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editor’s note

not the marrying kind …

In the opening lines of the film Hitch, the narrating voice says, “No woman wakes up saying: God I hope I don’t get swept off my feet today.” But is that statement really true? Do all women wake up to prayers for a prince charming to sweep us off our feet? I don’t think so. I actually think that men have a hard time imagining a world where some women actually enjoy themselves and do not need or seek the company of male companionship for satisfaction. It is even more difficult for society to accept.

In a study conducted by psychologist Dr. Bella DePaulo, respondents described married people using words like” happy,” “secure,” and “stable” and described singles as ”lonely,” “unhappy,” and “insecure.”1 These results suggest that marriage is the norm and singlehood is socially unacceptable. Especially for women who actually choose to live their lives in singlehood; they are considered deviant for rejecting social expectations.2

For these reasons, the term “single” carries negative connotations just like  “old maid” “spinsters” and “unmarried.” They are all “used in Western culture to designate a woman’s never-married status.”3 But juxtaposed to the term “unmarried” single is more appropriate for the readership at Soulo Magazine. “Unmarried” suggests there are only two options for women: to be married or not. But “single” is open to interpretation and gives our readers a choice to decide how they see themselves and how they want to be viewed by society.

And who doesn’t love choices? It is what makes our economy so unique. Our capitalist economy is structured around neoliberal ideas supporting a free market without government control, promoting economic freedom for true democracy, and encouraging individualism. 4 And because economics “is the science which studies human behavior as relationship between ends and scarce …. Everything for which human beings attempt to realize their ends, from marriage, to crime, to expenditures on children, can be understood “economically”.”5 This includes single life.

That being considered, the woman’s choice to be single is important and a violation of it this choice is  a violation of American values. Singlehood is a state of individualism. If the market does not require government regulation to function property, women do not need the government or society to regulate their status or function in the world. However, even with this individualistic rhetoric, social institutions insufficiently prepare individuals for singlehood. Instead they prepare to live as part of a couple in a family. What is even more problematic is that many American women spend most of their lives single. So how do they cope? How do they learn to deal with singlehood?

Fortunately, Soulo Magazine speaks to this underrepresented audience. In all types of media, women are bombarded by images of motherhood, sex, and marriage. Everything from toothpaste commercials to cigarette ads are heavily marketed towards couples. Soulo challenges those practice and negative perceptions of singlehood. Soulo is the voice for the silent population of single women.

1. Mahoney, Sarah, “The Secret Lives of Single Women” in AARP Magazine
2. Gordon, Phyllis A. “The decision to remain single: implications for women across cultures. (Theory)”
3. Gordon.
4. Grossberg, Lawrence. In “Chapter 4: Neoliberalism.” Caught in the Crossfire: Kids, Politics and America’s Future. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2005.
5. Read, Jason. “A Geneology of Homo-Eocomicus: Neoliberalism and the Production of Subjectivity”

One Comment leave one →
  1. Ashley Mayes permalink
    December 3, 2009 10:20 pm

    This website is great. I loved the idea of making a magazine that emphasizes that women can be happy and single. It is a liberating, yet under discussed idea, and I am happy to see you’ll challenging the ideology of marriage and happiness. I specifically enjoyed reading the article, ” The Brazilian Waxing Craze.” This article not only touches on the fact that women based beauty on striving to please a man, but also it exhibits a tangible reality that many women are not always open to talk about. The article is an innovative and fresh discussion about a trend that many women often do not analyze. Bringing awareness to the real reasons women indulge in this painful unpleasant practice is a clear way of further displaying us as subjects of ideology. Great Job!

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