Women are struggling to rationalize the sad, bitter consequences of feminism. Is it truly justified?
Length: 3,300 words
Reading Time: 11 minutes
What becomes of women after they hit the wall and can no longer ride the carousel? They must invariably face up to the lack of music.
We have the common idea that most women in this predicament will settle, and settle hard to get into marriage. But as time goes on, we are finding that more and more women are absolutely unable to settle hard enough to attract nuptial commitment. Instead of settling, women are wandering through the carnival of life after all the rides have shut down. They’re wondering why the music has stopped, and they are coming up with all kind of rationalizations, which are actually justifications. Many of these justifications are of the victimization variety.
In this post, I’ll review a number of these justifications based on this article at The Guardian (Emma John) Why are increasing numbers of women choosing to be single? (2021 January 17). The author is not groping for a man to wife her up. Instead, the author does a bit of introspection in an effort to find a new identity as a single woman. But forging a new identity is turning out to be much harder than she imagined.
- Single? That’s not an identity.
- Spinster? That’s too hilarious, and it’s still “freighted with pity and misogynist undertones of sour dessication or bumbling hopelessness.” No.
- Never Married? What does that mean?
- A Free Woman? That sounds insulting to everyone else.
- Lifelong Singles? “Sounds like a packet of cheese slices that’ll last forever in the back of your fridge.”
Even “flappers” had more dignity. She never finds a suitable term to her liking.
Let’s dive into the Justifications.
Justification by Demographics
She cites some interesting demographical statistics.
“The Office for National Statistics shows that women not living in a couple, who have never married, is rising in every age range under 70. In the decade-and-a-half between 2002 and 2018, the figure for those aged 40 to 70 rose by half a million. The percentage of never-married singletons in their 40s doubled.
And it’s not just a western phenomenon. In South Korea, the rather pathetic figure of the “old miss” has become the single-and-affluent “gold miss”. In Japan, unmarried women over the age of 25 are known as “Christmas cake” (yes, it’s because they were past their sell-by date). Shosh Shlam’s 2019 documentary on China’s sheng nu explores these “Leftover Women” and the social anxiety they cause as traditional marriage models are upended.”
Nothing to see here…
Justification by Apex Fallacy
She uses these statistics as a springboard to justify being single, and then compares herself to Hollywood starlets, and later in the article, Bridgette Jones, of all people. She writes,
“Singleness is no longer to be sneered at. Never marrying or taking a long-term partner is a valid choice. For a brief spurt, it even appeared that the single-positivity movement was the latest Hollywood cause, with A-listers such as Rashida Jones, Mindy Kaling and Chelsea Handler going proudly on the record about how they had come to embrace their single lives. Jones and Kaling have since found love; Handler announced on her chatshow last year that she’d changed her mind and really wanted a relationship. And when Emma Watson (also not single) announced to Vogue she was “self-partnered” I found myself suppressing a gag reflex. Give it another 10 years, I wanted to say. Then tell me how empowering it is going to parties/dinner/bed alone.
The article is littered with images of Hollywood starlets and pop culture figures who appear to be aging well.
But there I go, living down to the spinster stereotype of envy and bitterness. How is it possible that, despite being raised by a feminist mother and enjoying a life rich with friendships and meaningful employment, I still feel the stigma of that word? Or fear that, even in middle age, I haven’t achieved the status of a true adult woman?
These women had a spirit of urgency. They weren’t waiting for anything.”
From this, we see how women cling to very bad role models by identifying with…
- Elite pop stars, who are actually the worst role models of all.
- Idealized modern fairy tales (e.g. Bridgette Jones), which do not match reality for the vast majority of women, at all.
- Their mothers, who were feminists themselves and who appeared to enjoy it.
There are no role models for being a happily married woman. I suppose that there are, but these have been intentionally ignored because of the shame and guilt that they would instill in her. She wouldn’t want to write anything that might glorify God’s created order or the dreaded patriarchy.
Justification through the Exploration of Literary Mythos
She finally identifies with spinsters described in classic English literature, of the Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and P.G. Wodehouse variety (which I advise everyone to read). But with the news of her younger sister (who is in her mid-30s) having a baby, even this is a bittersweet disappointment.
