Archives for Media - Page 2

How we live now

Getting Married Won’t Cure What Ails You

Getting married, we are told, will cure what ails us. Not happy enough? Get married and you will get happier. Want to be healthier? Getting married makes that magically happen, too. Getting married, the prevailing narrative insists, will integrate us into society like single life never could. It will lengthen our lives, too. The act of marrying is presented as some sort of magic potion of yore, one of those mysterious cure-all concoctions with unknown ingredients. It still stuns me, that in this age of skepticism and sophistication, these kinds of claims are so widely disseminated and uncritically accepted. But they are. I’ve debunked the claims about the supposedly transformative power of getting married so many times before that I won’t belabor the issues here. I’ll just mention a few key problems, refer you to more extended discussions elsewhere, then get to the point I want to make here, about why we are pelted so incessantly with such misleading claims. About what is says about the real place of marriage in our lives.
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Marriage

Why Are You Showing Me that Picture with Your Spouse?

"I'm a proud husband, father," declared a local candidate for office. After his name, it was the first thing he said about himself in his official statement published in the Voter Information Pamphlet I was studying. His website and television ads are filled with marriage and family iconography. There he is with his wife. Here he is with his kids. There he is with his wife and kids. What is he trying to tell me with this information and this imagery? Is it just a basic statement of something about him? That sounds reasonable enough, but then why does it have such a salient place in his campaign materials?
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Love & Affection

Why Is Time Magazine Shaming Single People and Their Children?

Time magazine, it seems, cannot get enough of telling single people and their children that they are just not as good as married people and theirs. Sometimes Time seems to be in the marriage-promotion business, peddling ideology rather than reporting. Most disturbingly, it does so under the guise of telling us what science has supposedly shown. On those rare occasions when a Time article on marriage lets in a dissenting voice, that voice gets trampled by the end. Time is on the side of married people and their families. I think it always has been.
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How we live now

Rethinking the Adoption Story the Media Loves the Most

I like to think of myself as a media-savvy person. I don't just buy whatever stories or sentiments the media is selling. I have a critical perspective. Recently, I was reminded that my sense of skepticism isn't always there when it should be. I interviewed people who were adopted for How We Live Now, and even included a whole section on an amazingly innovative community of adoptive families called Hope Meadows. Yet after all that, I still continued to be a sucker for all those tear-jerker stories in the media of people adopted as young children who meet their biological parents for the first time when they are adults. The meetings are always joyful and intensely emotional, as if these are the most positive and most consequential experiences imaginable. So what's wrong with that story?
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Love & Affection

Single Women and Terrorists: Enduring Legacy of that Awful Newsweek Story

Thirty years ago, in June of 1986, Newsweek published that infamous article that lit up the media and conversations everywhere, even before social media was there to help. It was about how women who had reached the age of 40 and were still single were more likely to be killed by a terrorist than to ever marry. Twenty years later, Newsweek retracted their scare story. In doing so, they engaged in even more stereotyping and stigmatizing of single women, telling them with one example after another that no matter what they had achieved or how meaningful they thought their life was, it just wasn't as worthy as it would have been if they just got married.
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General

Taiwan’s New President Disparaged for Being Single: Guess What Happened Next

For the first time ever, the President of Taiwan is a woman. The 59-year old Tsai Ing-wen is also single. That did not sit well with a Chinese military official, who believed that her single status rendered her "erratic": "As a single female politician, Tsai Ing-wen does not have the emotional burden of love of 'family' or children, so her political style and strategies are displayed to be more emotional, personal and extreme."
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General

Let’s Talk about Brain Health and Brain Illness Instead of Mental Health and Mental Illness

Getting mental illnesses taken as seriously as physical ones has been a long-lasting struggle. Medical insurance hasn't always covered mental health treatments the way it routinely covers treatments for physical problems. And too often, uninformed laypersons assume that seriously depressed people, for example, should be able to just snap out of it. In part because of the assumption that mental health is under our conscious control in a way that physical health is not, people suffering from mental health problems are more likely to be stigmatized. And that stigma, in turn, can stand in the way of seeking the help that is needed.
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