Before I go on, and just for clarity, here is how I feel about marriage and the whole, “this is why you’re single” nonsense: Lots of people seem to enjoy their marriages. And lots of people strive to be married. I’ve got nothing against it, as an institution. And I hope that one day there is true marriage equality in this country (and many others). That said, each year the number of single people (in this country and many others) increases. It’s a significant demographic trend.
And, this goes without saying, single people deserve just as much respect as married people.
Essentially, I feel the whole “single people (especially single women) need to get their act together” paradigm to be a pointless and unnecessarily divisive anachronism. Marriage as a social construct is not as essential as it was years ago, when women had few opportunities outside the home. That doesn’t mean marriage is bad. Just not as necessary as it used to be. Which is probably why fewer of us are opting for it.
Not that my opinion on any of that matters, but as I’ve been accused of being anti-marriage I wanted to be clear. Now onto today’s topic.
A few days ago I retweeted OffMarketGirl‘s tweet about her most recent post.
“Day 115-Why I’m Not vs Why You’re Not (Married)http://goo.gl/fb/jRduq“
She replied, “Thanks, Simone! Have you read these pieces, btw?!? Provocative!”
I replied, “Read: yes. Provocative, sure. Though, truthfully… I’m tired of provocative. Same old rehash. Single w/ “fault” & “blame.””
She replied, “I hear you!!! What happened to playful and positive?!?”
And, finally, I replied, “Playful & positive isn’t provocative. I really find the level/tone of discourse related to marriage & single-ness depressing.”
And that’s it. I find the level and tone of the discourse related to marriage and single-ness depressing. It’s worth repeating. Reading those posts and the many dozen others of a similar type in the past few weeks, and then the comments, I’m struck by how much anger is out there. Over what? Other people’s lives. Is it really that important that everyone choose to live the same way/the same way it’s always been. Is it really horrible for people to publicly question the old status quo? What exactly is so transgressive about a single woman who is willing to say, I’m not going to play by the old rules? Who does she hurt?
Tags: marriage, single, single-ness