A SWaNK Take on the Declaration of Independence

Happy Independence Day to all SWaNKs and SWaNK supporters in the U.S.A. This is a day for us to celebrate not just our country’s independence, but our own independence as well. Here’s to being independent.

Today is July 4th, a day that most Americans are out at parades and festivals, picnicking in parks, barbequing, watching fireworks, hanging out with friends and family and celebrating the day that marks the signing of the Declaration of Independence which officially declared the separation of the country from the Kingdom of Great Britain back in 1776. For some people, it’s merely a day to celebrate a day off of work and for other’s it’s a party.

I wondered this morning what it would be like to write up a Declaration of Independence for women around the world and thought that perhaps I would give it a try by starting with a quick edit of the other Declaration of Independence and then add a few items here and there. Here are some excerpts and additions from the SWaNK Evolution Declaration of Independence.

Excerpt #1:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men HUMANS are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights INCLUDING THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE WHAT WE DO WITH OUR BODIES, that among these are Life, CHOICE, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness WITH OR WITHOUT BEING MARRIED OR HAVING CHILDREN.

Excerpt #2:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress OUR DRESSES AND PUT ON SOME PANTS in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury (STOP THE ABUSE). A Prince (WHO ARE THEY CALLING A PRINCE?) whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Excerpt #3: 

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British ANYONE WHO BELIEVES WOMEN ARE NOT EQUAL TO MEN brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. BEAUTY, BRAINS, INNER WISDOM, COMPASSION, ABILITY TO NURTURE, CAPABILITIES, AND ENDLESS OTHER QUALITIES THAT ARE BENEFICIAL TO HUMANKIND.

Additions: 

The Rights of All Humankind:

– To have the freedom to choose marriage or not without being judged by others

– To have the freedom to choose parenthood or not without being judged by others

– To have the freedom to choose a career or not without being judged by others

– To have the freedom to choose to cook or not without being judged by others

– To have the freedom to choose to clean or not without being judged by others

– To have the freedom to wear pants (or panties for that matter) or not without being judged by others

– To have the freedom to speak our minds or not without being judged by others

– To have the freedom to be 100% WHO WE ARE without being judged by others

Happy Independence Day EVERYONE!

It’s Tax Day and Singles Are Being Ripped Off Across the Good Ole U.S of A.

Today, April 15, is “Tax Day” in the United States and this year it is also the day that several dozen “singles bloggers” are participating in a blogfest to help get the word out about the discrimination that takes place against singles regarding taxes for the unmarried. I am honored to be invited to be a participant in this blogfest, but I have to admit a couple of things first.

#1 . I had no idea of what a blogfest was. Well, it’s pretty easy to guess what one is, but I had never been asked to participate in one before. And…

#2 . I’ve been too busy and happy being single that I’ve been completely oblivious to over 1,000 U.S. income tax laws that apparently discriminate against single people.

So, in conclusion, I’ve had my head up my butt AND I’ve been ripped off all of my life, for being single!

But instead of reacting with anger (not about having my head up my butt), mistrust and frustration, my mind quickly jumped into a different set of thoughts.

An article, “The High Price of Being Single in America” in The Atlantic, is the basis of the blogfest. To give you some idea of the contents of the article, here is a quote. “…more than 1,000 laws provide overt legal or financial benefits to married couples. Marital privileging marginalizes the 50 percent of Americans who are single. The U.S. government is the main perpetrator, but private companies follow its lead. Thus marital privilege pervades nearly every facet of our lives. Insurance policies—ranging from health, to life, to home, to car—cost more, on average, for unmarried people compared to those who are married. It is not a federal crime for landlords to discriminate against potential renters based on their marital status. And so on.”

Now, the first thing that entered my mind after reading the article was that I wondered just how many people out there are aware of these laws and actually get married for the tax breaks and money savings? Over 1,000 laws? Even a handful would make any thrifty person take marriage into consideration over remaining single. I mean, there are enough people who “marry for money” so why not “marry for savings” too? Couples move in together to save on expenses, so why not take it one step further and get married to save even more.

The second thing that entered my head was, “If this is the case, no wonder there are so many unhappy married couples out there”. The thought of marrying for financial reasons and not for love would already put divorce high on the list of probable things likely to happen to a couple who placed their individual or mutual financial interests above true, heartfelt love.

