In September 2018, I was invited to participate in a lively festival of philosophy and music, “How the Light Gets In,” in London. Featured speakers included a lot of famous people and me. I gave a talk, “Single people are doing so much better than you realized: Is it because they are free?” and participated in a debate, “Love, life, and being free.” The videos have not yet been posted online. In the meantime (or in case they never are), I thought I’d share here some excerpts from my talk and my answers to some of the questions that were discussed in the debate.
Most of the milestones that are routinely celebrated honor the lives of people who are married with children. Weddings, wedding showers, and baby showers are the most obvious. Single people who have no kids have all sorts of feelings about this, but even the most open-hearted single person can begin to feel a bit weary (and broke) when they are asked to pony up for couples and their children, sometimes the same ones over and over again, while the important milestones in their own lives go unrecognized.
Sex isn’t what it used to be. Or at least our thinking about it isn’t. That’s a very good thing. The 21st century has ushered in more expansive notions of sex, sexuality, and relationships, from a total lack of interest that is totally normal, to a healthy and consensual interest in non-monogamy – and much more. Here’s a collection of articles on these topics. Collections on other topics relevant to single life are here. (more…)
“Singlism” is the stereotyping, stigmatizing, marginalizing and discrimination against people who are single. “Matrimania” is the over-the-top hyping of marriage, weddings, and couplings. I coined those terms. Probably hundreds of the blog posts and other writings of mine touch on those topics in some way. So here, I just want to point you to a few articles to orient you to these topics and give you a few specific examples.
Congressional Representatives Least Likely to Support Trump’s Agenda Have Highest Proportion of Never-Married Constituents in Their Districts
One of the longstanding sources of frustration and disappointment among advocacy-oriented unmarried Americans is that political candidates rarely address us or promise to fight for us, the way they so often vow to stand up for married couples and traditional families. In their campaign materials, candidates who are married with children like to boast about that. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a candidate brag about not being married or not having kids, or even acknowledge their marital or parental status in their biographies, except perhaps for single mothers.