Yet in all this, she cannot see how the choices she made earlier in her life to emulate these role models could have possibly left her in a state of purposelessness.
I assumed that my own situation was a temporary aberration, one that required no sense of emergency or active response. My social calendar was full, my work constantly introduced me to new people. Mother Nature would, surely, pick up the slack.
Personally, I believe that the persisting ignorance that surrounds left over women is a form of God’s grace. If they ever knew what they did wrong, and what they’re missing as a consequence, the pain and grief would be too much for them to bear. I can also see how the natural psychological defense of avoiding this pain and grief would keep them trapped in a state of ignorance.
“One of the cruelest tricks spinsterhood can play is to leave you feeling like an outlier and a freak – yet my status is far from unique as the statistics show. I see that in my own close friendship group – almost a dozen of us are never-married in our late 30s and early 40s, and none through choice.”
No, they had a choice, but they missed it. That moment passed by and they never saw it. Maybe it passed by again, but they never took action because they thought that opportunity would always be waiting for them “when they were ready”. Meanwhile, they were focused on other things going on in their lives – things that, in the moment, they felt were more urgent and important. This is the main point of the literary examples of Spinsters, but somehow, she’s overlooked this fact.
Justification Based on a Perceived Lack of Opportunities
This justification has the strongest “woe is me” flavor.
“There’s no avoiding that our romantic opportunities have dwindled as the pool of age-appropriate men has emptied. Annually, we manage a small smattering of dates between us. Most of us have grown weary of online dating, which requires you to treat it as an all-consuming hobby or part-time job. We’re tired of Tinder, bored of Bumble – I’ve even been ejected by eHarmony, which, last time I logged on, told me it couldn’t find me a single match.”
In other words, they’ve been through so many men that they are now totally jaded and/or alpha widowed. This alone will eject them from ever being considered as marriage material. It’s sad.
Justification through Peer Identification
Despite all the advances that Female Empowerment and Women’s Liberation has brought, she still cannot escape the social pressures of being single.
“In our 20s, my friends and I used to revel in gossip and talk endlessly about the guys we were interested in; now, the subject is sensitively avoided, even within the sisterhood. The only people who do tend to ask whether we’re seeing anyone are complete strangers, because relationship status is still considered a key component of small talk, a vital piece of the information trade, essential in categorising someone’s identity.
My friend Alex has a range of responses to the question “And do you have another half?” depending on which she thinks the other person can take. Her nuclear option, “No, I’m a whole person,” is deployed only in the most desperate of circumstances.”
The unavoidable truth is that our individual identities are forged in the furnace of our relationships.
- For Christians, this relationship is with Christ.
- For men, these relationships are with their business partners and weekend buddies.
- For the married, these relationships are with their spouse and children.
- For spinsters, these relationships are with the Chads and Brads of their youth.
The question of identity can only be answered by building relationships, and spinsters have great difficulty in embracing the identity that they have built for themselves through their choices about relationships.
Justification by ¡Science!
She writes that this intimation of perdition is backed up by ¡Science!
As we age, the distance between our shared life experiences and viewpoints has only been widening. Professor Sasha Roseneil, author of The Tenacity of The Couple-Norm, published in November by UCL Press, says: “All sorts of processes of liberalisation have gone on in relationships, in the law and in policy.” Her research focused on men and women between the ages of 30 and 55, the period in mid-life “when you’re expected to be settled down in a couple and having kids”.
“But what our interviewees told us was that there remains at the heart of intimate life this powerful norm of the couple,” says Roseneil. “And people struggle with that. Many of them long to be part of a couple – there was a lot of feeling of cultural pressure, but there was also a sense of that norm being internalised. Single people felt a bit of a failure, that something had gone wrong, and that they were missing out.”
“…a sense of that norm being internalized” That is not a “norm”, per se. That is the human heart calling out for love and belonging, and for a soul identity forged through a relationship. In other words, the relationships which have wrought their identities are a one-and-done interaction, and then they find that they have no one to walk through life with them, and help them work out their salvation. She more or less confirms this when she writes,
“Being a spinster can be isolating – it’s easy to become convinced that no one else is quite as hopeless a case as you. It leaves us, the perennially unattached, asking ourselves big questions that we can’t – daren’t – articulate to others. Are we missing out on the greatest emotions a human can have? Shall we slide into selfishness, loneliness, or insignificance? Who will be there for us when we grow old? And is a life without intimate physical companionship one half-loved, and half-lived?”
