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March 25, 2010

Spinster stigma alive and well

Filed under: books,issues,pop culture,Psychology — posted by Mia @ 3:49 pm

Single women are still feeling the “stigma” of spinsterhood, a new study of middle class, never married, women over the age of 30 has found. In fact, single women between the ages of 25 and 35 reported feeling both highly visible in certain social situations — like, God help us all, bouquet tosses at weddings — and highly invisible when it came to social status, in almost every situation from consideration by political representatives to expectations in office environments.

Despite the fact that 40% of all adults in The United States were single in 2009, it is women who often feel pressure to explain or justify their single status.

Pandagon goes into more detail about the humiliating catch-22 of the bouquet toss,and also explores the potentially harmful situations the pressure to be married can foster. That is: “men can make higher demands on women in exchange for their validation of women. Sometimes a woman’s devalued position in a relationship merely means she does most of the housework and emotional work, and her sexual satisfaction is a secondary concern. But in the worst case scenarios, culturally created female desperation can be used as leverage by domestic abusers to keep their victims in place.”

A new book by social scientist Bella DePaulo, PhD, Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After
addresses all these issues and more. (The  fabulous bullet list she includes in her post about the book had me yelling, “sing it, sister!” at my computer screen.)

And here’s another antidote for all the single ladies, all the single ladies — and anybody who loves a great self-published comic: the amazingly funny and philosophic story, “My Every Single Thought” by Corinne Mucha. This comic chronicles the author’s attempt to get over an old relationship, and come to terms with a — yes — saucy new label: Single.


  1. Hi Mia,

    I’ve got one more antidote for you. Award-winning producer Kerry David and I are putting the finishing touches on our doc Seeking Happily Ever After: One generation’s struggle to redefine the fairytale. Check it out: http://kck.st/bV022F. Best, Michelle Cove

    Comment by Michelle Cove — March 25, 2010 @ 4:33 pm

  2. While I appreciate these various tidbits and totally agree with your comments… watch the plagiarism. Very unattractive!

    Comment by Amy — March 25, 2010 @ 5:53 pm

  3. Michelle — Great! If you want to send us a screener when the time is right, please email me at bg@breakupgirl.net.
    Amy — Not sure what you’re referring to! “Plagiarism” is a pretty serious charge to fling w/out (irony!) citing sources. Let us know?
    Thanks, all.

    Comment by BG — March 25, 2010 @ 8:54 pm

  4. One thought came to me, I like watching the episodes of those fabulous girls from Sex and the City and I imagine many girls can relate to the ladies. Sometimes 1 is the loneliest number in the world. However, I have found that you will find someone when you are least looking for it. :)

    Comment by Karen — March 25, 2010 @ 10:07 pm

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    Pingback by Tweets that mention Breakup Girl » Spinster stigma alive and well -- Topsy.com — March 26, 2010 @ 12:20 am

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