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, August 30, 2009

Singles in the News: 8/23/09-8/29/09

The stories in this week's "Singles in the News" were overwhelmingly positive toward singles and singleness. In fact, at first glance, you might think that we're in the midst of a seismic conciousness shift toward true acceptance of singles as full-fledged members of society.

This may be true. We may be progressing toward an era in which singlism and matrimania will seem as horrifying yet distant as the days when women couldn't vote and people of color were relegated to the back of the bus.

But don't be fooled into complacency. Every week, there are articles that you don't see here belittling, dismissing, scapegoating, and stereotyping singles in the most hateful ways. These articles usually appear on web sites that have a stated, often right-wing agenda or on personal blogs, and Singletude doesn't publish them because they're biased sources. Of course, many publishers have an unexpressed bias, but their reporters at least pretend to objectivity, so their articles are a reflection of mainstream attitudes. It's this zeitgeist that Singletude tries to capture in "Singles in the News," so it doesn't link to sites that aren't interested in objectivity.

However, you can trust that singlism is alive and kicking at such sites. This week turned up a particularly venomous crop of anti-single writers, so even though they won't get a mention here, I wanted you to know that they exist. They're out there, and they're actively working to spread their singlist rhetoric and keep singles at a disadvantage.

Thankfully, other writers showed singles some love this week and a lot of it! I hope these articles will be as upflifting to you as they were for me.


"Single and Feeling Happy"
By Retno I. Palupi
The Jakarta Post
Summary: This encouraging article finds single women in Indonesia facing the same work-family conflicts as we do here in the States and embracing single living with equal enthusiasm.

"Single Dads in Recovery Deserve Equality"
By Angeline Davis
Summary: The author champions single fathers recovering from addiction or poverty and questions why mothers with similar issues are invariably favored in court and in the array of treatment options available to them.


"Advocates Push to Include the Homeless in Medicaid"
By Pam Fessler
Summary: Most of the homeless are single and child-free, and in some states, that makes them ineligible for health coverage even though they're the most vulnerable to illness and injury. Proposed Medicaid expansion could help them have better lives and be less of a burden on taxpayers.

Singles With Singletude Award
"Sex and the Single Minister"
By Rev. Debra Haffner
The Huffington Post
Summary: The tide is turning for LGBT clergy as more Protestant denominations approve ministers in committed gay and lesbian relationships. However, the author, a Unitarian minister, wants to know why single pastoral staff of any orientation are still expected to be celibate outside of marriage. Although her article will likely elicit protest since premarital sex is a no-no in Bible-based teaching, Haffner's courage in presenting the question has to be admired. Those who've studied theology will know that, despite the Christian church's current prohibition of all things sexual outside of marriage, scriptural and historical support for total celibacy is debatable. Moreover, Haffner is one of the enlightened few to propel the gay marriage debate beyond marriage and confront the double standards that exist for singles. This is even more impressive since she represents a religious community that has made a golden calf out of marriage. Though it was hard to choose a winner from so many pro-single articles this week, this one earns the Singles With Singletude Award for recognizing that the problem isn't who gets to marry; the problem is marriage.


"Motherhood: Is It For Me?"
By Rheba Estante
Summary: California therapist Ann Davidman helps women, single or coupled, answer that question through a 12-week workshop. What's unique about Davidman's philosophy, as presented in this interview, is that it advocates parenting only out of true interest and desire, not out of obligation or societal expectation. Women who choose not to have kids are guided and supported every bit as much as those who do.

"Older Single Women Reinventing Themselves"
By Paul Santonocito
Summary: Although it offers no tips on how to do so practically, this article exhorts single seniors to break out of their holding pattern and go for the goal, whatever that might be, because time is of the essence.

"Single Parent Dating Tips"
By Miranda Krebbs
Summary: Eight excellent tips for single parents flirting with a return to the dating scene promote a non-matrimaniacal approach prioritizing your physical and emotional well-being as well as that of your children.


"Original Feature Documentary 'Single' for DVD Release September 15"
Newswire Today
Summary: Single, a self-explanatory documentary and a prizewinner from the 2008 New York Film Festival, will be available on DVD on 9/15. From the press release: "'Single' provides a timely and comprehensive look into what it means to be single in America and how singles regard marriage...Through thought-provoking interviews with a cast of social experts, performers and singles themselves, 'Single' addresses the complexities of relationships in today's world."

"Take Two: Let Society Hear Women's Cries"
By Dr. Sipho Lombo
Daily Dispatch
Summary: Troubled by the growing rate of female suicides in South Africa, a manager in the Department of Education calls upon the community to support single women, who might otherwise become isolated, overstressed, and depressed.


"Fort Wayne Has New Women's Shelter"
By Scott Sarvay
Indiana's NewsCenter
Summary: A new homeless shelter for single women has opened its doors in Fort Wayne, IN. The executive director was inspired to open the shelter when a previous news broadcast alerted her to the plight of homeless single women.

