In case you haven’t heard, single people suck. That is the message that is being promoted on billboards these days. I recently saw one on First Street over by Basmati which said, “Married people earn more money. Marriage Works.”
The Marriage Works campaign was started by an organization called Campaign for Our Children which works to reduce teenage pregnancies. This campaign was picked up locally by the social services agency Solid Ground.
In addition to the afore-mentioned billboard, there are other segments of the campaign that say things like, “Kids of married parents do better in school” and “Married people are happier.”
As a newly-single person, I have to say, this billboard really offends me.
Yes, it is true that married people have some economic advantages over single people. That is one reason why we should be fighting for same-sex marriage rights for the gay and lesbian community. But perhaps an even better solution would be to make sure everyone has economic advantages regardless of whether they’re married or not.
As far as I’m concerned, the promotion of the married lifestyle as the answer to society’s problems ought to be dumped onto the garbage heap of failed ideologies along with racism and its ugly cousins. And I’m not saying that because I’m divorced and disillusioned with marriage. I believe marriage can be a wonderful, beautiful thing.
But I don’t think we should give married people preferential treatment over single people. That’s discrimination. I mean, imagine if you saw a billboard that read, “White people earn more money. Being white works.” Could there be anything more offensive?
We should be reacting to this “marriage works” campaign with the same disgust as we would with any type of racism, sexism, anti-semitism, homophobia or whatever other kinds of isms and phobias there might be.
I haven’t checked with Smile Politely’s director of marketing (we don’t have one) to see what the demographics of our readership is, but I suspect there are quite a few single people here. So, I’d like to hear from you unwed folks. Do these “Marriage Works” billboards offend you? And have you experienced other types of discrimination and prejudice because you are not married?
C’mon, marriage works? Last time I looked at the divorce rate, it said marriage works only about half the time.