When I first focused on the study of singles and singlism, I was a tenured full professor at a major university and I thought I would continue to be a full-time academic until the day I retired — which I assumed would be decades into the future. That was in the late 1990s. I never would have guessed that by the year 2000, my planned one-year sabbatical would turn into something else entirely.
I have a 14-year old car. Repairs were becoming increasingly costly, so I finally decided not to sink another penny into my 1997 Corolla, and just look for something newer.
In my writing about singles, I’ve often pointed to the big ways that singles are targets of discrimination. Singles are discriminated against in the housing market, in ways that are blatant and yet not recognized as wrong. They pay more than their share in taxes. Single men are paid less than comparably-accomplished married men, and both single men and single women have less access to benefits such as health insurance. That’s unequal compensation for the same work. There are more than 1,000 federal laws that benefit married people. And that’s just the beginning. (Other examples are in Chapter 12 of Singled Out.)
Nightline just ran a segment on a serial killer who was horrifying even by serial killer standards. Russell Williams would tie up his victims, then beat and rape them for hours before killing them. The story had sensationalism (in addition to all of the horrible violence he perpetrated, Williams also liked to dress up in his female victims’ clothes) and the double-life theme –he had a distinguished military record.
At a campaign rally a few days ago, South Carolina Republican Senator Jim DeMint proclaimed that single women who are sleeping with their boyfriend should be banned from classroom teaching. It is a position he has been championing since at least 2004.