Some acts of singlism are blatant and significant. They limit single people's access to big, important things, such as health care or retirement benefits or equal compensation for equal work. Others, though, are much more subtle. Coming at us at a relentless pace, though, the cumulative impact can be akin to getting crushed by a ton of feathers.
Usually, when we discuss singlism here, we are talking about social interactions or policies or articles in the media or even in the professional journals. There's another important source, too - images. With the ubiquity of cell phone cameras and internet access and the rest of the 21st century image-ready world, the impact of visual-conveyed singlism may well be more powerful than ever.
Today, moments apart, I received a link to the same great website from two readers, Molly and Dolores. (Thanks!) At first, I just added the link to my beloved and ever-growing list of topics to get to for this blog. But then I started searching the site, and I just couldn't stop.
The image in the link that was sent to me is the main one that accompanies this post. Here it is again:
Here's part of what Gwen, the person who posted the image, said about it:
"It's an interesting assumption that being unmarried (I presume that's an engagement ring) means you are ‘alone.' And I'd say that what sucks isn't being ‘alone,' it's being told constantly that you must be sad and miserable since you aren't coupled up."
Another great post included a series of images illustrating the ‘normal' life course, all of which were drawn from discussions of advice about birth control. Lisa (the person who posted these images) said this:
"By organizing birth control needs according to age, the slide show teaches viewers a socially-approved timeline for our sexual, marital, and reproductive lives. Teen sex is invisible, having children in your 30s is ideal, and the end of a relationship is an option but...not having children is not."
Check out this one, too: Success + woman = getting married! What else?
"...begins by differentiating between social contexts in which solitude is expected or accepted (libraries) and those in which we are taught it is embarrassing or sad (restaurants). It ends with a defense of the pleasure of being only with oneself."
OK, I'm going to stop now. Really. Check out the site yourself. It is called Sociological Images and the commentary is as good as the pictures.