Lisa a plan, because she’s not my parent, or grandparent, or sibling, or child.

As I said in a previous post about bereavement leave, these (arbitrary) requirements privilege the nuclear family and devalue other types of families and relationships. Prudential and other providers (for Prudential is not the only offender) should allow an employee to select a certain number of people to be covered. That way, I could choose to allow Lisa to piggyback off my plan instead of my grandparents, who are already in the longest-term care facility of them all.

It gets worse. Although my married colleagues are also pigeonholed in the nuclear-family paradigm, they have twice as many options as I and my single colleagues do, because marrieds can choose to enroll the following people: (more…)

Enhance Your Life–10 Ways if You’re Coupled, 7 if You’re Single November 2, 2010

Posted by Onely in As If!.
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13 comments

Here are 10 things you can do to enhance your life–if you’re coupled. If you’re single, you can only enhance your life 70 percent as much as a coupled person. This is according to a life-enhancement-activity list on Barton Goldsmith’s “Emotional Fitness” blog on Psychology Today,  where three of the ten items require a conventional romantic  partner.

In order to take the life-enhancing step of watching a sunset, you have to do it with a “mate” (and not the Australian kind). God forbid you should watch it by yourself or with a friend, ewwwww:

2.    Spend a little while watching the sunset with your mate. Nothing extra is necessary. Just sit and take in the natural  beauty of the sky and appreciate being able to share it with the one you love.

And if you want to write a thank-you note, it has to be to a mate. So your coworker Heimliched you at lunch when you were choking on that brussels sprout? First, thank your mate for picking his underwear out of the ficus this morning:

4.    Write a thank you note to your mate. When was the last time you thanked your partner for just being who he or she is and being with you? Doing this in writing will give your partner something to cherish for the rest of his or her life.

And if you want to go to bed ten minutes early, you have to do it with a mate:

8.    Go to bed with the one you love ten minutes earlier than usual. Then spend that time just holding each other. Let the feeling of warmth from your mate move through you.

(And enough with the word “mate”. What are we, lab rats? Walruses?) (more…)

Men Can Stop Rape, But Not Singlism September 17, 2010

Posted by Onely in As If!.
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7 comments

Three awesome teenage men are receiving awards for their work towards stopping violence against women. And you can go see them receive their Men of Strength awards at the National Press Club in DC on September 22nd: for 125 dollars if you’re single and 75 dollars if you’re coupled.

When I got the email announcing the event, I was impressed with and happy for Anwar Muhammad Nur,  Jonathan Wade, and Terrill Wise, who speak out against abuse of women and negative images of masculinity, despite social and media pressure that says alpha males are violent males with minimal emotion. Men Can Stop Rape is right to honor precocious, socially aware teens like these. I was so impressed I thought I might want to actually attend the ceremony, but then I read the not-so-small print:

Tickets

$100 per person

$150 per pair

$125/$175 at the door

Oh, Men Can Stop Rape or The National Press Club or Unaffiliated Event Organizer! How you hurt my heart. I will not be attending your event, not because I’m mad about the discrimination against singles (though I am disappointed), but because my personal economic situation forces me to stick to double-digit nights out. Which I guess I could, if I were part of a pair.

“But wait!” I thought, (more…)

Jon Stewart Misses Chance to End All Singlism As We Know It August 6, 2010

Posted by Onely in As If!, Food for Thought.
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8 comments

In the 05 August 2010 episode of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart broke my heart.  I’ll explain why at the end of this post. I’m not upset because he kind of called singles “loners with terrible hygiene”.  I’m not sure that statement is a bloggable offense. (Copious readers, check out the full episode here — the problematic part begins at the 5:30 mark — and let us know what you think.)  Daily Show correspondents  regularly use over-the-top, obviously untrue statements to make their opposite points, and in this case the point was to make fun of stupid Fox News commentators and greedy, homophobic employers–always a noble endeavor.

I do feel concern that because the larger joke was not about singles per se, the trashing of singles is more peripheral to the joke, and therefore less likely to appear blatantly ironic and more likely to reinforce negative stereotypes of singles. But I’ll let it slide because one, I love Jon Stewart, and two, there’s more context to the joke that makes the line less harsh. Here’s how the bit plays out:

Stewart reports that a San Francisco court overturned the ban on same sex marriage. We then see Neil Cavuto of Fox News whining that married gays will interpret this ruling “as if that they’ve got the green light for full benefits coverage” (um, well, yes) and that therefore employers–in the face of this onslaught of newly married gay employees with spouses in tow demanding to be treated like actual married people just because they’re actually married–will “need to examine their costs” and face financial and hiring difficulties as a result.

Here Stewart makes the face that you’re probably making now. He summarizes Cavuto’s position as follows: “A gay person with a spouse just costs more. That’s why we can’t do gay marriage!” Then he continues in his usual satirical strain:

Wouldn’t anyone with a spouse cost more? . . . Neil Cavuto is suggesting that we should only hire single people!

And that’s when I got all excited–“Yes, yes,” I thought,  “Here it comes! (more…)

You Don’t Know Onely August 2, 2010

Posted by Onely in As If!, Food for Thought.
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10 comments

There’s a lot that you don’t know about Onely. And by “you”, we don’t mean YOU, our loyal Copious Readers, but rather the occasional reader who happens upon or hears about this site and thinks she grasps the concept of singles’ rights advocacy–but doesn’t. Despite our best efforts to write clearly and simply so that even heteronormaholes can understand Oneliness, there is always That Person who asks, “So, why are you so bitter at men?” or “Why don’t you like married people?” or “So you plan on being single forever then?” or, most bizarre, “Why do you hate children?”

