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 16, 2009

Singles in the News: 8/9/09-8/15/09

Encouragingly, "Singles in the News" is heavy on the singletude and light on the singlism this week! In fact, there were several contenders for the Singles With Singletude Award but no strong competition for the Singleschmucker. As much as I love using the word "singleschmucker," I hope the articles worthy of it are on the downslide. Enjoy!


"7 Stress-free Home Maintenance Tips for Single Women"
By Jessica Bram
Summary: In the wake of her divorce, the author admits she can't cut it at the handyman's bench and advises other singles who are daunted by do-it-yourself tasks to take advantage of professional help.

Singleschmucker Award
"As Economy Goes Down, Matchmakers' Market Goes Up"
By Jessica Belasco
Houston Chronicle
Summary: In case you've forgotten since last week, more singles than ever are turning to online dating in this bad economy. Really. It's not just some conspiracy to put more cash in the pockets of dating service bigwigs. After all, as the CEO of OkCupid says, "The last thing you want to do is go home to your lonely apartment and spend the evening by yourself." But you already knew you were alone and lonely, right?...Not the worst example of singlism I've ever seen but irritating enough to earn it this week's Singleschmucker Award.

"One Less Shelter for Families"
By Matt Batcheldor
The Olympian
Summary: A homeless shelter in Olympia, WA is closing its doors to families as it makes way for an influx of singles. Notice the paper's bias toward families, evident in the wording of this headline.

"Phelps, Mom of Olympian, Shares Her Story"
By John Henderson
Rocky Mount Telegram
Summary: Debbie Phelps, single mom of Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps, speaks at a Single Women In Mission (SWIM) benefit, detailing her early life and struggles as a working single parent of three. Interestingly, she mentions that her friends and neighbors became as much a part of her family as her own relatives.

"SMW, Single Women, Single Payer Petition"
Summary: Here's a form letter that you can send to your Congressmen to ask them to co-sponsor H.R. 676, The United States National Health Insurance Act. If you're not already educated about H.R. 676, please take a minute to explore the preceding link to and find out why single-payer health care is vastly superior to private insurance with a public option.


"District Love: More Men Wanted? The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the Comical"
By Karen Dickerson
Summary: Though written with the D.C. dating scene in mind, this article could apply to many cities in which single females outnumber males, who are scarce at speed dating and networking events. The author asks why, and although she doesn't reach any definitive conclusions, she suggests an attitude adjustment for single ladies.

"Marriage Incentive Riles Single Women"
By Kanchan G. Burathoki
Summary: Infuriated at Nepal's plan to offer financial incentives to men who marry widows, hundreds of single women stormed Kathmandu. Their message: Help us be financially independent, not dependent on a husband.

"Single Women for Single Payer Healthcare: Sign the SMW Petition!"
Summary: has a goal. They want to get 100,000 signatures on a petition for single-payer health care by Labor Day. It's getting harder and harder for hard-working singles, especially women, to afford quality health care. PLEASE sign the petition and support free health care for everyone. (Married women and men are welcome to sign, too!)


"Broken Vows Part 1: Once the Divorce Is Final, Over-40 Women Discover Unwelcome Challenges"
By Anne Rodgers
Palm Beach Post
Summary: When marriages dissolve, newly single women who sacrificed their individuality on the altar of coupledom must rediscover who they are and learn to enjoy life on their own. The interview subjects give some good tips, such as building a support network of single female friends. Says Pam Jett, a therapist with obvious singletude, "Unfortunately a lot of women are programmed to believe they're not whole people unless they're in a relationship. I try to help them find and reconnect with that sense of self."

"Girl Talk: The Condom Commandments"
By Ami Angelowicz
The Frisky
Summary: The article notes a disturbing trend toward condom-less casual encounters and lays down the law for single women regarding how, when, where, and with whom to use protection.


