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.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Singles in the News: 12/13/09-12/19/09

Okay, this is the last "Singles in the News" that I've completed. I'm taking tomorrow off for the holiday, and then we'll see about starting up again, maybe in a somewhat altered form, next week. (To read more about my recent dilemma with continuing "Singles in the News," see "Who Wants a Kalorik Sunny Morning Stick Mixer and...Where Is Singletude These Days?")

After giving it some thought, I decided to cut back today by eliminating 1) articles about nothing but dating, 2) articles from the non-English-speaking world (with two notable exceptions), and 3) articles about homeless shelters, transitional houses, and food pantries that primarily serve singles. I would've preferred not to exclude any of these categories, but if I hadn't, this installment of "Singles in the News" still would be unfinished, even with the extra week I allotted for it. So how did I arrive at the decision about what to exclude? Well, it was difficult, but my reasoning is that 1) articles about dating are a dime a dozen, 2) news from the international scene is fascinating and valuable, but this is an American blog with a primarily American audience, and 3) while it's important to be aware of the plight of homeless singles, their story is repeated in different pockets throughout the country every day.

I would love to continue publishing comprehensive coverage of all the most relevant weekly stories about singles, but right now there are just too many stories for one single gal to keep up with! (Sadly, for all the increased coverage we've been getting, much of it isn't too promising, as you'll see below.) Again, if anyone is interested in helping to make "Singles in the News" possible, please let me know!


"Sexist Comments of the Week: What Is Beyonce's 'It'?"
By Amanda Hess
Washington City Paper
Summary: An interesting though belated analysis of Beyonce's hit "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" questions whether the singer objectifies herself by reducing herself and her sexuality to an "it" that can be bought with a ring. A lively reader debate is included.

"Tiger Woods: 5 Realities of Being a Mistress, How to 'Unmistress' Yourself and Exhibit Virtue with Married Men"
By Laura Trice
The Huffington Post
Summary: A self-billed "relationship expert" who seems to lack any qualifications for that title tries to discourage single women from getting embroiled with married men because, in her opinion, cheaters never change, and the "other woman" will always be "outranked." Although Singletude does not support infidelity, there is a glorification of marriage in this article that may not sit well with some readers of this blog. It also makes a lot of assumptions about what all women want out of relationships and about the outcome of all extramarital relationships. Nine times out of 10, Trice's predictions may be accurate, but it's her blanket assumptions, stated with unwarranted confidence, that are problematic. She also makes the dubious suggestion that newly single women should heal from an affair by dating a lot of men casually. How about learning to enjoy being single instead? However, she does make some interesting points about how single females should guard against biological programming to choose a partner based on material or physical safety concerns and should instead focus on emotional well-being.


"Although Most Unmarried Young Adults Want to Avoid Pregnancy, Many Don't Use Contraception, Know Little About It, and Think It Doesnt Make Much Difference"
Summary: In a survey of 1,800 single adults ages 18-29, 94% of men and 86% of women said that pregnancies should be planned, and 86% of men and 88% of women said that they wanted to avoid pregnancy at present. However, only half confirmed that they regularly use contraception when sexually active. In addition, 42% of men and 29% of women agreed that there was a chance they'd have unprotected sex in the next three months, and 38% of men and 44% of women endorsed this statement: "It doesn't matter whether you use birth control or not; when it is your time to get pregnant it will happen." A shocking 63% said they knew little or nothing about birth control pills, while 30% said they knew little or nothing about condoms. False beliefs about the efficacy of various methods of contraception were also fairly widespread. Half of all pregnancies in the US are unplanned, including seven out of 10 pregnancies among women in this age category.

"Home Buyers Likely to Buy Foreclosed Home Are Under 55 and Single, Report Says"
By Paul Ivice
Summary: A real estate web site survey finds that those most likely to take a chance on a home in foreclosure are singles under 55 who are currently renting. Interestingly, 50% of single and 40% of married respondents agreed that they were "at least somewhat likely" to purchase a foreclosure, but only 34% of divorced, separated, and widowed participants endorsed the same statement. This underlines the evidence that those who have always been single comprise a group which is uniquely different from those who have previously been married.

"I Think Cats Are Wonderful, But I Don't Want One..."
By Sathnam Sanghera
The Times
Summary: That's because the single male author is afraid to associate himself with a "mad spinster cat lady," which might lead people to question his sanity or, worse, his masculinity. Stereotypes of single women and single men, especially cat owners, abound here, and Sanghera concludes with this disgusting statement: "Surveys consistently show that owning a cat makes men more attractive to the opposite sex: it shows you have a kind, caring and sensitive side. But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt in life is [sic] that, ultimately, the cool women out there don’t want nice guys, even if they claim they do—they respond best to nonchalance and bastardry." Fantastic. Another guy promoting the mistreatment of single women under the pretense that they respond better to emotional abuse. This article is a hairsbreadth away from a Singleschmucker. But it wouldn't do to end this summary without mentioning that the article cites some interesting research on single male cat owners. Apparently, single men are more likely than single women to make a significant sacrifice in time or finances for a cat. In accordance with this devotion, they are also more likely to ditch their lovers than their beloved pets.

