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Spinster
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How does spinsterhood compare to bachelordom? Does society celebrate the single man?

Created: 04/28/16

Replies: 14

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

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1335

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How does spinsterhood compare to bachelordom? Does society celebrate the single man?

How does spinsterhood compare to bachelordom? Does society celebrate the single man?


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

Join Date: 05/24/11

Posts: 71

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RE: How does spinsterhood compare to bachelordom? Does society celebrate the single man?

Think of the differences in the connotation of the two words. I don't think there is anything negative construed by the word "bachelor", but I certainly don't think there would be a reality show with the title, "The Spinster." I am not sure that society celebrates the single man, but it is not the negative that spinsterhood seems to be seen as.


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

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 212

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RE: How does spinsterhood compare to bachelordom? Does society celebrate the single man?

The word "spinster" has continued to have a negative connotation, though I don't think it is use very often these days. Bachelor has continued to mean an unmarried man, with no negative meanings attached to the word.


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

Join Date: 01/20/16

Posts: 33

RE: How does spinsterhood compare to bachelordom? Does society celebrate the single man?

While I think the bachelor is sometimes views with a bit of pity, they are often seen as an opportunity for some "lucky" woman. Case in point - The Ten Most Eligible Bachelors." Whoever heard of the "Ten Most Eligible Spinsters?"
I am hoping that this book can help with the very negative connotation regarding " the Spinster" and help people see it for the independent, positive choice that it most often is.


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: How does spinsterhood compare to bachelordom? Does society celebrate the single man?

I agree that spinster has a negative connotation while bachelor is somewhat positive. And while society...literature as well as movies magnify the connotations, my own experience is that the elders in our family pressure thr young men equally to get married.


Posted May. 03, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melanieb

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 86

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RE: How does spinsterhood compare to bachelordom? Does society celebrate the single man?

I think U.S. American society is more accepting of spinsterhood because statistically we are a society that has experienced a marked shift in the number of single, divorced, widowed women as a whole and we have had to adapt to changing gender roles and expectations in our families and in the workplace. The single man is celebrated up to a point then as men progress through their 30s, 40s, and 50s, we begin to wonder what's wrong with the single man, why hasn't he married and settled down yet? I see a shift in how we view spinsterhood and it is a shift toward more acceptance.


Posted May. 03, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1335

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RE: How does spinsterhood compare to bachelordom? Does society celebrate the single man?

I think Melanie makes a good point - as the perceptions of a woman remaining single start to be seen more positively, those of men who stay single are perhaps shifting the other way. Maybe one day it will just not need to be a topic of note at all!

That single women are more accepted in society now than once they were seems a given, but in which case, what took so long!? During the 20th century, wars wiped out great chunks of the male population across Europe leaving millions of women without husbands. How did society manage to continue to frown on these women despite the fact that during most of the century it was a statistical impossibility for them all to "find husbands"? I hope to find some answers in Singled Out: How Two Million British Women Survived Without Men After the First World War by Virginia Nicholson.


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

Join Date: 05/01/13

Posts: 44

RE: How does spinsterhood compare to bachelordom? Does society celebrate the single man?

The writer nicely posits male singlehood vs female singlehood. Even in our post acceptance society, women who are unmarried have a different sort of societal pressure as opposed to men.


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

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 160

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RE: How does spinsterhood compare to bachelordom? Does society celebrate the single man?

It has been my experience that single men are more accepted, if not exactly celebrated, up to a certain age, then there begin to be questions about why they aren't married and perhaps assumptions, true or not, made about them. Single women, on the other hand, are seldom celebrated (note the posts above about the show "The Bachelor"). However, I've lived long enough to see societal perceptions shifting and less stigma being attached to women who remain singe. A example is how the pejorative term "spinster" is falling out of most people's vocabularies.


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

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 183

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RE: How does spinsterhood compare to bachelordom? Does society celebrate the single man?

I think there is less interest these days if a person is single or married status. Unless of course their mothers!


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

Join Date: 05/07/13

Posts: 70

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RE: How does spinsterhood compare to bachelordom? Does society celebrate the single man?

Again, it is the word spinsterhood. It feels like a curse or a damnation to an forlorn life. I would rather compare the single female life, such as my good friend's life, to a bachelor's life. Is there much difference in 2016 unless we talk of equal pay or benefits with the IRS?


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

Join Date: 10/23/12

Posts: 56

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RE: How does spinsterhood compare to bachelordom? Does society celebrate the single man?

I think the reason people don't use "spinster" anymore is that it doesn't have a place in our society anymore than old fashioned Victorian political correctness. I am not discounting individual experiences, but single women and single men will always have a different experience because we are different: made different - thinking different - moving through life differently. There is nothing wrong or awful about it. We have clearly different thought processes, ways of managing our world and for all the talk about it being so terrible that we are different ... it is what it is.


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

Join Date: 03/26/14

Posts: 122

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RE: How does spinsterhood compare to bachelordom? Does society celebrate the single man?

Spinsterhood, as I stated elsewhere, is an archaic term that should be retired. Bachelorhood is pretty much a commercial term anymore. When a man defines himself as a bachelor he's identifying with another archaic figure in the form of the likes of Playboy Magazine's Hugh Hefner. These guys, players I think they're also called, define themselves -- encouraged by media -- as "catches" for some "lucky" woman! I think most emotionally mature women see this as a joke, an amusing anachronism but it also impedes equality between genders.

TV shows such as The Bachelor are (minimally) entertaining throwback pieces that unfortunately reinforce attitudes best left in the 1950s.


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

Join Date: 09/01/11

Posts: 124

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RE: How does spinsterhood compare to bachelordom? Does society celebrate the single man?

A bachelor is perceived as having a very full and fun life. A spinster is an object of pity.


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

Join Date: 04/26/15

Posts: 27

RE: How does spinsterhood compare to bachelordom? Does society celebrate the single man?

Neither gender has a celebrated status over time without benefit of marriage. Perhaps men are seen as desirable or sublimated in their singleness with a greater frivolity of tolerance until a certain age. By middle age living without ever have been married does suggest questions or casts narrowing appraisals for both men and women. Literature has long celebrated the "single man" but it was always understood that affairs were his order of the day. Yes, it takes a woman for a man to have an affair but that is a currency of quite another marker.


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