[This is cross-posted from Living Single, with an added note at the end, thanks to a great reader comment.]
[More evidence that your blogger is technologically-challenged: I don’t know why the format is weird after you click “read the rest of this entry.” I’ll try to get it fixed.]
I just realized that my post office box and e-mail inbox contain the makings of a short course (as brief as this one post) on stereotypes and misperceptions of people who are single. The pitches I receive from publicists and from people pitching their own products capture a lot about the reign of singlism in contemporary society.
Plenty of people discover this one thing about me – I write this Living Single column for Psychology Today. Then, without thinking they need to read a single word of any of my posts, nor a sampling of anything else I’ve ever written, they are sure they know what would interest the readers of my blog on single life.
Recently at Psychology Today, I asked, “Are Americans becoming more and more isolated?” So many thoughtful comments were posted there and emailed to me that I thought I’d rewrite the post with those in mind. Instead, though, I’ll just summarize the original post briefly (you can read the whole thing here) so I can get to readers’ comments more quickly. I won’t get to all of the points (or at least not in this post), so let me thank JSS, Alan, UpperWorks, Anony-mouse, Psyngle, Lauri, Deb01, and everyone who emailed me for taking the time to share your observations.
[UPDATE: This post was previously titled, “Fatherhood Channel Suppressed This Comment.” I have since heard from someone at the site, and he has posted a comment here, and also posted my comment, with my permission, where I was trying to submit it. I believe him that this was some technical glitch, and I apologize.]
Previously at my Living Single blog at Psychology Today, I wrote about media coverage of marriage and relationship education programs. In short, the enthusiasm of the claims has been barely restrained by the actual results of scientific research. (See here and here and here.)
At first, I was happy to see that the PAIRS Foundation, posting as part of the Fatherhood Channel, wrote about my success at getting NPR to take notice of the exaggerations it had aired. While doing so, though, it continued to perpetuate some of the same myths. It also guessed wrong about my background. They seem to think I offer therapy and that their classes would be a threat to my livelihood. I’m not a therapist or any other sort of clinical psychologist (I’m a research psychologist), so my criticisms of their misleading claims have nothing to do with that.
It’s still selling! I’m talking about that card game, Old Maid, in which EVERYONE wins except the person who is stuck with the Old Maid card. Natalya sent me this gem – thanks, Natalya! As she pointed out, this singlism is being peddled to children.
I say it is time to rewrite the rules of Old Maid. First, and most obviously, whoever ends up with the Old Maid WINS! And, of course, we need a new picture of the single woman.
Shall we also rename the game? Suggestions welcome.
I’ve been writing the Living Single blog at Psychology Today since March of 2008. Entries that were posted earlier tend to have more page views. With that in mind, here are the Top 20 posts about single life from that blog. (I wrote some posts on other topics that would have made this list but I’m not including them here.)
I’m Bella DePaulo and this is the first post to the “All Things Single” section of my blog. Here I will talk about single life without pity or apology. Just about all aspects of single life are fair game, except dating. I have nothing against people who like to date or read about dating; I’m just challenging the myth that what singles want more than anything else is to become unsingle.