Singletude: A Positive Blog for Singles

Singletude is a positive, supportive singles blog about life choices for the new single majority. It's about dating and relationships, yes, but it's also about the other 90% of your life--family, friends, career, hobbies--and flying solo and sane in this crazy, coupled world. Singletude isn't about denying loneliness. It's about realizing that whether you're single by choice or by circumstance, this single life is your life to live.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Singles in the News: 7/19/09-7/25/09

Single women were a major focus in this week's headlines. Find out why in this Sunday's edition of "Singles in the News"!


Singleschmucker Award
"Online Dating for Single Women: Are You Safe?"
By Robert Siciliano
Summary: While online dating safety could be a wonderful topic for an article, this disjointed piece jumps from the threat of pedophiles to Maslow's hierarchy of needs to a weird blame-the-victim stance on crimes against single women. However, if you skip the page-long introduction, you may find the 10 red flags for online daters worth a read. There's some good advice here about avoiding men who come on too strong too soon, taking self-defense courses, and using Intelius. On the other hand, some of the recommendations are so extreme, they could be straight out of a primer for stalkers: Ask him for his license plate and Social Security numbers? Whip out your camera phone and tell the guy you're emailing his picture to your entire address book? Come on! Even a genuinely nice guy would try to escape out a bathroom window after a date like that. This isn't the worst example of singlism I've ever seen, but in the absence of any horribly offensive articles this week, I'm awarding this one the Singleschmucker if for no other reason than it bashes single women who fall prey to Internet criminals and all-around abusive jerks. "Healthy, conscious, right minded people...can sense bad from a mile away"? Please. Singles aren't automatically unhealthy because they're not human bloodhounds.

"Single Women Ditch Men for Dogs"
The Daily Telegraph
Summary: Voices from the Australian dog fancy propose reasons why more single women than ever before are becoming dog owners. Warning: Some of the suggested reasons have singlist undertones.

"Union Mission's New Campus Gets First Residents"
By Debbie Messina
The Virginian-Pilot
Summary: Union Mission Ministry in Norfolk, VA expands its homeless shelters to accommodate more singles. Single women ages 18-25 are said to be "the fastest-growing segment in the homeless community."

"Women's Media Watch Members Have 'Singular' Viewpoints"
By Mel Cooke
The Sunday Gleaner
Summary: Members of Women's Media Watch, an organization dedicated to raising awareness of gender equality and violence against women, attempt to define "single" and discuss how men, sex, education, and social norms fit into and influence a single woman's life.


"'Dating in the Dark' Better Than It Sounds"
By Tom Conroy
Media Life
Summary: Dating in the Dark is a new reality show with a creative twist--dates are conducted entirely in the dark and shot with infrared cameras. Participants are given clues about each other and even the chance to work with a sketch artist to commit their imagined partners to paper. The question, of course, is whether these would-be couples will like what they see when the lights are on. The reviewer provides an honest take on reality dating cliches and evaluates what this show brings to the table without unwarranted hype.

"Really Happy and Single"
By The Soloist
The Gleaner
Summary: One columnist lists 10 ways to tell if a single woman really has singletude or is more of a matrimaniac than she lets on. Although not everyone will agree that loving the single life means one has to crave alone time more than company or shun the desire for children, the author's reminder that there are single women who are completely content in their singleness is a welcome validation for those of us who are happily single.

"Romance Is Back for Single Britain"
Summary: A study of 16,000 Brits cloyingly titled the LoveGeist Report 2009 finds that despite a sharp increase in the number of singles, which is expected to continue through 2011, 95% of participants say they are looking for twu wuv. Although more than half say they are now "more fussy" when choosing love interests, 84% intend to "work harder to fix problems" in their personal lives, and 63% say they are no longer interested in casual dating and that finding a significant other has become more important over the last year.


"Recipe for Disaster: Babies Raising Babies"
By Robin Cain
Summary: Single parenthood is an expensive proposition, especially for uneducated, underemployed teenage moms. This article collects some stats on teenage birth rates and the cost of child rearing. Unfortunately, it lumps unwed teenage mothers and their "accidental" pregnancies together with responsible single adults who are prepared to raise the children they choose to have.