Singleschmucker Award
"Is Tiger a Representative for Us?"
By Dr. Wendy Walsh
Summary: Walsh is right that married men aren't the only ones responsible for the collapse of their relationships; the single women they cheat with are to blame, as well. She's also right that the sexual revolution eventually resulted in the hook-up culture we have today. She even has some good insights into how our sex-saturated culture may pressure people to engage in sexual activity more often than they might otherwise. But she seems to wish unmarried women were still stigmatized for expressing their sexuality and clearly believes that children of single parents can't possibly grow up to have healthy relationships of their own. Her last, highly pejorative line is: "And single women will truly become like the men they wish to emulate when they learn to keep it in their pants and act like gentlemen!" Single women don't want to be men; we want to be treated like people, with the same rights that everyone else has, including the right to decide for ourselves how to conduct our sex lives. Typical smug married. Here, have a Singleschmucker.

"Single Ladies Lament"
By Starshine Roshell
Santa Barbara Independent
Summary: Another smug married vies for the Singleschmucker and almost scores! The columnist pities her "deserving single friends with no one to spoon on frigid nights." I guess Roshell has never heard of heaters, blankets, and pets. In any case, she marvels at the cruel world that has "blessed" her "with a guy who turns me on and tolerates my considerable freakiness when so many of my hotter, younger, and far nicer friends are still solo-and-searching." Then she bemoans all the single men who either don't want to date her single female friends of a certain age or are cheap dates who want to use them for sex. Hmmm...Wonder how Roshell would feel if one of her single friends wrote a piece about how much sympathy she has for Roshell now that she's locked up in her home every night with the same person and has to organize her life around him. What a pity she's going to miss out on all those nights out with the girls, not to mention all that creative solitude that every writer craves!


"Art, Power and Single Women in Pakistan"
By H.M. Naqvi
Summary: This is the first "notable exception" to my temporary exclusion of news from outside English-speaking territories. It's a report on the art scene in Pakistan and the surprisingly dominant role that single women now fill as its primary dealers and curators. The story was far too interesting to ignore.

ESPN Reporter Erin Andrews Calls for More Awareness After Peephole Taping by 'Sexual Predator'"
Summary: An ESPN reporter victimized by a peeping Tom who plastered the Internet with footage of her in a hotel room uses her notorious experience as a platform to make people aware of the dangers single women face when traveling alone.

"Heritage Building to Fall for New Highrise"
By Tiffany Crawford
Vancouver Sun
Summary: Plans for a new apartment building in Vancouver, Canada are meeting with strong opposition. Residents would've preferred "a gay and lesbian centre" or a "petting zoo" but put their collective foot down at a high-rise with "mostly units for single people." Animal welfare? LGBT rights? Yea! Singles? Nay!

"Is John Mayer the New 'Lonely Guy' Celeb?"
By Niki Payne
Summary: John Mayer has stated publicly that he's taking a break from dating, but this rather disappointing piece frames it as just one stop on the road to re-coupling.

"Power Disconnected for Flouting Housing Rules"
By Afkar Abdullah
Khaleej Times
Summary: This is the second "notable exception" from the international media because it was way too eye-popping not to get a mention. According to the article, Dubai, the port city in the United Arab Emirates famous for its material extravagance and embrace of things Western, can't seem to embrace the idea of equality; it relegates singles to a separate residential district apart from married couples and families. Now the municipal government is fining landlords and cutting off utilities to single people who live in the "wrong district" or in unisex housing. And we think we have it bad here in the US!

"Tax Reform Means Working Moms Do Less Housework"
By Belinda Luscombe
Summary: Proving that you really can't do it all, single moms enticed to return to work by the Earned Income Tax Credit are sacrificing housework instead, shows a meta-analysis of studies from 1975 to 2004 by the National Bureau of Economic Research. For every hour worked outside the home, time spent on housework decreased 47 minutes.

"'Upper Class' Housing Plan"
By Kelly Yates
Summary: Another plan to build affordable housing units with single people in mind, this time in Australia, meets with public disapproval. One resident even says she "'was devastated when I heard the news.'" The private development, she contends, is "'too close to residential houses and families.'" Oh, yes, single people mowing their lawns, walking their dogs, and getting their mail in plain sight of all those families! What is the world coming to?


"Phoenix Books Acquires 'The Single Man's Guide to Cooking with Beer'"
PR Newswire
Summary: You have to love author Streeter McClure. In one of the coolest variations on the solo chef theme in recent memory, The Single Man's Guide to Cooking with Beer "aims to help single men incorporate beer into delicious dishes in the same way chefs use wine." Thirty-four "original and adapted recipes for appetizers, soups, stews and main courses" are included. Singletude is thrilled to see a practical book for single men that isn't focused on the pick-up scene and that helps to dispel myths by acknowledging that single men use the kitchen, too. Part of the proceeds from the book will be donated to breast cancer research in honor of McClure's late mother.


"Five Sexual Partners? You've Blown Your Chance with Matthew Morrison"
By Andy Wright
SF Weekly
Summary: Actor Matthew Morrison has standards, ladies. He won't date you if you've slept with more than four men. As Wright correctly notes, that really narrows the pool of single women available to Morrison...or at least the pool of single women willing to be truthful in the face of his prejudice. Furthermore, he's touting ye olde double standard if he's had more than four partners himself, which, the article notes, no one has ever asked him about. While there's nothing wrong with holding out for someone who shares your sexual mores, it's a problem when you expect someone to "save him-/herself" for you when you haven't done the same. And how much do you want to bet Morrison is hoping the next woman he dates will make him her number five? If he resents dating women who've slept with other men, then he shouldn't expect the women he dates to sleep with him, either.

