Time to check your ‘marital privilege’

Time to check your ‘marital privilege’

You’re white and you’re male and, hence, have two strikes against you. If on top of all else you’re married, you just struck out.

Meet “marital privilege,” a status enjoyed by people who have tied the knot, which earns them the scorn and resentment of liberals. Bella DePaulo, author of “Singled Out: How Singles are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After,” has an article at the liberal website Truthout that touches on the bookend notions of “marital privilege” and “singlism.” (“Isms” are another flashpoint for the left.)

DePaulo offers operant definitions of these terms, explaining that singlism is “the stereotyping, stigmatizing and discrimination against people who are not married,” while marital privilege is “the unearned advantages that benefit those who are married.” If the second definition lacks the specificity of the first and sounds like so much grievance mongering, be advised that DePaulo gets into specifics later on.

She laments for example that Social Security benefits of workers who die accrue to their surviving spouse, whereas as unmarried people’s benefits are funneled back into “the system” once they shuffle off this mortal coil and can’t be assigned to “important people” in their life. The Family and Medical Leave Act,” she writes, “is similarly dismissive of the significant people in the lives of single people.”

Some of the complaints are more touchy-feely. “Married status,” she writes, “is valued and glorified, whereas single status is portrayed as that which must be escaped.” She offers up as evidence the oft-posed question “Why is a person as nice/successful/intelligent as you still single?” Interestingly, the list of adjectives excludes “attractive,” which is perhaps DePaulo’s subtle way of telling us that people who remain bachelors and bachelorettes are often homely.

At least one of her beefs about marital privilege — “people who marry expect shower gifts, wedding gifts and attendance at their weddings” — is easily remedied. That is, get married.  And if you’re not keen on the idea of having to share your space with some cretinous spouse, do what Yasmin Eleby of Houston recently did: Marry yourself.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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