'Check Your Married Privilege?’

Lefty writer finds something new to whine about.

You’ve heard of ‘white privilege’ maybe even ‘male privilege’ or ‘straight privilege.’ It’s a term liberals foist upon people who supposedly have better lives to the disadvantage of others, simply because they fit into a mainstream demographic. Mostly, it’s a grad-level way of saying, “Shut up.” 

And of course, liberals being liberals, they’re always looking to expand the whining franchise (or should that be disenfranchise?). 

Here’s the latest: HuffPost contributor Bella DePaulo, author of the woe-is-me sounding books “Singled Out,” and “Singlism,” adds in another point of discrimination: marriage. Her long-winded diatribe, “Do you, married person, take these unearned privileges, for better or for better?” defines marriage privilege as this: 

Yet, in the United States in the 21st century, the ism and the privilege that disadvantage nearly half of the country's adult population have gone largely unrecognized. Singlism -- the stereotyping, stigmatizing and discrimination against people who are not married -- and marital privilege -- the unearned advantages that benefit those who are married -- continue to frequently slip under the cultural radar. 

DePaulo’s list of ways married people benefit whereas single people do not ranges from the obvious (she cites more than 1,000 laws that protect or benefit the married) to the absurd. She explains how basically the single life is a constant reminder of how you’re less-than a married person. Everywhere you go, you’re bombarded by “marriage privilege:” 

At the grocery store: Greeting cards expressing, “Our sympathy.” 

In school: An absence of “singles studies” at universities.

Watching T.V.: “Countless movies, TV shows, stories and books feature characters desperately seeking a spouse, and celebrated when they succeed.” 

Reading the mail: Retirement product advertisements always have images of elderly couples holding hands on the beach. 

At work: “In the workplace, they sometimes expect single people to show up on holidays, to take whatever vacation times are left after married workers' choices have been honored and to cover for their married co-workers on ordinary workdays as they head out early.” 

Having to attend weddings: “Marital privilege is about entitlement. People who marry expect shower gifts, wedding gifts and attendance at their weddings.” 

Social Events: “Invitations to social events that are extended to married people routinely include the spouse; when uncoupled single people are offered the option of bringing a "plus-one," that's considered a special treat.” 

It’s difficult to imagine the hell of DePaulo’s daily life – elderly couples in retirement ads! (And don’t get her started on chateaubriand pour deux!)

Plenty of single people complain about their status. DePaulo’s made a career of it. She’s been picked up by The New York Times several times and she is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, the Atlantic and Alternet. Nice work if you can get it.


— Kristine Marsh is Staff Writer for MRC Culture at the Media Research Center. Follow Kristine Marsh on Twitter.