Category Archives: My Awesome Spinsterhood

The Marriage Guide for Young Men (1883)

I haven’t written anything under the title of ‘My Awesome Spinsterhood’ like I said I would. And there are reasons, oh there are reasons.

Mainly, I haven’t been thinking about it all that much.

Anyways. I came across the e-book of the above title whilst doing some research for the re-boot of Operation: Love Story. And I wanted to share some excerpts that particularly got my hackles up. Not because I’m worried about how Victorian men were going about their courtship, but because I think that a lot of these attitudes have not changed in ‘courtship’ or dating or modern sex.

Exhibit A:

‘The young man has an incalculable advantage over the young woman in the matter of choosing; for she must sit and wait for the right one to come and offer himself, whereas he has the privilege of going in search of the right one until he find her. He is not haunted so much by that grim spectre, “the last chance” ‘ p 71

Which is essentially most of the arguments of ‘He’s Just Not that Into You’, a title for which I have always reserved a special irritated hatred.

I did like this though: ‘If you are a poet, it would not be well to marry a woman who never becomes enthusiastic over anything.’

Because all poets are just constantly in fits of passions, I suppose.

 

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My Awesome Spinsterhood

I’ve been talking to a few people about starting this sub-section of my blog for a while now and just haven’t done anything about it. But, the ‘joy’ of relative unemployment means that this is the sort of thing I can spend my days on now.

As someone who is obsessed with stories and narrative, I’ve noticed that a default ending of Western stories is some kind of romantic relationship. Doesn’t matter what the story is *actually* about, the end will usually involve a tying up of knots, at least one of which will be a heterosexually romantic knot. Its weird. Its unnerving. It is especially the case for female characters, who don’t ever seem to be able to find peace, happiness or closure without the addition of some kind of romantic relationship. The story ends when there is either a relationship established, or, at the very least, the possibility of one. Because, falling in love is the end of the story, apparently.

Now, as a person who has spent a long time in the single state, who has come to terms with her sole use of the ‘I’ pronoun and is pretty definite about her conscious, ongoing and probably eternal independence, I find this is a massive gap in the cultural stories we tell about each other. Plenty of people wind up spending their life on their own and my guess is that more and more people will be doing that in the years to come as more and more people chose an alternative, independent, ‘unique’ lifestyle that more accurately reflects their needs and desires, separate to that of society’s. And, at the moment, there is a default mode to pity these people, to think that they have missed out, that they must be lonely, that they are not capable of maintaining a relationship, either through their failings as a human being or through some early trauma that has made them unable to commit to one person blah blah blah insert pop-psychology platitude here. So, my solution is to fill this gap all on my own, with my little blog.

So, I’m not putting any limits or goals on it, I don’t have to write something ‘every day’, but every time I think of a little story that provides an alternative present or future for (in particular) women, I’ll be posting it up in this little sub-section of the blog. If I find stories in the news or online, I’ll be posting them too. If people want to tell me their own stories, or about their lives, I’ll post them too. It’s gonna be fun!

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