SOLO 77 | Great Onelers


Peter McGraw invites the co-founders of the Onely blog, Christina Campbell and Lisa Arnold, to talk about rebellious singles. These remarkable singles were able to accomplish extraordinary things through their ability, focus, and fortitude. However, one important thing to note is that their remarkable lives happened not despite their singleness but because of it. Finally, the bonus material is back on the Solo slack channel. The topic: the stereotype of the crazy cat lady.

Listen to Episode #77 here


Great Onelers

Interspersed among the episodes that make up my longer series, I’m placing some episodes that highlight rebellious singles. In this episode, I invite the Cofounders of the Onely to talk about great Onelers. The one thing that struck me about these powerful singles who are able to accomplish extraordinary things through their ability, focus and fortitude were not that they were able to do these remarkable things despite their singleness, but rather because of it. We conclude with some bonus material. It’s back but now for the Slack channel that you can sign up for at While you’re kicking around the internet, please rate and review the show. It helps people discover it. What is the topic of this bonus material? My guest and I dive into a long-overdue topic. The stereotype of the crazy cat lady. I hope you enjoy the episode. Let’s get started.

Our first guest is Lisa Arnold. She is an Associate Professor of English. She’s an expert in the history of rhetoric and transnational writing education. She runs university writing programs and teaches graduate students how to teach writing. She loves memes and she shares all cat memes with her favorite blogger, friend and our second guest. By the way, cats freak Lisa out. Welcome, Lisa.

Thank you so much. I’m happy to be here.

Our second guest is a returning guest, Christina Diane Campbell. She was a guest on episode 45, Not Lonely. Onely. Christina has cofounded the singles advocacy blog, Onely, with Lisa. Christina has written about marital status discrimination for and Her extended essay, And Sarah His Wife, about mental health misogyny in colonial America won the Michigan Writers Cooperative Press chapbook contest. She lives in Northern Virginia with her infrared sauna and two semi-geriatric cats. Welcome back, Christina.

Thanks, Peter, Lisa.

It’s nice to see you.

You two talk a lot, I suspect.


Thank you for letting me in on this conversation. Let’s talk about Onely before we get into this because what we’re about to do is an element of Onely. We’re going to talk about some rebellious singles through history. You two have a blog in which Christina was kind enough to talk a little bit about in the previous episode. How did Onely get started and what are you two doing with Onely? Why should my audience read it?

It started around 2009. Lisa and I were both going through breakups at the same time and Lisa had a sudden revelation like, “I’m reading all this rhetoric online and in the media that says, ‘If I’ll just be a happy person and get myself together and enjoy being a single person, then I’ll finally find someone.'”

That’s right. It’s as simple as that.

She was like, “I suddenly realized that it’s insane.” We started talking about that and she said, “We should blog about this.” I was like, “What’s blogging?” That’s how we started Onely. Pretty soon after we started Onely, one of us found Bella DePaulo’s books. She writes a lot about singlism and matrimania, the over-prescription of marriage, as Peter calls it. Once we read her book, then we got going with Onely because she was very supportive.

A quick fact about Bella, she loves reading and writing, so much so that when she does “listen” to a Solo episode, she reads the transcript. Lisa, do you want to add to that? What exactly does Onely do?

I’ve been pretty inactive on Onely since I finished my PhD. I moved overseas for about four years. It’s the beginning of my professional academic career. Unfortunately, I lost the time but Christina has maintained it. It’s been active and it’s exciting. I’m just grateful that it hasn’t completely shut down on account of me. Thanks, Christina.

You’re always still hovering there in the background with advice. I send her my posts and say, “What do you think about this?” It’s good to have that extra support there.

You’re a lot more fun to read than I am. What Onely does is it calls attention to the everyday issues that singles face that are not about dating, not about our actual relationship status, and just calling attention to how amazing the single life can be. Not for the reasons just because we’re not tied down or something like that. I loved Onely because it pushed back against all that rhetoric that we noticed. When we first started it, we found a community of other bloggers who were also interested in this work. We were there at the forefront to try to raise awareness about how problematic that heteronormative rhetoric is.

