I read an interesting chapter in the Ethical Slut the other day in regards to being single as a relationship status. Interestingly it exposed the idea that for whatever reason society views singledom as a transitional state and not as an acceptable permanent status. People who are single may or may not be in that position because of their own doing, but the bottom line is that our society treats this status as a place of limbo. Especially when it comes to being a female.
Men again have a scapegoat, and that is the term bachelor. If a male chooses to be a bachelor then society is OK with that, we even sometime revere this man who has chosen his bachelorhood. There are exceptions of course whereby if a man is a lifetime bachelor due to circumstances rather than choice we will criticize or feel sorry for him, but if he embraced this term he may be deemed the most interesting man in the world.
Now for the flip side, the bachelorette, who is not allowed to be a lifetime member of this club. No, the term is only deemed acceptable during pre wedding celebrations where after a night of partying and celebrating the bachelorette title gets replaced with wife. What term is reserved for females who choose a lifetime in the single category? Well my dears, we have spinster, and the new fangled phrase which is cat lady. I cannot put a positive spin on either of these, so I will not even try. There is no big breasted, foxy lady meme with the term spinster attached. Women are just not accepted if they want to embrace a single lifelong sluthood of sorts. There is shame and scorn for these women, even from a historical stance Mary Queen of Scots was only held in her single esteem because she was celibate. Had she been a royal slut I guarantee she would have been married off or even been assassinated.
Woman are taught from a very young age the societal ideal of finding a partner to make us whole and balanced. We are not given the tools with which to be solitary creatures. Even the parents who teach their daughters to be strong and independent are at best subliminally told this is to attract a man of equal or better standing. Creating a relationship with two strong and self-sufficient individuals is the new status to strive toward. Very few little girls have much support when they say that they want to become a CEO or president of a mult-million dollar company and live happily in solitude. There is always something or someone who encourages these strong willed little girls to really and truly want to share all this wealth and success with a partner.
When all is said and done though, I personally do not strive to be single forever. It is not one of my life goals, especially considering that I do want to have children in the future. I would like a partner, or perhaps a few partners to raise my children with. The important part I feel is to break down the judgement towards people of both sexes who are enjoying themselves. If they are happy and it works for the here and now great, and if that party wants to be single for the remainder of their lives that should be acceptable too. I strongly believe that we are not designed to be solitary creatures, with that said there are billions of us and it would ridiculous to assume that every single human out there craved a lifelong partner. I question the judgement that I incur from time to time for being single, and although I put a brave face and am quite optimistic there are moments and situations where it would be amazing if singlehood was a legitimate place to be for something more than a fleeting moment.