"Give Women the Right to Ask Bosses for Flexi-work"
By Andy Ho
The Straits Times
Summary: That is, if they have children. If they're single, forget it. And everyone knows men don't need time off or other accommodations to care for kids because men are not caregivers. So says this reporter as he urges Singapore to adopt flexible work arrangements for mothers. How about this? What if we offered everyone a standard amount of time off to use as they wished? What if we recognized that the nine-to-five, chained-to-a-desk work model is outdated and let everyone work from wherever they want for however long they want as long as they get the job done?

"Local, Single Women Embrace a Different Label"
By Mike McGinley
The Times Leader
Summary: That label is "puma," defined as a cougar in training, a woman not yet of a certain age who nevertheless prefers to date younger men. The reporter also wants readers to know that it's not always the woman who's the aggressor in these May-December pairings.

Singleschmucker Award
"Why Poach Another's Mate? Ask an Expert"
By John Tierney
The New York Times
Summary: Here we go again. On the heels of the widely publicized release of a study purporting to show that single women prefer attached men (see "Singles in the News: 8/9/09-8/15/09"), Tierney interviews Dr. David Buss, the social psychologist who coined the term "mate poaching" and whose seminal research is referenced in the current study. Interestingly, his own research showed that it was single men, not single women, who were most likely to pursue coupled partners. As for the women who prefer their men second hand, according to Buss, they are the product of a long human history of polygyny, which was perfectly acceptable when the behavior evolved. Although Buss's attempt to absolve single women is appreciated, neither he nor Tierney directs a critical eye toward the current study even though many commenters were quick to point out its flaws. Also, despite Buss's silly excuse that he couldn't think of anything better, "mate poaching" remains an insultingly singlist term which implies that paired people are property to be stolen and single people are thieves. In a thin field this week, Tierney's article is our new winner of the Singleschmucker.


"Harmless Ogling or Flirting with Disaster?"
By Kiplang'at Jeremiah
The Standard
Summary: In the U.S., an article which admonishes that "staring lustfully at people of the opposite sex with no promise of a relationship" might be "a form of indiscipline" would likely be dismissed as quaint at best or offensive at worst. In Kenya, it made the country's flagship newspaper. Filled with quotes that dehumanize both the gazers and the gazed at, this piece, perhaps unintentionally, reveals an appalling lack of respect for both the personal privacy of singles and the autonomy of married individuals.

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

Don't forget to enter the Singletude giveaway contest for your chance to win over $150 in prizes from!

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!


bobbyboy said...

""Advocates Push to Include the Homeless in Medicaid"
By Pam Fessler

It's been a little depressing to me to watch (what should I call them?) ignorant Americans that would rather cry about some falsehood "accidentally" bestowed on them by some lunatic right wing representative- birther? Deather?
It's not a shame anymore as these morons should know better, or at least get the correct info on what health care means to all of us!

"Singles With Singletude Award
"Sex and the Single Minister"
By Rev. Debra Haffner
The Huffington Post"

Interesting point. It always amazes me how some religion or other, after being completely closed minded, will change with the times (usually because they have to). I see they have some more to go.

""Older Single Women Reinventing Themselves"
By Paul Santonocito"

Inspiring to say the least :)

""Original Feature Documentary 'Single' for DVD Release September 15"
Newswire Today"

Short article, but it's good to hear the attention that single's are getting :)

""Local, Single Women Embrace a Different Label"
By Mike McGinley
The Times Leader"

Cougar, puma hahaha, you have to laugh just a little. What are the animal names of the male counterparts?

"Singleschmucker Award
"Why Poach Another's Mate? Ask an Expert"
By John Tierney
The New York Times"

An award deserved, sheesh...

Clever Elsie said...

Bobby: Sometimes I think America is the most brainwashed nation in existence. What's wrong with people that they fear a word like "socialism" more than bankruptcy or premature death due to inadequate insurance coverage? That they fear a supposed "death panel" more than their own health plan's claim review boards? That they're more afraid of trying something and failing at it than of sticking with what has already failed? It beats me.

Re. Single, I'm curious to see how it turns out. I've heard that although it's about singles, it focuses on them through a singlist lens. I could be misinformed, though.

To tell you the truth, I've always been a little irritated when women get compared to cats, in ways either silly or suggestive. I guess I see something dehumanizing about comparing women to animals, especially since the comparisons always seem derogatory. For instance, women aren't compared to cougars because cougars are beautiful but because they're predatory. When we say women are "catty," we don't mean they're cute, sweet, playful, or independent like cats but that they're petty and backstabbing. I think it's interesting (and perhaps revealing) that there's no similar word for men. Or is there? Maybe someone can chime in on this one.