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 11, 2009

Singles in the News: 10/4/09-10/10/09

As so often happens, some themes emerged in this week's "Singles in the News." As cold weather sets in, the plight of the single and homeless once again took center stage. The rights and interests of single women in other countries was also a hot topic this week. The Singleschmucker contenders were even more galling than usual, while the Singles With Singletude candidates restored faith in the good sense of the next generation.


"Bigger Homeless Shelter Strives for Intimate Feel"
By Kafia A. Hosh
The Washington Post
Summary: A Virginia county opens its first ever homeless shelter for single men. The shelter also has wings for single women and families.

"Hoffman Estates' Sherri Shepherd Has Gotten Good at Juggling Careers"
By Jamie Sotonoff
Daily Herald
Summary: An interview with Sherri Shepherd of The View highlights her life as a single mom, which will be chronicled in her new Lifetime sitcom, Sherri, and her book, Permission Slip: Every Woman's Guide to Giving Herself a Break.

"War: Car Park v. Refuge for Women"
By Kate Lahey
The Age
Summary: An Australian city is pushing back against plans to construct a block of temporary residences for underprivileged single women, arguing that it will lose much-needed parking space.


"Running Out of Beds"
By Mary Brosnahan
The Huffington Post
Summary: New Yorkers know how much Mayor Bloomberg loves single people. First he refused them food stamps, and now, despite his promise to reduce homelessness by two-thirds by 2009, it's higher than ever. Get this--as of 9/30, there were only 10 beds available for single men and women in a city of eight million people. Think about that.

"States Resist Medicaid Growth"
By Shailagh Murray
The Washington Post
Summary: Low-income single adults would be the primary beneficiaries of the proposed expansion of Medicaid. Surprise, surprise--many states are reluctant to extend the program to 11 million new recipients.

"Women's Labor Force Participation on Rise: CEPD"
By Sofia Wu
CNA News
Summary: More Taiwanese women than ever before are joining the workforce. The Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) speculates that this is partly because more single women are entering the job market and partly because more married couples can't survive on one income. Up till now, almost 60% of single women in Taiwan have been employed versus less than 50% of married women.


Singleschmucker Award
"Purcell: A Deadline Only Mom Could Set, 10-06-09"
By Tom Purcell
The Herald News
Summary: Grab the nearest barf bag because that's what you'll feel like doing when you read this story. Columnist Purcell's mother wants him married come hell or high water, and although Purcell feebly protests, he can't hide the matrimaniacal indoctrination that informs his values. Check out this sample of singlist wisdom: "Married men are physically and emotionally healthier. They avoid risky behavior. They live longer...Married men are much less likely to wake up in a pile of dirty laundry still clutching the tequila bottle they began drinking from just before the party broke up." If Purcell wants to agree with Mark Twain that "there is no greater beauty and sweetness than the closeness of a husband and wife who adore each other," that's his prerogative. But there's no excuse for inventing bogus statistics. Let's all sing it together now: "Getting mar-ried/Doesn't in-crease/Happiness, health, or longevi-ty/Or e-ven responsibili-ty./I'm sor-ry./But it doesn't." Can someone say Singleschmucker?

"We've Got It Backwards: First Marriage, Then the Baby Carriage"
By Carol Capo
Daily News
Summary: This is the second week in a row that I had an incredibly hard time awarding the Singleschmucker. That's because, once again, two journalists outdid themselves dueling for the prize. This one, responding to the National Summit on Marriage, Parenting and Families, is horrified by all these marriages we're not making. Noting that the percentage of married adults ages 20-54 fell from 79% in 1970 to 57% in 2008, the author compares the decrease to "the chart of a rotten stock" in which "all the lines head in the wrong direction." She goes on to express her special contempt for single people: "The more children are surrounded by mothers on their own, fathers not stepping up and neighborhoods made up of single people, the more children think that's the norm. It's OK." Ms. Capo needs to catch up on the last 50 years or so of history because it is the norm. Only about a quarter of the population is now married with children at home. And sometime in the last century, our country decided that, for the sake of justice, equality, and humanity, labels like "OK" and "not OK" no longer had any place in describing people who aren't part of the norm. Nevertheless, this anachronistic piece insists that everyone should be cut from the same cloth, and that cloth is a white satin wedding dress. I understand that the writer had a hard time raising a son on her own, but her experience as a widow is apt to be different from that of single parents who have divorced or carefully chosen single parenthood. Yes, uninvolved parents are a big problem, and so is the poverty in which lots of singles live. But, again, the answer is to support good parenting skills, education, and fair wages. A marriage certificate doesn't parent or hold down a job.


