A new op-ed on The Huffington Post entitled “Do You, Married Person, Take These Unearned Privileges, For Better or for Better?” accuses society of “singlism,” or discrimination against unmarried individuals.
“…[A]wareness of isms has jumped the bounds of sexism and racism to include heterosexism, ageism, classism, ableism and others,” writes op-ed contributor Bella DePaulo. “Yet, in the United States in the 21st century, the ism and the privilege that disadvantage nearly half of the country’s adult population have gone largely unrecognized.”
The real problem, Ms. DePaulo writes, is “singlism — the stereotyping, stigmatizing and discrimination against people who are not married — and marital privilege — the unearned advantages that benefit those who are married — continue to frequently slip under the cultural radar.” (RELATED: HuffPo Op-Ed Defends Michael Brown’s Stepfather: Jesus Incited Riots, Too!)
There are thousands of laws of discriminating against unmarried people, she frets, including against “those who do not identify as single.” Why, she asks as an example, does The Federal and Medical Leave Act allow workers to take time off to care for a sick spouse, but “single people… cannot take time to care for a person just as important to them,” such as a “close friend?”
To say nothing of toxic public perceptions! Ms. DePaulo is utterly horrified that for some unknown reason, studies find respondents are much more likely to say that people who have voluntarily committed to share the rest of their lives with someone they love are “kind, caring or giving.”
Another beef: universities are now embracing “women’s studies, Black studies, and queer studies programs… However, there is no singles studies program in any university, anywhere.”
The only thing sadder than the 2,400 word diatribe is the fact that Ms. DePaulo has apparently literally devoted her life to the topic. She operates two separate blogs, entitled “Living Single” and “Single at Heart,” and the author of “Singled Out: How Singles are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After.”