Singles With Singletude Award
"Let Them Watch Cake: The Class Problem With Kids-Only Broadcast TV"
By Linda Holmes
Summary: Finally, someone who gets it! In response to a recent suggestion that all broadcast television should be kid-friendly, Holmes says, "This is the 'every hour is the family hour' argument. Never mind that by 2010, more than two-thirds of households will be single people and couples without children at home....Wouldn't this create a giant class divide where, whether you have children or not, access to good television designed for adults is a privilege of wealth?....Why doesn't it make just as much sense to say that if you're in the minority of households where there are kids, and you want programming that's screened for them, you get it from a channel like Nickelodeon or Disney?" Thank you, Linda Holmes, for sticking up for the rights of single and child-free adults to not have to order our lives around families! This is, as Holmes correctly notes, not a nation in which couples with young children predominate. While public television should continue to provide quality programming for kids, adults deserve to have access to shows they can enjoy, as well. Parents need to accept their share of the responsibility for protecting kids from content they don't want them to see. Single adults shouldn't have to sacrifice their quality of life any more than they already do to accommodate families.

"Poll: U.S. Evenly Divided on Same-sex Marriage"
By Joel Connelly
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Summary: A poll by Angus Reid breaks down supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage by marital status. Interestingly, whether or not you wear a wedding band predicts which camp you'll fall into. On the "yes" to gay marriage side are 56% of the always single, 65% of cohabitors, and 51% of widows and widowers. On the "no" side are 66% of the married, 66% of the separated, and 62% of the divorced. Can it be any clearer that the married majority (including, in this case, separated and divorced people, who may still be reaping benefits from ex-partners) want to hang on to their exclusive legal and financial privileges? I can't see what else this could be about since it is so clearly the people who are benefiting from the system who want to keep others out. And they say marriage makes you more generous! So much for that myth!

"Senate Plan to Tax Health Plans Is Bad Policy"
By Jim Hoffa and Larry Cohen
The Hill
Summary: This editorial examines one of the more troubling aspects of the Senate's health care bill, which will tax employers who provide more expensive health plans to their employees instead of taxing the upper class uniformly, as the House bill did. The problem is that 20% of employers participate with these so-called expensive plans, and in a recent survey by Mercer Consulting, 87% of them said they would circumvent the legislation by cutting benefits, while 86% said they would make their employees pony up more for their premiums. So why does this interest us? Based on one popular plan used by federal workers, the Blue Cross/Blue Shield standard plan, the journalists calculated, "Single people in the plan will get hit right away. They will pay an average of about $1,600 more per year for 10 years. Families will get hit in the third year, paying an average of about $2,000 more per year for 10 years. It gets worse. By 2022, the family plan is projected to cost $5,500 in taxes per worker, while single people could pay as much as $3,500 per worker." Never mind that this legislation is setting up workers to bite the bullet for their employers; look at how singles will, once again, be subsidizing families! Why should two or more people pay just 25-57% more than a single person? Shouldn't they be paying at least double what the single person pays since the family comprises at least two adults?

"Survey Says, Older Women Want Friends Over Men"
By Jane Glenn Haas
The Orange County Register
Summary: A California columnist asked her senior female readers which they'd rather have at their side, a date or the girls. About 250 single women responded, reporting that friends are more important. Unfortunately, Haas misses the opportunity to explore platonic friendships, and the article takes a detour into dating advice, interviewing Tom Blake, author of How 50 Couples Found Love After 50. It does nothing to inspire confidence that Blake has been married three times and met his current live-in love when he was "'between relationships.'" When Haas asks him point-blank why singles should try to be un-single in the first place, he says, "'Loneliness is really, really difficult for a lot of people.'" And yet we know that singles, especially single women, are not that lonely at all! Then, bizarrely for a dating guru, Blake says, "'It's tough but I wouldn't recommend too many [single men] to go out with. They are jerks. Egotistical with no consideration or appreciation women deserve.' Of course, not all women deserve special consideration, he adds. 'Many women project a desperate feeling. Women in longtime marriages didn't take care of themselves and developed an independence mode.'" Huh? Serious Singleschmucker contender here!


"Oshawa Man Heads to Malawi to Offer Credit Union Expertise"
By Jillian Follert
Summary: In Malawi, single women aren't usually eligible for credit from big banks even though they're the ones who most desperately need it. A Canadian banker tries to help the country establish credit unions to reverse this situation.

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.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Who Wants a Kalorik Sunny Morning Stick Mixer and...Where Is Singletude These Days?

Today I was supposed to announce the winner of the latest Singletude giveaway contest for a Kalorik Sunny Morning Stick Mixer, but there's one little problem--no one seems to want the prize! I'm kind of surprised. While it's not a very expensive item (it's worth about $24.99), it's useful, totally free, and easy to re-gift if necessary, and the giveaway required nothing more than a comment to enter. If the poll above is any indication, maybe you guys are just not into blog contests. So, this may be the last one. The mixer was intended to be my Christmas present to readers for your loyalty these past two years, so I will give it to the first person who comments on this post by 12/26/09 at 11:00 PM saying that he or she wants it. If no one is interested...well, then I guess it'll be my Christmas present to myself!

In other news, some of you may be wondering about the fate of "Singles in the News" this week. Actually, so am I! And if you're missing the topical mid-week posts, well, I miss them, too. In the past month, the number of articles about singles issues has literally doubled. Last week, I was receiving up to 40 stories a day to read, select, and summarize! While I'm thrilled that single people are getting so much coverage in the media lately, I'm spending upwards of 15 hours a week just on "Singles in the News." Without some major source of funding stepping out of the woodwork to rescue it, I'm sad to say that that's not something I can continue.

