Singled Out – about being single in today’s society

An article about singleness. This article appears to be written by someone who is liberal, and I am not a liberal.

I don’t agree with all of the article, but I do agree with much of it, and I related to a lot of it. Here are some portions from the article:

Singled Out

By Katie Roiphe

….And it’s disconcerting that living alone, especially for a woman, is still something of a taboo; that vast swaths of the population still foster only barely submerged fantasies of spinsters and cat ladies; that children still sit cross-legged on the floor playing games of “old maid.” In a recent, highly rational exploration of the subject in the New York Times, Klinenberg, a sociologist, points out that nearly half the households in Manhattan and Washington, D.C. consist of a single person, and yet we continue to view the lifestyle of people who live outside of a couple to be as worthy of cover stories as that of rare leopards prowling across the front of National Geographic.

….In the hot pink, 75-cent paperback edition, she [Helen Gurley Brown] writes about the single experience: “You see enough picture stories in national publications about couples and families to make you feel like the sole occupant of a life raft. To further depress you, the couples and families are always blueberry-pie normal, as industrious as gophers, as much at home in the world as an egg in custard. We know the married state is the normal one in our culture, and anybody who deviates from ‘normal’ has a price to pay in nonacceptance and nonglorification.”

….All the public drumrolling about deciding not to get married, or to live alone, or to have a baby on one’s own, is in direct proportion to the resistance single people still feel from the culture, the curiously old-fashioned outsider status they seem to enjoy.

It is testimony to how much truth still holds in Helen Gurley Brown’s statement that the single woman’s “whole existence seems to be an apology for not being married.”

Why, one might wonder, should single women still be apologizing to anyone, explaining, elaborating, elucidating, as though they are stuck between the pages of an Austen or Trollope novel? These articles would not continue to appear and we would not continue to read them if the choices they described were simply the boring, private choices they should be. (Or as Helen Gurley Brown wrote to the single girl, “You may marry or you may not. In today’s world that is no longer the big question for women.”)