SOLO 77 | Great Onelers
And Sarah His Wife

One of the things that are so interesting about this is this show is brand new compared to Onely. There are times where I think, “Am I too early?” We’re seeing signs of the change but there’s not a lot out there. Let’s be honest, there’s Bella, there’s a handful of people, but most of the messages to singles are, “You can get through this. You’re going to be okay. We just got to fix you and then you can find that person and everything’s going to be right.” Sometimes I feel like I’m shouting into the wind a little bit. I’m an optimist but you were like, “We started in 2009.” I’m like, “These ladies were early.”

There wasn’t any podcast at the time so that’s excellent. I’m happy to know about your podcast and to be able to listen to it.

I appreciate that. One element of Onely that I like a lot is you do profile rebellious singles. What do you call them? Do you have a term for these great singles in history?

We started calling them Great Onelers in history. Lisa pulled that out of our butts.

There’s no good language around what we’re talking about.

That’s another good point. You’re right, there isn’t.

The great Onelers. I love it.

It’s supposed to be a bit of a play on the loner concept.

I’m preparing a series on solitude. I learned about aloneliness, which is the opposite of loneliness. These are people who need solitude and they can’t get it. The idea is that loneliness can be a problem but aloneliness can also be a problem.

It’s like they’re never alone. There’s no space for them.

There’s no space to think and to rejuvenate.

I can understand and identify with that.

Terrible word and so here we go. You two are very kind and incredibly gracious and conscientious. These are my two most conscientious guests. Not to set up expectations that are too high, but we’re going to talk about five great Onelers. They have prepped everything and they’ve even done a walkthrough together. Lisa, you’re going to kick us off with Bessie Coleman. I don’t know if everybody knows who Bessie Coleman is but she’s a rebellious single in history, and they should know, shouldn’t they?

Absolutely. Bessie Coleman is an important figure in history from around the turn of the 20th Century. That would be the early 1900s. She was born in 1892. She died in 1926. That’s a pretty short lifespan, she did die at the age of 34. You’ll understand why she died an early death when I tell you about her career. Her importance is that she is the first licensed black pilot in the world. She’s also the first licensed Native American pilot. Her father was native and her mother was African-American. That is not the first black woman pilot, but the first black pilot. That gives you a good understanding of how important she was.

How much of a badass do you have to be to not only be the first black pilot but the first female black pilot?

That’s what I thought when I started researching her. She’s incredible. Her nicknames were Brave Bessie and Queen Bess. She went to Aviation School in France. The reason she had to go to France is there were no aviation schools in the US at the time that would accept African-Americans. She went to France. She had a benefactor in Chicago. He was a newspaper mogul. He was an African-American and he believed in her aspirations so he paid for her to go to aviation school. She received her pilot’s license in 1921. She came back to the US and in this era, there’s no commercial aviation. What she did were exhibition flights. She became a stunt pilot.

One of the most impressive things besides actually doing this is that she thought she could do it.

It’s so interesting. I’m not exactly sure where she got this dream. I believe she was very close to her brother. She was the 12th of 13 children and she joined her brother. She moved from Texas to Chicago in her late teens or early twenties. Maybe somebody told her, “You can’t do this,” or something like that. She felt like, “This is what I want to do. Let me try it.”

SOLO 77 | Great Onelers
Letters on the Equality of the Sexes, and the Condition of Woman

How very solo. That’s the idea of being a solo pilot. I don’t know about the two of you, but I don’t like being told what to do and I don’t like being told what not to do.

If somebody tells me I can’t do something, it makes me want to do it even more.

It’s called reactance in the world of psychological science. How did she die?

