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Spinster
A bold, original, moving book that will inspire fanatical devotion and ignite...
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Spinster opens with the following statement: "Whom to marry, and when will it happen—these two questions define every woman's existence." Do you find this to be true in your own life? If so, how have you navigated these expectations?

Created: 04/28/16

Replies: 19

Posted Apr. 28, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1358

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Spinster opens with the following statement: "Whom to marry, and when will it happen—these two questions define every woman's existence." Do you find this to be true in your own life? If so, how have you navigated these expectations?

Spinster opens with the following statement: "Whom to marry, and when will it happen—these two questions define every woman's existence." Do you find this to be true in your own life? If so, how have you navigated these expectations?


Posted May. 02, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
karenrn

Join Date: 08/29/13

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RE: Spinster opens with the following statement: "Whom to marry, and when will it happen—these two questions define every woman's existence." Do you find this to be true in your own life? If so, how have you navigated these expectations?

I'm in my 50s and that was definitely what my friends and I thought of while growing up. I think its changing for my daughters. I did marry but I waited longer then my mother did and longer then she expected me too. I expected to be a housewife like my mom when I was a child. Instead I had the more important job and made more money then my husband.


Posted May. 02, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barbm

Join Date: 02/04/16

Posts: 73

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RE: Spinster opens with the following statement: "Whom to marry, and when will it happen—these two questions define every woman's existence." Do you find this to be true in your own life? If so, how have you navigated these expectations?

No one was getting married when I did, and even my dearest friends thought I was insane. I never gave thought to whom or when, maybe because it all happened so fast!


Posted May. 02, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sweeney

Join Date: 05/24/11

Posts: 76

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RE: Spinster opens with the following statement: "Whom to marry, and when will it happen—these two questions define every woman's existence." Do you find this to be true in your own life? If so, how have you navigated these expectations?

I am in my 60's, and that was certainly what I thought in high school. It was certainly what my father thought, as, in his opinion, a college education was "wasted" for a girl. So I found my own way--sometimes married, and sometimes not...but certainly never defined by that state.


Posted May. 02, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

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RE: Spinster opens with the following statement: "Whom to marry, and when will it happen—these two questions define every woman's existence." Do you find this to be true in your own life? If so, how have you navigated these expectations?

I am in my seventies and I can't say I spent a great deal of time thinking about who I was going to marry and when. I went to college, became an educator. My father's wish was for his daughters to get an education and be able to support themselves and a family if necessary. I did marry, when I met someone and just knew it was the right thing.


Posted May. 02, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Lois Irene

Join Date: 01/20/16

Posts: 36

RE: Spinster opens with the following statement: "Whom to marry, and when will it happen—these two questions define every woman's existence." Do you find this to be true in your own life? If so, how have you navigated these expectations?

In the rural South, this was exactly the way things were for me. I fell right into it. Both of my parents were college graduates and the idea of college being a requirement was always there. Young girls in my area started looking at china patterns and silver patterns in their teens, in anticipation of the chance to choose their own. I am in my early 60's.


Posted May. 04, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melanieb

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 86

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RE: Spinster opens with the following statement: "Whom to marry, and when will it happen—these two questions define every woman's existence." Do you find this to be true in your own life? If so, how have you navigated these expectations?

I am in my 50s and when I was younger, I thought more about when I would marry than I thought about who I would marry. I agree that women give some thought to the question of whom to marry and when will it happen, and I have known women who seemed obsessed with the issue but I was brought up to be independent and encouraged to experience the world in ways that didn't make marriage a major priority for me.


Posted May. 06, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 203

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RE: Spinster opens with the following statement: "Whom to marry, and when will it happen—these two questions define every woman's existence." Do you find this to be true in your own life? If so, how have you navigated these expectations?

Having been born in the 40s that was pretty much the anthem. You were expected to marry as soon as you graduated high school!! Sons were sent to college, daughters married.


Posted May. 07, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Windsong

Join Date: 05/07/13

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RE: Spinster opens with the following statement: "Whom to marry, and when will it happen—these two questions define every woman's existence." Do you find this to be true in your own life? If so, how have you navigated these expectations?

Seriously, that question was never posed to me by my parents. Only one girl way back in my twenties asked me if I hadn't been afraid that since I graduated from college without an engagement ring on my finger that I might never marry. I remember that conversation vividly because I told her that it never occurred to me. She shook her head in disbelief and said, "Well, you are very lucky to have found someone." It was 1969. I had a lot more to think about than whom I would marry and when would it happen.
Regarding the opening statement: I thought it was a stretch to include all women; however, that was the approach Bolick took throughout the book. For me it did not create a great first impression.


Posted May. 08, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
smsh

Join Date: 05/03/16

Posts: 12

RE: Spinster opens with the following statement: "Whom to marry, and when will it happen—these two questions define every woman's existence." Do you find this to be true in your own life? If so, how have you navigated these expectations?

I am in my sixties. I took offense at this generalization. It was not true for me. I do remember other young women who came to college for their MRS, however, and left to marry within a few semesters. I saw that as absurd.


Posted May. 08, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sallyh

Join Date: 09/07/12

Posts: 85

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RE: Spinster opens with the following statement: "Whom to marry, and when will it happen—these two questions define every woman's existence." Do you find this to be true in your own life? If so, how have you navigated these expectations?

I don't really believe that these questions are central to every woman's existence, at least not in this country.


