Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Hard Truth: Being Single in a Married World

     My inner feminist celebrated the legalization of yet another state to allow same-sex marriage —congrats Illinois! With the recent culmination of landmark rulings for the gay-rights movement, in which public support has continued to grow, feminists and queer-identified individuals rejoiced. But we forgot to acknowledge one very important issue at large: the average single peoples’ struggle in a "married world." 

     With gay activists continuing to fight for the right to marry, and heterosexuals being encouraged to embrace their right to marry, the rights of individuals who choose to remain single, whether gay or straight, are not acknowledged. Those who choose to be single receive little to no benefits in the workplace and are often socially frowned upon, even made invisible by society. The role of the singles population is hardly ever approved or recognized in a social context.

     An unequal expectation exists for men and women when it comes to marriage. The pressure to marry is particularly strong for women, and those who are not married by a certain age are defamed and slandered by society. Women who are not married—even ones with successful careers—begin to demean themselves because they feel as if they are not fulfilling society’s expectations. While women feel as if they are letting someone down by not marrying, men are hardly given any trouble about being single. Men are encouraged to keep pursuing their careers while women are encouraged to assimilate into the heterosexist and heteronormative culture by being told to quit their jobs and settle down to marry and start a family. Now, this should not sit well with feminist.

     Some people would highly disagree with single peoples’ decision to defy the social order of how things should be in society in regards to marriage, but others might deem marriage an important component in maintaining a functioning world where men and women should follow the social norm (and expectation) of getting married. Regardless, the idea that the singles’ population would threaten the importance of marriage as an institutionalized norm is completely ridiculous. In fact, being that the situation for singles is almost completely identical to that of queer individuals being "othered," the feminist movement should be a little more concerned and involved with the issue. Like gender, marriage is a social construct — let's challenge the cultural norm. 


  1. Frauengruppen Do you find you are stuck in a disagreement with someone you know? Is there a conflict that remains unresolved

  2. OK! It is about time people are addressing this!!! I am an older single woman - and I am totally ostracized in social settings and the work settings. It is constantly thrown in my face how much more important married people are and mothers with children are over women with no children. I am damn sick of it. And I am damn sick of the arrogance in women who have children over women with no children. Society does demean and defame women who are not only single, but childless. It makes me want to form and outcry and be a voice for men and women such as myself - whether gay or straight!! We are a group. I hope to form a blog or a website for us one day. I feel we need places such as this to express ourselves and let each other know that we are just as valuable in society as married people with children. We contribute just as much if not MORE!