Thanks to the wonders of Google Analytics, I know that "Singles in the News" remains the most popular column on Singletude, and maybe I'm kidding myself, but I think it provides a service of some value, so I would hate to discontinue it. I'm currently mulling over ways to condense it while preserving its purpose and unique character. But I want to blog on other topics, as well, and right now "Singles in the News" is consuming so much time that there is none left for anything else. Perhaps there's someone out there who is equally passionate about singles issues and would be interested in joining forces to work on "Singles in the News"?

In the meantime, there will still be a "Singles in the News" column for last week (12/13/09-12/19/09), but, as you can see, its publication will be delayed. With the Christmas holiday upon us, I don't know if there will be a "Singles in the News" for this week (12/20/09-12/26/09) or not.

Thank you for your patience as I wrestle with how to reconcile what I would like to do with the limits of free time available to me to do it. I appreciate your support and very much hope that I can find a way for "Singles in the News" to continue alongside other blog articles about topics of importance to the single community.

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.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Singles in the News: 12/6/09-12/12/09

This was a very eventful week for "Singles in the News"! Once again, some frequent themes emerged, including hungry, homeless, and uninsured singles; the status of singles in African nations; and the holiday season.


"Hundreds Wait for Space at Shelter"
By Kevin Schwaller
Summary: Homeless shelters and transitional housing facilities in Missouri are overcrowded with single women and single moms.

Singles With Singletude Award
"I Do...Want Benefits, Too"
By Alison Lobron
The Boston Globe
Summary: Starting off this week's "Singles in the News" on the right foot, this terrific article highlights how singles are subject to discrimination on just about every front, losing out on medical benefits, Social Security payments, reduced auto insurance premiums, and so on. Lobron examines the history of legalized singlism and options currently on the table to undo it. Interestingly, she argues against extending civil union rights to platonic partners as an ultimate solution because it still creates a society dependent on pairings. A must-read!

"The Love Con-nection"
By Nick Foster
The Sun Chronicle
Summary: Another article about Internet dating scams warns singles to be careful. Fraudulent criminals often work their cons by cluing in to the victim's hopes and dreams, then asking for money, usually by wire transfer, to help advance a cause the unsuspecting single person cares about such as owning a house or starting a business. Sometimes, these online predators invent sob stories about injuries, muggings, layoffs, and the like. Many of them operate overseas, with Africa a popular base. The average victim loses $8,400 by the time all is said and done. If you believe you have been scammed, you should "report the incident to one or more consumer fraud sites like,, and the state attorney general's office." You should also check your credit report and ask for a fraud alert to be placed on any bank or credit accounts that you suspect may have been compromised.

"Ministry Provides Shelter for Needy Women"
By Rachel Johnson
Aiken Standard
Summary: Crossroads Ministries in South Carolina "is dedicated to offering a safe harbor to single women in need." For 10 years, they have provided transitional housing and financial planning assistance for single women and single mothers and hope to expand, but they are in dire need of funds.

"Taking Care of 3 Children...and Your Boyfriend?"
By Mary Jo Rapini
Summary: This article sheds light on the phenomenon of single mothers who allow boyfriends to mooch off of them so they can get the equivalent of free day care for the children. The potential for child abuse is also discussed. The author recommends that a single mom prevent these situations by refusing to live with her boyfriend, laying down an ultimatum if he lives in the household but does not work full-time, finding quality day care, choosing a stable male role model who is not bound to the family by just a temporary sexual relationship, and relying more on other single female friends.


"Single for the Holidays? Dating Expert Rochelle Peachey Offers Survival Tips"
By Carly Zander
Send2Press Newswire
Summary: The article starts off on a downbeat note with the sentence "Few people like being alone." What they mean when they say "alone" is, of course, "single." It seems like a bit of an overgeneralization to assert that "few" singles like to be free agents or that they are all "alone." But, for those who feel that way, Rochelle Peachey, British-born author of Eat Your Lonely Heart Out and My 1,000 Americans: A Year-Long Journey Through the Personals, suggests a proactive holiday approach. She encourages singles to stop sitting around at home and go to parties whether or not they have dates or, better yet, plan parties of their own. If going out to a club, single females should bring along male friends so as not to present an intimidating girls-only front. She also hopes that singles will try online dating and stop being "so picky." No comment on that last bit.

"Singles Ministry Makes Holidays Less Lonely"
By Tricia Pursell
The Daily Item
Summary: A Pennsylvania church has separate support groups for those who are single, divorced, and widowed and hosts gatherings for every holiday so that singles with no other family have someplace to go.

"Talking Point: The Boomerang Syndrome"
By Amy Molloy
Summary: When single celebs get back together with exes, it must be because they're sooooo lonely at the holidays that they can't stand to be single, right?

"When Are Singles Most Willing to Get Married?"
By Bae Hyun-jung
The Korea Herald
Summary: Seoul National University, in partnership with a wedding consulting firm, finds that Korean singles must experience an average of seven to nine relationships before they're interested in settling down. The survey polled 975 twenty- and thirtysomething singles. It seems that single Koreans are eager to keep their options open in hopes of finding a "'soul mate.'" The survey also revealed that a high degree of satisfaction with one's life and with one's family of origin was correlated with greater receptivity to marriage. In addition, single men were more likely than women to consider marrying people who had been previously divorced. Sexual behavior was also examined, with 32% endorsing sex after one month of dating and single women preferring to wait longer than single men.

