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Spinster
A bold, original, moving book that will inspire fanatical devotion and ignite...
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Each of Bolick's awakeners marry at some point in their lives, yet Bolick maintains that they are spinsters. Ultimately, what do you think makes someone a spinster?

Created: 04/28/16

Replies: 13

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

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

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Each of Bolick's awakeners marry at some point in their lives, yet Bolick maintains that they are spinsters. Ultimately, what do you think makes someone a spinster?

Each of Bolick's awakeners marry at some point in their lives, yet Bolick maintains that they are spinsters. Ultimately, what do you think makes someone a spinster?


Posted Apr. 30, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Windsong

Join Date: 05/07/13

Posts: 70

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RE: Each of Bolick's awakeners marry at some point in their lives, yet Bolick maintains that they are spinsters. Ultimately, what do you think makes someone a spinster?

I really had a hard time understanding a spinster wish or a married spinster. i had not heard the word in a long time so when I saw the title, my mind flashed to my elementary years where all my teachers were Miss. My favorite wore those black shoes with sturdy heels and laces. For me a spinster is old, unmarried and a termagant. I had a difficult time connecting her dots from alone by choice to spinster.


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: Each of Bolick's awakeners marry at some point in their lives, yet Bolick maintains that they are spinsters. Ultimately, what do you think makes someone a spinster?

The word Spinster has a harsh connotation, but Bolick treats it as a badge of honor. How can one be a married spinster; it must have to do with that singleminded desire for independence, finding meaning and satisfaction outside of a relationship. As she describes 'spinster wish' as 'my private shorthand for the novel pleasures of being alone' ...and 'a thought experiment a way to imagine in detail what it would be like to never settle down,' it leads me to believe categorizing oneself as a spinster, married or not, is simply a state of mind.


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

Join Date: 08/29/13

Posts: 68

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RE: Each of Bolick's awakeners marry at some point in their lives, yet Bolick maintains that they are spinsters. Ultimately, what do you think makes someone a spinster?

I used to have a image of a spinster as a old crabby never married woman but I think that's just societies sexist attitudes that I grew up with. Bolick made me see spinster as a woman who lives fully. She develops her mind, her career, her interests and lives fully without regrets. Traditionally I think too many women get lost in the lives of their husband and children and lose themselves. I think you can be a married spinster if you continue to have a life of your own. A extreme example of the opposite of spinster wife would be the book or movie of The Stepford Wives.


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

Join Date: 05/14/11

Posts: 28

RE: Each of Bolick's awakeners marry at some point in their lives, yet Bolick maintains that they are spinsters. Ultimately, what do you think makes someone a spinster?

Windsong has said exactly what I thought about the title when I first saw it. Spinster is a sad word from its ancient use. Perhaps a new one would be harder to achieve than a re-defining of it. This, I think, is what the author boldly suggests in her title.
I know several women who have chosen to be single. Some were married briefly, some have children, but all have arrived at being single and stayed that way. Most of them are quite happy, thank you, and while they would like occasional male company (for any number of reasons) are quite delighted to be "on their own". Karenrn hits it on the nose when she says that women often get lost in the lives of their husband and children and lose themselves. A husband who recognizes the need for taking care of one's self and having accomplishments of one's own understands that need. That's when a married women has the rights that a single woman has. As recently as the 1970s women were still struggling to have those rights that we now think have always been there.
"A single-minded desire for independence, finding satisfaction outside a relationship" sounds rather like a selfish, self-centered, hedonistic person rather than a person who loves a partner and still needs to feel accomplished as a human being.
If gay can mean a certain type of male person instead of happy and nice can mean good rather than fine-pointed why not spinster mean single woman instead of old hag? Like the author suggests in her bold title, let's just do it!


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: Each of Bolick's awakeners marry at some point in their lives, yet Bolick maintains that they are spinsters. Ultimately, what do you think makes someone a spinster?