"New Book Exposes Challenges, Hardships and Joys of Single-man Adoption"
Summary: Well, not quite single. Author Paul Hampsch, who is gay, was in a relationship when he adopted two boys from Ukraine in 2001. However, due to discrimination there, he had to pretend he was unattached, and the adoption was conducted as though he was a single man. His book, A Family of Choice: A Gay Man's Story of International Adoption, should give aspiring single fathers a better understanding of what they're up against and how to play their cards right.

"Retirement and the Single Girl"
By Miriam Goodman
Summary: In the author's experience, even single women who are financially sound don't want to retire. Why, she wonders, are single women not interested in living their lives for themselves?

"Single in the City: The Perfect Partner? These Days That's Just a Fairytale"
By Rym Ghazal
The National
Summary: The West isn't the only place where singles are getting choosier in the dating game. Single men in the Middle East are also pulling out long checklists for their future mates, dashing some single ladies' hopes of a Cinderella-like end to their personal stories.

"Targeting the Homeless: Another Way to Incarcerate Men"
By Robert Franklin, Esq.
Summary: Research indicates that homelessness is on the rise in this recession, especially among single men. The writer is concerned that police departments are trying to help these homeless single men into new housing--behind bars.


"Do Single Women Seek Attached Men?"
By John Tierney
The New York Times
Summary: According to a study called "Who's Chasing Whom? The Impact of Gender and Relationship Status on Mate Poaching" by Jessica Parker and Melissa Burkley, single women are significantly more likely to find a guy attractive when told he's in a relationship. (The article says the difference is over 3o percentage points, a figure echoed throughout the media, but this percentage is nowhere to be found in the original study.) There was no similar effect for single men when told that women were taken. The Oklahoma State University researchers theorized that men become more attractive to women when they show they can commit. However, Tierney has a theory of his own--that these women may be displaying a classic fear of commitment.

"Locals Lead Charge to House, Heal the Homeless"
By Marian Rizzo
Summary: Florida transitional housing and rehabilitation centers are profiled. Two work with single men, one with single women and children. Another is planned for just single women.

"Palo Alto 'Cougar Convention' to Gather Older Women, Younger Men"
Summary: A look at the man behind the National Single Cougars Convention, Rich Gosse of the Society of Single Professionals. In 2003, Gosse was ahead of his time, campaigning for governor of California on a platform of equitable treatment for singles. Here he talks about his inspiration for the convention and why he believes cougar pairings work so well.


"Are You Unknowingly Dating a Married Man Who[']s Cheating on His Wife?"
By Ruth Houston
Summary: It's scary that this web site has a columnist devoted solely to the subject of infidelity in New York! According to her, research shows that 20% of single women are currently dating married men...and don't know their significant others have wives waiting at home. Further, one in five men is a husband pretending he's footloose and fancy-free, and one-third of online daters are married. The author has a number of excellent pointers for any single woman who suspects she's dating a not-so-single guy.

"'Ask the Ladies' Dating Advice for Single Dads"
By Michael Ramos
Summary: A panel of single, child-free gals reveal their thoughts on dating single dads. (Hint: They're cautious but optimistic.)

Singles With Singletude Award
"New York Times Reporter Thinks Single Women Fear Intimacy; I'm Afraid He's Wrong"
By Bella DePaulo
The Huffington Post
Summary: Sociologist Bella DePaulo critiques John Tierney's New York Times article, "Do Single Women Seek Attached Men?" and does a thorough job of it as usual. Not only does she refute Tierney's hypothesis that single women are afraid of commitment by providing the results of attachment studies, but she also questions the claims made in the original journal article. For one thing, the participants were all college students, and the way youths 18-22 date and mate may not be generalizable to how more mature single women operate. For another thing, the study didn't actually measure how likely single females were to pursue men in long-term, committed relationships; it only looked at how they responded to a guy who was in a "current" relationship, suggesting a more casual affair. Finally, the single girls answered questions about how interested they were in the young man, but the researchers didn't ask how interested they'd be in dating him while still attached. This could have created misunderstandings that impacted the results. For a more in-depth look at misleading elements in this study and the New York Times reaction to it, check out DePaulo's rebuttal. Her article is, once again, the winner of this week's Singles With Singletude Award.

