Scroll over to 7:02 and you’ll see what I mean.
Scroll over to 7:02 and you’ll see what I mean.
Did anyone else see the episode of the Anderson Cooper talk show where he interviews a couple of women (one on stage and one in the audience) who married themselves? I heard of this phenomenon a couple years ago (on a side note: it seems like Anderson is a total johnny-come-lately in terms of a lot of the subject matter on his show–he didn’t know that one shouldn’t microwave Tupperware and other plastic containers!–but I suppose he can be forgiven since focusing on not getting blown up or shot in war-torn countries was probably taking up more of his focus).
Anyway…while I absolutely applaud the sentiment of these women who have recognized that no other person is ever going to complete them and that they, alone, are responsible for their happiness (the joy that others bring us is a wonderful added bonus!), I do question why we need to use the paradigm of marriage to make a commitment to healthy self-esteem and self-respect for single people. I think we need to make our own rituals and ceremonies for self-commitment. Because honestly, single people have enough trouble in our culture having their lifestyle (whether chosen or circumstantial) seen as a viable one. We don’t need anymore pitying looks and uncomfortable conversations. Plus, I’m sorry, but the lady who called herself her wife…that was just weird.
The mind, once expanded to the dimensions of larger ideas, never returns
to its original size.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
The other day, I received in the mail the first season of Will and Grace. I hadn’t seen the episodes in a long time and since I couldn’t buy them on iTunes, I decided to purchase the dvds. I have always loved the show and in it’s day, it broke a lot of new ground in terms of acceptance of homosexuality. But when it comes to progressive thought towards singlehood: not so much. As I watched the pilot episode, I felt a sense of loss. The idea that a happy ending must include a marriage or romantic partnership of some sort was woven through the entire episode. When I loved this show, I was still hypnotized by the status quo. To paraphrase the Oliver Wendell Holmes quote above: I can’t go back to adoring a piece of media in quite the same way as I did prior to discovering progressive singles philosophy. Sure, I can still laugh at the jokes and appreciate the writing and acting but it’s lost something because of my new life lens.
Has anyone else had this experience of this sense of loss when re-watching or re-reading a work you once loved?
“Married people…so many, many people are envious of what you have. You’re the star at the end of the Shakespearean play, wearing the wreath of flowers in your hair. The rest of us are just the little side characters. “
Yep, the cool, sassy actress that writes for and plays the character Kelly Kapoor on The Office, really said this in her book. I’m floored. How could a talented, funny, successful woman in the 21st century actually believe these words. What makes me even more frustrated is that she says several times in this book that she realizes a lot of teen girls will be reading her book. And apparently, one of the points Mindy wants to make is that–girl, if you’re single, you’re just the quirky best friend, you’re certainly not the leading lady in your life. I have no problem with someone wanting to be married and have kids and do the happy nuclear family thing. I grew up in one, it was great! But for a famous writer/actress that people adore and look up to, she is not doing anyone any favours by basically telling the world that if you’re not married, you just don’t really count.
I saw this video on Facebook today. It talks about how this year’s Oscar nominees for best picture measure up to the Bechdel Test, a test created by Alison Bechdel, the lesbian, feminist author of Dykes to Watch Out For. Basically, it’s about women’s under-representation in film. While I appreciate the test in principle, I do find some flaws in it. A movie passes the Bechdel test if it shows at least two women talking about something other than a man. While, in theory, this seems like a test that any good feminist (and I do consider myself one!) would appreciate, some of the reasons that a film fails this test bother me. For instance, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close fails because when two women talk they’re discussing the boy in the film who is dealing with the loss of his father in 9/11. The character is 9 years old and it’s his mother and sister discussing him. Women’s lives (of which the Bechdel Test is trying to measure Hollywood’s representation) is complex and includes valued males like husbands, brothers, fathers, sons and friends.
As a progressive single, I would suggest an alternate version: how about we judge a movie as passing if there are two people talking about something other than a coupled relationship. I think that probably a lot more movies would pass but I’m sure a lot would fail too! Perhaps we could amend the test further to say a movie passes this progressive singles test if a significant (a subjective term but I’m still working all of this out in my head) part of the plot involves something other than a coupled relationship. I still feel a bit muddled about all this but I hope it provides some food for thought, nonetheless!! I know I’ll consider it next time I watch a movie.
Give yourself a hug, run yourself a bubble bath and of course, eat lots of chocolate and cinnamon hearts…man, I think I’m going to need to go to the store, I don’t have chocolate or cinnamon hearts!
I’m really glad to be at a point in my life where I just don’t care about Valentine’s Day or about being coupled. I’m actually perfectly happy being single which is a lovely feeling after years of societal pressures that I took on as being my own desires when really, they weren’t. I’m not against finding a mate someday but I’m not going to spend my precious days searching. If he finds me, cool. If not, that’s cool too.
Much love to the single peeps!! <3
*sigh* I have not been good at keeping up with this blog. I don’t always have much to say about being a progressive single. I just live my beautiful single life!
I did see something the other day that I wanted to mention here, though. I confess to loving me some People magazine from time to time and on the cover of a recent issue was the headline: Elizabeth Smart Engaged! Really, People? I mean, I guess if she’s happy and god knows she deserves some happiness after her ordeal, then great! It just reiterated the ridiculous nature of our society’s marriage mania. It’s like, sure Ms. Smart was kidnapped and abused and she will probably live with that trauma her whole life…but she’s getting married so it’s all gonna be ok!” :S