It’s a sad story, as you might imagine. She was extremely popular during her short career. She was pretty well known. One of the quotes from the New York Times about her is that, “She dazzled spectators by walking on the wings while aloft or parachuting from the plane while a copilot took the controls.” That gives you an idea of how daring she was. She bought her own plane after saving enough money from these exhibition flights. It wasn’t the greatest plane because you can only afford so much.

Also, at this time, no planes were great, let’s be honest.

She was supposed to do an exhibition for the Negro Welfare League in Jacksonville, Florida. Her mechanic flew her plane for her from Texas to Florida. On the way, he had to land several times because it wasn’t doing great. That probably should have told them not to take this plane to do the exhibition flight. She was doing a test flight the day before the exhibition was scheduled. They were in the air. She was with her mechanic. She wasn’t fastened down because she was scouting out where she could do parachutes and looking at the landscape. If she had been fastened in, she still probably wouldn’t have made it. Her plane was doing a nosedive and instead of being able to pull out of it, it kept going and there was a somersault and she got thrown out of the plane. It’s pretty sad. She had a funeral in Chicago that was hugely attended. Ida B. Wells, who is an African-American activist was the person who was doing the funeral. She was an incredible figure at the time and she has an amazing legacy today.

Can you clarify her marital status for us? She’s a powerful single woman.

She was single but according to some records, she was married briefly. Apparently, she never acknowledged the marriage so we count that as single.

Just as good.

Better maybe.

If a marriage occurs in the woods, is there a marriage at all?

That’s a fabulous start. That’s Bessie Coleman, the first African-American woman and the first Native American to hold a pilot’s license. That’s the first of five. Who’s next?

The next is Elizabeth Blackwell. Let me first tell you the reason I chose her. It was because of the author Janice Nimura. When I talked to Peter about Onely in the previous episode, we talked about Ume Tsuda who was the subject of a historical nonfiction book by Janice Nimura. I became a Janice Nimura fan and she put out a new book about Elizabeth Blackwell and her sister. Both of them were pioneering women in the medical field. Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to graduate from medical school in the US.

It’s not like women weren’t involved in medicine at this point. They were being trained in different kinds of medicine, but not in a formal medical school setting. She was the first woman to attend a medical school and graduate. What struck me when I was doing research on her was this quote, where she described her feeling about her life as she was attending medical school and as she was trying to establish a career in medicine. She said, “I know why this life has never been lived before.” I think she was sad during a moment of frustration. When she was walking to class, people would harass her on the street and talk about what a poor example of a woman she was. When she was in the classroom, eventually, she won over the male students because she was so smart and so dedicated, but the general message society was giving her all those years she was in school was, “Why are you doing this? Why would a woman want to be dissecting corpses? Why would a woman want to sit in a class with all these men and talk about male body parts?”

This was a pretty gruesome activity in 1847. With amputation, they didn’t have anesthesia the way we do now. It’s not this clean.

It wasn’t super sterile. She did become BFF with Florence Nightingale and she taught her about hygiene and germ management to an extent. People were robbing graves to get bodies to dissect. It was a pretty brutal time in the world of medicine, at least in the West.

I knew you were going to do this one and I did a tiny bit of Googling. I was like, “How did this woman go to medical school in 1847?” I found out the reason behind it, at least, allegedly.

According to my research, according to multiple sources, what happened was she applied to Geneva Medical College in New York and the admins were like, “No, we don’t want to admit a woman,” but they didn’t want to reject her outright. They were like, “We’ll ask the other students what they think.” This is such a bizarre thing to do. They put this question or a memo to all the male students at Geneva Medical College, “We’ve got a woman applicant. Do you want her to be let in?” The male students thought it was a joke and they were like, “Let’s play along. Sure, let her in,” and then this woman walks into their classroom.

SOLO 77 | Great Onelers
Standing Alone: An American Woman’s Struggle for the Soul of Islam

It’s such a male thing to have done. I like that hyper-masculine, carefree “We don’t care. This is a big joke” attitude backfired on them.

