She tweets at belladepaulo. Because of this awareness of those who came before, I was surprised that Traister didn't give DePaulo more real estate. This book is a gold mine of wonderful stories for a cocktail party. I have lots of friends and very deep friendships. There are other limits too: heterosexuality is assumed, and while Traister makes good-faith efforts to diversify her informants and her historical examples in terms of racial belonging, and has one chapter devoted to poor single women, her attention remains focused on single women like herself—white, well-educated, savvy enough to advance into worthwhile paid employment and to conclude their youthful singleness by marrying happily.
This book is chock full of stories of how single women changed history, providing leadership in settlement houses, in nursing, and in antislavery movements. As a black woman and a feminist although my feminism is less an activist effort and more an obvious existence in that being a woman is quite frankly the easiest part of my identity, and, as such, that I am equal to men is an unassailable truthI find this exclusion, this tacit hierarchy and blatant erasure, troubling.
Ladies forum rebecca more fundamentally, if Traister had approached the issue of illness from a singles perspective, she might have questioned the very premise of her explanation for the supposedly better health of married people, that married people have a teammate and single people do not. She has been writing the " Living Single " blog for Psychology Today since She is a project scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
There are sections of All the Single Ladies that demonstrate what a sharp, unapologetic perspective can bring to our understanding of single life. This problem of visibility and timing is endemic to the study of single women.
I think the overall strength of the book makes the few lapses even more ificant. Surveying the Singles Beat Kate Bolick. Traister opens by repeating pronouncements from Linda J. If singles studies scholarship had been widely known, it would have been a fairly straightforward matter for Traister to discover that many of the claims about the benefits of marrying in The Case for Marriage had been painstakingly debunked. What is missing from the dominant narrative are all the ways in which marriage is a privileged status.
Now, nearly a decade later, the rise in the of single people has continued unabated, but so far as I know, there is still no singles studies program anywhere in the world. While some may have had long-term partnerships, their legal single status makes sense, as wifehood used to mean domestic subordination. There is some discussion of women who are single by choice, and others who are single because there are not men in their communities who the women ladies forum rebecca are a good bet to be partners.
With a body of vigorous singles studies scholarship at her fingertips, Traister might have taken her analysis a few steps further and asked the critical question: what about situational and structural considerations? Or better still, she could have added a comparable anecdote about a married woman who thought she could be percent happy as a married person but then had some quirky experience that left her in tears, wishing she were single. She might also have been familiar with other research suggesting something quite different—for example, that when women face medical crises, the support they receive from their husbands does nothing to calm their anxiety or facilitate their recovery.
You will die alone. In the medical system, they are cared for more attentively and their illnesses are treated more aggressively. Ladies forum rebecca the Single Ladies was published in by Simon and Schuster. She might also have learned that there is no compelling case for her qualified conclusion about good marriages, either.
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Inwhile reporting a cover story for The Atlantic about changing marriage trends and the rising single demographic, I discovered an answer: society was still threatened by single women. Short Takes : Provocations on Public Feminisman online-first feature of s: Journal of Women in Culture and Societyoffers brief comments from prominent feminists about a book that has shaped popular conversations about feminist issues.
In my own work, I have argued that getting married does not make people healthier. I was simply curious to know why, here in this new millennium, popular culture took such a dim view of single women, portraying them as either dating-obsessed shopaholics Carrie Brhaw or binge-eating lonely hearts Bridget Jones.
It saddens me to think that readers will walk away not fully realizing that committed thinkers like DePaulo were there first. A Response Rebecca Traister. She should have stopped after that. Inwhen I started musing on single women as a historical archetype, I had no idea that this niche preoccupation would someday come to have wide appeal.
Even supposedly statistical social science and news reports on marriage and childbearing patterns often carry a negative valence. While the author, Rebecca Traister, makes the appropriate mea culpa about this not being an academic research project, I found the stories about contemporary single ladies fun to read but not convincing for her thesis.
In ways large and small, their lives are valued and cherished and celebrated. Her discussion is based on the dominant marital perspective of our time, one that looks to marriage itself as the key. Consider, for example, the brief section on illness in chapter 5, about single women on their own.
In several passages in the chapter on women on their own, Traister seems to undervalue friends in ways that would be inconsistent with a strong singles perspective. InE. Kay Trimberger, Rachel F. People who approach their scholarship from a singles perspective have a different way of seeing the world, a different set of questions to pose, and a fresh way of analyzing and understanding the relevant issues.
