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, July 5, 2009

Singles in the News: 6/28/09-7/4/09

It's time for this week's edition of..."Singles in the News"! Feel free to browse the links to this week's crop of singles-oriented articles, read those that interest you, and comment on what caught your attention here at Singletude!


"Area Shelters Lack Facilities for Women, Families"
By Kym Klass
Summary: Once again, single women and mothers are left out in the cold, this time in Montgomery, AL.

"Recession Bringing Families Together, for Good or Worse"
By Steve Campbell
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Summary: In an economic crunch, single adults cobble together alternative families with parents, relatives, friends, and roommates.


"A Single-minded Savings Plan"
By Paula Santonocito
Summary: Do you shop till you drop too much money? This article gives sound advice on how to save at the store.

Singles With Singletude Award
"Over 40, Single and Loving It!"
Summary: A San Francisco ABC affiliate interviews Jane Ganahl, editor of Single Woman of a Certain Age: 29 Writers on the Unmarried Midlife--Romantic Escapades, Empty Nests, Shifting Shapes, and Serene Independence. Ganahl chats about the emergence of the happily single older woman, the dissolution of stereotypes, and dating over 40. She also promotes her book, which addresses such diverse dimensions of single life as solo travel, friendships fit for Sex and the City, the companionship of pets, and changing relationships with parents. My favorite quote: Host Janelle Wang asks, "Why do you think a lot more women are choosing to stay single?" Ganahl answers, "Because they've been married!" Ms. Ganahl, you have real singletude, and this interview gets this week's Singles With Singletude Award!

"Why Are Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Aniston and Diane Keaton Single?"
By Erin Demchak
Summary: This article takes some guesses, but the stars themselves don't seem interested in the analysis. Diane Keatons puts it best when she says, "I don't think that because I'm not married it's made my life any less. That old maid myth is garbage." Although the author indulges in some singlist rhetoric, she too finally seems to get the point.

"Volunteers Gather for Day of Good Deeds"
By John Higgins
Summary: This heartwarming article follows volunteers as they work on the grounds of a homeless shelter for single women and mothers.

"Who Goes Abroad for Fertility Treatment and Why?"
Summary: Who ever said Europeans were so open-minded? Proving that singlism is alive and well across the Atlantic, a press release from the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology reveals that countries which prohibit singles and other individuals from seeking reproductive assistance are driving aspiring parents across international borders in search of more tolerant policies.

"Why Do Some Women Still Think It's Okay to Rely on Men to Pay Their Way? Real Freedom Is Having Your Own Bank Account"
By Linda Kelsey
Mail Online
Summary: A divorcee cautions women against financial dependence on men.


"Advocacy Publishes Guide to Long Term Care Insurance"
Summary: An overview of the American Association of Long Term Care Insurance's new guide for women with specific tips for singles, who are most likely to need long-term care.

"Single Women in Today's Workplace"
By Paula Santonocito
Summary: Unmarried women in the workforce face the compound challenge of overcoming both marital status- and sex-based discrimination. Find out about the obstacles to their success and what's being done to combat them.


"Singled Out"
By Rich Kushman
The Sacramento Bee
Summary: Winetasting events draw lots of single ladies, but where are their male counterparts?