So here we have listed and addressed these misconceptions (again). Eventually some of the items may hyperlink to future posts containing more detail (and/or ranting). Feel free to add to the list!

Common Misconceptions (CMs) about The Onely Creed

1. CM: We hate marriage or married people.

REALITY: Actually we just hate that marriage is overprivileged in our laws and culture.

2. CM: We hate children.

REALITY: Children are fine (baby showers, not so much). And not wanting our own kids might even help us enjoy other kids even more.

3a. CM: We hate men.

REALITY: Well, ok, sometimes we do hate men. But only the ones who deserve it.

3b. CM: We hate women.

REALITY: See 3a 🙂

4. CM:  We intend to be single the rest of our lives and have written off all possibility of a Seepie relationship evermore.

REALITY: We may or may not be single for the rest of our lives. We don’t really care either way.  PLONK PLONK PLONK PLONK! (What’s that, you ask? Oh, it’s the sound of heteronormaholes all over the world falling out of their chairs.)

5. CM: Singlism means advocating for singles in a good way, because it ends with Ism.

REALITY: Singlism means discrimination against singles in a bad way, because it ends with Ism. We know that not only heteronormaholes make this mistake, so we offer this handy mnemonic to help our readers remember: “Singlism is ABIAIRAOSNAIF”. Singlism is a bad Ism, as in Racism, Ageism, or Sexism, not as in Feminism.

6. CM: Singles’ advocates think Singlism is as destructive as racism. It’s not, so we should just shut up.

REALITY: We know that singlism is not as destructive as racism. Schoolyard bullying is not as bad as murder, but does that mean we should ignore schoolyard bullying?

7. CM: You can call yourself Onely just because you’re single.

REALITY: If you’re single and you are constantly searching for validation from people who are in your “dating pool” (men if you’re a hetero woman, women if you’re a lesbian, men if you’re a gay man … etc. etc. — you get the picture), then you are not Onely, and please don’t call yourself Onely, because it gives us the willies.

–Christina and Lisa

Photo Credit: Move the Clouds

Marital Privilege and the Law: Onely Guest-Posts at Living Single June 29, 2010

Posted by Onely in Guest Posts, Singled Out.
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6 comments

Interested in how, exactly, marital privilege is embedded the in U.S. federal law? We were too: Check out our guest posts over at Bella DePaulo’s blog on Psychology Today, Living Single — here are the links: Part I and Part II.

Extra special thanks to Bella for hosting us! We’re truly flattered 🙂

— Lisa and Christina

Singlism? Feminism? What gives? (Part One) December 12, 2009

Posted by Onely in Academic Alert!, Food for Thought, Heteronormativity, quirkyalone, Your Responses Requested!.
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15 comments

A few days ago, Christina examined the surprisingly singlist and sexist publicity blurbs for two seemingly pro-single books. She notes that the blurbs “[remind] us of how tightly anti-feminism is woven into anti-singlehood rhetoric.” And it’s true: Onely is grounded, at its heart, in feminist values and beliefs specifically because of this connection.

As we explain on our “About Onely” page, we see the fight against singlism as a feminist project in the sense that we question the oppressive perspective that normalizes a particular (sexual-social) practice — coupling — at the expense of those who remain single. We believe that the same sexist (and heteronormative) perspective that fails to value multiple gender and sexual identities also fails to recognize those of us who prefer living alone to coupling.

But another thing strikes me as equally interesting about this linkage: I wonder if it’s a mere coincidence that Rosie the Riveter’s message above could apply as much to women as it could to singles. (more…)

Pioneering Singles’ Advocate Dr. Bella DePaulo BlogCrawls onto Onely! September 26, 2009

Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Guest Bloggers, Guest Posts, Singled Out.
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23 comments

Happy Last Day of National Singles’ Week!!

final Singled Out TP coverYes, it’s the end of Unmarried and Single Americans Week, but don’t be sad! We’re going out with a bang! Today singles’ advocate extraordinaire Dr. Bella DePaulo relates some personal watershed moments when she realized she didn’t have to find a “Sex and Everything Else Partner” if she didn’t feel like it. One reason Onely hearts Bella is because she has coined some fabulous terms to describe the lopsided treatment of singles in society, including singlism (discrimination and prejudice against single people), matrimania (the myth of marriage as a cure for personal and social ills), and the much underused SEEPie.

How I Discovered that Living Single Was My True Happily Ever After

by Bella DePaulo

In seventh grade, on a break from class, best friends Maureen and Linda took turns walking slowly and deliberately, hands clasped at their waists. They were practicing the walk down the aisle. They also compared notes on their wedding dresses, the bridesmaids’ dresses, and who those bridesmaids would be. No, they were not getting married at age 12 – they were just fantasizing.

Even as a 7th grader, I found this strange. I just didn’t see the appeal of planning, or even thinking about a wedding. Turns out, I never would.

I have always lived single, and never yearned to live any other way. For a long time, though, I was puzzled by the disconnect between the way I liked to live, and the kind of life so many others seemed to wish for, and expected me to wish for, too.

I tried out several solutions to this. I had a bug hypothesis for a while – marriage was a bug, and I just hadn’t caught it yet. Eventually, it would get me. (Looking back, I’m now bemused that I did believe in a disease model all along – but the disease was marriage, not singlehood.) Then I tried out the long-distance version of the longing – maybe I’d like it if I had a long-distance relationship. That way, I could have my time and space to myself all week, and have a partner for the weekends. I thought about it, but I never felt it.

I don’t think there was a specific moment when I realized: I LIKE living single. This is who I am. It is not going to change.

To get to that point, I think I had to understand a bigger point – it is fine (good, even) to live the life that is most meaningful to you, even if your way is not the most conventional one. (more…)

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