When I mentioned this book to my book club, they all had a shocked look on their face. As mentioned by others, the word has a negative connotation--although the definition is an unmarried and childless woman. I think I have heard elsewhere that the normal progression goes spinster to hag...another word with very negative connotations. During my lifetime, I have certainly noticed a change in the attitude towards --first women who were not homemakers, then women who were both homemakers (wives and mothers) and worked, and finally a woman choosing exactly what she wants for her life. It would be good to have a different term--we could use one for women who choose to be childless.


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

Join Date: 05/14/11

Posts: 28

RE: Each of Bolick's awakeners marry at some point in their lives, yet Bolick maintains that they are spinsters. Ultimately, what do you think makes someone a spinster?

Oh, yeah, I agree with Sweeney re the shock at the mention of the title. But other attempts to admit new words to such an old dilemma have proved less than successful (P.O.S.S.L.Q., Ms., etc.) so that's why the suggestion of just a new definition. On the other hand, we could just eliminate the adjectives altogether and say "woman", "man" .......


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: Each of Bolick's awakeners marry at some point in their lives, yet Bolick maintains that they are spinsters. Ultimately, what do you think makes someone a spinster?

Spinster is an old word with an old meaning. I can't even imagine a woman in this day and age saying, "Oh yes, I am a spinster" Why do we need to add more adjectives. Status: married, single, widowed divorced, spinster. married spinster, divorced spinster. The word seems to be slipping out of our vocabulary, why not let it go. Just as she had a "room of her own", any woman can have a "life of her own". It is up to her.


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: Each of Bolick's awakeners marry at some point in their lives, yet Bolick maintains that they are spinsters. Ultimately, what do you think makes someone a spinster?

To be labeled a spinster is to have a sense of independence and willingness to be different. It's an attitude of dedication to whatever is important to a woman separate and sometimes exclusive from a spouse. It's the part of a woman's self that remains hers no matter whether or how she is connected to another person.


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

Join Date: 05/11/15

Posts: 31

RE: Each of Bolick's awakeners marry at some point in their lives, yet Bolick maintains that they are spinsters. Ultimately, what do you think makes someone a spinster?

I have sort of addressed this in another topic. Agree wholeheartedly with reene.


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

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 212

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RE: Each of Bolick's awakeners marry at some point in their lives, yet Bolick maintains that they are spinsters. Ultimately, what do you think makes someone a spinster?

No one should be labeled. You are who you are, no identifying term should ever be used. No one was ever called a spinster because of their independence and attitude. It was the way a generation referred to unmarried women with no connotations explaining it.


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: Each of Bolick's awakeners marry at some point in their lives, yet Bolick maintains that they are spinsters. Ultimately, what do you think makes someone a spinster?

I really think the book should have been named differently. When I first heard of it I had no interest in reading it. I couldn't say what makes a spinster but I think a single woman is someone who is an independent thinker and who does not always comply with what is considered "the norm". She is strong willed and confident in her own existence.


Posted May. 22, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
suzanner

Join Date: 04/26/15

Posts: 27

RE: Each of Bolick's awakeners marry at some point in their lives, yet Bolick maintains that they are spinsters. Ultimately, what do you think makes someone a spinster?

Here Bolick means that these "spinsters" are leading authentic lives, designed by their free will and powerful intellect. It is a medal of independence that they have achieved, despite being women and married ones for the most part. Bolick means it as a complements, thereby forcing us readers to assess how we regard the single life.
Still in all, I believe Bolick is obsessed with justifying her very own choices without understanding howo she made them or assessing the direction her life is going is.
What has she produced, if being productive with our lives is a measure of our days?
Can she point to serious accomplishments?
What is her relation to her physical self as it informs her innate spirituality?


Posted May. 23, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Pepper

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 12

RE: Each of Bolick's awakeners marry at some point in their lives, yet Bolick maintains that they are spinsters. Ultimately, what do you think makes someone a spinster?

I am a widow of a decade-plus. I married late, 37, and never thought of myself as a spinster.
As an unmarried woman in my 30s I was starting to think my wedding ship had sailed, but never thought of myself as single by choice. I'd have married if the right guy came along.
I'm a widow, not a single mom. No one comes to take my kids every other weekend, drives the carpool or pays their insurance.
Still--not a spinster. Maybe we do need to reconsider the image that word evokes, but I'll never claim it.
(-:


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