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.
[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.
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:
Years ago, here in Santa Barbara, I went to a debate about same-sex marriage between Jonathan Rauch and Maggie Gallagher. Rauch, author of Gay marriage: Why it is good for gays, good for straights, and good for America, of course took the pro side. If the name Maggie Gallagher is, to you, an infamous one, then you already know that she opposes same-sex marriage.
As I remember the event, early on, Rauch posed a question to the audience: How many believe the government should simply get out of the marriage business? A fair number of hands went up. He said, in some polite way – forget about it; that will never happen.
I was delighted to discover another blogger making the case for fair treatment of singles, and even better, casting her arguments from an international perspective. The blogger is “Anne,” from a site I just discovered, Why Get Married? Her post was titled, Are Singles Discriminated Against?