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, October 18, 2009

Singles in the News: 10/11/09-10/17/09

Older single women were in the media spotlight this week, drawing criticism and occasional emulation from all corners of the globe in their various stereotypical incarnations as cougars, biological clock-watchers, and wanton destroyers of the fabric of society. Oh, yeah, and some sources pointed out that they can be mature, independent, and well grounded, too.

Articles about dating trends and tips were also in full supply, so singles who date may find something of interest here.


"Do We Turn Off Men Our Own Age Without Realizing It?"
By Michelle Cove
Summary: Cove proposes that men like dating younger women not so much because of their youthful good looks but because older women pressure them to settle down too quickly. Or perhaps those turnoffs aren't mutually exclusive?

"New Survey Shows Devastating Impact of Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain on Intimate Relations"
Summary: The survey of 300 females suffering from rheumatoid arthritis showed a lot of other things, as well. But notice that the press release chooses to call attention to how the disease affected the respondents' intimate relationships. Apparently, almost 60% said that sex was painful, 25% of those who were divorced blamed their arthritis, and 53% of those who were single believed the disease hindered their search for "a life partner." The pharmaceutical company which conducted the research asked a number of other questions, too. But the answers to those questions weren't deemed interesting enough for the first few paragraphs and were buried somewhere deep within the press release.

"No Husbands, Just Pass Me Your Sperm"
By Ted Malanda
The Standard
Summary: As the popularity of marriage declines in Kenya, single women (and single men, too) are becoming intentionally single parents. But some of them are using devious methods to attract potential donors, whose marital status is no obstacle, either, apparently. There are hints of singlism throughout the article, but it tries to maintain balance, acknowledging that "the loss of personal freedom, incessant supremacy and financial fights, and...petty squabbles and emotional upheavals have become synonymous with the institution of marriage."


"'All the Single Ladies' (and Men) Are Taking Over the World"
By Carly Milne
Digital City
Summary: Singles and single women in particular have more products and services aimed at them than ever before. This article covers some old familiar faces that Singletude readers will know as well as a new web site that features articles and video programming just for single females, Single-Woman.TV. (When will we get our own cable channel too?)

"In India, New Seat of Power for Women"
By Emily Wax
The Washington Post
Summary: As in so many countries, increasing economic prosperity in India goes hand in hand with a growing feminist movement. To Western eyes, the demands of single Indian women are shockingly basic. They just want toilets, and some are refusing to marry without this fundamental convenience.

"Majority of Cougars Date Younger Men to Stroke Their Egos"
Summary: We've all heard about the cougar phenomenon ad nauseam, but what exactly is behind the trend? Ego and money are the culprits, says the headline of a poll by,, and, but the actual results present a somewhat more complicated picture. When single men were asked why they would date an older woman, 85% said they wanted a sugar mama, while 72% said, "[Older women are] desperate and so much easier to get in bed." When single women were asked why they would date a younger man, the vast majority (95%) said, "It's less complicated with a younger guy, you can have fun and not think about marriage and babies." While it's true that 89% said it was a confidence booster, too, that was not the most commonly cited reason. Another substantial majority (78%) listed greater sexual endurance as an enticement for dating younger guys. What's interesting is that the headline singles out the one motivation for May-December romances that makes "cougars" look bad while ignoring the reason that actually got the most votes, that single women of a certain age don't necessarily want heavy-duty relationships. An excellent example of spin doctors at work!


"7 Famous Whiners That Swear They Can't Get a Date"
By Olivia Allin
the Frisky
Summary: Guess which single celebs say that love doesn't come easy when you're famous. Most of them aren't too thrilled with this turn of events, but one, Tim Gunn, has the courage to say, "'I'm very happy being alone...There's nothing wrong with being happily single!'"

"Book Review: Would You Like to Sleep with My Wife?"
By Rebecca Ammon
The Daily Loaf
Summary: A review of Would You Like to Sleep With My Wife? by Tom Kelly details the single male author's adventures working at a swingers' resort. Be forewarned that it's not all wish fulfillment as Kelly literally wakes up in the midst of troubled marriages.