It’s obnoxious. As I said, she won them over according to what I read. Who knows how they treated her and what they said about her behind her back. When her brother went to attend her graduation, her co-students were like, “She’s so great.” I’m paraphrasing.

Did she have a long life?

I don’t know when she died but it was a good long life. It wasn’t like Bessie Coleman dramatic excerpt type of thing at all. She left the states and went to work in France because she couldn’t get any clinical work in the US. She wasn’t even a doctor in France. She graduated as a doctor, but she went to work in a big maternity hospital as some midwife capacity because that was a way she could get clinical experience. She wasn’t being hired anywhere else as a doctor because she was a woman. She got a bunch of clinical experience in this maternity setting, which allowed her to proceed in her career. She ended up setting up all sorts of institutions. She helped found the NHS, the National Health Service in the UK. She was a very busy woman.

Did she have relationships?

This is interesting. Lisa and I found one quote that we were getting irritated with. When I was researching her relationship status and her past, this is what one source said, “At the age of 21, although romantically attracted to someone, she resolves to become self-sufficient. She preferred not to rely on a husband for her income and security.” Of course, we were rolling our eyes at this because women aren’t allowed to enjoy being single. It’s okay if you enjoy being single and you are single, as long as you still have the potential to rope in a man should you want to. She may have dated a little bit, I don’t know. It didn’t say in my research.

She didn’t have time for guys, let’s be honest. Talk about a higher calling.

She was doing sex ed for women. She was doing advocacy for indigent women and for low-income women. This was another good quote about her marital status. She said, “Do not imagine I’m going to make myself a whole just at present. The fact is, I cannot find my other half here,” meaning Geneva College, “But only about a sixth which would not do.”

I won’t ask what part of the body that sixth was coming from.

She’s talking about, “I’m not going to make myself a whole.” Even though she was a super progressive woman, she’s still bought into that rhetoric. Back then it was even harder. Even now, there’s a sense of, “I’m not whole or my better half.”

“I’m not complete.” It’s super annoying.

Something that’s interesting is she had five sisters? None of her sisters had married either. It’s not only her but the whole line of them. That’s incredible.

That’s remarkable.

Apparently, their grandmother sat all the sisters down, or so the story goes. She was like, “Marriage is not the greatest institution for a woman.”

It was right. Thank you, granny. Let’s go to our third one. That was outstanding. Who do we got?

We’re going to talk about Sarah Grimké. We’re going to go back in time. We’re going backward in reverse chronology. Sarah Grimké is one of my favorites on this list because I teach rhetoric and she is known as an important rhetorician and writer. She’s considered now the first important American feminist theorist. We can trace some of her work to important events like the Seneca Falls Convention in the mid-19th Century. She was born in 1792. She died in 1873. She lived a long life. She was born in the South, I believe in South Carolina. Her father owned slaves. She and her sister Angelina who I’m not including as much, although they’re important as a team. Angelina did get married. For our purposes, we’re going to focus on Sarah.

Both of them became important abolitionists or anti-slavery activists in the 19th Century. They held a lot of power because what they said was important and powerful at the time because they were from the South. They had this experience of actually witnessing slavery. They have turned their backs on it and move to the North and were agitating to get rid of slavery. They would have seen the end of slavery because they both died in the 1870s shortly after the Civil War.

One of the things about Sarah that’s important is that she wrote a series of letters called Letters on the Equality of the Sexes and the Condition of Woman. This was a series of letters that were responding to critiques of her and her sister’s right to speak. At the time, it was controversial for women to speak in public. They were both criticized and even threatened. At one point, after Angelina, her sister gave a speech in Philadelphia, an angry mob came and burned the place down where they had been speaking. That gives you a sense of how radical these two were at the time.