Posted May. 09, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melindah

Join Date: 12/25/12

Posts: 48

RE: Spinster opens with the following statement: "Whom to marry, and when will it happen—these two questions define every woman's existence." Do you find this to be true in your own life? If so, how have you navigated these expectations?

Growing up I wanted to be a wife; when I got married at 22 my friends and my parents' friends thought I was crazy to get married so young. Later, after my divorce, I swore I would never marry again, and that is where people started with the questions... Whom and when? I always found that to be incredibly strange.
My own daughters do not seem to deal with or be affected by this line of questioning. Occasionally, my oldest and her boyfriend are asked "when?" by friends, but she certainly doesn't actually feel that marital status defines her existence.


Posted May. 09, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
N*Starr

Join Date: 03/13/14

Posts: 35

RE: Spinster opens with the following statement: "Whom to marry, and when will it happen—these two questions define every woman's existence." Do you find this to be true in your own life? If so, how have you navigated these expectations?

That wasn't my experience, but I wonder if it's an age group issue? Many of the other folks who have responded are a little older than I am- I just turned 40. Is it possible that the second wave of feminism changed this outlook for generations to come?


Posted May. 09, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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donnac

Join Date: 03/26/14

Posts: 126

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RE: Spinster opens with the following statement: "Whom to marry, and when will it happen—these two questions define every woman's existence." Do you find this to be true in your own life? If so, how have you navigated these expectations?

As a first generation Baby Boomer those questions did indeed define my life -- at least as far as my mother and her sisters were concerned. At the time I was constantly torn between what they expected me to want and what I wanted. I pretty much knew I wanted to marry but was in no hurry. Whether it took a long time or never happened I was okay either way. Likewise with children. Once married, if we had children or not we were more comfortable with either outcome than my mom was.

I navigated those expectations as I did everything else. I was stubborn and stood my ground. Not that that didn't create a lot of introspection and inner turmoil. I have always second and third guessed my decisions. But the more pressure others exert only serves to affirm my resolve -- for right or wrong.

I don't think those questions hang over the heads of today's woman. At least I hope that it is one small step that feminism has hurtled and left behind for the benefit of our children.


Posted May. 10, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Windsong

Join Date: 05/07/13

Posts: 70

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RE: Spinster opens with the following statement: "Whom to marry, and when will it happen—these two questions define every woman's existence." Do you find this to be true in your own life? If so, how have you navigated these expectations?

N*Starr: As I read the book, I wondered if I might be too old to read it. My daughter who is single after a brief marriage and is about the same age as the author found the literary figures' stories interesting, but didn't feel the pressure that Jane Bolick describes. As I read it, I took issue with her lumping together all females in her own personal angst. I do agree with you that reactions will differ depending on the generation they represent.


Posted May. 11, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
andreab

Join Date: 07/29/14

Posts: 76

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RE: Spinster opens with the following statement: "Whom to marry, and when will it happen—these two questions define every woman's existence." Do you find this to be true in your own life? If so, how have you navigated these expectations?

I disagree with this wholeheartedly. In fact, I was firmly convinced that I was not going to marry or have children. I happened to find someone who I couldn't live without and my life changed in ways I never planned.


Posted May. 12, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lynnw

Join Date: 09/01/11

Posts: 129

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RE: Spinster opens with the following statement: "Whom to marry, and when will it happen—these two questions define every woman's existence." Do you find this to be true in your own life? If so, how have you navigated these expectations?

I grew up in the 60s which was the beginning of many changes but my friends and I still dreamed about marriage. My daughters are more the age of the author and both married, but they both have real careers and their marriages are much more a partnership than I had in my marriage.


Posted May. 20, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
elizabethh

Join Date: 06/25/11

Posts: 14

RE: Spinster opens with the following statement: "Whom to marry, and when will it happen—these two questions define every woman's existence." Do you find this to be true in your own life? If so, how have you navigated these expectations?

I'm in my 60's and when I was getting ready to graduate from high school, I had applied to a junior college. My father commented that I didn't need to go to college, I just needed to learn to type so that I could find a job until I found a husband; so, Yes, I would say that was an expectation at the time I was a young woman. As it is, I ended up as a single parent with a career. I went to college after working at low paying jobs for several years, when I came to realize that if I wanted to make positive changes in my life, I should depend on myself and not some knight in shining armor.


Posted May. 21, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
suzanner

Join Date: 04/26/15

Posts: 27

RE: Spinster opens with the following statement: "Whom to marry, and when will it happen—these two questions define every woman's existence." Do you find this to be true in your own life? If so, how have you navigated these expectations?

These questions never formed the basis to my outlook on the world or personal ambitions. In fact as a young collegian I was sure marriage was tiresome and unfulfilling and I didn't "hunt" men. Imagine my surprise when I met another student who in fact became my husband and our many married years have been ones of enormous gratification and partnership.
Not a single academic or career plan was altered because we married but we were and remain flexible enough to accommodate new opportunities and ways of considering life as it presents itself.


Posted May. 29, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cb

Join Date: 03/19/14

Posts: 26

RE: Spinster opens with the following statement: "Whom to marry, and when will it happen—these two questions define every woman's existence." Do you find this to be true in your own life? If so, how have you navigated these expectations?

Marriage was both an external and an internal expectation/ assumption as I approached my "leaving the nest" phase. Not to marry was a fearful thought; being happy, fulfilled, and unmarried not remotely considered. From this side of 40+ years of marriage, I find much to be thankful for. However, I can also see what I may have missed.


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