Acamea Deadwiler, author of the critically acclaimed book Single That: Dispelling the Top 10 Myths of the Single Woman, wrote and delivered an empowering TEDx Talk. The 15-minute talk titled, We Define Women by Relationship Status and Should Stop, was given virtually in March 2021 due to COVID-19 precautions. Since being made available to the public, Acamea’s talk has been featured on the TED website.
“Most of what I write about is in support of women,” Acamea said. “So, I knew I wanted to incorporate that into my first TEDx talk. I always aim to uplift women to believe we are more than wives, mothers, and objects of desire. I also want to encourage women to detach their sense of self-worth from their relationship status. That was the ultimate message I wanted to convey.”
Acamea makes the convincing, research-supported case that as a society we define women by relationship status. She discusses how women are assigned three different titles based on their marital standing, while men are referred to as “Mr.” whether they’re single or married. She also details sobering statistics regarding women and girls who are forced into marriage.
“The first questions asked of a woman usually revolve around her relationship status — if she’s married or has children,” says Acamea. “What she does for a living or where she went to school is generally an afterthought. I don’t think we always realize what we’re doing in taking this approach, which is all the more reason to shed light on how we interact with women.”
In her exclusive TEDx Talk, the accomplished writer also shares personal experiences to support her research and ideas. “I’ve dealt with this firsthand!” Acamea says. “When you happen to be a single woman, you become the single friend. Not the entrepreneur or CEO friend. Never mind all the greatness you may have accomplished. It’s often overshadowed by your relationship status.”
Acamea is careful to point out that it’s not only single women who endure this relationship status tethering. “The same thing happens if you’re married or attached. It seems to drive external perception. As though that’s the epitome of who you are. You can be proud of all your life milestones, including, but not limited to becoming a wife or a mother. It’s the limitation that creates the problem.”
This problem can be addressed through education and awareness. According to Acamea, the key is to be mindful of how we speak to and about women. From that awareness we can actively choose to engage differently and see women as all that they are.
Discover Acamea’s thought-provoking talk on the TED website.
Acamea Deadwiler is a critically acclaimed author, event speaker, and life coach who has appeared on the FOX network television show, MORE. She is a former Yahoo! Top 100 Contributor who has been featured on Cosmopolitan, Bustle, mindbodygreen, the New York Post, US News, and more prominent media platforms. Acamea holds a master’s degree from Valparaiso University and currently resides in Nevada. To learn more, visit acameadeadwiler.com.