It's a bird...It's a plane...This joke's a little lame........It's "Singles in the News"!
Singles were making a big splash on the international scene this week, as our third news digest reflects. Unfortunately, there was a paucity of really insightful or inspiring articles about singles. On the other hand, it was a terrifitastic week for Singleschmucker candidates, which can only be a mixed blessing.
"An Unfair Standard"
By Caren Matzner
Summary: Nice opinion piece examines how single female public figures in entertainment and politics are judged differently than their married and/or male counterparts.
"Marry Well for Better Health"
By: Dr. Christopher Lillis
Summary: This article was so infuriating that I had to walk away from the computer to cool down at several points. Written by a doctor who is a self-described "very biased" newlywed (and takes pride in his prejudice, too), it trots out unidentified research studies to "confidently make this claim. Married men survive longer and live healthier lives than their single or divorced counterparts." Although the author admits those results were contingent on how happy the marriage was and cautions single men not to grab the nearest woman and drag her to the altar, he'd still rather advance his pet theory about the miracle drug of marriage than present hard evidence. I have so much to say on this subject that I think it's worthy of a response of its own, which will be posted in the next few days. Suffice it to say, this article was the front-runner for the Singleschmucker Award until--believe it or not--an article came along that made this one look open-minded.
"Ekal Naree Shakti Sangathan to Hold Public Hearing"
Summary: About 120 Indian single women are gathering to petition their government for the right to social security, inheritance, land ownership, better medical care, and a smoother divorce process.
Singles With Singletude Award
"Homeless, and on a College Path to Independence"
By Amanda M. Fairbanks
The New York Times
Summary: In conjunction with New York's Department of Homeless Services, St. John's University offers Advantage Academy, an associate's degree program designed for the homeless, most of whom are single mothers. Their partnership is an historic first. Fairbanks talks to several participants about how they balance school with their daily lives. The program assists them with childcare and transportation and projects that all of them will find housing by the end of the summer. None of the articles this week blew me away, but this one was uplifting and concerns a landmark advancement for homeless singles in New York, so I'll give it today's Singles With Singletude Award.
"Homeless Labrador Man Still Out in the Cold"
Summary: Single men bear the brunt of a low-income housing shortage in the Canadian province of Labrador.
"The Single Woman's Resource Guide"
Summary: Where to start with this mixed bag? It begins disastrously, reading like Jamaica's rendition of the infamous Atlantic feature "Marry Him," its favorite word "settle." Is your man a bum who can't earn a living? Settle. Does he kick back with a beer while you do the dishes? Settle. Your family can't stomach him? Settle. Why would an incredible man with everything going for him want you? Settle, and maybe he'll improve with time, the unnamed author urges. As if this wasn't bad enough, (s)he then does a 180, insisting that a single man is only a good catch when he's good and truly enmeshed, living his whole life for his partner at his own expense. The author's criteria? Try "he feels it is more important that your needs are met rather than his" and "he is always buying things he feels you will like rather than spending money on himself." I don't think I need to comment on what's wrong with that scenario. However, Singletude can't give this article a Singleschmucker because soon after this nonsense, it gives solid advice to single women regarding financial planning, child rearing, and leisure time. Unfortunately, it caps this off with a section that only applies to those of the Christian faith and eight "warning signs you're doomed to be single forever." I feel sorry for Jamaican singles if this is what their major publications consider newsworthy!
Fort Wayne Journal Gazzette
By Devon Haynie
Summary: Singles from Fort Wayne, IN discuss what it takes for a city like theirs to become a singles magnet and identify five key factors--a bustling downtown scene, a public transportation system, employers who recruit the young, an emphasis on the arts, and sports teams to root and play for.
"Pakistan: Women Struggling to Get Help"
Summary: The charitable organization Oxfam International provides needy Pakistani refugees with water survival kits. This article focuses on the plight of single women, who find it especially hard to seek help in a region that is hostile to unaccompanied females.
"Dating When You Don't Have a Job"
By Gary Wynn and Taryn Winter Brill
Summary: Out of 2,700 Match.com members surveyed, 71% said they would consider dating someone who was unemployed. So Good Morning America interviewed eight single women about their dating preferences, and most of them agreed that ambition and a long-term game plan were more important than current job status. (They also weighed in on a variety of other first date questions with answers that probably won't surprise you.) A video clip accompanies the article, which gives tips to single men looking to put a positive spin on their job loss. Singletude's question for the writers is why they ignore unemployed single women. Men aren't the only ones who find the dating scene a challenging environment for the jobless.
