Women staying single as a personal choice


Can our lives be complete and fulfilled without a partner? We are living in the 21st century, but seems like society still has not moved from the traditional picture of happy life = family life.

Just contemplate for a while and realize, the mainstream media are full of traditional relationships. What about all that tips in ladies magazines, how to behave in front of a man to catch him, what to do on a date, how to look sexy…and all that pictures of happy Hollywood couples and all that waiting for photos of their babies and magazines willing to pay millions of dollars to get them…

When man decides to stay single till his old age (or forever) usually it seems much better accepted by society (maybe not by his parents waiting for grandchildren) than when woman freely decides to do the same. In case of man, people are used to say he probably has a lot of work to do, something more important than marriage and children. When woman decides to be like that, how come there is something more important for her than family?!  Like, you preferred your career? Why? Do you know your clocks are ticking?

Society (and family and even your friends sometimes) are usually expecting for when you will be in a relationship, when you will find someone. Maybe not now. But for sure it will come one day. People usually look on being single that is only a temporary period of a life but some day it will be over. It should be, no? It is natural. And because of that pressure you also look at it like that, of course. Our parents are, for the same reasons we feel the pressure, worried about our future when we are single too long. What is wrong with her? Not everyone is ready to understand when you freely choose to stay single. With time, the socially acceptable age for being single is raising. In the past, society pushed on girl to find partner much more earlier. At least in this era we’ve got more time, let’s say to our 30s. In your 40s they will probably already say “your train is gone”. But how somebody can say when for you is the best time to find a partner? How somebody else can know if its too late or too early for you? Only we know, because only we can feel it. You should have the right to feel it your own way and if you will feel comfortable to stay single till the end of your life, so what? But society still put such a woman to the boxes of “weirdos”, “careerists” or  “spinsters”. Even here we can feel the difference when long term single man is called “bachelor”, which does not sound as an insult, it sounds the man just prefered to have fun instead of “chains of a marriage”, compared to the “spinster” label like woman was not having fun at all, she was in celibacy and that is why she is single. Well, but this is only a detail, what is worst some people think a life of a single woman has no such a quality as a life of a mother of two. She is not “a real woman”, she did not accomplish her role.

Let’s talk a bit about women who prefer their career instead of marriage and/or children and how the society still looks on them. It is changing a bit and it depends what generation you ask about it, but I still got a feeling there is that look on them with disrespect and incomprehension. Successful women are called “careerists” instead of admiring them the same way as a succesful men. If you are single and successful, the judgement can be even worse. It is not only you did not accomplish your female role in society, you are stealing a man role.

Ball and Chain

But let’s be honest, successful women sometimes have no other option than to be single and without children. We still have to face that decision making at some places, even now – family or career? It is not easy to combine those two things, but it could be if society could deal with that, if companies will take motherhood as normal part of a job agreement and men will take paternity leave, without fear of shame.

When I talked about children…there is not only pressure on women to have a partner, but also to have kids. As I already wrote, society still looks on woman without children, when it is her own decision and not that she can’t have them, that she is not complete. Proof is recent statement of Jennifer Aniston about pressure of media on her. They constantly observe her if she looks pregnant or not and discuss when she will have a baby, because she is married for some time already. It annoyed her so much that recently she wrote an essay in Huffington Post where she said:   “Here’s where I come out on this topic: we are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child…..We don’t need to be married or mothers to be complete. We get to determine our own “happily ever after” for ourselves.” **

Well, some things are changing and society is moving forward slowly. It is good that we don’t need to get married to complete our relationships anymore. It even became a trend for some while in Western society to not get married, couples say: “We dont need a paper to prove our love”. But some of us can’t even understand how somebody can choose to be single whole life. It is the right as anything else, but it is still sometimes taken as a sign of a personal failure. I think the main thing we have to realize is that being single does not necessary mean to be lonely. Of course if we all were single, it would not be an easy way for humans, but we should not face any kind of pressure from society anymore. Nobody has right to dictate to us what is the best way of fulfilling our own lives.  

Illustrations: 1. Robin Eisenberg, 2. Laura Callaghan, 3. Ben O’Brien
** http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/for-the-record_us_57855586e4b03fc3ee4e626f