"Red Carpet Confidential: Vivica A. Fox Gives Cougar Tips"
By Valerie Nome
Summary: She does, but the actress also talks about how satisfied she is with her single life: "Every morning when I wake up, whatever Vivica wants to do, that's what we do. I don't have to answer to anyone. I'm having a great time in life...Right now, I happen to be single, and I don't have a problem with it. I'm not always searching. A man doesn't validate me because I'm happy with me." Fox's pro-single comments are so refreshing that Singletude can easily forgive her use of the third person.


"The Women DIYers Doing It for Themselves"
By Emma Wells
The Sunday Times
Summary: In the UK, more women than ever before aren't waiting for a man to role up their sleeves and tackle projects around the house. Though this article isn't solely about single women, it mentions the growing number of singles as a motivational force behind the newfound popularity of home improvement courses for women and interviews one unattached female who single-handedly (pun intended) renovated her entire house. Too bad the author can't stop herself from dropping a few singlist comments here and there to remind us that women still have a long way to go.

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!


The Singlutionary said...

I just LOVE that there are two articles about single women and home ownership/improvement. This is a sign that I am not a freak after all. I want to single-handedly remodel my whole house. After I win the lottery and don't have to work for 6 years. Yeah.

Clever Elsie said...

Me too! I found that very inspiring, although I felt the one article didn't give women enough credit. It amazes me how much ladies like yourself accomplish on your own! I'm pretty left-brained, so spatial tasks like putting things together make me feel like Alice on the other side of the looking glass.

I hear the next Mega Million jackpot drawing is tomorrow, so better buy your ticket now. ;)

Special K said...

I don't have a home, and am enjoying a simplistic, nomadic lifestyle for now, but love the fact that there are so many AWESOME role models out there for when I am ready.
Elsie, you are super smart! Will you be my friend?

bobbyboy said...

Singleschmucker Award
"As Economy Goes Down, Matchmakers' Market Goes Up"
By Jessica Belasco
Houston Chronicle
"Summary: In case you've forgotten since last week, more singles than ever are turning to online dating in this bad economy. Really. It's not just some conspiracy to put more cash in the pockets of dating service bigwigs."

I got a chuckle from this Elsie.

"SMW, Single Women, Single Payer Petition"

I bookmarked this to read later, thank you!

"District Love: More Men Wanted? The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the Comical"
By Karen Dickerson

I've probably gone bonkers, but I think you may have posted this one before?

"New Book Exposes Challenges, Hardships and Joys of Single-man Adoption"


"Do Single Women Seek Attached Men?"
By John Tierney
The New York Times

Mate poaching lol. I think this may have to do with the idea that woman want a proven and responsible male (who may indeed be broken in already).
There's an irony here that I'm sure I don't have to explain, but it has to do with cheating and responsibility :)

Singles With Singletude Award
"New York Times Reporter Thinks Single Women Fear Intimacy; I'm Afraid He's Wrong"
By Bella DePaulo
The Huffington Post

Just about ties in nicely with the previous article :)

Clever Elsie said...

Special K: Of course I will! Want a postcard from NY? :)

Bobby: I hope I didn't post that Examiner article before! I generally collect all the headlines for the week from my Google alerts, then delete them when done, so it's probably not the same article, but I may have accidentally posted two articles on the same topic. I try not to do that unless the new article adds a new dimension, but I'm getting older, and sometimes my memory can't keep up anymore. ;)

I think you hit the nail on the head re. that "mate poaching" study. (I hate the term "mate poaching," by the way. It makes it sound like the guy is his girlfriend's property!) The only thing the study really proves is that women prefer a guy with known relationship experience to a guy with an uncertain background. If the women got to choose between a single guy with previous relationship experience and a guy currently in a relationship, I bet the majority would pick the former. And, yes, Bella DePaulo's rebuttal was awesome!