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Single Women: Psyched Or Sad?

Illustration for article titled Single Women: Psyched Or Sad?

In today's Sydney Morning Herald, columnist Samantha Brett writes about the "Hollywood Freemale." What the hell is a freemale, you ask? It's a stoopid term coined to describe a woman who is single and loving it. She's female, and she's free — of males! Get it? Anyway, Ms. Brett points out that single women in Australia now outnumber married women for the first time since World War I. "Marriage is not the gateway to adulthood anymore," says social historian Stephanie Coontz. And celebrities are leading the way, since there are single stars like Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson and uh, the Pussycat Dolls. Jen Aniston reportedly said being single is great because of "the unknown. I love the discovery of what will be happening." Drew Barrymore says being single "makes you a better lover." Cammie Diaz claims: "I love being alone and being by myself. And I'm really good at it too." But are these Hollywood freemales — and other non-famous single ladies — just kidding themselves?

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Because, as Ms. Brett points out, even media mogul Tyra Banks pouts: "I go home and put my key in my door and... nothing; no friends, no husband, no children. I feel so full when I'm at work but so empty when I come home." And, if you pay any attention to the celeb weeklies, single women need your pity, because they are "lonely" and "can't find love." Plus, Ms. Brett refers to the Lori Gottlieb article in Atlantic Monthly, reminding us that Ms. Gottlieb wrote: "Every woman I know - no matter how successful and ambitious - feels panic, occasionally coupled with desperation, if she hits 30 and finds herself unmarried." While Jen Aniston and Cammie Diaz don't appear to be panicking, Ms. Brett ends with a quote from Cher: "I don't need a man. But I'm happier with one."

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So which is it? Are "freemales" carefree, happy, independent modern women who don't think of a husband as a "must-have" in life? Or are they sad, lonely, empty, desperate souls, secretly terrified that they won't get married? (Bonus question: Are we living in a society that is so afraid of a strong, sexy, single woman that they have to be labeled lonely and thereby taken down a notch?)

Strictly A Solo Act [Sydney Morning Herald]

Earlier: Settle For Mr. "Just OK" — While Your "Marital Value Is Still At Its Peak!"
If You're Single And You Know It, Raise Your Hand
British Writer Knows Why You're Still Single

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DISCUSSION

Apologies for the pedantic research note: it's not really accurate to draw the conclusion that unmarried women are 'freemales' (ugh.) because marriage is not as common as it used to be, and not everyone can get married. At least some of those unmarried women must have partners.

A true article on the subject would probably have to say that some women prefer to stay single, and some would rather be partnered up, and they are both perfectly normal. And some married women are not all that happy, but some are, and they're all normal too.

Like the bumper sticker says "feminism is the radical notion that women are people".