Next Up: Emotional Independence

In a recent post over at Living Single, I reviewed Rachel Moran’s argument that second-wave feminism had forgotten the single woman. The focus, instead, was largely on the superwoman who could “have it all” – marriage, kids, and career.

Another significant theme from Moran’s paper was the argument that activists should turn their attention to the goal of emotional independence. First-wave feminism, she noted, was about political independence. The right to vote meant that women had their own political opinions – married women weren’t “covered” by the votes of their husbands. Second-wave feminism took on economic independence. With greater opportunities in the workplace, more women could earn their own way financially.

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Many Voices, One Question: Should the Government Privilege Married People?

[This post is co-authored by Bella DePaulo and Rachel Buddeberg.]

Same-sex marriage is advocated as a basic human right.  We applaud any expansion of human rights. Yet, as we’ve watched the debate over this issue unfold over the years, we have had some misgivings about the current approach: It seems too piecemeal. First some couples get admissions tickets to the legal benefits and protections of marriage, then the gates are opened to other kinds of couples. But why should a person have to be part of any kind of couple in order to qualify? One of us (Bella DePaulo) found some relevant arguments articulated by others and posted excerpts from them, and the other (Rachel Buddeberg) added many more. We decided to pool our efforts and continue searching.

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Coupling Wasn’t Always So Intensive: Notes from a Social Historian

Over at my Living Single blog at Psychology Today, I asked this question: The rise of the couple and demise of all the rest: How did this happen? In the comments section, readers engaged in a wonderfully thoughtful and substantive discussion.  Several people described or asked about specific references (thanks!), so I thought I would share some highlights from my favorite one.

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What Would Happen If Government Got Out of the Marriage Business? Guest Post by Christian Miller

Bella’s Introduction:

Responding to a post I wrote on Aug 7, Get government out of the marriage business?, Christian Miller sent me some detailed and thoughtful documents describing his own perspective on the issue. When I inquired further, I was impressed to learn that Christian has engaged others in correspondence about the matter, including the ACLU and people from the religious community and the GLBT community. I then asked if he would write something I could share with readers of this blog. Happily, he agreed. Here’s what he wrote:

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Should We Blame Erik Erikson for the Myth of the Isolated Single Person?

Even though I’ve been a research psychologist for my entire adult life, I have to admit that I had forgotten something significant about Erik Erikson and his stage theory. I was reminded of it while reading Robin Marantz Henig’s story in the New York Times Magazine titled, “What is it about 20-somethings?” Here’s the relevant excerpt:

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Do Most Singles Want to Become Unsingle?

In the comments section of this post over at Living Single, one of the people commenting voiced the myth that I spent an entire chapter of Singled Out debunking.  I call it “Single-minded” – the myth that “you are interested in just one thing – getting coupled.” (It’s in quotes because it is the subtitle of Chapter 4.)

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