One pastor said, "Would all the single people stand up?"
He said, "I hope all of you find a good spouse."
Another pastor said, "Would all the married people stand up?"
He said, "I hope all of you find a good divorce attorney."
The second didn't actually happen to my knowledge. But, in all seriousness, though, if you're offended/upset by the second pastor and NOT the first, you may wish to look at how you've been conditioned to believe that marriage is the right way and singlehood is the wrong way.
Research the terms "singlism," "matrimania," and "amatonormativity," and then I'll be happy to engage in a discourse with you.”
I posted the above on a few Facebook groups, as well as my own. In my journey through the world of Singles Studies, I like to get people to question our cultural norms/assumptions about marriage: namely, that there’s a cultural bias around marriage. And in my advocacy, I can get carried away with myself sometimes, and I can delve into self-righteousness. I originally framed this as a joke, but thanks to a friend directly calling it out, I realize I wasn’t really making a joke. It’s more of a commentary. But I think it’s an important one.
I haven’t had the experience of being divorced, but in talking to people I know, it can be brutal. So I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But it is interesting how we’re quick to accept the first pastor’s gospel as fact, and when I posted the second, I got a variety of reactions.
My personal page: laughter. I’ve developed a whole schtick around being a clown, so those who know me understand I mean no ill intent.
Community of Single People: (CoSP) laughter, applause, some questioning. Members who’ve been divorced would probably say no.
I tried it on another page because, well, I like to rabble-rouse every now and again. It got some applause and laughter from those with the capacity to understand, and I made a new Facebook friend, Rebekah. But there was definitely some hate around that post. Someone even called me an “incel,” which I found humorous. A few others, of course, went into how “that pastor should be fired!” I guess social media doesn’t convey humor or sarcasm very well (then again, I did relabel it a commentary).
I was inspired by Bella’s work in Singled Out where she said (and I’m paraphrasing), “We don’t encourage married people to become single. Why should we encourage single people to get married?”
That’s the big question that inspires Singles Studies. A phrase I learned recently is: acceptance is not resignation. I find my anger reaches into the stratosphere in my advocacy. But I’m trying a new approach. The statement “this is a cultural norm.” It is what it is. But if I can approach that norm with empathy, I might just be a better advocate and a better educator in this respect. And perhaps I’m being a bit quixotic, if more of us can do this, I think we might be able to change the world – in many ways.
My name is Craig. I'm an educator, writer, and unapologetic singleton. When not reading, writing, or teaching, I enjoy hiking, running, watching movies, going to concerts, spending time with friends, and playing with my cat/son, Chester.