Written by Karen Jerabek
The day I started a new job, the first thing they had me do was sit down with a mountain of new hire paperwork I had to fill out. I was diligently going through it, printing my name, signing my name, writing the date over and over and over. Then I came to a piece that asked me for my marital status. I could check Single, Married, Divorced or Widowed. Why is it any of there business if I was married? Doesn’t it only matter if I’m currently married? I felt like my privacy was invaded and I was being branded as I checked off Divorced. That’s when I realized that there is a truly ugly segregation going on across America: The segregation of Singles!
I guess you’re only good enough to be considered single if you’ve never been married. If you are divorced or widowed, you have to continually be reminded of that painful experience every time you get a new job, new insurance or a new doctor.
I wonder what would happen if I refused to be segregated? What if i fought back against this division and checked single? If they found out that I had been divorced and didn’t disclose it, could I be fired for lying on my paperwork? Could I lose my insurance? What exactly are the consequences for rebelling against this form of segregation? Not wanting to take my chances with my income or my health, I dutifully got into the Divorced Line and checked the box indicating that I am divorced. My paperwork is probably being stamped with a Scarlet “D” as I type!