"Face Your Relationship Fears: Male Fear of Intimacy and Fear of Commitment in Dating"
By Deborrah Cooper
Summary: This insightful article delves into the ways in which single men and women enable each other to avoid committed relationships.

"Give Incentives to Single Tenants to Downsize"
By Ben Spencer
The Star
Summary: So many singles are living alone in low-income housing units that needy families in Yorkshire, England have nowhere to go. The district is considering a proposal to give financial rewards to singles who move to less spacious accommodations.

"Surge in Single Women Driving Down Nat'l Birth Rate"
The Dong-a Ilbo
Summary: Birth rates are falling in South Korea, and the government is chastising single women in urban areas for delaying marriage.

Singles With Singletude Award
"The Trophy Wife Speaks"
By Gina Barone
The Chronicle
Summary: A progressive Purdue University student isn't single anymore but refuses to join the matrimaniacs. She says, "I deplore married people who announce their status smugly like they are better than non-married people. I am offended by this behavior. Honestly, I think any person who treats their marriage like a status symbol didn't get married for the right reasons." The article only gets better as Barone argues against singlism and intensive coupling with the kind of wisdom and eloquence seldom matched outside of small singles advocacy circles. It's refreshing to hear from a young, married person with so much singletude! We need more coupled people to speak out on behalf of equality between singles and marrieds. Only when the mainstream (i.e., marrieds) acknowledges discrimination against singles can we really begin to conquer it.


"Being Single and Dating in a Digital World"
News 8 Austin
Summary: This rather directionless article starts out talking about the demographic discrepancy between single men and women in the U.S., moves on to places to mix and mingle, and finally reaffirms why it's ok to be single. Huh? At least the five reasons to be single are on target.

"Homeless Shelter Closed Until November"
Fox 12 Mankato
Summary: A Minnesota homeless shelter for single men has trouble keeping up with demand.

"Love Is in the Air! Singles Flight Takes Off From LAX"
Summary: Is it just me, or are matchmaking events getting more and more OTT? Now, for a measly $780, you too can be imprisoned on a transoceanic love boat in the sky until you succumb to the persistent charms of the gentleman (or gentlewoman) winking at you while playing elbow footsie with your armrest.

"Political Spouses Are the Must-have of the Season"
By David Williamson
Summary: The U.S. isn't the only country that prefers its politicians married. Legislators in the U.K. are also expected to have a glamorous partner in tow. But some people are rightly worried that talented singles are getting bypassed for positions of responsibility. Also of concern is the influence that mates of state have in their unelected leadership roles. Unfortunately, the article veers away from these pointed questions to recap the world's long history of famous political spouses.

"Rethinking the Older Woman-Younger Man Relationship"
By Sarah Kershaw
The New York Times
Summary: In contrast to Monday's survey, this article poses a less self-absorbed motivation for older women to date younger men--the absence of available older men who are interested in women their own age. This is explored in the context of a culture that has fewer dating taboos and more self-supporting women that ever. Kershaw also cites a study of May-December married couples in which the women were at least 10 years older than their partners. The study showed "that women liked the vitality the younger man brought into their lives, and men liked the maturity and confidence in the women." However, studies from the University of Chicago and MIT paint a different picture, concluding that most men still prefer younger women.


"Checking out the 'Pecs and Personalities' at Cosmo's Hottest Bachelor Party"
By Amanda Ernst
Summary: Cosmopolitan throws its annual bash in honor of single males from 50 states who are gorgeous inside and out. If you're a single lady interested in meeting any of them, Cosmo has provided their email addresses in its "Hottest Bachelors of 2009" feature.

"Dating Trend Changing Among Singles"
By Jane Han
The Korea Times
Summary: The "competitive singles market" in Korea is shaping up to be much like its counterpart in the United States. As single Koreans have become more selective in their search for the perfect partner, more are reluctant to commit to any one person.

