When people get married, they are helped by their friends and family with financial and material gifts that give them that necessary running push into adult life. They register for gifts they can’t afford to buy on their own, get help with down-payments, or maybe even an apartment outright. When they have babies, their community comes together yet again to help them with this next step in life. Couples are embraced and helped, but what about those without spouses, or life partners? Who gives single people a running push into adult life? No one. Without a wedding, you’re out of luck. Without a baby, you’re not worth as much as the other guys.
Single people are denied the same privileges and assistance given to couples, couples who (even if they’re broke) still have twice the money single people have, and yet they get more help in one go than a single person might ever get in their life. It’s such a weird bias, being penalized for not having found love, for not having a traditional family. To reward convention and tradition and ignore people without partners, reinforces the notion that we don’t count, aren’t valuable or worth as much to our community. Single people need help, too. Why isn’t there a rite of passage for us?
I am not single by choice. I might have a partner next month, but why must it take a wedding or a baby to get the same type of help, when it’s help we all need? When you’re alone, you have to pay the ENTIRE rent, you don’t get to split it. When you’re alone you have to pay for all the things other people get as wedding gifts: kitchen appliances, utensils, bedding, towels, dishes….The utility bill is yours alone. There is no one to split things with; the life of a single person costs more than it costs each member of a couple living the same life.
Single people deserve as much help as people getting married. If we truly believe in equality for all people, then think about all the ways single people are ignored, overlooked and taken for granted, and then give them the same hand you were given.
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