"Women2Day--Lifestyle: Hone Your Flirting Skills This Christmas"
The Chester Chronicle
Summary: Jean Smith, a social anthropologist from England, shares the results of her extensive research on flirting. Singles, she says, should remember that flirting is all about making the other person feel special. To assess whether a man is interested, she advises a woman to focus on how often he looks directly at her as opposed to other people in the group. When interacting, she should lean in, smile and laugh often, make eye contact without neglecting the flirty glance from behind the lashes, and mirror the man's body language. She also cautions singles to stay away from the punch and avoid seeming desperate. Above all, she encourages singles to relax, stop worrying about rejection, and not take flirting too seriously.


"Harriet Harman: Not Government's Role to Support Marriage"
By Rosa Prince
The Daily Telegraph
Summary: British politician Harriet Harman critiques the current administration's plans to create more financial incentives for marriage, contending, "'There is no government policy which will prevent relationship breakdown...Dictating family structures makes those not in the traditional two parent family feel that they are being blamed and their children feel they are being told "there is something wrong with your family and so there is something wrong with you."'" Harman argues that financial benefits for marriage would have the effect of rewarding multiple remarriages while discriminating against disadvantaged single parents. Ultimately, she supports the view "'that marriage is a lifestyle choice rather than the best institution within which to bring up children.'" However, conservatives have been defending their position, and the article gives them a platform, as well, as they deny that tax breaks for the married are discriminatory and claim that "'evidence overwhelmingly shows that children thrive on the stability that comes from'" marriage.

"Lavalife Uncovers the Single Woman's Need for Adventure"
PR Newswire
Summary: Online dating site Lavalife polled over 2,000 singles, asking them if they'd ever traveled alone. Of the single ladies who responded, 61% had traveled on their own, and 64% of them had enjoyed it. Rather unexpectedly, this report turns into an interview with a footloose single female.

"Women as Vectors of Disease: The Problem with Ill-thought Campaigns"
By Catherina Makoni
Summary: A public health campaign in Zimbabwe concerns this writer, who worries that single women are being unfairly demonized for the spread of HIV. More particularly, she is concerned that single women who have been forced into the sex trade are being inaccurately portrayed as wily nymphomaniacs instead of oppressed, economically disadvantaged people.


"Bloomberg/Paterson: Reform Bill Will Cost N.Y. Billions"
By Glenn Thrush
Summary: The New York state government predicts dire consequences for the state's poor, especially single adults, if the federal government imposes more widespread medical coverage while failing to provide adequate funds.

"Ground Broken on Housing for Homeless in Portsmouth"
Summary: Sixty new studio apartments and job placement are available for low-income single adults in Virginia.

"Law Offering Insurance Options for Adult Children Now in Effect in Pa."
By Keith L. Martin
Summary: Single adults up to age 30 who live in Pennsylvania are now eligible to be covered by their parents' medical insurance.

"Many Left out in the Cold on Peninsula"
By Joshua Melvin
San Mateo County Times
Summary: This week's cold spell left many homeless single adults and single parents in California's Bay Area scrambling for a warm place to spend the night.

"Shelter Space Sparse for Solo Homeless Women in Denver"
By Colleen O'Connor
The Denver Post
Summary: Denver, CO has a serious shortage of beds for single women in homeless shelters.


"Cold Weather Hangs On"
By Joyce Chen
The News Tribune
Summary: Shelters for single men are inundated with new faces in Tacoma, WA as unseasonably cold temperatures continue.

"Mayor Aggressively Pushing Jobs Program"
By Mike Aldax
San Francisco Examiner
Summary: The mayor of San Francisco, CA intends to lobby the federal government to extend the benefits of a program called JobsNow to single adults. Currently, JobsNow, intended to stimulate job creation by compensating employers for new hires, only covers employees who have spouses or children. Kudos to Mayor Gavin Newsom for trying to redress what has to be one of the most blatant wrongs committed against single workers in recent history! To specifically reward employers for hiring married people, with or without children, is an absolute travesty--incentivized hiring discrimination.

"Meet the Rhino, the Male Cougar"
By Ben Davey
Summary: Finally! Older single men who "prey" on younger women at last have an animalistic moniker to call their own--rhino. According to the article, rhinos are "'more often than not both horny AND ugly.'" Thanks to this Australian news site for evening the score! The derogatory nature of the cougar label is also explored, with one professor explaining, "'It makes the connection between women who are looking for a certain kind of partner and a cougar which is looking for prey. There’s very much here a sense of men being thought of as defenceless, as being threatened, used up and discarded.'" He goes on to denounce the double standard that praises bachelors for catching young single women while condemning their female counterparts for the same behavior.

"NYC Sued for Inadequate Homeless Shelters"
By Cindy Rodriguez
Summary: The Legal Aid Society is suing New York City for failure to provide shelter for its homeless single adults, most of whom are single men.

"The Single Girl's Guide to the Holidays"
By Karen Salmansohn
Summary: Have a chuckle at these clever quips designed to fend off anyone who dares to question why you're single this holiday season from the author of Prince Harming Syndrome.

"Singles in Japan Ride 'Love Train'"
Summary: What the Japanese government won't do to marry off its citizens! Its latest attempt is a five-hour train ride for singles. A video is included in this report.

