Slut? Selfish? Sad? No, just a single woman (editorial)

Slut? Selfish? Sad? No, just a single woman (editorial)

I’ve done one or two other blogs posts about a totally obnoxious blog post/book that was published about 1 – 2 years ago by a thrice- divorced shrew, Tracey McMillian, who dared to lecture unmarried women that the reason they are still single is that they are selfish, ugly, stupid, or whatever. The page below is in response to that.

Though this is by a British woman writing about the singles situation in Britain, you’ll find it’s very similar to what singles face in the United States:

(Link): Slut? Selfish? Sad? No, just a single woman

    by Helen Croydon
    Sept 2012

    Only a fundamentally flawed woman runs from marriage, says a new book on relationships

    I’ve spent most of my life single. I’ve had a few long-term relationships and far more than my fair share of short-term ones, but I’ve always felt a greater zest for life when navigating the world alone. My energy, my sense of adventure, my ambition, my friends, my fitness, my career, my joie de vivre all seem to thrive when single. I have loved men ferociously, but a little part of me wilts when I belong to someone else.

    But Why You’re Not Married …Yet, a candid relationships guide published last week, suggests the reason a single woman doesn’t have a ring on her finger is because she is either a bitch, shallow, a slut, crazy, selfish, a mess, hates herself, a liar, acting like “a dude” (author Tracey McMillan is American and has been married three times) or thinks she is a goddess. There is a chapter devoted to each reason.

    While the labels are tongue-in-cheek, McMillan’s underlying message is that “single” is a dreadful affliction.

    Not only does this send the image of independent modern woman right back to the dark days of Bridget Jones, it is also way off the mark.

    McMillan’s advice may have been appropriate for 1950s Britain, seen by historians as the golden age of marriage because of the universal male-breadwinning, female-happy-homemaking, family-focused ideal.

    Back then, it was hard for a woman to imagine any other future. Marriage historian Stephanie Coontz, in her extensive study Marriage: A History, mentions a survey from 1957 that showed 80 per cent of people believed that anyone who preferred to remain single was “sick, neurotic or immoral”.

    In the 1950s, married couples represented 85 per cent of all households in the UK. Last year, this figure was 67 per cent. The number of “married” and “never married” women is predicted to be equal by 2031 – evidence, if it were needed, of how out of touch McMillan is.

    To modern women, marriage is no longer Nirvana. As a journalist specialising in relationships, I’ve met single women who have chosen to have babies through sperm donors, committed couples who live apart, single men and women who function as co-parents, asexuals, bisexuals, polyamorous “triads” and all manner of different arrangements. None of them seemed like sociopaths to me.

    I’m not against relationships. In fact, for the first time in six years I am in one. It’s wonderful. A warm fuzz of shared intimacies, jokes and a constant narrative on someone else’s life.

    But there are aspects of my single life that I miss, too: the freedom not to plan, more time to see my friends, and a seven-day staple of quality sleep. I don’t view coupledom as any more or less honourable or enjoyable as singledom. Like living in the city or the country.

    I’ve nothing against commitment, either. I’ve more than sated a thirst for sexual experimentation (and written a book about it).

    Maybe we’ll be together for ever, or maybe we’ll tire of each other, but marriage is not a goal. If it happens, I won’t feel a great sense of achievement or of completion.

    On the contrary, I think defining oneself through the legal, permanent association with another person is a cheap tactic for gaining self-esteem.

    Telling women how to improve themselves in order to come by a spouse only devalues marriage. It makes it a fake accolade of success, like a designer handbag. People can love more fiercely and loyally without a ring and ceremony.

    I adore the man in my life, but I’ve made it clear that we won’t be sharing front doors. There is no nicer sound at the end of a full day than a handbag thudding on to the floor of an empty flat, the clicking on of lamps and the opening of the fridge to see what’s there – and finding everything is!

    Unless I had children – and, at 35, I haven’t yet had one of those pangs – I can’t see one benefit of sharing living space. …

    It’s myopic because by the time I am 85, I doubt loneliness will be as menacing as it may be for today’s octogenarians.

    The single women McMillan targets are children of the social networking revolution.

    If I reach 85, whatever well-worn, wizened state I am in – single, married or cohabiting – there will be many others like me, all using über-techy networking apps to put ourselves in touch with each other.

    In the same week as McMillan’s book was published, another book – Single: Arguments For the Uncoupled, by Canadian academic Michael Cobb – argued that single people are marginalised.

    Despite studies showing that marriage doesn’t make us happier, he asks why we still put it on a pedestal.

    He complains that in books and films, negative emotions such as despair, anxiety or isolation are always the lot of the singleton. No happy ending is complete until the protagonist is firmly attached.

    Whenever I’ve been single, my friends have tried to do something about it. They’d get excited if I said a date was enjoyable – as though there were hope for me.

    I hear stories that marriage is “the hardest thing you can do”, “the toughest test of character” and “living with someone requires compromise”. Well, I concur. And that’s why I’m staying well away.

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Related posts this blog

(Link): Unmarried / Single People Are Supposedly Bitter & Have Too Much Baggage – and that’s why you’re still single they say

(Link): Another Obnoxious ‘ Why You’re Not Married Yet ‘ Article

(Link): A Long Time Single Responds to a ‘Why You’re Not Married’ Article

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