Singleschmucker Award
"Who Marries and When? Age at First Marriage in the United States: 2002"
By Paula Goodwin, PhD, Brittany McGill, MPP, and Anjani Chandra, PhD
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Summary: The 2002 National Survey for Family Growth, which somehow took seven years to analyze, proving that we do indeed spend way too much money on big government, finds that men have an 81% chance of marrying by 40 years of age, while women have an 86% chance of doing the same. (Note: As the CDC says, these statistics "do not represent the actual percentages of individuals who have married by each age shown; instead, they represent how likely it is that an individual will marry by a specified age." This is an important distinction, which has been blurred already in some online sources.) A decreased likelihood of marriage was associated with African-American ethnicity and financial poverty. The survey sampled 12,571 Americans. And guess what? This data brief about it wins the Singleschmucker Award! Yes, you, our U.S. government, are responsible for the most egregious example of singlism on this week's list! Shame on your for presenting this research as a response to "concerns over a decline in marriage" because "married persons tend to exhibit greater physical, emotional, and economic wellbeing"! Those claims are misleading because 1) they inflate minute differences between married and unmarried people and 2) attribute them to marriage when we actually don't know what is responsible for them. On top of that, they ignore the effects of divorce, which are far more detrimental than remaining single. Although I detest it, I understand why the media invents stories like this to sell papers and documentary specials. However, when the government does it, it's beyond reprehensible--it's irresponsible.


"32% of Singles 'Prefer Prudent Men'"
The Press Association
Summary: A third of British single women surveyed by say they like savers more than spenders.

"Cougar Party"
By Melinda Maximova
Summary: The author urges older women to buck the May-December trend.

"Dating Scene Disaster Is All Our Own Fault"
By Jennifer Jones
Summary: A single female bemoans how Australian women let men play them for sport and take them for granted.

"Newly Divorced and Searching for Love? Try a Wedding"
By Shari Albert
Merced Sun-Star
Summary: We keep hearing that weddings are fertile breeding grounds for relationships in the making, but this article explains how to give that potential wedding day match some Miracle-Gro. One of the better articles on this subject that Singletude has seen.

"Single Black Women Choosing to Adopt"
By John Blake
Summary: Rising rates of infertility and dissatisfaction with a small pool of eligible men are leading more African-American women to adopt. This profile of one such woman advises readers on how to prepare for single-parent adoption. (Note: This was a runner-up for this week's Singles With Singletude Award.)

"What Men Should Learn from Michelle"
By Khadijah White
The Chronicle Review
Summary: This article blew me away. This is the first time I've heard it suggested that Michelle Obama might have given up opportunities of her own to become first lady. People always seem to take for granted that any wife who ends up in the White House must have fulfilled her lifelong dream the moment she stepped over the threshold. Amen to White's acknowledgement that a smart, successful woman stands to lose as much as she gains in a high-profile marriage! This article isn't about a single, but because it takes a stand against matrimania in an instance in which it would be especially tempting to buy into the fairytale, it was the other runner-up for this week's Singles With Singletude Award.


"Single Women, Think You Have It Tough Here?"
By Steve Penner
Summary: Israel promotes itself as a forward-thinking country among closed-minded neighbors. But it seems Israelis have a long way to go before they reach gender equality. "Israel is still very much a macho society," says one concerned citizen.

"WWII Vet Receives Medals 65 Years After War"
By Russell Jones
Summary: This story isn't really about singles, but it turned up in search results, and Singletude includes it because of a disturbingly singlist quote. In "Singlism in the Military: Discrimination Against Single Servicemen," we got an eyeful of how the armed forces devalue single men. Worse, here is a verteran devaluing himself! Recalling his self-sacrificial action under attack at an American evacuation hospital, World War II hero Warren Blaylock says that he volunteered to stay behind with the injured soldiers because "I was a single man." He goes on to say that he "found five other single men to stay...One of them I had to drag, he didn't like me very much after that." Blaylock's efforts, which earned him a Bronze Star and four other medals, are, without question, highly commendable. But his comments highlight an upsetting attitude that men's lives are worth less if they're not married. In other circumstances, this article might've gotten a Singleschmucker, but I didn't have the heart to do that to a vet whose recognition was long overdue.


"Fake Engagement Rings Marketed to Single Women"
By Kate Spethmann
Summary: The author is livid that Reality Bling is selling a faux diamond ring called Ms. Taken to single women who want to ward off lecherous bar leeches. Find out why.

"Heightened Sense of Security With Women Guards On Board"
By Devjyot Ghoshal and Saikat Ray
The Times of India
Summary: Single women in India can breathe a sigh of relief when traveling alone. Female security personnel will now be required on trains.

