Exposing Single Discrimination


I think there’s such a thing as single discrimination. That’s right. I’m referring to discrimination against those of us who are single. I experience it when I go to the grocery store and can only find a family size package of Oreo cookies. (Even if I could eat them all, I sure don’t want to.) It’s evident in women’s magazines filled with articles about keeping your spouse happy.

I feel I was even discriminated against at church. After sitting through a weeks-long series of sermons on marriage, the pastor offered up one sermon to the singles in the congregation and suggested we join the Singles Ministry if we wanted more.

I don’t think it’s always deliberate, but that doesn’t change the end result. You end up feeling like you’re on the sidelines, somewhat of an afterthought for the rest of society.

Is it any wonder that some single people seem to be so focused on getting married? Then, and only then, can you really be a full part of society with all its two-for-one promotions and his-and-her bathroom sinks.

I respect the institution of marriage. I’m sure it’s more difficult than I can possibly imagine, and I have lots of admiration for those who make it work. However, I wonder whether society has that same reverence for single people who have to handle a lot of the same things couples do, only alone.

It’s true. Most of the time single life isn’t anything too extraordinary. I’m not suggesting trophies be handed out to independent women who are out their taking care of business. However, an acknowledgement that we do have our own unique struggles and problems would be appreciated … and a snack pack of Oreos in the cookie aisle wouldn’t hurt.


10 Responses to “Exposing Single Discrimination”

  1. 1 Lucy Van Pelt
    November 9, 2009 at 10:28 am

    I feel that way at work sometimes. I feel like the married people have an easier time getting off for holidays. It’s assumed that single folks don’t have the same family obligations. Oh, well.

  2. 2 blackbarbiekj
    November 9, 2009 at 11:10 am


  3. 3 TMJohnson
    November 9, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    I agree completely, especially when tax season comes around (LOL).

  4. 4 sunnydelyte21
    November 12, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    Yes, it’s like being single is a diease. I enjoy being single and carefree.

  5. November 17, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    You hit the nail on the head! Have you read Dr. Bella DePaulo’s book, Singled Out? It’s about “singlism,” otherwise known as discrimination against singles. One of the things that makes singlism so insidious is that most people don’t even recognize it. They think there’s nothing wrong with the fact that singles are taxed at higher rates or forced to pay more for car insurance or denied the right to give or receive health benefits to or from another adult. And then there are the even subtler forms of discrimination that you mentioned, like church sermons that cater only to families or groceries packaged for four. The first step to changing it is recognizing it, though.

  6. 6 Maggie
    December 3, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    This reminded me of a conversation I recently had with a fellow single friend. He gets upset when people ask him if he has a family. What kind of a question is that? Everyone has a family, including single people. Just because someone doesn’t have kids and/or a spouse doesn’t mean they were raised by wolves.

  7. 7 Brendan
    May 31, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    I thought about what it would be like if society treated us singles just as it does married people.
    It then hit me why we never will be. We are seen as selfish or immature. Society sees marriage as yet another right passage. And even married people aren’t all treated equally. If you don’t then have kids you seen as a selfish couple.
    I have reluctantly accepted the fact that I will never be completely accepted by society fir being single. And as mentioned above, it can matter at work and elsewhere. The married person will get more often than not get promoted first.

  8. 8 Kevin Markey
    October 12, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    I whole heartedly agree and where marriage and being in a relationship is good for the individual and society I feel it is the couples who are selfish, greedy and refuse to recognize the needs of single.
    If you are single and want to be then they demand more out of you and cannot understand why you don’t want to be like them!
    Desire a partner they say its not important as if they care! Will be unhelpful claim they don’t want to argue and when they refuse to concede the truth do and say nothing.

    The lack of respect for the human rights of singles is disgraceful and ignorant discrimination an ignored crime.

  9. 9 Sidra
    January 25, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Well, family is like the most important unit of society, like cells in a body, and helps ensure its survival. So it’s natural the vast majority of people desire to make a family when their own family starts dividing into different “cells”. I would eventually want to get married even if sermons were on how awesome single life is and singles got more discounts. So I can’t really say those are instruments of discrimination. Rather than get pissed off at people trying to hook me up, I look at their intention, and when I see that they are doing it with kindness, i actually think it’s kinda sweet. it’s totally irrational when women flip out on these type of questions…it just alienates the people who care about you.

  10. 10 Susan
    July 25, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Single discrimination is horrendous! I don’t know what American law is like but in Canada it’s against the law to discriminate against status. Of course being single doesn’t count as “status” though. Singles are worthless worms. Anyone can charge singles a lot more money than married people if they like.

    This stinks because married people can share gas, phone, telephone, electricity and Internet prices. If once of them gets sick the other can still bring in an income. In other words, they live at a much higher standard of living than single people do, yet it’s the singles who struggle so hard, who get dinged the highest prices for everything!

    Really, this should be against the law in any North American country.

    Some companies also get around the appearance of discrimination by saying “the price will be this for singles and this for families of two or more.

    Whichever way you look at it there is mean and blatant discrimination against singles everywhere, even encouraged by governments (as there is also against poor and/or fat people. Those types of discrimination are encouraged even more!).

    Even the issue of Government pensions discriminates against singles. Single people pay as much pension money as a person in a partnership. Yet when a spouse dies, taxpayers pay to support the other spouse.
    Where does this money come from? It comes from the pockets of the singles who pay just as much as the living spouse did. The deductible monthly pension costs for singles should be cheaper than the monthly deductible costs for a spouse, especially considering in my cases one spouse may never work for her entire life, yet both singles and married people will pay in their contributions for that spouse when her husband dies. In other words, singles don’t just pay for a spouse, but also pay for one who has possibly never worked in her life when her husband dies.

    To me, that’s like if they are paying not just “double’ what they should be but four times as much for pension.

    There is horrid discrimination against single people everywhere in both Canada and the United States and governments do nothing to stop it even though it should be technically illegal.

    I suppose some ways that singles could get even is to refuse to deal with any company that offers cheaper rates for couples. There are enough of us that we could help destroy those companies.

    There should also be a single’s web site somewhere were people can post the names of companies who charge singles more. It should show the link to those companies as well as the offending page that shows the price differences between what singles and married people are charged. People should be able to send this information in somewhere so that every single person in North America quickly becomes aware of the names of offending companies.

    Women in particular, the lowest income earners of the singles, are charged more than anyone for say, drycleaning a blouse, or anything else. The best way to get around this is to stop wearing dresses, and stop wearing pants with pleats or anything that is considered to be made especially designed in feminine ways (which allows these companies to discriminate saying that an extra pleat cost them more to dry clean or whatever).

    More and more, I find myself buying men’s clothes, men’s shoes, and men’s everything in order to save money.

    Singles need to start a real war against this constant and continual discrimination!

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