SOLO 77 | Great Onelers
Meditations From The Wilderness: A Collection of Profound Writing on Nature as the Source of Inspiration

You thought Lenny Bruce had it hard. This is big time. This has come up before in the People Who Shouldn’t Have Married episode. People think about newspapers, social media, phones, and all these ways that the word gets out, but what ended up happening back then is these people would travel to the cities and do public talks. That was a big part of American intellectual life at the time.

If you imagine, women weren’t generally allowed to speak in public. When they did, they were supposed to only speak to groups of women. What happened with these sisters is they were so powerful. When they spoke, men started showing up to their speeches. This gives you an idea of how well-spoken they were. A key quote from Sarah Grimké that is amazing in one of these series of letters says, “All history attests that man has subjected woman to his will, used her as a means to promote his selfish gratification, to minister to his sensual pleasures, to be instrumental in promoting his comfort, but never has he desired to elevate her to that rank she was created to fill. He has done all he could to debase and enslave her mind and now he looks triumphantly on the ruin he has brought and say, ‘The being he has thus deeply injured is his inferior.’”

That’s weaponizing words.

She’s amazing because, at the time, there were a lot of anti-slavery advocates who didn’t want to argue for the equality of women or vice versa. Women who were promoting suffrage, the ability for women to vote. They saw people who were against slavery as competitors in the same field because both of these groups are being oppressed at the time. Sarah Grimké is unique in that she was promoting both messages at the same time.

That is so progressive. One of the things that I learned as a young man is that if you’re going to fight one form of oppression, you should fight all forms of oppression. They all have the same origins and power. The idea of “We have it worse than you” is no good because it causes the oppressed to focus on each other rather than the oppressor. They were at the leading edge in terms of recognizing the systemic problems that are there. They were at the forefront of the women’s suffrage movement, which then led to things like voting rights, as well as speech and so on. As part of my research into marriage, and this is related to that wonderful quote that you read. The best that a woman could hope for outside of these extraordinary Onelers is that their husband was nice to them. The best you could hope for is your husband didn’t beat and rape you.

He wasn’t an alcoholic.

He was kind to you. He’s a gentleman and he likes you.

There weren’t any laws that protected women in those situations. That’s one of the key messages that Sarah wanted to spread. She’s one of the first to recognize or articulate that in that way.

We’re now at our fourth and now more contemporary. Who is that?

Asra Nomani made a splash in the world of feminism and feminist advocacy when she insisted on praying in the main hall of her mosque in West Virginia. That was significant because only men were allowed to pray in the main hall but she insisted that women should have that right as well. That was how I believe she got started but she also went on to do, and she still is doing, a lot of amazing work. She Founded the Muslim Reform Movement and their mission statement is they seek to reclaim the progressive spirit with which Islam was born in the 7th Century and to fast forward into the 21st Century. This is how I became aware of her. She is cofounder of The Pearl Project, which is a Georgetown University investigative journalism project that was stood up after the 2002 murder of Daniel Pearl, The Wall Street Journal reporter.

Asra was very close friends with Daniel Pearl and she was with him and his wife in their house right before Daniel left to go to the interview where he was kidnapped and ended up being beheaded. She and his wife both saw off Daniel Pearl. They made a documentary about the Pearl kidnapping and execution. There was a film about it and Bella DePaulo wrote about this problematic aspect of the film in that the filmmakers obliterated Asra Nomani’s existence. They didn’t explain that she was there when Pearl and his wife said goodbye. They left her out because she was “just a friend.”

She complicates the story and so they make this a simpler story. It feels so touching. The wife saying goodbye to her husband one last time.

