THE BLOG
05/25/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Don't Visit the Sins of Coulter on the Other 26 Million Ever-Single American Women

Here at the Huffington Post, Michael Rowe posted a lengthy and passionate excoriation of a certain tall, blond Republican woman. I share most of his sentiments. For example, Rowe said this:

"The students at the University of Ottawa who put their boots to the ground in protest clearly and forcefully expressed their view that Coulter's racism, her homophobia, or her penchant for glib sound bites about how torture should be a televised spectator sport had no place on an enlightened, multicultural Canadian college campus in 2010 -- at least not on theirs, if anywhere in a civilized society."

Unfortunately, though, he also said this:

"In truth Coulter is rapidly becoming a parody of herself. She's beginning to resemble the mythical spinster aunt no one under 25 wants to sit next to at family dinners -- the one who rants stridently about commies and faggots and Jews when she's drunk and hits on her young nieces' boyfriends."

He should have stopped at the word "mythical," thought about it some more, then deleted that entire paragraph. I've scoured the research literature on the links between marital status and alcoholism, reactionary attitudes, and sexual behavior, and I'm not finding that spinster aunt Rowe described. Since she is indeed mythical, it is better to dispense with the singlism.

Consider, for example, the evidence on rates of problems with alcohol. In 2002, Robin Simon published the results from a national sample in the American Journal of Sociology. Among women who had always been single, 1 % of them -- that's right, one percent, had a drinking problem. (I described the results in detail on pp. 154-156 of Singled Out.)

What about the supposed ranting "about commies and faggots and Jews" -- are single women especially likely to behave that way? Hardly. Single women are among the most progressive segments of society. On some significant issues, they get to the place where progressives are heading before everyone else does.

Rubbing rock salt into the wound of singlism, a Huffington Post editor selected that one egregious paragraph (out of a post that extended to over two dozen paragraphs) and highlighted it as the tease. I love the Huffington Post. I've been blogging here for years and I read it every day. But I am saddened that even a progressive home such as this one makes sport out of bashing singles.

I have no problem with anyone who wants to take on a specific single woman (or anyone else) for her homophobia or hate speech or, as Rowe calls it, her "vituperative social toxicity." But please leave the other 26 million ever-single American women out of it.