So, now I have to wonder just how many marriages are consciously or even subconsciously disguised as loving relationships when the basis of them may be about money and savings. I’m aware that many people “marry for money” or for practical reasons rather than emotional, but adding the tax breaks into the equation just makes me wonder even more. I’m not saying that all or most marriages are for financial reasons, but I’m sure that many of them are.

This leads to some other questions that are bouncing off the corners of my head. Yes I have a square head.

1. Do some (straight) alpha men take into consideration the tax breaks that they would get, and therefore save money and have more disposable income, when they decide to take on a wife? Is it a factor in deciding whether to get married or not? Is she a tax break? Are the kids a tax break and a benefit in that way too? Could marriage be just an unromantic activity that allows for more time on the golf course and more financial freedom?

2. Is the government just plain old-fashioned, holding the same traditional views of many churches and conservatives? Does government mimic the beliefs of those who hold onto the notion that all adult humans should be married, procreate, live in a house with a white picket fence in the suburbs, where the wife stays at home and cooks, cleans, and raises the children while the husband goes to work, brings home the paycheck and comes home to a nice home-cooked meal with his family? Is this the type of behavior that the laws are designed to reward?

3. Did some religions just have it wrong all of these centuries by promoting the idea that marriage is the answer to human happiness? And did the government just follow along like a sheep and jump on the bandwagon along with insurance companies and the like? Or is marrying for financial and practical reasons just better and healthier for human beings than marrying for love? That is an age-old question.

4. Does anyone ever do things for love and never money? And if they did, would they be happier?

I believe that I am totally off topic now, but that’s where my thoughts have led me at this moment in time on Tax Day regarding how singles are treated by the government when it comes to taxes. It seems to me that the government is rewarding and promoting those who choose to marry or remain married. But why? I guess that’s the big question.

It’s unjust for any type of discrimination to take place anywhere. I believe in and advocate for fairness and equality. So, if indeed, I am being discriminated against by the government because I am single, which, according to the article I am, then it’s certainly time for a change.

Happy Tax Day everyone!

A Long Way From Being Dragged By The Hair Into The Cave.

Today’s modern woman, and in particular SWaNKs, tend to be more educated than they were ten, twenty and most certainly a hundred years ago. The culture around women has evolved in ways unimaginable by the burly caveman who dragged his female counterpart by the hair into the cave for some procreating.

Even “Women’s Lib” is a term that sounds almost archaic now and feminism has taken on many other layers that go much deeper than women just having a voice in the home, workplace and in politics.

Independent, educated, career-minded women are blending in more and more as part of mainstream society, yet we really are not part of the majority. At least not yet. We walk around unnoticed in a sea of people out there in the world. At first glance one would not know whether a woman is single or whether she has children or not, unless her children are with her. However, even if she is seen with children one would not know if they were her children or not. It requires a bit of conversation to determine whether or not a woman is actually single and without children of her own. So, in that sense, we are seamlessly blending in with the “crowd”. We slither around mainstream society until people find us out by asking us those telling questions that eventually bring the truth out about our singleness and childlessness. There is nothing external that gives us away. We are all shapes and a sizes. We are all of different races, cultures and religious backgrounds. Nobody will ever know unless they ask.

But what happens when people do find out that we are single and have no kids especially when we are “older” women? What is swirling around in the heads of the curious. And curious they are. There is no doubt in my mind that questions arise in the minds of those who have been trained to believe that in order to live a full life one must get married and have children.

But, I must say that living in an urban environment like the San Francisco Bay Area, that there seems to be a lot more understanding of career-women, many of whom have chosen to be single, childfree and focused on their careers. I, for one, have enjoyed giving “birth” to so many other things that don’t require diaper changing and constant worry about how well it is doing in school, like creating my artwork, creating entrepreneurial ventures and producing a new event and even creating this seedling of a social movement. The process around creating something and nurturing something doesn’t necessarily have to include a uterus.

I am thankful that women have forged their way in industrialized societies over the centuries and look forward to the day when we can all truly be proud to be SWaNKs and confident that when others learn that we are single and without children that we are not being judged or silently criticized. My hope is that one day all lifestyles can be celebrated.

Copyright 2013 Carolyn Quan / Dream World Media LLC. All rights reserved.
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