¡Science! can never answer these questions, so ¡Science! is a dud.
Justification by Feminist Mythology
To answer these questions of the heart, she returns to the religious tenets of Feminism.
“Within the framework of the current feminist narrative, there’s a strong sense that the answer to each of the above should be no – or the questions shouldn’t be asked at all. “We interviewed a lot of people around Europe and that’s a very real early 21st-century experience for women,” says Roseneil. “And people are conflicted – that’s the mental essence of being human. They can simultaneously have contradictory feelings: on the one hand it’s totally fine to be single and I can have a nice life, on the other hand – what am I missing out on and is there something wrong with me?”
As modern, single women, we are not supposed to feel that we’re missing out. And so we feel obliged to hide any feelings of shame or inadequacy or longing.
I know I don’t want to take my many privileges for granted and I suspect that many single women in a similar position to me dread being thought of as whiny or desperate. And so we don’t talk about the subject, and we try not to acknowledge that spinsters still exist.”
Yes, privilege would be utterly shameful, not only to confess the relationships that formed their identity, but also to denounce Isis (the god of female empowerment) and Aphrodite (the god of gynocentric sexuality) as being insufficiently powerful enough to satisfy the needs of the heart and soul. I admire her bravery for writing such blasphemous doubts about the gods of this age.
“Perhaps that’s the reason that, instead of finding my #inspo from modern have-it-all heroines, I prefer to look back and learn from the spinsters who came before.”
So she realizes that the justification through Feminist Mythology fails grandly.
Justification through Solipsism
Turning away from bad role models and engaging in more introspection are good, but it still falls short of a full repentance. But upon further introspection, she still tries to justify her solipsism, by blaming society and recounting the virtues of spinsters.
“Western society has always struggled with the issue of what to do with unmarried women. Take the religious mania for persecuting so-called witches in the middle ages. Communities fixated on single women – their era’s “other” – not only because they were suspicious of their alternative lifestyles, but because of the collective guilt over their inability to cater or care for them.”
What she calls “collective guilt” is actually a healthy fear of corruption.
1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles… 2 And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3 For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.1st Corinthians 5:1-9 (NKJV)
6 Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
9 I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people.
In Red Pill parlance, this mean that a few loose women in the community will ramp up the competition in the SMP and increase the rate of promiscuity. So it should not be tolerated.
“When single women weren’t assumed to be witches, they were often taken to be prostitutes – to such an extent that the two terms were interchangeable, including in court documents.”
There is a fundamental reason for this, but feminists do not have the discernment nor the courage to articulate the truth of it like Samuel did.
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,1st Samuel 15:23 (NKJV)
And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
Now consider that,
“Feminism is the promotion and glorification of rebellion.”Deep Strength’s Law of Feminism (2016 February 18)
However satisfying it might be to identify with rebellion, solipsism cannot answer the question of her heart either.
Next, the author launches into a 350-word historical review of wayward wimmin throughout western culture, from the original spinsters of the mid-1300s up to the flappers of the early 20th century, all trying to squeeze out some nuance of identity. She manages to find some nuance of a shared identity, but not one that ameliorates her condition. She concludes this review with the following statements.
“What I love about these women is their spirit of urgency – they weren’t waiting for anything. Of all the anxious experiences of spinsterhood, one of the most debilitating is the sense of a life on hold, incomplete.”
This point does bring her to some introspection. Let’s see where it leads her.
Justified by Immaturity and the Inability to Delay Gratification
Twice now in the article, she writes about how she admires women with a spirit of urgency. Whether this is to be admired or not all depends on what the urgency is all about. This goes back to the issue of choice and what exactly is chosen. Is all this talk about urgency just another verbalization of the importance of overcoming the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) and embracing the You Only Live Once (YOLO) mythos? Or could this be better framed as the child who doesn’t have enough self-control to delay gratification (as exemplified by the Marshmallow Test) but who does have the courage to be defiant?
