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.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Center for American Progress Takes Up the Cause for Singles

So, dear readers, did you lose sleep last night pondering the mystery links that failed to appear yesterday while my Internet service was behaving badly? No? Surely you jest!

Did you at least work up a mild curiosity then? I guess that will have to do! ;)

As you may know, Singletude has a policy of not linking to articles from biased sources for "Singles in the News." Obviously, many journalists write with an unstated bias, but, for Singletude's purposes, "biased sources" are defined as media outlets that have overt, acknowledged agendas. The goal of "Singles in the News" is to reflect how singles are portrayed in mainstream culture and to provide news that isn't colored from the outset by the need to advance a specific organization's worldview. A lot of biased sources are right-wing conservative groups, and they are responsible for some of the most atrocious representations of singles that you've had the pleasure not to see on Singletude. On the other hand, sometimes a liberal organization publishes fantastic coverage of singles issues, but I still can't link to it because it has an explicit agenda, and I don't discriminate.

Luckily, just because it would be hypocritical to publish those stories in "Singles in the News" doesn't mean they can't appear elsewhere on the blog. That's why I want to introduce you today to a a site that's turning out some top-notch reporting on singles even though its left-wing agenda excludes it from mention in the weekly news column. The site belongs to the Center for American Progress (CAP), an influential liberal think tank in Washington, DC. Recently, it has joined the vanguard of progressive, politically powerful institutions that are publicizing singles issues. The web site--and policy analyst Liz Weiss in particular--woke up and smelled the single cups of coffee steaming in 50.8% of American households and apparently decided to wake up everyone else, too. For the past couple of months, they've been running articles about the socioeconomic concerns of singles in general and single women in particular. Take a look at these:

"Protecting Unmarried Women from Unscrupulous Lenders"
"Unmarried and Uninsured"
"Unmarried Women Hit Hard by Poverty"

These articles are wonderfully inclusive, accounting for the tremendous variation in lifestyle among those who fall under the umbrella category of "unmarried." Their statistics are pulled from reputable sources and, more importantly, are cited so readers can look them up. Best of all, the CAP understands that the problems singles face are the product of social and political injustice that must be redressed by policy change, not by more marriages. Nowhere will you find even the hint of a suggestion that singles are the problem because they're not married or that they should make a run to the store and pick up spouses so that all the ills of the world will be solved. Instead, CAP examines aspects of current legislation that might help or further hinder the unmarried to increase awareness of what we're up against and what we should speak out for.

Since Weiss specializes in research on unmarried women, there should be more to come on this subject from CAP. Since it is a left-leaning organization, its call for an end to marital status discrimination is less shocking and perhaps less significant than it would be if it emerged from a moderate or bipartisan source. Nevertheless, up until very recently, singles haven't even been a blip on the radar of civil rights activists. They were invisible to Repubs and Dems alike. So the fact that a public policy research institute with a voice in Washington is speaking up for the unmarried is a big stride toward mainstream recognition.

I'll be returning to CAP's site periodically for both news and trustworthy data about singles. You may find it valuable as well.

Do you have thoughts on any of the stories above? (When commenting, please reference the title of the article.) Do you know of any other prominent political organizations, partisan or nonpartisan, that are promoting awareness of singles? Do you think singles issues are starting to be addressed in politics, or do you think singles are still largely invisible?

Fun Link of the Day

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.

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