"Too Few Shelters for Too Many Homeless"
By Frank Gray
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
Summary: Most homeless single women who show up at an Indiana women's shelter aren't ex-cons, abuse victims, or drug addicts. They're regular women who've lost their jobs and have nowhere else to go. The owner of the shelter is troubled that single women with serious problems have plenty of resources while those who have simply fallen on hard times through no fault of their own have none.


"Despite Warnings, Goat Lady Pursues Her Goals in Nepal"
By Jennifer Erickson
The Laguna Beach Independent
Summary: A California native helps single women in Nepal start viable business ventures and access education.

"Partners in Prevention Program a Success So Far"
ABC 13
Summary: Family Alliance of Lynchburg, VA has launched a new program to help twentysomething single men. Topics covered include financial planning, sex education, substance abuse prevention, leadership, and personal responsibility.

"Singles Less Willing to Have Baby: Survey"
By Lee Ji-yoon
The Korea Herald
Summary: The Korean Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs surveyed 3,314 singles and found that although 75.7% of single men and 73.1% of single women still wanted to marry, only 23.4% of men and 23% of women wanted children. Reasons to defer marriage tended to be financial for men, while women cited personal factors like difficulty finding the right match.

"Union Hall Pantry Eases Hunger, Hearts"
By Adam Northam
Brookhaven Daily Leader
Summary: A church food pantry in Mississippi serves mostly singles.

Singleschmucker Award
"Zambia: Broken Marriages Worry NGOCC"
Times of Zambia
Summary: A new survey reveals that spousal abandonment is on the increase in Zambia, with growing numbers of married men leaving their wives for younger single women or, in some cases, underage girls. A "provisional liaison officer" named Priscilla Mwansa from the Non-governmental Organisation Coordination Council (NGOCC) said "it was sad that some men in the district were not satisfied with their wives and had decided to embark on a mission of ruining the lives of single women and schoolgirls. She blamed marriage counsellors [sic] popularly known as 'Alangizi' for teaching schoolgirls how to please men in bed before they could find a man to marry them." Singletude is not in favor of breaking commitments once made, but it seems like stretching it to say that these newly separated men are "ruining the lives" of presumably consenting adult partners. On the other hand, in cases where their partners are underage girls, it is also unreasonable to insinuate that these teenagers are scheming to lure blameless grown men into bed! Although it's not entirely clear that there's an editorial bias toward Mwansa's perspective, there are no comments countering it, either.


"A Home Without Prince Charming"
By Marcelle S. Fischler
The New York Times
Summary: There are now twice as many single female home buyers as single male home buyers. This excellent article looks at how changing credit practices in the 1980s, better job opportunities, greater residential stability, and an "'appreciation of housing, of building a nest'" have all contributed to the growing trend. Several single women who own homes are interviewed, and all have positive comments about their decisions.

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!

Don't forget to enter the Singletude giveaway contest by 12/23/09 at noon for your chance to win a Kalorik Sunny Morning Stick Mixer from! Time is running out!

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.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Singles in the News: 11/29/09-12/5/09

This was another big week for international news. Of 21 articles covered, half were from international papers or other sources.


"Internet Dating Sites Recommended for Women 'Looking for Love'"
By Tony Panaccio
Maryville Daily Times
Summary: Is this for real? Satch U. Ejike, PhD, author of Find a Good Man and Keep Him is asked for his advice to single women seeking partners, and all he has to say is go to "Internet dating sites, choose your site wisely and take advantage of the 'chat' features"? You've gotta be kidding me. He needed a doctorate to write that?

Singleschmucker Award
"Naija Babes with Big Stomach"
By Jermoe Yaovi
Summary: A shockingly misogynistic rant against Nigerian single females who don't fit the Barbie doll standard of beauty, ostensibly written by a matchmaker. From the article: "...No man will go for something that is as shapeless as a toad and be proud to make introduction of her to friends, not to talk of be[ing] seen with her, except her father is very, very rich, and he is sure of getting his bank account filled with dollars and pounds; courtesy of his Ms. Toad." He then presents six other men who are just as crude as he is to back him up. While obesity isn't the healthiest condition and some people are not attracted to rounder figures, to suggest that overweight singles are not attractive to anyone and, worse, are second-class humans unworthy of love is wrong on so many levels and completely untrue. To make matters worse, the article is directed only at single ladies. Apparently, the author believes women should be physically perfect, but men should get a free pass. Disgusting and worthy of a Singleschmucker.

"Villas Remain Crowded a Year After Deadly Blaze"
By Praveen Menon
The National
Summary: In Dubai, single male laborers "live in cramped rooms and overcrowded villas to save on accommodation costs" even though their residential situation poses a fire hazard.


"Andy Murray Gets Over Break-up Heartache by Buying a New Ironing Board"
By Emily Nash and Greig Box Turnbull
The Daily Mirror
Summary: I'm not sure why this tabloid article in particular made Google Alerts. It's very brief, and tons of dirt on celebrity break-ups is published every day. This angle is typical, though. Notice how the British tennis star, who just ended a four-year relationship, is said to be coping with "heartache," "cut[ting] a sad figure," and "stocking up on bachelor essentials." He couldn't possibly just need a new ironing board. It must be that he's purchasing one to assuage a broken heart.

"Salvation Army Open 6.8m Southampton Hostel"
By Peter Law
Southern Daily Echo
Summary: Profiling a high-tech single men's homeless shelter and its residents in Great Britain.


