Emma Watson on Being “Self Partnered” (Single) – The Editorial Round Up
A week or two ago, movie actress Emma Watson declared herself “self partnered,” rather than use the word “single” to describe her relationship status.
Watson got some amount of confusion or ridicule for using that term. As a never-married woman, I found the term a little strange, but hey, if it works for her, fine by me.
I was engaged for several years, from my late 20s into my early 30s. My ex fiance was a self absorbed idiot. I am better off single than in a relationship with a loser like that.
Anyway, there have been a few editorials defending Watson on this point, such as this one:
…”I never believed the whole ‘I’m happy single’ spiel,” she told Vogue in an interview published this week. “It took me a long time, but I’m very happy [being single]. I call it being self-partnered.”
Now anyone might be forgiven for being blindsided by the “consciously uncoupled”-esque vibe of that remark at first glance. Indeed, many outright jeered. “Self-partnering means you can’t get a bloke, right?” suggested British TV host and, we can only assume, self-appointed relationship expert Piers Morgan.
“What’s wrong with being single?” Twitter users demanded.
But isn’t that kind of the point? If society was kinder to single women, and our associations with the word “single” were generally more positive, there wouldn’t be any need for Watson to coin the phrase.
Indeed, as Piers Morgan made his derisive comments on “Good Morning Britain,” the studio played the song most associated with the tragic loneliness of best-known “singleton” Bridget Jones — “All By Myself” — in the background.
…So why does the pressure for women to partner up remain so rife?
There is little evidence that, for them, being in a couple is necessarily better than being single in terms of life expectancy, happiness or health.
It is, however, in men’s interests for women to believe that they should partner up. Studies have repeatedly shown that a man is likely to live longer and enjoy better mental and physical health if he is married to a woman.
It’s little wonder that centuries of PR in a male-run world have been dedicated to teaching women that they are sad or somehow deficient if they remain alone.
More and more people are casting off outdated stigmas and embracing a happy life on their own.
…Danielle Wrate (43), an editor and publisher, is also happy on her own. “Once you’ve found a way to enjoy your own company and go out alone, it’s liberating,” she says.
“The stigma of being out alone is dying out. I see lots of people doing things by themselves now. I travel alone and get the best of both worlds, because I can always join day trips when I want some company.”
…According to Paul Dolan, a behavioural scientist from the London School of Economics, traditional benchmarks of adulthood such as marriage and children don’t always correlate with increased happiness.
In fact, research included in his latest book, Happy Ever After, shows that women who remain single and child-free actually live longer, happier and healthier lives.
Yet negative stereotypes about single women in particular can be pernicious.
…In a world geared up for couples, it’s easy to subscribe to the sad-single-female rhetoric that society thrusts in our direction. I was heartbroken when I split up with my last boyfriend after 16 months, but I quickly realised it saved me from the type of mediocre relationship that Tanner describes. Except for the days where I’m waging a one-woman war against a fitted sheet, I’m now much happier on my own.
“As a society we are obsessed with finding the One,” Tanner says. “We tend to believe we can’t be fully happy unless we have that, which is just not true. It’s not the norm for people to find their soulmate, but because we put so much pressure on the importance of being with someone, people lower their expectations or put up with average or even toxic relationships.”
Now 40, Tanner loves having time for her hobbies. “I enjoy solitude; I love reading, writing and walking my dog by the sea.” She doesn’t get lonely.
“Loneliness is an emotional response to feeling unloved and unseen, which can happen in or out of a relationship. It’s about feeling misunderstood or lacking connection. Happy solitude means you are comfortable in your own skin.”
I don’t know if I agree with this or not:
(Link): Emma Watson Is Happily ‘Self-Partnered.’ We Can Really Just Call It Single. by Alaina Demopoulos
‘Harry Potter’ star Emma Watson says she is “self-partnered.” Congrats, Emma! But there is no need to rebrand singledom. Instead, let’s just try and be more comfortable about it.
…And yet, Watson still feels the need to aggrandize her singledom as a profound, personal journey.