"Ladies, Do You Want to Dance?"
By Annie Gleason
Summary: Dating coach Annie Gleason is the one asking the question, and if you're a single woman, she advises you to turn to the nearest man and ask him the same thing if you want to hit the dance floor. Those who aren't so bold may want to follow her tips for communicating interest through body language.
"Money vs. Job Satisfaction: How to Choose"
By Paula Santonocito
Summary: This is a somewhat thin piece on weighing the importance of income against personal happiness. Directed at single women, it could easily apply to men, as well. This may be nitpicking, but I found one statement troubling: "For single women, especially those without children, the workplace may be the only place where they feel a sense of belonging to a group on a daily basis." Well, it may be. But lots of single women have a daily awareness that they belong to their families, their friends, their clubs, teams, churches, or volunteer organizations. We shouldn't underestimate how much singles identify with all of these groups. I say this because there's a tendency to assume that singles have no life outside of work, and that's just not so.
"Oh, For Their Own Barack"
By Matt Flegenheimer
Summary: This report details how the Obamas' idealized marriage has raised the bar for single men, especially in the African-American community.
"The 'Dirty Little Secret' That Is Online Dating"
By Christiana Stevenson
The Urban Coaster
Summary: It's hardly a secret, nor has it really been "dirty" for the last five years or so. The author argues that it's a better route than all those tried-and-true options, but in the year 2009, is there anyone left to argue with?
"Homeless Vets on the Rise in City"
By Tish Butts
Summary: Homeless vets in Vicksburg, MS are in trouble. Every year their ranks increase, and available beds are running out. Most of them are single men, the article says.
"Men Can't Converse? Well, Pickup on This"
By Jeff Kaley
Summary: On a lighter note, Jeff Kaley introduces us to some of the world's worst pickup lines and reminisces about his own fumbled flirtations. Wish he hadn't concluded the article with that timeless mantra of marrieds, "I'm really, really glad I'm not single," though. Can you imagine how an article would be received if a single writer ended it with "I'm really, really glad I'm not married"?
"Want to Get Married? Plan on Having 12 Kids"
By Kobi Nahshoni
Summary: Just when you thought the singlism couldn't get any schmuckier, Rabbi David Batzri spreads a frightening message to Israeli single women, exhorting them to dedicate themselves solely to motherhood. "A girl who wishes to marry must take upon herself already on the first date an obligation to have no less than 12 children," he says. According to Batzri, a woman should become a brood mare--err, mother--as soon as possible after marriage and should keep popping out babies until well after 40 with no breaks in between. (That is, provided she doesn't break.) If a woman waits three years between pregnancies, she must be using birth control, deducts the clever rabbi, which is a no-no. So is listening to medical advice if it would dissuade her from having a litter--err, baby. "Doctors are liars. Don't believe them," Batzri scoffs. "They are all just like that evil American, Dr. Eeeeeevil," he said. (No, not really, I made up that last sentence. But he might as well have said it.) Rebbetzin Yemima Mizrahi pipes up with some more singlist rhetoric, but it pales in comparison. I smell a Singleschmucker!
"Local Business Donates Furnishings to Peace House"
By Mark Gunderman
Summary: Businesses in Loudoun County, VA have banded together to support the Good Shepherd Alliance Peace House, a transitional home that shelters up to 40 homeless single women rebuilding their lives.
"Single Moms Need a Date Too!"
By Carissa Chesanek
Summary: This writer has a few ideas about where to find one. She raises some other questions about dating as a single parent, too, but doesn't attempt to answer them, unfortunately.
"VH1's 'Tough Love' Host Doesn't Sugarcoat His Message"
By Ellen McCarthy
Summary: Steve Ward of VH1's reality dating show Tough Love is single but doles out dating advice on TV. Some of his observations, such as that women care more about dating than men do, may sadden you. It was particularly unsettling to read that, in his experience, single women would rather date their friends' picks than their own.
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!
Singletude: A Positive Blog for Singles
Sunday, July 12, 2009
It's a bird...It's a plane...This joke's a little lame........It's "Singles in the News"!