Spinsterhood Gets a Modern Makeover

Molly Hannon in The Daily Beast:

Spinster“You are born, you grow up, and you become a wife.” “But what if it wasn’t this way?” asks Kate Bolick, the author of Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own. What if women did not have to worry about getting married, or agonize about when and if it will happen—two questions, Bolick claims, that will hound a young girl into her adult life, regardless of where she was raised, or her religious association. “Men don’t have the same problems,” she argues. And she’s right. They don’t. So what if women were like men? What if marriage was not an end goal, but simply a choice—a choice to not settle, a choice to not search, or even the choice to forgo waiting for Mr. Right to magically appear? What if women could save themselves and carve out a life of their own—on their own terms, and be content with that choice, or at least free from the judgment of others?

Bolick’s book, which reads more like a memoir than a manifesto on the single life, manages to deliver an honest confession about the perils of being alone. She does not gush. Instead, she tells. She recounts childhood and puberty with a wry and self-deprecating fondness, homing in on how young girls are quickly evaluated on their looks—and marketability. Then, there is the confusing joy of hormones and high school, and the gradual transition into college, and the debauchery and free love that follows. From that, women come to a point where they can settle, push on, or wait. Does one venture out into the real world, where Solo cups of beer and parties are not always present or available? Or should we resist and go our own way?

More here.