…Elsewhere on TV, from Insecure to The Mary Tyler Moore Show, from Girls andAlly McBeal to The L Word, The Golden Girls, and Broad City, how women live with (and without) partners has been inventively analyzed and dramatized. Independence is a stirring ideal, but too often in literature and pop culture it comes with a cost. Social attitudes to the single and unattached often seem stuck in very old grooves.
by Rachel Thompson
It says a lot when an international movie star, feminist activist, UN ambassador, Brown University graduate, and pop culture icon feels anxious about being single as she approaches 30.
It says even more about our culture when she is subsequently ridiculed online for choosing to use a word other than ‘single’ to describe herself.
The backlash to Emma Watson’s assertion in a British Vogue interview that she calls herself ‘self-partnered’ instead was difficult to digest. Britain’s Misogynist-in-Chief Piers Morgan mocked her and said she “can’t get a bloke”. Jokes about masturbation abounded.
The internet seemed to scoff in unison at the very thought that there’s an issue with the way our culture treats women who are single.
The term self-partnered is not for everyone. Many have raised the valid point that it buys into the very culture it seeks to reject: the notion of partnership.
To be single is to be partnerless. But setting aside those criticisms, a strand of the conversation turned unpleasant. And in doing so, it proved the exact point that Watson raised.
One tweet which perfectly distilled the skewed focus on Emma Watson’s use of the word “self-partnered” to describe her singledom was this by Bitch Media cofounder Andi Zeisler.
My achievements don’t come anywhere close to Emma Watson’s (Editor’s note: Yet.).
But when I talk to my extended family about important life milestones — getting a literary agent, getting promoted, moving into a flat by myself — they are eclipsed by questions about my lack of a partner. “They haven’t made the man for Rachel,” I’ve been told. “Are you not married?” is a firm favourite in the questions put to me at gatherings.
In the midst of the debate over Watson’s use of the term ‘self-partnered’ I tweeted a story I wrote about how single women are still — in 2019, no less — battling against the same outdated, patriarchal trope of the sad, lonely spinster.
“We really need to overhaul the way we think about singledom and especially how our culture views single women,” I tweeted. The torrent of abuse that ensued was deeply troubling. …
As I waded through the ire that my tweet had apparently invited, it struck me that these people were telling on themselves.
It’s one thing to disagree with the need for a new term for ‘single’ — a fair criticism. It’s another to question the idea that a woman could possibly be fine and dandy with being alone.
I am 31 and I have been single for the past decade of my life and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that there is something deeply wrong with the way our culture views single women of a certain age.
My friends ask me continuously if I’m swiping on apps.
Other friends feel the need to explain away my lack of boyfriend by saying, “You’ve just been focusing on your career, that’s all.”
…We do not need a new term for ‘single.’
What we need is for people to stop fucking asking us why we don’t have a partner. Why we’re not married yet. Why we haven’t had a baby.
Ask me about my job. Ask me about my apartment. About my ambitions.
As Vicky Spratt wrote in a piece for Refinery29: “The word “single” is so loaded. Six letters that speak to society’s problem with women and how we move through the world.”
“The term’s direct opposite – ‘doubled’ – implies that we are all greater in a couple than we are alone and, therefore, that anyone who is not in a relationship is somehow lesser,” Spratt continued.
I am not here to make a case for singledom. I am not making a case for adding any new words to our ever-burgeoning lexicon.
The trope of the single woman is one that is played out constantly on our television screens for decades with the likes of Carrie Bradshaw, Bridget Jones, and Hannah Horvath.
As someone who’s been single for a protracted period of time, who time and time again is asked to justify this state of being, it feels patently clear that the conversation hasn’t evolved a whole lot since the ’90s and ’00s.
We don’t need new words. We need our culture to change the way they view single women. We need you to face up to the attitudes that are nothing more than hangovers from a bygone era.
(Link): Pastor charged in wife’s murder was headed to Europe to marry boyfriend, prosecutor says – Single Christian Ladies: Kick that Be Equally Yoked Teaching to the Curb! Also: Marriage and Parenthood do not make people more godly or mature or loving or ethical