Why Spinster Jane?

(originally published as a blog post on May 7, 2011)

Spinster [spin-ster]*

1. a woman still unmarried beyond the usual age of marrying
2. Chiefly law.  A woman who has never married
3. A woman whose occupation is spinning

*courtesy of Dictionary.com

Unmarried or single men are called bachelors.  A word that carries with it not only a designation of a romantically unattached status, but also a sense of freedom and fun.  Bachelors get to live carefree lifestyles, pursue their education and careers without people hinting that they might just one day be too old and wrinkly for romance.  They are generally seen as happy go lucky types who just haven't met the right woman yet (it is never because women may not be pursing them).  While we might sometimes waggle our fingers at them and tell them they might want to think about growing up, no one really thinks poorly of a bachelor.

Now I have single male friends would dearly love to be in a relationship.  They are not happy with their bachelor status, but my point is that society at large does not look down on single men.   In fact they are often looked upon with envy.

Single women on the other hand don't really have any such term for their state of solitary living.  Bachelorette just sounds too cute, and is really very much tied to that pre-wedding night of pink/white and lacy debauchery called the bachelorette party to be useful.  The only word in the english language that has been commonly used to refer to an unmarried woman is spinster.  Spinster does not have the same positive connotations that bachelor does.

When we think of spinsters the image of the middle aged, unmarried librarian who lives with her seven cats comes to mind.   It is a sad solitary existence, full of lonely silent dinners and too much knitting.  Spinsters are to be pitied, we should feel sorry for them since they never found someone to love them.  They are alone because no one wanted them.  Spinsterhood is a state to be feared, a trap to be avoided.  It is the single woman's monster in the closet.  Don't put off the romance for too long ladies or you might just end up....ALONE!!  Aaaaaaaaaaah!!

BAH!  Double BAH!  I say it's high time we single female types take the word spinster and claim it as our own.  Being single isn't the end of  the world.  Many women actually choose (GASP!) this state of living for many good reasons:  self exploration, pursing education or a career, readjusting after ending a relationship, and some of us just prefer to spend most of our time alone.  It is very possible to be single, female AND happy.    I am not the only woman out there to think that turning the word spinster on its head is a great idea.

When I first started thinking about writing a blog about my choosing a solitary life I gave a lot of thought to the name.  I didn't want it to be something that implied unhappiness or that I was just suffering until the right person would hopefully along and save me.  I'd been reading a lot of blogs and visiting forums that had a very positive view of living single and during the browsing of some archives and cross links I eventually came across this blog entry on the Blog Her website.  It turns out that a lot of woman are making spinster their own and the blog author is in love with the term too.
"...I love when women proclaim loud and proud that they're fine with being single.  This doesn't mean they wouldn't be just as happy with a partner; it's that they don't require the presence of someone else to lead a happy, fulfilling life." - Zandria
And so I decided to lend my support to this claiming of the word spinster and to make it part of the title of my blog.  The subheading, 'this is what a spinster looks like', is me saying yep, here is yet another sexy, smart, funny, intelligent and quite happily single woman and this is her blog.

1 comment:

  1. OUR THOUGHTS EXACTLY!! Fellow Spinsters must unite! We literally just stumbled across your oage (awesome insight!) and though you might want to know about us! http://www.2hopefulspinsters.com/ and.. we just launched a kickstarter to help us have a successful first season for our web-series! http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2hopefulspinsters/2-hopeful-spinsters Feel free to like, share, pass along! Let's stay in touch!!
    The Spinsterhood :)