Unmarried Quotes

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A woman at a certain age who is unmarried, our society teaches her to see it as a deep personal failure. And a man, after a certain age isn’t married, we just think he hasn’t come around to making his pick.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (We Should All Be Feminists)
The world is filled with unmarried marriage counselors.
Charles M. Schulz (The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 12: 1973-1974)
I knew the legends of the birds. Seagulls were the souls of dead soldiers. Owls were the souls of women. Doves were the recently departed souls of unmarried girls. Was there a bird for the souls of people like me?
Ruta Sepetys (Salt to the Sea)
Mr. Park’s home, which doubled as his office, was small, dark, and stank of old man. Although Mr. Park was not that old, he was cheap and unmarried. And that smell, and the smell of old man, are easily confused.
J.K. Franko
Rohan, one of us is an unmarried man with superior mathematical abilities and no prospects for the evening. The other is a confirmed lecher in an amorous mood, with a willing and nubile young wife waiting at home. Who do you think should do the damned account books?" And, with a nonchalant wave, St. Vincent had left the office.
Lisa Kleypas (Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1))
It is a woman's business to get married as soon as possible, and a man's to keep unmarried as long as he can.
George Bernard Shaw
Mrs. Loontwill did what any well-prepared mother would do upon finding her unmarried daughter in the arms of a gentleman werewolf: she had very decorous, and extremely loud, hysterics.
Gail Carriger (Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1))
And yet, you are unmarried?” “No,” she says, “I confess, I do not want a master, and I’ve yet to find an equal.
V.E. Schwab (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue)
Every unmarried man is looking for a wife. They just don't always know it.
Julia Quinn (Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith Quartet #1))
We are hidiously rich Annabelle-- and I've got three older brothers, all unmarried. Would you consider one of them? If you like, I'll have one shipped across the Atlantic for your inspection." -Lillian Bowman
Lisa Kleypas (Secrets of a Summer Night (Wallflowers, #1))
Look at his hair. He looks like his father. (Cassandra) He has your lungs. (Wulf) Oh, please! (Cassandra) Trust me. Every Apollite here knows that my parents were unmarried at my birth, and that if you survive the night, you plan on making me a eunuch. (Wulf)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Kiss of the Night (Dark-Hunter, #4))
Most unmarried Somali girls who got pregnant committed suicide. I knew of one girl in Mogadishu who poured a can of gasoline over herself in the living room, with everyone there, and burned herself alive. Of course, if she hadn't done this, her father and brothers would probably have killed her anyway.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Infidel)
I think some men love the idea of a strong independent woman but they don’t want to marry a strong independent woman,
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
Why is being an unmarried woman something that we should be ashamed of, as if we’ve failed? Men don’t feel this way. When they haven’t married, they make it sound like they’ve gotten away with something. Their single status makes them even more appealing to the other sex.
Eileen Cook (Unpredictable)
Elizabeth Middleton, twenty-nine years old and unmarried, overly educated and excessively rational, knowing right from wrong and fancy from fact, woke in a nest of marten and fox pelts to the sight of an eagle circling overhead, and saw at once that it could not be far to Paradise.
Sara Donati (Into the Wilderness (Wilderness, #1))
Why is it that married people always say "Come in" when everything they do says "Get out"? They talk about their miseries and then ask you why you're unmarried.
Malcolm Bradbury (The History Man)
Always choose yourself first. Women are very socialized to choose other people. If you put yourself first, it’s this incredible path you can forge for yourself.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
There is something so INEVITABLE about seven-and-twenty; it is decidedly on the wrong side of the decade for a lady, particularly an unmarried one.
Stephanie Barron (Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor (Jane Austen Mysteries, #1))
I know of nobody that is coming, I am sure, unless Charlotte Lucas should happen to call in- and I am sure my dinners are good enough for her, since she is an unmarried woman of seven-and-twenty, and as such should expect little more than a crust of bread washed down with a cup of loneliness.
Seth Grahame-Smith (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, #1))
One does not sleep well, sometimes, when one is twenty-nine on the morrow, and unmarried, in a community and connection where the unmarried are simply those who have failed to get a man.
L.M. Montgomery (The Blue Castle)
I hate weddings,' she says. 'They make me feel so unmarried. Actually, even brushing my teeth makes me feel unmarried.