"Iraqi Refugees: Women on the Margins"
Summary: Iraqi "widows and single women without the support and protection of male relatives face substantial psychological and physical risk." A community has fled to Syria, where some single women say they have been overwhelmed by prejudice, suspicion, and re-victimization. In many cases, they can't acquire work or visas. The United Nations has requested that neighboring countries open their doors to these women, but only a third have been successfully resettled, and even those locations often lack the treatment facilities that these traumatized individuals need. Just as disturbingly, some single mothers are now pushing their young daughters into early marriages or prostitution to earn income for the family.

"Labour's Katherine Rake Is Wrong: It Takes Two to Mend a Broken Society"
By Jill Kirby
The Daily Telegraph
Summary: The journalist knocks Dr. Katherine Rake of England's Family and Parenting Institute for saying that "the nuclear family is an outdated institution, being replaced by new models of family life where children are brought up by an assortment of relatives and other adults." Kirby calls marriage "the best institution there is for keeping families together" and wants to see more tax breaks for married couples to support stay-at-home moms. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs about how best to raise children. Research shows that the more loving adults kids have committed to their well-being, the better they fare. Sometimes those adults are married parents, but sometimes they're grandparents, grown siblings, or aunts and uncles...and sometimes they're unmarried parents. Adults who are responsible for children need some financial help, period. Married parents should not be additionally rewarded at everyone else's expense just because they're married.

"The Real Threat to Marriage?"
By Tracy Clark-Flory
Summary: In this article, contributed by blogger Wag the Dog, Salon comments on an impassioned address of the New York State Assembly by Senator Diane Savino, included here in a YouTube clip. The article basically just sums up Savino's argument in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage in New York. In other words, watch the video for the full story. Savino may be guilty of overvaluing relationships somewhat--she seems to think everyone should aspire to them--but what will really interest Singletude readers is her condemnation of matrimania, starting around the 5 min., 30 sec. mark. She doesn't call it "matrimania," but that's exactly what she's describing. Unfortunately, in this case, she uses heterosexual matrimania to justify why all those legal perks of marriage should be extended to another select group of people instead of questioning why anyone should get a bunch of legal perks for a personal decision.

"Rrrowl! Beware Cougar's Young Niece, the Cheetah"
By Spencer Morgan
The New York Observer
Summary: More drivel shaming single female "predators" for answering the call of the wild with younger men...even when the partners are five years apart and both in their twenties. If you thought you'd seen the worst of it with the "Naija Babes" article above, wake up and smell the singlism--it's alive and well in the so-called first world, too. What's worse, this is sexist singlism, in which the single ladies are held to a different standard than the single men. According to Morgan, "cheetahs" are single "women past the first flush of youth wanting to date or at least f*** 'above their station.'" This lone "hunter" is attractive to no one but the man too drunk to care who he sleeps with and has to wonder if "'her p***y's still good enough to keep him'" even. Furthermore, "she hopes that her victim will find something in her searching eyes when he rolls over the next morning, and will try to subtly guilt him into another round next time they meet." In case you need one, here's a translation: Single women beyond their mid-twenties are no longer sexy or attractive. They are unworthy of male attention from any decent guys, and they know it, so they desperately throw themselves at single males who have no right or responsibility to refuse if they're not interested and "victimize" them. Occasionally, these single gals might actually enjoy the sex or feel a deeper connection with a man and want to see him again. How dare they! They should bow down and repeat this a hundred times: "We're not worthy!" Shame on Spencer Morgan, and shame on The New York Observer for publishing this sexist nonsense. They've lost my respect and, as the comments indicate, the respect of a lot of other readers, as well. If not for the "Naija Babes" piece, this would be the Singleschmucker.

"Suddenly Jobless? Go on a Date! For Half of Single Americans, Recession Having No Impact on Dating Attitudes, According to People Media's DatingData Poll"
Business Wire
Summary: A poll of over 27,000 singles claims that 51% believe the recession has had no effect on their dating lives. But over a quarter said they "would not date anyone who is unemployed," and 17% "would be less motivated to date." Single women were more likely to reject a date based on unemployment (37%) than were single men (11%). The caveat is that this poll was conducted through online dating sites, so naturally it's biased toward a population that is interested in dating.


"All Men Watch Porn, and It Is Not Bad for Them: Study"
By Michel Viatteau
Summary: A study by Simon Louis Lajeunesse of Montreal University finds that pornography use is ubiquitous among college-age males, that it doesn't provoke deviant sexual behavior, and, of interest to us, that singles watch more often than men in relationships. On average, single men watched porn three times a week for 42 minutes each time, while attached men watched 1.7 times a week for 27 minutes each time. The small sample size and selection bias toward men who were willing to reveal intimate details may have some bearing on the validity of these results. However, the only thing that shocks me is that guys can find two hours a week to waste watching videos. But, then, these are college kids we're talking about.

"Councilwoman Works to Get Help for Homeless Single Women in Mesa"
By Jim Walsh
The Arizona Republic
Summary: Mesa, AZ is proud of all the help it offers to disadvantaged groups. There's just one at-risk segment of the population whose needs are not addressed. Can you guess which one it is? That's right--single women. A member of the city council is working to redress the inequity.

"Food Bank Shelves Running Low"
By Donal O'Connor
The Beacon Herald
Summary: The Salvation Army of Ontario, Canada reports food shortages as more singles and unmarried couples arrive at its doors.

"St. Vincent de Paul"
By Lauren Fielding
The Pembroke Daily Observer
Summary: A Canadian soup kitchen which serves mostly single people seeks donations and volunteers.


