No Husband, No Cry

| November 20, 2017 | Reply

I’ve got a quick question for all the ‘70s babies’ and ‘90s ladies’ out there——what did TV shows like The Golden Girls, Sex in the City, Girlfriends and Living Single all have in common? Answer: besides featuring predominantly-female casts, each one of those rom-coms depicted smart, stylish, fun-loving women who lived active and fulfilling lives…..without making every on-screen moment about the fact that they were unmarried and (gasp!) didn’t have a man. And, to let UK’s Metro tell it, increasingly more non-fictional ladies are preferring to keep it that way.

        According to Ellen Scott’s recent article, a recent survey conducted by a consumer analyst company Mintel found that 61 percent of women respondents were happy with their single status, in comparison to 49 percent of their male counterparts. The data also showed that more men are more actively pursuing a relationship than women are, 75 percent versus 65 percent. There weren’t any reasons provided as to why the ladies felt that way, but Scott’s post alluded to the inequitable levels of care and involvement when it comes to the ‘little things’ that keep unions and households running on the daily, the everyday tasks that New York Times writer Judith Shulevitz termed ‘worry work’ and what professor Emily Grundy referred to as ‘emotional labor’; planning the weekly dinner menu, remembering birthday cards for the in-laws, filling out the field trip forms. You know……the super-exciting stuff.

“There’s evidence that women spend longer on domestic tasks than men,” Grundy stated to Metro, “….There’s a common finding from a lot of studies that women don’t have a partner tend to do more social activities and more friends compared to women with partners whereas with men it’s the reverse—men without a partner tend to do much less than that.” Like the saying goes, “the devil is in the details.”

      Another factor in a growing segment of contentedly independent women is society’s broader acceptance of singleness. Sure, there are still ‘cat lady’ jokes and people who treat the status like malady, but there is finally a connection being made between romantic notions and cold hard reality. Girls being taught to anticipate a ‘Prince Charming’ and boys growing up expecting to become him creates lofty expectations and disillusioned adults who put marriage last on their lists…..if they attempt marriage at all.

As you’ve probably guessed, the topic quickly went viral, with women confessing that they wished they hadn’t married and just as many women feeling just fine about not marrying at all. Actress and designer Tracee Ellis Ross echoed that sentiment recently as a keynote speaker at Glamour’s Women of the Year Summit, sharing that she’s more than fine with her singleness, thank you very much. “I grew up planning a wedding….I also dreamed of winning an Oscar and being on the cover of magazines and making a difference in the world, helping women find their voices. And from that dreaming, I have built an incredible life. I have become a woman that I am proud to be.”

That’s how it’s supposed to work, in my opinion; ‘live and let live.’ Not everyone does well with marriage and even when they do, it’s rare that a union will offer equal balances of ‘give and take.’ Loving your spouse doesn’t lessen the workload a relationship brings and depending on personal preference, the perpetual tug-of-war is either part of the fun or expecting too much. It is past time for society to accept women’s choices……. whether or not they are girlfriends, mothers or wives.

      Years ago, when he was more famous than infamous, Bill Cosby shared a wise statement about life: “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” And just like those beloved TV shows, storylines stand the test of time when we author them ourselves.

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Category: DMN Briefing Columns, Love & Living

About the Author () showcases the writings of an intelligent and socially savvy wife, mother and journalist who explores a variety of topics (culture, politics, race and gender issues, etc.) with a unique African-American/womanist perspective.* *COPYWRITTEN CONTENT, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED (c) . "Melody Charles," "Chocolate Mama & "Le[e] L[e]e Symone" are writing alter egos/pen names*

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