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The Topic that Turns Smart, Creative People into Mindless Spouters of Clichés: Part 1

Suppose I challenged you to write the most cliché-drenched ode to marriage you could possibly imagine. Don’t do any critical thinking. Don’t worry about whether what you have to say is true, or logically consistent, or whether it could be potentially offensive to millions, or whether it might serve as the basis for a women’s studies essay on cultural criticism or a Saturday Night Live skit. Just pour it on thick.

Perhaps your essay would include excerpts such as the following:

  • “There is tremendous social and spiritual value in marriage.”
  • Marriage “is transformative.”
  • When a man proposes to a woman, she looks at him with eyes that say, ‘You’re a real man.”
  • With marriage, you are “being propelled each day to fight the good fight it takes to provide for your family, rather than wanting to succeed because it boosts your ego, your status, and your self-image.”
  • Marriage is especially important for men: “There’s just something about the right woman that helps you mature into that man you’re supposed to be.”
  • “Marriage connects you to something bigger than yourself.” For example, you no longer leave your socks on the floor and you learn to compromise.
  • “Humans can’t help but respect people for doing something that helps you perpetuate the human race.”

The quotes you just read are real ones. They could easily have come straight from the mouths of right-wing ideologues such as Maggie Gallagher. No one would be surprised to find claims such as these at pro-marriage websites, including those excoriating same-sex marriage.

But no, the author of these marital bromides is Toure. He proudly read his mash-letter to marriage as part of the Daily Rant feature on the Dylan Ratigan Show, guest hosted that day by Matt Miller. You can listen to the entire rant here. Generate your own response, if you’d like. In my next post, I’ll explain what’s wrong with the rant (in case that is not totally obvious) and why it made me mad and sad.

Man proposing photo available from Shutterstock.

The Topic that Turns Smart, Creative People into Mindless Spouters of Clichés: Part 1

Bella DePaulo, Ph.D

Bella DePaulo (Ph.D., Harvard; Academic Affiliate, Psychological and Brain Sciences, UC Santa Barbara), an expert on single life, is the author of several books, including "Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After" and "How We Live Now: Redefining Home and Family in the 21st Century." Her TEDx talk is "What no one ever told you about people who are single," Dr. DePaulo has discussed singles and single life on radio and television, including NPR and CNN, and her work has been described in newspapers such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and magazines such as Time, Atlantic, the Week, More, the Nation, Business Week, AARP Magazine, and Newsweek. Dr. DePaulo is in her sixties. She has always been single and always will be. She is "single at heart" -- single is how she lives her best and most meaningful life. Visit her website at

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APA Reference
DePaulo, B. (2012). The Topic that Turns Smart, Creative People into Mindless Spouters of Clichés: Part 1. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 7, 2020, from


Last updated: 7 Mar 2012
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