Women staying single as a personal choicehttp://recmag.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/15202662_201347110272444_4402453286578247023_n-500x500.jpghttp://recmag.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/15202662_201347110272444_4402453286578247023_n-150x150.jpg Kristyna Kyankova CultureHuman rightsSociety,,,,,,,,,
Can our lives be complete and fulfilled without a partner? We are living in the 21st century, but seems like society still has not moved from the traditional picture of happy life = family life. Just contemplate for a while and realize, the mainstream media are full of traditional...
<b>Can our lives be complete and fulfilled without a partner? We are living in the 21st century, but seems like society still has not moved from the traditional picture of happy life = family life. </b> <span style="font-weight: 400">Just contemplate for a while and realize, the mainstream media are full of traditional </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400">relationships. </span></i><span style="font-weight: 400">What about all that tips in ladies magazines, how to behave in front of a man to catch him, what to do on a date, how to look sexy...and all that pictures of happy Hollywood couples and all that waiting for photos of their babies and magazines willing to pay millions of dollars to get them...</span> <span style="font-weight: 400">When man decides to stay single till his old age (or forever) usually it seems much better accepted by society (maybe not by his parents waiting for grandchildren) than when woman freely decides to do the same. In case of man, people are used to say he probably has a lot of work to do, something more important than marriage and children. When woman decides to be like that, <strong>how come there is something more important for her than family</strong>?!  Like, you preferred your career? Why? Do you know your clocks are ticking?</span> <img class="aligncenter wp-image-813" src="http://recmag.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/PicMonkey-Collage224-680x400.png" width="785" height="462" /> <span style="font-weight: 400">Society (and family and even your friends sometimes) are usually expecting for when you will be in a relationship, when you will find someone. Maybe not now. But for sure it will come one day. People usually look on being single that is only a </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400">temporary</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400"> period of a life but some day it will be over. It should be, no? It is </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400">natural</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400">. And because of that </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400">pressure</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400"> you also look at it like that, of course. Our parents are, for the same reasons we feel the pressure, worried about our future when we are single too long. What is wrong with her? Not everyone is ready to understand when you freely choose to stay single. With time, the socially acceptable age for being single is raising. In the past, society pushed on girl to find partner much more earlier. At least in this era we've got more time, let's say to our 30s. In your 40s they will probably already say “your train is gone”. But how somebody can say when </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400">for you</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400"> is the best time to find a partner? How somebody else can know if it</span><span style="font-weight: 400">'</span><span style="font-weight: 400">s too late or too early </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400">for you</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400">? Only we know, because only we can feel it. You should have the right to feel it your own way and if you will feel comfortable to stay single till the end of your life, so what? But society still put such a woman to the boxes of “</span><i><span style="font-weight: 400">weirdos</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400">”, “</span><i><span style="font-weight: 400">careerists</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400">” or  “</span><i><span style="font-weight: 400">spinsters</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400">”. Even here we can feel the difference when long term single man is called “bachelor”, which does not sound as an insult, it sounds the man just prefered to have fun instead of “chains of a marriage”, compared to the “</span><i><span style="font-weight: 400">spinster</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400">” label like woman was not having fun at all, she was in celibacy and that is why she is single. Well, but this is only a detail, what is worst some people think a life of a single woman has no such a quality as a life of a mother of two. She is not “a </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400">real woman</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400">”, she did not accomplish her </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400">role</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400">.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400">Let's talk a bit about women who prefer their career instead of marriage and/or children and how the society still looks on them. It is changing a bit and it depends what generation you ask about it, but I still got a feeling there is that look on them with disrespect and incomprehension. Successful women are called “careerists” instead of admiring them the same way as a succesful men. If you are single and successful, the judgement can be even worse. It is not only you did not accomplish your female role in society, you are stealing a man role.</span> <img class="wp-image-795 size-large aligncenter" src="http://recmag.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Ball-and-Chain-680x478.jpeg" alt="Ball and Chain" width="680" height="478" /> <span style="font-weight: 400">But let's be honest, successful women sometimes have no other option than to be single and without children. We still have to face that decision making at some places, even now - family or career? It is not easy to combine those two things, but it could be if society could deal with that, if companies will take motherhood as normal part of a job agreement and men will take paternity leave, without fear of shame. </span> <span style="font-weight: 400">When I talked about children...there is not only pressure on women to have a partner, but also to have kids. As I already wrote, society still looks on woman without children, when it is her own decision and not that she can't have them, that she is not complete. Proof is recent statement of Jennifer Aniston about pressure of media on her. They constantly observe her if she looks pregnant or not and discuss when she will have a baby, because she is married for some time already. It annoyed her so much that recently she wrote an essay in Huffington Post where she said:  <em><strong> “Here’s where I come out on this topic: we are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child…..We don’t need to be married or mothers to be complete. We get to determine our own “happily ever after” for ourselves.”</strong> **</em></span> <span style="font-weight: 400">Well, some things are changing and society is moving forward slowly. It is good that we don’t need to get married to complete our relationships anymore. It even became a trend for some while in Western society to not get married, couples say: </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400">“We don</span></i><i><span style="font-weight: 400">'</span></i><i><span style="font-weight: 400">t need a paper to prove our love”. </span></i><span style="font-weight: 400">But some of us can't even understand how somebody can choose to be single whole life. It is the right as anything else, but it is still sometimes taken as a sign of a personal failure. I think the main thing we have to realize is that being single does not necessary mean to be lonely. </span><span style="font-weight: 400">Of course if we all were single, it would not be an easy way for humans, but we should not face any kind of pressure from society anymore. <strong>Nobody has right to dictate to us what is the best way of fulfilling our own lives</strong>.  </span> <sub>Illustrations: 1. Robin Eisenberg, 2. Laura Callaghan, 3. Ben O’Brien ** http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/for-the-record_us_57855586e4b03fc3ee4e626f</sub>
Kristyna Kyankova
Human, women and animal rights activist from Brno, Czech Republic. Currently on EVS in Georgia for 10 months. Focused on various topics from different fields. Feminism, sexism, objectifying / sustainability, ecology, environment / refugees, minorities / gender, LGBT / culture, life style, fashion / Interested in visiting places in Tbilisi and Georgia and enjoying life here as much as possible!