Singleschmucker Award
"David Cameron's Tax Incentives for Married Couples Will Not Solve Family Breakdown"
By Jen Lexmond
The Daily Telegraph
Summary: This article starts and ends well. The main idea is that the British government shouldn't provide blanket incentives for married couples to stay together when some actually should go their separate ways. This distinction between good and bad relationships, which refuses to idealize marriage as a panacea in and of itself, is seldom stated and all the more important because of it. Unfortunately, the writer detracts from that significant point by repeating inaccuracies about the benefits of good marriages. "Single adults aged between 30-50 have increased mortality rates than married couples--for women it is twice as high, and for men it is three times higher," Lexmond says. I wish Lexmond would've disclosed her sources because I've never heard of any research demonstrating that married women live longer than unmarried women or that the risk of death for single men is three times higher than it is for married men. The article is ultimately a mixed bag, but since there weren't any standouts for the Singleschmucker this week, it wins for perpetuating singlist myths.

"Egypt's Spinsters and Society"
By Joseph Mayton
Summary: The head of Egypt's Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics calls the country's growing singles population "'alarming'" and a "'main concern.'" According to him, single women who don't marry are just asking to be sexually harassed. In response, the journalist examines discrimination against single women in Egypt, which ranges from "rumors, suspicion and pitying looks" to restrictions on the freedom of movement of grown, self-supporting unmarried women. Noha Mahmoud, an Egyptian psychologist living in America urges single women in her home country to band together to "'make change happen.'" A runner-up for the Singles With Singletude Award.

"Let's Not Forget Those Still Living in Poverty as the Economy Picks Up"
By Clare Martin
The Age
Summary: The economy may be recovering worldwide, but in Australia, single parents and singles over 65 remain vulnerable.

"Magazine Scene: How to Write the Perfect Online Dating Profile"
By Elizabeth Cherneff
The Sun Herald
Summary: A few helpful hints for online daters, nothing particularly original.

"Mingling Singles"
By Manette Newbold
Summary: Utah's Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has started a nondenominational singles social group for ages 31 and up. The group stresses that its goal is to promote socializing, not matchmaking.


"The Homelessness Connection in Health Care"
By Nan Roman
Huffington Post
Summary: The last national study of the homeless found that, in contrast to popular conception, only 25% had Medicaid. That might be because many of the homeless are single, and singles usually don't qualify for Medicaid. Clearly, homelessness exacerbates health problems and vice versa. Roman advocates a two-pronged approach, tackling homelessness as well as health care.

"Taking a Closer Look at the 'Real Uninsured'"
Summary: In an effort to dimish the importance of universal health care, some pundits have been pushing the idea that young, single adults, nicknamed "Young Invincibles," are choosing not to purchase insurance. This article debunks that myth, proving that most uninsured young singles truly can't afford health care.


"When Love Is a Schlep"
By Elizabeth A. Harris
The New York Times
Summary: Singles in big cities like New York find the dating pool limited by congestion and public transportation systems that stretch the few miles to a date's pad into an hour-long ride.

"Wife Vs. Mistress; Why Are You With That Married Man...?"
Summary: The anonymous writer takes single women to task for sleeping with married men, then has a few choice words for the guys, too. While her premise that single women shortchange themselves when they have affairs is not far-fetched, some readers may bristle at the assertion that married individuals are "'property.'" The author also seems unaware of the complex reasons why married men may be attracted to women other than their wives.

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

Want to stay current on changes in the world that impact singles? Read the latest news about singles every day! Check out the Singletude newsreader under Singles in the News on the homepage!

Do you have a question for Clever Elsie about some aspect of the single life? Have an unpublished 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 makes every effort to republish submissions in their original form but reserves the right to edit your submission for length and clarity.


Special K said...

Have you read Reading Lolita in Tehran? The article about women in INDIA reminded me of the awesome priviledges I have, through no effort on my part, just by being a women born in the USA. I am amazed that I am reading and writing so much in comparison to the fact that most women can't read in the world. Aren't we full?

Clever Elsie said...

Special K: Yes! When I read that article, I was shocked. Of course we all know poverty exists in the world, but I'm ashamed to say that, most of the time, I don't really think about what that looks like. To read that there are people who don't have toilets as part of their daily reality...that was an eye opener.

Thanks for the book recommendation. It looks really inspirational!