Melissa Bank (The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing)
If people do not believe in permanent marriage, it is perhaps better that they should live together unmarried than that they should make vows they do not mean to keep. It is true that by living together without marriage they will be guilty (in Christian eyes) of fornication. But one fault is not mended by adding another; unchastity is not improved by adding perjury. The idea that 'being in love' is the only reason for remaining married really leaves no room for marriage as a contract or promise at all. If love is the whole thing, then the promise can add nothing; and if it adds nothing, then it should not be made.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
Miss Proudie was not quite so civil. Had Mr. Robarts been still unmarried, she also could have smiled sweetly; but she had been exercising smiles on clergymen too long to waste them now on a married parish parson.
Anthony Trollope (Complete Works of Anthony Trollope)
For the love of ammonites, man! That's just stupid. Why on earth would the Society need to protect unmarried women from bone-dry lectures regarding soil composition? Do your members find themselves whipped into some sort of dusty frenzy, from which no delicate lass would be safe?" Mr. Barrington tugged on his coat. "Sometimes the debate does get heated." Colin turned to her. "Min, Can I just hit him?" "I think that's a bad idea." "run him through with something sharp?
Tessa Dare (A Week to Be Wicked (Spindle Cove, #2))
In part, that's because when we delay marriage, it's not just women who become independent. It's also men, who, like women, learn to clothe and feed themselves, to clean their homes iron their shirts and pack their own suitcases.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
I wound up happily married because I lived in an era in which I could be happily single.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
Who's this?" he said, coming across a name he didn't recognize. "Lady Georgina of Sandalhurst? Why are we inviting her? I don't know her. Why are we asking people we don't know?" I know her," Pauline replied. There was a certain steeliness in her voice that Halt would have done well to recognize. "She's my aunt, Bit of an old stick, really, but I have to invite her." You've never mentioned her before," Halt challenged. True. I don't like her very much. As I said, she's a bit of an old stick." Then why are we inviting her?" We're inviting her," Lady Pauline explained, "because Aunt Georgina has spent the last twenty years bemoaning the fact that I was unmarried. 'Poor Pauline!' she'd cry to anyone who'd listen. 'She'll be a lonley old maid! Married to her job! She'll never find a husband to look after her!' It's just too good an opportunity to miss." Halt's eyebrows came together in a frown. There might be a few things that would annoy him more than someone criticizing the woman he loved, but for a moment, he couldn't think of one. Agreed," he said. "And let's sit her with the most boring people possible at the wedding feast." Good thinking," Lady Pauline said. She made a note on another sheet of paper. "I'll make her the first person on the Bores' table." The Bores' table?" Halt said. "I'm not sure I've heard that term." Every wedding has to have a Bores' table," his fiance explained patiently. "We take all the boring, annoying, bombastic people and sit them together. That way they all bore each other and they don't bother the normal people we've asked." Wouldn't it be simpler to just ask the people you like?" Halt askede. "Except Aunt Georgina, of course--there's a good reason to ask her. But why ask others?" It's a family thing," Lady Pauline said, adding a second and third name to the Bores' table as she thought of them. "You have to ask family and every family has its share of annoying bores. It's just organizing a wedding.
John Flanagan (Erak's Ransom (Ranger's Apprentice, #7))
Over the years I’ve noticed that only men use this phrase—“unlucky in love”—in reference exclusively to unmarried women, as if they can’t possibly comprehend that contentment or even happiness is possible without the centrality of a man.
Kate Bolick (Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own)
For young women, for the first time, it is as normal to be unmarried as it is to be married, even if it doesn't always feel that way.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
I'm a licensed private investigator and have been for quite a while. I'm a lone wolf, unmarried, getting middle-aged, and not rich. I've been in jail more than once and I don't do divorce business. I like liquor and women and chess and a few other things. The cops don't like me too well, but I know a couple I get along with. I'm a native son, born in Santa Rosa, both parents dead, no brothers or sisters, and when I get knocked off in a dark alley sometime, if it happens, as it could to anyone in my business, nobody will feel that the bottom has dropped out of his or her life.