They didn’t care about this close friend saying goodbye to her close friend for one last time. That was not as interesting, but if they had had any brains, they would have either kept her in the film or made a whole film about her because her life at the time was super film-worthy. She’s a journalist in Pakistan and her boyfriend was a Pakistani. She gets pregnant and he freaks out and leaves her because they’re not married. From what I understood from reading her book, which is called Standing Alone: An American Woman’s Struggle for the Soul of Islam, it was illegal to be an unmarried woman in Pakistan who’s pregnant. Her boyfriend left her and she’s alone there, and then her friend gets kidnapped and murdered. She was not an uninteresting person regardless of her marital status, but yet they left her out of the movie because she was the third wheel. I know that because of reading Bella DePaulo’s work. I didn’t see the movie myself.

Occasionally a movie or a film will celebrate a friendship. They can often be equally touching moments, Thelma & Louise and Shawshank Redemption. I’ve been watching some episodes of Billions. It’s one of these antiheroes shows. I love my antiheroes. It’s about a triangle between an attorney general from the Southern District, a billionaire hedge fund manager, and then the wife of the attorney general who works for the hedge fund manager. It’s a love triangle of sorts but not a romantic love triangle. It’s a very well-written and fun show. Not for everyone, of course. I’m not endorsing it. There’s a moment in there where the billionaire thinks he’s going to jail and he’s standing on a balcony having a drink with his consigliere, this guy named Wags. It’s Bobby and Wags and they’re talking and sharing a drink. Wags is going to slip out the back door. He’s taking off and leave the country. He’s going to take his money and run. There’s a very touching moment where one of them thanks the other for his friendship. It’s one of those moments under the auspice of, “We’re going to jail.”

It’s so nice and refreshing.

Lisa, if we were about to go to jail, I would thank you also.

I would too. Same back at you.

What I’m saying is we see it on occasion, but when pitted against that of a marriage or a partnership in that way, it can be diminished and that’s unfortunate. Especially because, let’s be honest, when those marriages fail, guess who is helping pick up the pieces?

SOLO 77 | Great Onelers
Self and Environment

It’s always friends.

I didn’t mean to digress too much but I thought that was an interesting observation that Bella made and that you shared. Thank you for that.

In the interest of time, do you want to move to Charles Brandt?

People are going, “That sounds like a man’s name.” This is not all about women. Although one of the cool things about the four folks that you’ve talked about is they are women at a time where it wasn’t easy to be a woman. That they were fighting not only against the relationship escalator but also against all these other oppressive forces, and hence why they are great Onelers. What happened was, there’s this mysterious great uncle that Lisa has, that you two are so eager to talk about. I kept trying to push him away like, “I don’t know who this guy is.” I’m looking forward to finding out about this guy and I’m wondering, would he have been my friend?

When we were doing our notes on this guy, I wrote at the end of our notes, “Christina wants to be best friends with Lisa’s uncle.” I was so excited about this man.

Lisa, who is this guy?

His name is Charles Brandt. He’s my great uncle. I’m happy to be able to talk about him. He died in October 2020. He’s 97 and he lived a great life. He’s an interesting person and I’m so excited to talk about him here because who knew I would be able to talk about him in this kind of context. I’ve always been interested in him. I only met him once or twice. The reason why is because I grew up in Kansas City. My mom’s family was in Kansas City. He grew up in Kansas City, but by the time I was born he had a whole life in Canada, on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. He rarely came back to the States and so for that reason, I didn’t know him very well. We had been in touch over email a couple of times which is pretty impressive for somebody that age who was born in 1923. This is what’s so incredible about him. He was a hermit priest for 53 years on Vancouver Island.

What is a hermit priest?

A hermit priest is somebody who’s Roman Catholic, who has opted not to be a monk but has chosen to live alone. Monks usually live in monasteries in groups with other monks, but hermits are opting to live alone on their own. Sometimes it’s in a community with other people nearby, but their purpose is to practice their faith alone. They are committing to a life of being alone which is interesting. When I was researching him, I found out that he was ordained in 1966 as a hermit priest. He was the first one in several hundred years to be ordained as such. There hadn’t been a hermit priest for a long time. There were about eight of them ordained around the same time. He is the only one who stayed a hermit priest.

