Responses to an earlier post about Stella Miles Franklin were so terrific that I thought I’d try my luck at tapping readers’ expertise about another singles-relevant book I haven’t read yet. It is Instead of a Letter, by Diana Athill. I learned about it from the “Briefly Noted” section of the New Yorker. Athill’s memoir, according to the review, includes
People who are married or in a romantic relationship name about 4 people (other than their partner) they can turn to in a severe crisis. Single people name about 6. Those were the results of a not-yet-published study (that I discussed here) that inspired headlines such as “Falling in love costs you friends.”
If you enjoy the comments posted to this blog and to Living Single as much as I do, you probably already realize how many wonderful contributions come from Psyngle. But where has she been lately? She just emailed to let me know that she was in a terrible accident and has been hospitalized for nearly a month. If you’d like to post a message to her in the comments section, I bet she will see it when she is back online.
I was happy and not surprised at Psyngle’s report that she has received an “amazing outpouring of support” from the people who know her in the offline world and is “soooooo not alone.”
Thinking about Psyngle reminded me that I had received an email from her a while back that I’d like to share with you.
In a recent post over at Living Single, I reviewed Rachel Moran’s argument that second-wave feminism had forgotten the single woman. The focus, instead, was largely on the superwoman who could “have it all” – marriage, kids, and career.
Another significant theme from Moran’s paper was the argument that activists should turn their attention to the goal of emotional independence. First-wave feminism, she noted, was about political independence. The right to vote meant that women had their own political opinions – married women weren’t “covered” by the votes of their husbands. Second-wave feminism took on economic independence. With greater opportunities in the workplace, more women could earn their own way financially.
“They say any fool can get married but it takes a devilish clever woman to remain an old maid.”
Renowned author and life-long single woman Stella Miles Franklin put those words into the mouth of the heroine of one of her many novels. Franklin was born in 1879, and Australia’s most prestigious literary prize was named for her.
It’s still selling! I’m talking about that card game, Old Maid, in which EVERYONE wins except the person who is stuck with the Old Maid card. Natalya sent me this gem – thanks, Natalya! As she pointed out, this singlism is being peddled to children.
I say it is time to rewrite the rules of Old Maid. First, and most obviously, whoever ends up with the Old Maid WINS! And, of course, we need a new picture of the single woman.
Shall we also rename the game? Suggestions welcome.