"One interviewee described a point in her life when she felt acutely that she was not the ‘most important person to anybody’. "
"Bridget’s melodramatic vision of herself dying ‘fat and alone, and found three weeks later half-eaten by Alsatians’ (Fielding, 1996) was spontaneously repeated with some seriousness by a number of the respondents, who related it to their own real experiences of being ill while living alone. These periods of sickness had forced issues of care into sharp relief, for although these were all short-lived, everyday illnesses, they had inspired visions of old age."
"The idea that there has been a ‘high price of liberation’, most often articulated through the ‘myth of having it all’ are now firmly established in the discussion of female equality."
" ... they risk being assessed as failures; emotionally cold or dysfunctional. "
"the ‘single girl’ tag is more difficult to claim as women reach their forties and tends to reinforce the difficulty of being recognized as an adult. The women in this study felt in particular, that getting their parents to see them as women rather than girls was sometimes difficult, as markers of adulthood were more difficult to construct and to gain recognition for. This respondent felt that having a partner would alleviate the responsibility her parents still felt towards her:
‘someone between me and them (her parents) would help enormously…it is not articulated…but it’s an awareness of a sense of responsibility towards me which they have, which I don’t want them to carry on having.’ "
"She herself doubted her adulthood; ‘in a funny sort of way I don’t really feel like a grown up woman. And I don’t know if that’s to do with the fact that I’m not married’. Once again we can see that what could be read at one level as a problem of unfair and inaccurate stereotyping, once probed, is revealed as having a deeper, more individual reality."
"Accounts which attempt to construct a more positive identity for single womanhood have tended to gloss over what may be a deeper reality to contemporary singleness that is problematic, ambivalent and much less easy to embrace as a positive ‘lifestyle’. Issues of intimacy, care and transitional experiences seem to be evident amongst a group predicted to become more numerous in the future; single, childless women who do not feel that they have actively chosen to be either of these things."
This is what a few decades of feminism have done for women. Happy about it, are we girls? Want more of it, do we? A lonely childless loveless old age living with our pet in our one-bedroom flat, scrimping and saving, wondering where the next meal is coming from, with mental health problems. Do we wish to condemn the next generation to this as well?
Having now stigmatised single women, I am just wondering if I can now sell the idea of the Domestic Partnership to them and perhaps some single men too, explained at:
Very briefly, it is an adult home-sharing agreement with optional sex and optional fidelity, based on economy and convenience.
The process of negotiating the terms is to substitute for courtship, to save the man buying meals for the woman and to save the woman from feeling she has to give a man sex before such things can even be discussed. Money is saved and virtue preserved.
Speed-dating for the middle-aged singleton, in other words.
The process will involve lawyers and is intended to be a substitute for marriage, with less onerous terms.
Disputes will be settled through arbitration.
A Relationship Management Service will also be offered.