They’re like, “I’m out.”

They’re like, “This is too much of being alone.” What’s interesting is he was in this community on Vancouver Island. They all live near each other. He built his own house with his hands, which is incredible. He moved his hermitage to a different river on Vancouver Island because he wanted to be away from the other hermits. This is who he was. He loved being alone. Being a hermit priest does not mean you’re divorced from your community. He was a big part of the Vancouver Island community. He led retreats and meditations for the public. Also, he wrote two books. He wrote one book called Meditations From The Wilderness and he wrote another book called Self and Environment. That one was published in the year 2000. It’s a series of meditations about his interactions with the environment. He’s pretty well known. When I was doing research, I realized, “This guy is famous in his particular niche circle.”

He’s an influencer.

He was huge in promoting conservation on Vancouver Island. There are two main rivers there, and he saved both rivers from the effects of climate change and also pollution that had occurred in the 1970s. That’s pretty incredible. He was also a bookbinder. This is his profession. He left the hermitage for about ten years in the ‘70s into the ‘80s because he wanted to develop a skill in bookbinding. He preserved old books. He was world-renowned for restoring many historical books like the Nuremberg Chronicles, which were printed in 1493, and many older Bibles. Also, John James Audubon’s masterpiece, which is called Birds of America. That was published in 1838 and it had a limited press publication run. I think only 1,000 copies were sold or something. The book that he restored of that series is estimated to be worth $12.5 million now. We were trying to figure out why he didn’t just keep it.

It’s because he’s a generous man, that’s why.

He dedicated himself to others. He would be called a contemplative activist. That’s his title. Since he died, his property which was 27 acres is going to be a public park. He made an agreement that his hermitage will be used by someone similar to him. They don’t have to be a hermit priest. From what I understand, the next person to inhabit their hermitage is going to be a woman.

The hermitage is his house?

Yeah, that’s the house he built. There are some pictures online you can find of him standing in the doorway. It looks lovely. I never got to visit. He’s an interesting guy and I’m proud he’s a part of my family.

Christina, you want to be his friend, too?

SOLO 77 | Great Onelers
Birds of America

I do but being Lisa’s friend is almost as good.

It’s not as good.

Lisa, you’re still young. This could pay off, Christina.

I think my great uncle would say, “I have a whole life to live.”

Learning about these great Onelers, these are people who were powerful in a time where they shouldn’t have had power. They were able to do these extraordinary things through their own abilities, through focus and fortitude. As I listen and reflect on what you’re saying, they weren’t successful despite being solo. They were successful because they were solo. Especially Elizabeth Blackwell, Bessie Coleman and Sarah Grimké, they would have been raising a family, cooking, cleaning, washing, hanging and dealing with a household rather than flying planes in front of crowds and entertaining them. Treating people who are sick and ill, or being an advocate for both slaves and for women. That’s incredible to learn these stories. I find them quite uplifting and I hope that the readers find them uplifting too because what can we do with a world that has changed too slowly, but nonetheless has changed?

You’re welcome.

Thanks for having us. It’s always good to talk to you.

It’s a great pleasure.

We love being prepared.



Important Links


About Christina Campbell

SOLO 77 | Great OnelersChristina Diane Campbell co-founded the singles’ advocacy blog She has written about marital status discrimination for and Psychology Her extended essay And Sarah His Wife, about mental health, misogyny, and colonial America, won the Michigan Writers Cooperative Press Chapbook Contest. She lives in Northern Virginia with her infrared sauna and two semi-geriatric cats.






About Lisa Arnold

SOLO 77 | Great Onelers

Lisa Arnold is an associate professor of English and co-founder of Onely. She is an expert in the history of rhetoric and transnational writing education. She runs university writing programs and teaching graduate students how to teach writing. She loves memes and shares all cat memes with her co-founder.


Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!

Join the Solo community today:

As seen on The Today Show

Learn more about the Solo Movement