"Church Uses Jon and Kate to Market Class"
By Kristine Galvan
my Fox Houston
Summary: It used to be that Christian churches held up Jon and Kate Gosselin as standards of parenting. Now the feuding twosome has inspired a church in Texas to reach out to the newly single through a support group. In a religious system that often turns a blind eye to anyone going through a divorce or break-up, this effort is refreshing.

"Gadget to Help Women Feign Virginity Angers Many in Egypt"
By Jeffrey Fleishman and Amro Hassan
Los Angeles Times
Summary: It's the kind of headline you'd expect The Onion to run. The Artificial Virgin Hymen Kit, designed for Muslim brides whose premarital chastity could be a life or death matter, is stirring up controversy in the Egyptian parliament, which seeks to ban it.

"Petite Perfection"
By Joe Yonan
The Washington Post
Summary: A single writer dishes about buying and cooking for one.

"Relationship Rehab: Happiness Doesn't Depend on Someone Else"
By Melissa Johnson
The Volante
Summary: Inspired by a Facebook ad taunting singles, a smart college senior observes, "The culture we live in tells us that only people in relationships are truly happy. Movies and television frequently portray single people as society’s discontents, constantly seeking that perfect relationship. Single people aren’t really happy because they are broken; slightly defective beings, roaming the earth in search of their other half." It's easy to get sucked into this country's couple worship, especially when you're young. It's to Johnson's credit that she avoids this trap, advising young singles, "Don’t waste your life chasing one type of happiness because it will cause you to miss all the other fantastic things going on around you." How encouraging to know that the next generation is freeing itself from conventional singlist thinking! A close runner-up for the Singles With Singletude Award.

"Single Women Unite for a Life"
Summary: The National Forum for Single Women's Rights has convened in India "to develop leadership of single women at the national level and bring about a change in the societal and political perspective regarding single women." Single women in India currently have few rights or protections and often live lives of abuse and hardship. Several single women are interviewed, and the history of the single women's movement in India is discussed.


"Are You the Hip and Single Dad?"
By Aradhana Bhatnagar
The Times of India
Summary: If so, you're probably quite a catch. This article offers advice to single dads who want to get back into the dating scene, though it's probably nothing you haven't heard before.

"Author Asks, 'Why Didn't He Call Back?'"
By Ellen Leyva
Summary: Dating coach Rachel Greenwald, author of Why He Didn't Call You Back, advises single women on what not to do based on interviews conducted with 1,000 bachelors in this video clip and accompanying article. In a nutshell, don't be negative, don't talk shop, and don't follow up after the first date. You know, just don't be human, and everything will turn out fine.


Singles With Singletude Award
"Get Married or Die Trying"
By Glory Edozien
Bella Naija
Summary: Although she says she is "not an advocate for singleness," the writer condemns matrimania, or, as she calls it, "marry or die syndrome." Rightly, she notes that single women who fall victim to the "sydrome" marry and die, sacrificing themselves for men who mistreat them just for the sake of marriage. This quote sums up her position beautifully: "Why do most women attach their life’s worth to being married, like it's some currency you can exchange for great wealth on the black market? When will women wake up and realise that no man will ever complete you and neither will he ever value you above the value you place on your self?" Edozien concludes by recommending that single women get to know who they are, appreciate themselves, and live their lives to the fullest. There's no better message to send to single women (and single men, too, for that matter).

"South Korean Women Fight Stigma Against Single Mothers"
Medical News Today
Summary: Single moms in South Korea face the kind of discrimination that the U.S. hasn't known since the 1950s. Pressured into dangerous illegal abortion or adoption, these women are now fighting back by forming a group that will advocate for the rights of single mothers.


"Single, and Not Ready to Mingle"
By Manjari Mishra
The Times of India
Summary: A study by the Institute of Women's Studies in India finds that 93% of women surveyed believe that single women perform better than married women in the office. The majority also said that they would rather be single than married, a significant statement since prejudice against single women is rampant in India.

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.


The Singlutionary said...

"You know, just don't be human, and everything will turn out fine."

Brilliant. The very reason I hate dating. I feel like I have to be a total fraud if I want to accomplish anything but if I do accomplish something, what is that something? A second fraudulent date?

Clever Elsie said...

Singlutionary: I'm so with you on this! I recall that Quirkyalone blogged about this issue recently with Sasha Cagen wondering if we should just let it all hang out from date one.

We all want to be loved for who we are, and it's anathema to many of us to worry about putting a good face on some unpopular character trait or habit. Yet we have to reconcile that with the fact that people are skittish in the beginning and don't have a reason yet to trust us or overlook our quirks and foibles. It can seem easier to just opt out of dating entirely, which, as a matter of fact, some of us have done!