Living Single

The truth about singles in our society.

David Brooks, Nuclear Family Scold, Cries Uncle

NY Times columnist David Brooks argues that people are better off when they “bind themselves” to two-parent families. He thinks that laws should discriminate in favor of “family formation and fertility.” I’ll take him on with data. Read More

Because I dont have a

Because I dont have a commitment to children I can refocus my commitment to mother earth and all her creatures not just people. Im sorry but not everyone cares about children or making families, and this guy sounds like a conservative nitwit. He also assumes a lot. He assumes that people forced by society to make babies and only have two parent families would in turn care about their families. Has he learned nothing from history?

I also liked "enshrouded"

As a pianist, I'll gladly perform Chopin's Funeral March for such a ceremony.

To Brooks's credit, he's in favor of gay marriage. But in support of it, he slams singles as (best from memory) "Taking all that is sacred in themselves and obliterating it in an assembly-line of selfish sensations."

Whew! The awkwardness of an 'assembly-line' that *obliterates* is the least of the problems with that statement.

So sick of the selfish label

I just visited an elderly friend in the hospital. She has no family nearby and people like us look out for each other. I'm so sick of being labeled a hedonist when I contribute more to my community than most people do. I find that the families are more likely to take and take and feel entitled to do so. But how about judging one another by the contents of our character and not the number of people in our homes?

Not caring about community

Today I took an elderly disabled neighbor to a doctors' appointment. But because I'm single, according to this NYT writer, I don't care about community.

So sick of the selfish label

I just visited an elderly friend in the hospital. She has no family nearby and people like us look out for each other. I'm so sick of being labeled a hedonist when I contribute more to my community than most people do. I find that the families are more likely to take and take and feel entitled to do so. But how about judging one another by the contents of our character and not the number of people in our homes?

Also see an interesting parallel

when people argue that it takes a family to make you care about your community, and the argument that you have to believe in an external God in order to have morals. Both arguments assume a lack of an internal moral compass. Fear of atheists is not so different from fear of singles. Both assume a lack of something that may or may not be lacking, and both require generalizing and stereotyping to make any sense.

Wake Up Call!

Someone needs to tell Mr. Brooks that he, the rest of the neocons, and all married people for that matter, will soon be drifting into significant minority status.

Right now, I believe that single people should be given the same rights that married people have. That would be fine with me, even though we'd still miss out on a few--such as not having to testify against a spouse in court, for example.

However, when I read this kind of stuff, it makes me want to work toward eliminating ALL benefits that state-sanctioned marriage provides. All of 'em. Erase every benefit. Make marriage certificates mere pieces of paper that carry no legal weight outside of the parties who agreed to them.

As I see it, the neocon married crowd can give a little now by treating single people fairly, under the law. Or, they can give back *everything* at some point in the future.

I think they should act now and do the right thing, but Mr. Brooks seems to want even more benefits and entitlements on our backs. Somebody better show Mr. Brooks some demographic projections regarding married couples versus single people in the 21st Century. Those who are outnumbered are in a position unsuitable to give orders, Mr. Brooks.

I found another interesting parallel in an unlikely source

Brooks seems to believe that if you give people fewer choices, they're less likely to commit. I feel the opposite: If you give people more choices, they're more likely to find a good fit and stick with it.

Which has a parallel in a recent article in The Lutheran, which discussed terms in Lutheran theology. It described "freedom" as being free to commit to a life of service to others in whatever way fits us best. A contradiction of the view of Mr Brooks, and from a Christian magazine no less!

Well Brooks seems to hold a

Well Brooks seems to hold a different view from the usual stereotype. To my mind many people seem to assume we singles have all the time in the world to undertake the carer role, never mind that we have to perform all of our chores by ourselves and be self-reliant when it comes to income etc. If anything makes me "selfish", it is that I have to do everything for myself. However, unlike someone in a relationship or with a family my focus is LESS likely to be limited to a partner or children. Apologies to any families I'm stereotyping.

Brooks & others may have a bit of jealousy (I feel it myself)

As a middle-aged white male (but liberal) I have to admit, from time to time I envy the young for the social choices they have now. In the U.S. we've done a terrible job giving young people the economic security that my generation had, but I do envy the choices and approval that young people have now. The self-centered part of me would say, "waah, I wish we could have done that when I was 20" and so on.

So I wouldn't be surprised if part of what nags Brooks and others is the sense that they put up with conventional, hair-shirted conventions and morals and wage slave drudgery and marriage bonds and all that, and it was all...unnecessary.

Waaah!

Single people without kids aren't the only ones who keep their options open.

I know of plenty of married men who "keep their options open" with various women all around town. Just sayin'.

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Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., is author of Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After. She is a visiting professor at UCSB.

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