Really, it tells us about young not - yet -married women. If writers, journalists, women, and feminists simply tell the truth, ladies forum rebecca is clear that we have been part of the conversation, the movement, and the change from the very beginning. Fortunately, most of the rest of All the Single Ladies offers a much more enlightened and affirmative perspective on single women.
Even though I consulted and cited E. I would argue that this is due in large part to the presumption that institutionalized feminism belongs to white women, and that the inclusion of other races and ethnicities is by invitation or as a favor, rather than a shared narrative.
If such a tradition had been longstanding, I think Traister might have made an even more powerful case for single women. The author interviewed close to one hundred women. Nancy F. This book is about youth as much as it is about gender or singleness. It is telling that Ann, the single person in need, gets abandoned in favor of the other friend who is getting married.
Perhaps this is because the history and interviews are intertwined with asides and bits and pieces of the argument to create a textual organization that did not flow in a linear narrative.
Just as important, the focus on young women and on delay rather than refusal means there is no steady critique here of marriage altogether as a social and state-incentivized system. This is not an invitation for inclusion by a white feminist writer—it is the centering of an inherently inclusive narrative. Here, the sociologist in me found the informality of the sample problematic. With singles studies resources to draw from, she might have known what was problematic about that study and the kinds of conclusions that she and others drew from it.
Its unstated focus on youth and on women delaying marriage more than never marrying hampers its. Rebecca Carroll. Bella DePaulo. This forum will also appear in print in the Summer issue of s. The way forward for feminism is both to reject the notion of a uniform vision or experience and to celebrate the range and multitude of voices therein.
The book has distinct limits. I learned a great deal during my singles research, but the most unexpected discovery was how many books on the topic had already been published, whether humorous, how-to, contemporary and journalistic, or historical and academic.
Back to top. Because Traister so resolutely stands up for single women in most passages throughout the book, she has credibility. Because ultimately, the way forward for feminism is both to reject the notion of a uniform vision or ladies forum rebecca and to celebrate the range and multitude of voices therein. Did you know just how many of the women who have made history remained single to do so?
Traister offers a lengthy, detailed antidote to the more common assertion or implication that young women are hurting themselves most of all in the long run by not making marriage a priority. She is a regular opinion writer at the Guardian USa critic at large for the Los Angeles Timesand the author of five nonfiction books, including Sugar in the Raw and Saving the Race.
Barbara Risman. If a singles perspective were as much a part of our awareness as a feminist perspective already is, Traister probably would not have moved on from her section on illness without acknowledging the panoply of unearned privileges accorded specifically to people who are married and their relevance to any possible differences in health and healing between single women and married women. Traister knows about the hundreds of federal laws that benefit and protect only those who are legally married; she mentions them elsewhere. Traister believes that it does, at least for those with chronic physical illnesses, and also more generally for those in good marriages.
Unlike married women such as the author, we single ladies are truly alone.
Maybe she would have noted here what she seems to acknowledge elsewhere in the book, that single people have more friends than married people do and are more connected to friends, family, and neighbors than married people are. Even without children, wifehood deprived women of citizenship rights. You will grow old alone. The result, Spinstera very personal blend of memoir, biography, reporting, and cultural history that charts my own coming into adulthood at a time when public conversation around singledom was at a low and shows the parallels between single women at the turn of the nineteenth century and the turn of the twentieth, came out last year.
Where had the proudly unmarried New Women of the s gone? She is now writing about youthful American journalists abroad during the decades between the two world wars, an era ladies forum rebecca sexual revolution and global struggle for predominance between democracy, communism, and fascism. Kate Bolick. In other places here and there, though, the book would have benefited from a robust singles studies tradition.
I wish I could fool myself into thinking this is owing to merit alone, but the truth is, we both had the great good luck of publishing at the exact moment people were ready and hungry to engage in a public conversation. Marriage, though, adds a vast array of unearned privileges to the ones people bring to it.
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But collectivity is only notional; the approach is wholly individualistic in its historical and contemporary references. The risk is that some specific sections such as the ones on illness and fear will perpetuate marital privilege, leaving married people feeling more smug about their status and single people more insecure. In this book, it can be someone single for life, someone single before they marry, or someone who is single between marriages or after marriage.
Also, I wanted to discard the role of talking head as quickly as possible. Married people also enjoy social, cultural, and political privileges.