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, 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.

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