Single Women:  Two Surprising Questions


Society still doesn’t get how tough it is to be single in today’s world.  But, you may be contributing to that!  Consider these two questions:


What’s In A Name?

If you do not currently have a legal document saying you are married, does that mean you are “Unmarried”?  Do you call yourself “Unmarried”?

Think about this.  You are female, right?  Would you call yourself an “Unman”?  If you are short, would you call yourself “untall”?

Putting an “un” in front of a word signifies something the word is not.  The word “unmarried,” is a deficit word, saying who you are not.  Yet, you know you’d never say you were an unman or untall.  In no other part of your life would you describe you by who you are not, so why do it with your status in life.

Which brings us to the second surprising question.


What’s Your Marital Status?

Do you notice anything special about that phrase:  marital status?  We see it so often and use it so often, you perhaps haven’t noticed.

“What’s your marital status?” asks what is your status vis-à-vis marriage.  Do you have it or do you not.  There is the implicit statement that marriage is the norm and you either do or do not have it.

These are just two very subtle ways in which society continues to perpetuate the bias against singles.  So subtle that you probably haven’t noticed how you participate in it.

Can you think of other English words/phrases that discount singles, that speak of them as less equal adults than those who have married?

If you have questions or comments or want more information, contact me at:

Dr. Karen Gail Lewis

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