In a recent op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, David Boaz includes some needless stereotyping in an otherwise compelling argument. Here’s the letter I wrote to the editor, which you will only find here.
With Valentine’s Day approaching, my inbox is filling up with the usual pitches from people who think that since I write about single life, what I and my readers must really crave is a marriage partner. I’ve written posts mocking them before, but they don’t read, they just try to sell.
Amidst the offers of access to an interview with some king or queen of sugar babies, and the pitches illustrated by condoms arranged in the shape of a heart, was something a little different, with no accompanying obnoxious illustrations. The email began like this:
Over at Living Single, I wrote an in-depth critique of a recent study about single men and their purportedly more anti-social behavior than married men. In the first post, Actual Newspaper Headline: ‘Married Men Better Men,’ I worked through the details of the study, including the actual items used to measure anti-social behavior and the point-by-point results of the research. In the second post, Naughty or Nice? Single Men and Married Men, I explained what I thought the results really did mean.
Just posted in the New York Times is an essay in Pamela Paul’s “Studied” column called, The Marrying Kind: Born or Made? She includes my point that the difference in scores on the anti-social behavior scale between the single and married men was underwhelming. (Specifically, on a 10-point scale, the single men report an average of just over 1 “symptom,” and the married men report an average of just under 1.)
As part of our continuing discussion of singlism and matrimania in pictures, I just had to share the image of this sleep shirt. Fits right in with the “you are my everything” and “I just want to be your everything” mentality that is part of the culture of intensive coupling.
A few weeks ago, over at Living Single, I wrote about the stranger hawking a mate-bait program who believed that she knows what we singles want “deep down inside.” Our friend Christina from Onely posted one of her typically brilliant and witty comments:
“I believe that deep down everyone really wants a nice Maine Coone mix kitten.”
Recently, my friend and colleague Wendy Morris sent me the picture of this billboard. (In case the words are hard to see, it says, “Married people earn more money.”) Wendy is a terrific singles scholar and she is providing guidance to the next generation of researchers. One of her students, Kate Maloney, first noticed the billboard. (Thanks, Kate and Wendy!) Kate was offended by the crass message that people should marry for money. Wendy objected to the discrimination that factors into married people’s greater haul.