"How to Tell If a Woman Fancies You: Look at Her Feet"
By Murray Wardrop
The Daily Telegraph
Summary: A study out of the University of Manchester in England has found that the best clue to how a single woman feels may be her feet. Apparently, women are more unguarded and expressive with their feet than with any other body part, so single men on the hunt should keep their heads down. According to Geoff Beattie, who headed the study, women hold their feet in a more open stance to signal attraction and cross their legs or tuck them under to signal disinterest. Unfortunately for women, men don't play footsie to display the same telltale signs of attraction. However, when nervous, men increase foot movements while women decrease them, and when trying to deceive, both sexes hold their feet still. The study also showed that women judge their dates quite stringently on footwear, so if you're going out, dress to impress, guys. That said, you should be aware that not everyone's body language is so uniform. For instance, I know that I cross my legs almost all the time, no matter how I feel, and swing my foot often when nervous. Also, I don't think I've ever noticed a guy's shoes on a first date. It's just not that important to me.

"Young Women Juggle Motherhood, College"
By Faiza Elmasry
Voice of America
Summary: An interview with Sherrill Mosee, author of Professor, May I Bring My Baby to Class?, discusses how hard it is for single mothers to obtain college degrees. Mosee's Family Care Solutions is "a non-profit group that helps low-income single women pay for childcare so they can attend school." Several single moms chime in with their own educational success stories. One hopes Family Care Solutions teaches proper use of birth control, too. Mosee mentions that she comes from three generations of young, single moms and acknowledges that many families continue a "'cycle of teen pregnancy.'" I'm all for supporting single mothers, but there's something to be said for personal responsibility, too, especially when you grow up with examples of what not to do.


"For Singles, Job Losses Hit Twice as Hard"
By Jason M. Breslow
PBS Newshour
Summary: According to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, from the beginning of the recession through the first half of 2009, employment fell 5-7% among single adults but only 2.6% among married individuals. The current unemployment rate for singles is 13.1%, more than double the rate for marrieds, which is just 6.3%. Economists attribute the difference to three factors. For one, married workers are more likely to be older and, thus, more experienced. For another, marrieds tend to be better educated that singles, which makes them more attractive to employers. And, finally, the researchers contend that married job hunters may be more willing to take jobs that singles wouldn't touch, though I'm not sure what evidence they have of that. Singlism is not mentioned as a factor. Thankfully, Howard J. Wall, a vice president at the Federal Reserve, sums it up by saying, "'The last thing I'd want to do is to advise someone to go get married in order to have a better chance at a job. It's just not worth it.'"


"Defying the Fear of Growing Old"
By Wnagui Thuo
The Standard
Summary: Proving that youth worship isn't just manufactured by the Western media, this Kenyan paper interviewed twenty-, thirty-, and forty-somethings about their age-related worries. Interestingly, of the five interview subjects, four are single. While all of the single folks talk about marriage as a long-term goal, the one married subject seems to have a less rosy view of coupled life, complaining that "her days are busy with meeting expectations from everyone around her," and she advises other married people to take time for themselves. The article concludes with a quote from a very sensible single man, who wonders, "Why is being married such a badge of honour? Even at the office, single men cannot apply for managerial positions. Yet marriage doesn't make you smarter." Of course, he's right, and Singletude hopes that articles like this will help reverse such blatantly discriminatory practices in such countries as Kenya.

Singles With Singletude Award
"Never Married, Over 40, Well-adjusted"
By Kathleen Doheny
Summary: Three cheers for this article about a study called "The Role of Psychological Resources in the Affective Well-being of Never-married Adults" by Dr. Jamila Bookwala of Lafayette College and Dr. Erin Fekete of the University of Miami! The researchers compared 105 individuals who had always been single to 1,486 marrieds, noting that it was important to study the never-married as a distinct group from the widowed, divorced, and separated. Although they found that singles reported "lower levels of overall emotional well-being" and "fewer social resources," they scored about the same as marrieds on "psychological resources," a category that measures how well people cope with stressful situations. More importantly, the better singles scored on psychological resources, the better they scored on emotional well-being, and singles who scored the highest on these two measures surpassed their married counterparts. Quite admirably, neither the study authors nor anyone else interviewed for the article tries to confuse this correlation with causation. Bookwala acknowledges that it's just as likely that people with rich psychological resources don't marry as it is that long-term singleness stimulates the development of psychological resources. Taking it a step further, one commentator hypothesizes that very self-sufficient, independent-minded people might actually be more unhappy in marriage and should avoid it. It isn't yet possible for lay people to access this study, so I can't comment on any possible confounds. Certainly I'd like to see how "overall emotional well-being" and "social resources" were measured. However, kudos again to the researchers and the reporter for highlighting the positive findings about singles rather than dwelling on the negatives. As Bookwala says, "We find our study debunks that myth of something being wrong with the never-married individual." An easy pick for this week's Singles With Singletude Award.

"Regions Hospital Postpones $36 Million Mental Health Project"
By John Kroman
Summary: A Minnesota hospital can no longer afford to construct a new mental health facility due to state cutbacks on aid to the General Assistance Medical Care program, which largely benefited single adults.

"Singles Group Makes History with First 'Cougar Cruise'"
By Nick Valencia
Summary: Remember the cougar flight? Well, now it's a cougar cruise. Ho hum.

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 a Kalorik Sunny Morning Stick Mixer from! Time is running out!

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.