"Just a Bus Ride From a Hot Shower"
By Raymond Castile
Suburban Journals
Summary: Homeless single men in the St. Louis metro area find shelters scarce.

"Many Women Think Being a Single Mom Is the Easier Way to Go"
By Kate Powalski
Orlando Sentinel
Summary: Well, this is a first. I have never heard a woman say that she would prefer to be a single parent, saddled with all the work and expense of child rearing on her own. However, Babytalk Magazine reports that two-thirds of single moms surveyed said they thought it was easier to parent alone. And lest you imagine these single women were just rationalizing, married mothers also wished they didn't have to hash out childcare disputes with their partners (76%) or worry about the quality of their marriages (69%). The author, a single mother herself, reflects on her own attitude toward spouse-free parenting.

"We the Bachelors"
By John G. McCurdy
The New York Times
Summary: If you think contemporary America is singlist, you may be surprised to learn just how much prejudice single men endured when this country was in its infancy.

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

Do you have a question for Clever Elsie about some aspect of the single life? Have a 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!


Anonymous said...

speaking of relationships, here's a pretty good, informative article:

Best regards,

Anonymous said...

Elsie -- THANK YOU so much for keeping us updated on the news! I am so impressed by this new series of yours, and hope you can keep it up. I'm going to point everyone at Onely over here to check this stuff out.

-- L

April said...

Wow, that article on the 3 celebrities was so offensive: "There could be many reasons why they can't hold onto a man." Not to mention, she wrote contempt when I think she meant to write content...Freudian slip maybe?
I'm bookmarking this to read the other articles later. Thanks so much for sharing them!

bobbyboy said...

I recently wrote a post about "Cougars" because I saw a new reality show on TV about it. I don't know if the cougar relationship will become as accepted in society (our society) as the older man/younger woman is, but I'm keeping an eye on it lol

I plan on re-publishing your post and all appropriate links if that's ok Elsie?

The Singlutionary said...

Why anyone would be offended by fake engagement rings is beyond me. I didn't read the article but I think its a great idea. I have a $30 fake engagement ring. I don't got out to bars much but if I liked getting dressed up and going out on my own, I might use it.

This is a great great great list. I love that you're doing this! Thanks!

Clever Elsie said...

Media Mentions: Thanks for the link. I normally don't post links that don't accompany other commentary, but this one is actually on topic, so okay.

Lisa: I'm glad you're finding it useful! And thank you so much for mentioning it to your readers.

April: Yeah, that article had a couple of real doozies. When I laid my eyes on the first paragraph, they almost rolled right out of my head, and I thought it was a shoo-in for the Singleschmucker Award. But as I read further, I liked the affirmative quotes from the celebs, and by the end of the article, the author acceded that these stars might just enjoy being single, so I figured that was an open-minded enough conclusion to spare her from the Singleschmucker!

Bobby: Ah, yes, the cougars. I was surprised at this author's condemnation of a trend that a lot of women seem to think is an equal opportunity turning of the tables. Although I saw her point and agree that large age differences can create problems, I thought she made too many blanket statements. I can think of several "cougar" relationships, both in the public eye and in my personal circle, that seem to be going strong, so it's by no means impossible for these relationships to work out.

Oh, and you can definitely link to this post! Thanks very much!

Singlutionary: You know, that faux engagement ring article was possibly the only article I've ever seen that read singlism into a situation where there was none! Her argument was that marketing a fake engagement ring to women sends a message that they can't handle social interaction without the crutch of a pretend fiance to make it okay for them not to tolerate jerks and losers. I appreciate it whenever anyone looks for meta-messages in advertising, but I think this time the author actually overanalyzed. There's a difference between an inability to handle undesirable social interaction and a preference for handling it in an easier way. I have more to say on this, but I'm actually going to blog separately about it!

I love that you love the list! You're very welcome.