Jaclyn Geller is guest-posting here to share her bold (and sometimes hilarious) Call to Action for single people who are tired of the pervasive unfairness that advantages married people and deeply disadvantages anyone who is not officially married. Geller, an English professor and author of Here Comes the Bride: Women, Weddings, and the Marriage Mystique, has long been at the cutting edge of thinking on matters of fairness for people who are not married. I have been hosting her guest posts since 2009.
[Bella’s intro: Writings on single people focus overwhelmingly on singles in the U.S. and a few other countries. I’m always hungry for more. I am so grateful to the Romanian scholar Adriana Savu for writing this important article about single people in her country – and why so they have so often been ignored.]
“All Things Single” readers, I’m blogging to you first. My new book, Singlism: What It Is, Why It Matterse, and How to Stop It – written together with 28 other contributors – is now available. You can get it here at Amazon, though as I write this, Amazon has not yet added the description of the book. (They build book pages one or two sections at a time.) You can also get the paperback here, at the book’s own page, where the description does show up.
Having just finished a draft of a chapter on singles-friendly workplaces, I’m back to thinking about family in the lives of singles who have no children. Family, in the contemporary American imagination, is linked to a particular kind of household – a nuclear family household, symbolized by the private home with a white picket fence.
Did you know that every year the Census Bureau issues a press release, “Facts for Features – Unmarried and Single Americans Week”? I admit I’m easily amused, but I get a thrill every time that alert from the Census Bureau appears in my inbox. All that Singles Week has come to be, with all the mentions in the media and on the blogs (including the second annual blog crawl), didn’t just happen. Someone (or lots of someones) had to work to make it happen. There were lots of people involved, but one stands out – way out – among all the others, and that person is Thomas F. Coleman. Of all of the others who helped, I would say that about, oh, 100% of them were inspired by him. I know I was.
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.