‘Single, Maiden Aunt, Spinster, Crazy Cat Lady, left on the shelf’ are just a few examples of how women over a certain age are referred to when they don’t have Husbands/partners/wives. Yet how realistic or kind is it to call them this?
We all have that one cousin, aunt or sibling who remains ‘single’ (that is without a life partner that is more than platonic) for the entirety or majority of their lives, but we still label them with names that invoke sympathy and quite often ridicule. Once upon a time if a girl remained unmarried past the age of thirty that was it for her, she was condemned to a lonely life, no partner, no children. She would’ve been the one who cared for her parents as they aged, her siblings children as they grew and eventually became the ‘problem’ aunt who demanded attention from her nieces and nephews because she had no family of her own that could care for her.
Well, times have changed, that ‘Spinster’ who remained single all her life now HAS a life. A woman can have a family even without a life partner, she can adopt children, or have a child with the help of a sperm doner. This woman is independent, she can do what she wants without being reliant upon her family. Even into old age she can remain independent, the welfare state protects these people who have no one.
You see, how can she be a ‘Spinster’? She might have children but no life partner, yet why should she need one? If a woman chooses to live her life alone then I say BRAVO! Women like that inspire me, strong-willed, independent women who take control of their own lives; they are not ‘Spinsters’ or ‘Maiden Aunts’ they are brave, modern women who do exactly what they want. They are breaking the shackles of a patriarchal past, something that too many women are still too fearful to do.
We shouldn’t label them as ‘Spinsters’, they are SO much more than that. They are free individuals who take their lives into their hands and make of it what they want. Which is why we should NOT call them (the quite frankly archaic word) ‘Spinsters’.