As Roseneil argues in her book, membership of grown-up society is marked by coupling. “There’s something symbolic about transitioning into a permanent relationship that says you are an adult.”
This is a separate topic entirely. What brings a person into the adult world? Is it merely sexual experience? A lack of love in the home of upbringing can surely thrust a young person into the adult world, but this doesn’t imply that the person is truly an adult, especially in terms of his/her ability to form healthy boundaries and to assume the necessary responsibilities. However, at the same time, a lack of love prevents them from learning the self-confidence necessary to succeed, and so it places them at a severe disadvantage in the actual handling of the adult world.
For those of us who haven’t, and may never, make that step, we can be left with the strong impression – not just from society, but from within ourselves – that we’re immature or underdeveloped. Consider another wave of “superfluous women”, between the world wars, whose marriage prospects were shattered by the loss of an entire generation of young men. Popular history recast them as dilettantes and flappers: the spinster’s contribution to national life once again belittled and mocked.
She is referring to the MMP fallout after WW1, in which millions of young women had been damaged by the war in some way, either by losing their father or husband (or potential husband). The lack of young men created a sex imbalance in which fewer women were able to marry and more women turned to “alternative lifestyles”.
Justified by Herd Feeelings
We should not be surprised that her last thoughts in this post are about personal feelings and social conformity. Ultimately, it all comes back to Feeelings, and fitting into the Herd.
No wonder modern spinsters feel conflicted about where we stand, and whether we’re all we should be. When Professor Paul Dolan, a behavioural scientist at LSE, published research claiming that single women without children were happier than married ones, he was taken aback by the response. “I had lots of emails from single women saying thank you,” says Dolan, “because now people might start believing them when they say they’re actually doing all right.” But more interesting was the reactions from people who didn’t want to believe it.
It’s more interesting to her (and less interesting to us) because misery loves company.
“I’d underestimated how strongly people felt: there was something really insulting about choosing not to get married and have kids. It’s all right to try and fail – but you’d better try. So with these competing narratives, you would be challenged internally as a single woman, where your experiences are different to what they’re expected to be.”
Yes, people have a deep visceral disgust to spinsters (s1uts, and wh0res too) because of many reasons. Most obviously, they are defiled,* meaning that they are unfit for, and perhaps even corrosive to a family-based society. This is noteworthy because marriage and family is the setting and context in which people come to know God. If a person outrightly rejects this, then it’s a slap in the Creator’s face. Thus, spinsterhood, in its most egregious form, is not only a rejection of the continuance of society, as well as the race and tribe, it’s also an insult to God, who commanded us to procreate and “fill the earth”.
Whether a spinster is happy with her state depends, of course, not just on her personality, her circumstances, and her mood at the moment you ask her, but an ambivalent definition of contentment. We struggle to remember that, says Dolan, because our human psychology doesn’t deal well with nuance. “Almost everything you experience is a bit good and a bit bad. But with marriage and singleness it’s not voiced the same way. You’ve ticked off this box and got married so you must be happy. The divorce rates show that’s categorically untrue.”
Happiness as an indicator of self-worth is sorely inadequate. She is right that marriage and having a family is also no guarantee of happiness. Marriage and having a family doesn’t even guarantee that you’ll “find God”. But embracing Headship is the one thing that is available to everyone in life that is most conducive to that end.
* I am not saying that all single women are defiled, but only those who become spinsters by willingly choosing the Feminist Life Script (and all the profound sin that it entails) over marriage and family.
After all this frustration, readers will hope to find satisfaction in how the author, and women like her, might see the wisdom of repentance. But because of the plethora of justifications, repentance is still not on her table of options. Instead, we get a dismissive line about “the conversation”.
It is time, surely, to change the rules, and the conversation. As the population of never-married women expands, we should be honest about what it meant, and means, to be one. We should celebrate our identity and the life experience that has given it to us. We should reclaim our history and stop being defined by others. Why not start by taking back that dread word, spinster?
The problem with this plan is that it does not respect God’s Covenant Law, and it works against God’s ordained order. So by embracing this mindset, they are setting themselves up for a lifetime of angst, disappointment, and loneliness.
Oh my… Isn’t that what she is discovering now? Yet in spite of imminent catastrophe, they still seek to justify themselves. SMH…