Archives for June, 2015

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SCOTUS Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage: Wiser Views Than Those of the Justices

"We need to have a conversation." How often have we heard these words when some controversial issue is broached? The Supreme Court ruling that made same-sex marriage legal across the nation has launched countless conversations.

Many of the conversations are celebratory. To activists, the ruling is a huge step forward on a long path to social justice. I'm all for social justice and civil rights. But the ruling lets more people into marriage while all single people...
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Kate, Kay, and the Single Ladies, Part 2: Experiments in Living Outside of a Nuclear Family Household

[From Bella: This is Part 2 of E. Kay Trimberger's two-part guest essay. Part 1 is here.]

Kate, Kay and the Single Ladies, Part 2: Experiments in Living Outside of a Nuclear Family Household

Guest post by E. Kay Trimberger

In our late 20s, Kate and I both lived in New York City, worked hard, and had few women friends. In my early 30s, however, I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, a place that had beckoned...
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Kate, Kay, and the Single Ladies, Part 1: Different Experiences of Single Life Across the Generations

Guest post by E. Kay Trimberger

[Bella's intro: Many writings about single life have been inspired by Kate Bolick's Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own. In this two-part guest post, E. Kay Trimberger offers an important perspective I have not seen anywhere else – a cultural and historical analysis, told through the lens of personal experiences, of someone born more than three decades before Bolick, and even a few years before Bolick's mother. Cultural...
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Elder Orphans, Part 2: What People Are Already Doing to Live Well in Later Life

In Part 1 on the topic of elder orphans, I talked through the actual risks of finding yourself, in your old age, ill and in need of help, but with no one to care for you. I used logic and data rather than hand-picking scare stories to frighten people into marrying and having kids, even if they know that life is not right for them.

For my forthcoming book, How We Live Now: Redefining...
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Are You Going to Be an Elder Orphan? Part 1: The Odds

Single people are accustomed to the scare story that they are going to die alone. Most have heard it so often that they have long ago realized its ridiculousness – marriage can't protect both spouses from dying alone unless they both die at the same time. So I guess it is time for a new threat to supplant the old one. It has arrived: We single people – especially those of us with no kids...
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Choosing Not to Have Kids: 16 Writers Bare Their Souls

In Meghan Daum's book, Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids, 13 women and 3 men give voice to the life experiences of people who choose not to have kids. I have reviewed the book for Psych Central, and that review will appear on this site in the coming weeks.

Here, I want to share some telling quotes from the collection, to give a sense of what the contributors...
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Beyond Happiness: What Single People Really Need

We are in the midst of one of those cultural moments when people who are happily single are getting some attention, and it is not all skeptical or mocking or grudging. In Spinster, Kate Bolick urged women to embrace "that in you which is independent and self-sufficient," even if you are not technically single. (I'd add that positive messages about single life should apply to men, too.)

Many an essay has leapt from the keyboards...
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Brilliant Psychologist Chooses the Day of Her Death

I was in graduate school from 1975 through 1979, and during those years, and some years afterwards, the field of psychology was riveted with the concept of androgyny, especially as measured by the Bem Sex Role Inventory, devised by the brilliant Sandra Bem. The scale classified people as feminine, masculine, androgynous, or undifferentiated. Androgyny was the "it" category – the news was that it was psychologically advantageous in many ways for women not to be...
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