Move over “racism” and “white privilege” – “singlism” and “married privilege” are the new kids on the politically correct block!
According to Bella DePaulo and Rachel Buddeberg, the singles activists and authors who wrote a Truthout.org piece titled “Do You, Married Person, Take These Unearned Privileges, for Better or for Better?” discrimination against single people is a problem so huge that it’s actually “jarring” that our culture doesn’t talk about it the way it talks about racism and sexism.
The piece defines “singlism” as “the stereotyping, stigmatizing and discrimination against people who are not married” and “marital privilege” as “the unearned advantages that benefit those who are married,” an “emotional privilege” where “other people express happiness for people who marry but pity for those who stay single.”
The authors discuss many different manifestations of this phenomenon. Some of them are institutional, such as how there are many federal laws that benefit married people only. One example: Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, married workers can take time off to care for their spouse, but single people can’t take time off to care for a person “just as important to them, such as a sibling or close friend.” Note that they did not just describe this as “unfair,” but specifically as “discrimination.”
Some points are particularly laughable, such as the claim that it’s so terrible that “universities have women’s studies, Black studies, and queer studies programs” but “there is no singles studies program in any university, anywhere.”
And unsurprisingly, many of the other examples are based on their brilliant and oh-so-culturally-aware recognition of even more of our common, seemingly innocuous phrases being actually very offensive and harmful forms of discrimination — including single people having to endure seeing things such as “ticket prices . . . quoted as ‘$100 per couple’” and greeting cards that “express ‘our’ sympathy.” (Oh the horror!)
— Katherine Timpf is a reporter at National Review Online.