Understanding Love and Identity on Tu B’av: Intersectionality in Studying and Theorizing Singlehood

Understanding Love and Identity on Tu B’av: Intersectionality in Studying and Theorizing Singlehood
1st August 2023 Moriah Aharon

Press release

As we approach Tu B’Av, a time dedicated to celebrating love and relationships, it is crucial to recognize that not everyone’s romantic journey fits into the traditional mold. The recently published research article by Dr. Elyakim Kislev, from the School of Public Policy and Governance at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Dr. Kris Marsh from the Department of Sociology, University of Maryland titled “Intersectionality in Studying and Theorizing Singlehood” provides a fresh and fascinating perspective on the complexities of singlehood, making it highly relevant and interesting for Tu B’Av discussions.

Traditionally, singles have been viewed as a homogenous group, often stereotyped and overlooked in discussions surrounding love and relationships. However, this article challenges that simplistic view and urges us to embrace an intersectional approach. By doing so, researchers can delve deeper into the diverse experiences of singles, acknowledging their unique identities and needs, which have often been overshadowed by mainstream narratives.

The first crucial aspect highlighted in this research is that singlehood is not merely a demographic characteristic; it is also a chosen status and identity. Tu B’Av can often emphasize the importance of romantic relationships, potentially leaving singles feeling marginalized or misunderstood. Recognizing singlehood as a valid and self-determined choice is empowering for those who consciously embrace it and reaffirms their agency in navigating their lives and relationships.

Moreover, the research emphasizes the need to understand the multiple dimensions of singlehood, considering divisions such as race, gender, class, and sexuality. This intersectionality acknowledges that singles experience love and relationships through a diverse range of lenses, shaped by their unique identities. Understanding these diverse perspectives enriches our comprehension of love, relationships, and personal fulfilment.

The third point advanced by the authors is the intricate and compounded effects of intersectionality on singlehood. Different aspects of a person’s identity can intersect, creating distinct and complex experiences. By examining these intersections, we can gain a more nuanced understanding of the challenges and joys faced by singles, making Tu B’Av conversations more inclusive and reflective of the diverse reality of love.

Importantly, the research goes beyond theoretical discussions and highlights the real-world implications of adopting an intersectional approach. In recognizing the diverse experiences of singles, we are urged to develop deliberate communities and social policies that support them. This inclusivity and understanding are essential for social justice endeavors as singles, especially those with compounded discrimination due to multiple identities, deserve equal respect, support, and representation in society.

In conclusion, the article “Intersectionality in Studying and Theorizing Singlehood” by Dr. Elyakim Kislev and Dr. Kris Marsh sheds light on an often-neglected aspect of love and identity. As we celebrate Tu B’Av, it reminds us to embrace the complexities and diversities of singlehood. By adopting an intersectional approach, we can deepen our understanding of love and relationships, promote social justice, and create a more inclusive and empathetic society that recognizes and respects the experiences of all individuals, regardless of their relationship status. This research serves as a timely and enlightening contribution to the broader conversation surrounding love, identity, and the multifaceted nature of human relationships.

Link to the article: 

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is Israel’s premier academic and research institution. With over 25,000 students from 90 countries, it is a hub for advancing scientific knowledge and holds a significant role in Israel’s civilian scientific research output, accounting for nearly 40% of it and has received over 11,000 patents. The university’s faculty and alumni have earned eight Nobel Prizes and a Fields Medal, underscoring their contributions to ground-breaking discoveries. In the global arena, the Hebrew University ranks 77th according to the Shanghai Ranking, making it the top-ranked Israeli institution. To learn more about the university’s academic programs, research initiatives, and achievements, visit the official website at http://new.huji.ac.il/en