"Contra Costa County Dragging Feet on Welfare Payments to the Poorest, Lawsuit Claims"
By John Simerman
San Jose Mercury News
Summary: A lawsuit against Contra Costa County, CA contends that the local government is intentionally delaying welfare payments to child-free, single applicants in an effort to discourage them from applying.

"In US, Homelessness Grows as Families Join the Ranks"
By Chris Simkins
Voice of America
Summary: Homeless single-parent families are sadly on the rise across the U.S. This article catches up with directors and residents at several transitional homes and shelters in the Washington, DC area.

"Single Over-60 Men Throw the Question Back: Where Are All the Women?"
By Regina Brett
Summary: In answer to the column's plea for single male seniors to round out speed dating events overflowing with single widows and divorcees, older men fire back that they either don't like the meat market atmosphere of speed dating or are turned off by anti-male attitudes in ladies their age.

"Sudden Change of Plans"
By John Keilman
Chicago Tribune
Summary: Following massive cuts in state aid, Harper College is the only college in Illinois still offering single mothers financial assistance for higher education.


Singles With Singletude Award
"Koreans Learn from Parent/Child Center to Aid Unwed Mothers"
By John Flowers
Addison County Independent
Summary: Despite South Korea's advanced industrialization, it remains a nation trapped in time where single mothers are concerned. Out-of-wedlock pregnancy is still such a stigma that many South Korean single women would rather take their chances on illegal abortions than give birth, and 70% of those who carry their babies to term give them up for adoption. Now, the Korean Unwed Mothers Support Network (KUMSN), founded by Dr. Richard Boas, an American who adopted a South Korean baby, is visiting the nationally renowned Addison County Parent/Child Center in Middlebury, VT to learn how to serve this unrecognized segment of their population. They will also stop off at the Korean consulate in New York City to raise awareness about the plight of unmarried mothers. The Addison County Parent/Child Center's South Korean counterpart is AeRanWan, which provides medical care, counseling, parent education, job training, and housing to single moms. Of KUMSN's visit to the USA, Boas says, "For me, this is a demonstration that this can be done, so that I can go to Korea and say, ‘You know, it’s been done in the States, I hope that Koreans, in their own way, do what they can to treat all its citizens equally. Here is the Vermont example, what can you, in Korea, do, based on the example in the States?’” For highlighting international cooperation toward the advancement of single mothers, this article wins this week's Singles With Singletude Award.

"Movie Review: The Ugly Truth"
By Matthew Huntley
Summary: The film critic wonders why singles feel compelled to change themselves for the sake of coupling and why Hollywood upholds this myth in his candid review of The Ugly Truth.

"Single Women Flock to Denmark to Get Pregnant"
The Copenhagen Post Online
Summary: As one of just a handful of countries in Europe to permit artificial insemination of single women (the others are Belgium, Great Britian, Holland, and Spain), Denmark is playing host to an influx of singletons trying to get pregnant.


"Call of the Wild: Cougars in Palo Alto, CA"
By Stephen Robert Morse
Mother Jones
Summary: The first ever National Single Cougars Convention will be held in Palo Alto, CA on Aug. 28, 2009. This article previews what attendees can expect.

"Most Austrians Like to Flirt"
By William Green
Summary: Well, duh. People the world over enjoy the sexually charged repartee known as flirting, including 78% of Austrian men and 81% of Austrian women, according to a survey of 787 Austrians. Other stats about the role of flirting in relationships won't surprise you, either, but it may disturb those of you with singletude to hear that 86% of Austrians refuse to travel alone.

"Travel Agents: A Healthy Long-distance Relationship"
By Melanie Nayer
Summary: Speaking of travel, this article aimed at single women is packed with tips on how to find and work with the right travel agent.


"What Women Want in 2009"
By Josette Compton
Summary: Five women dish about what they look for in a date, although, strangely enough, not all of them are single.

Do you have thoughts on any of the stories above? (When commenting, please reference the title of the article.)

Do you have a question for Clever Elsie about some aspect of the single life? Have a rant or rave about singlehood? Write in, and you just might see your question in a Singletude Q&A or your rant or rave in a Singletude Sound-off!

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