The Pew and Time magazine report generating all those headlines (mostly about how 39% of Americans think marriage is becoming obsolete) set out to look beyond just married people to other family members and family forms. One question participants were asked was this:
If you’ve read Singled Out, you know my take on the so-called marriage penalty in taxes – it is actually a bonus. Single people are the one who get penalized. A law review article comes to the same conclusion.
There’s a different sense of the marriage penalty that actually is real, according to sociologists Naomi Gerstel and Natalia Sarkisian. They talk about marriage as a greedy institution, because it wants all of the interpersonal time and attention for itself. As I’ve been discussing at Living Single, people who are married pay less attention to other people in their lives than do people who are single. They are less likely to stay in close touch with their siblings, friends, parents, or neighbors, or to support them in emotional or practical ways.
Blog crawl news first. The featured writers today were Lisa and Christina from Onely. They wrote a great post hosted by Living Single called Fun with fallacies: The rhetoric of singles-bashing. It is in the form of a screenplay, and it will give you some great ideas for come-backs, as well as some insights and a few laughs. Tomorrow (Thursday September 23), Michelle Cove is the guest writer at The Single Filez.
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.)
A CNN relationships columnist told the story of coming home from work after a bad day, and telling her boyfriend that it was nothing, just a work matter, when he noticed her distress. He wanted to hear about her no good, very bad day, and told her, “If you’re going to be in a relationship, you need to stop acting like you are single or you will end up single.”
Singlism alert! Thanks to Jeanine and Peggy for this one. At Yahoo, by way of US News & World Report, we learn this “secret” to attaining bliss after you’re done working for pay: “married or cohabiting couples are more likely than singles to be happy in retirement.”
I can’t find the original report, and I always like to read the original. Nonetheless, this looks easy enough to take on. Does this finding (assuming it is reported accurately) mean that if you get married, you are more likely to be happy in your retirement?
Anyone who has read Singled Out – and not only those readers – can figure out the answer. It is “no.” The study is not counting everyone who ever got married. The researchers are taking all of the people who got married then got divorced or became widowed, and setting them aside or adding them into the singles group. So if you remove at least 43% of the people who ever got married from the married group, then you can say that getting married means that you will be happier in retirement. Note that all singles are included in the singles group, not just the happiest ones.
Thanks for letting us in on the secret, you Yahoo.