Raymond Chandler (The Long Goodbye (Philip Marlowe, #6))
When a woman does not want to have a child, she usually has good reason. She may be unmarried or in a bad marriage. She may consider herself too poor to raise a child. She may think her life is too unstable or unhappy, or she may think that her drinking or drug use will damage the baby’s health. She may believe that she is too young or hasn’t yet received enough education. She may want a child badly but in a few years, not now. For any of a hundred reasons, she may feel that she cannot provide a home environment that is conducive to raising a healthy and productive child.
Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything)
Aunts are to be a pattern and example to all aunts; to be a delight to boys (and girls) and a comfort to their parents; and to show that at least one daughter in every generation ought to remain unmarried, and raise the profession of auntship to a fine art.
Dave Isay (Listening Is an Act of Love: A Celebration of American Life from the StoryCorps Project)
In work, it is possible to find commitment, attachment, chemistry, and connection. In fact, it's high time that more people acknowledged the electric pull that women can feel for their profession, the exciting heat of ambition and frisson of success.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
But, mostly, I didn't pursue people I wasn't crazy about because I was busy doing things that I enjoyed more than being with men I wasn't crazy about.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
Generally, a woman would rather be married to any man that she doesn’t hate, than remain unmarried to a man that she loves.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
Her heart was beating a marathon somewhere in the region of her throat, her skin felt hot and stretched taut over her bones, and she was damp in places she was tolerably certain unmarried gentlewomen were not supposed to be damp in.
Gail Carriger (Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1))
If a man is unmarried, he is called a bachelor. If a woman is unmarried, she is called a spinster or an old maid. What is it about an unmarried woman that poses such a threat to the patriarchal order? Mainly, it is that women are no one's property when we're unmarried. We're under no one's control, and neither are our children. There is no telling what we might do or say.
Marianne Williamson (A Woman's Worth)
But she had a lively acquaintaince with confinement through the works of women novelists, especially those of the unmarried ones.
Stella Gibbons (Cold Comfort Farm)
What are you doing now, you lazy drunken obscene unsayable son of an unnameable unmarried gipsy obscenity? What are you doing?
Ernest Hemingway
Prudence's flat was in the kind of block where Jane imagined people might be found dead, though she had never said this to Prudence herself; it seemed rather a macabre fancy and not one to be confided to an unmarried woman living alone.
Barbara Pym (Jane and Prudence)
Marriage, it seemed to me, walled my favorite fictional women off from the worlds in which they had once run free, or, if not free, then at least forward, with currents of narrative possibility at their backs. It was often at just the moment that their educations were complete and their childhood ambitions coming into focus that these troublesome, funny girls were suddenly contained, subsumed, and reduced by domesticity.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
A 'career woman,'" Sylvie said, as if the two words had no place in the same sentence. "A spinster," she added, contemplating the word. Ursula wondered why her mother was working so hard to rile her. "Perhaps you will never marry," Sylvie said, as if in conclusion, as if Ursula's life was as good as over. "Would that be such a bad thing? 'The unmarried daughter,'" Ursula said, tucking into an iced fancy. "It was good enough for Jane Austen.
Kate Atkinson (Life After Life (Todd Family, #1))
Although sex was something they both regarded as perilous, marriage had, by contrast, seemed safe– a safe house in a world of danger; the ultimate haven of two solitary, fearful souls. When you were single, this was what everyone who was already married was always telling you. Daniel himself had said it to his unmarried friends. It was, however, a lie. Sex had everything to do with violence, that was true, and marriage was at once a container for the madness between men and women and a fragile hedge against it, as religion was to death, and the laws of physics to the immense quantity of utter emptiness of which the universe was made. But there was nothing at all safe about marriage. It was a doubtful enterprise, a voyage in an untested craft, across a hostile ocean, with a map that was a forgery and with no particular destination but the grave.
Michael Chabon (Werewolves in Their Youth)
Here is the nexus of where work, gender, marriage, and money collide: Dependency.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
They were white, because the U.S. Army in World War II was segregated. With three exceptions, they were unmarried. Most had been hunters and athletes in high school.
Stephen E. Ambrose (Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest)
A strong Protectionist, believes In everything but Heaven. For entertainment, dines, receives, Unmarried, 57.
Hilaire Belloc (Cautionary Verses)
But the teaching that motherhood is a woman's highest calling can be painful and isolating for women who remain unmarried or childless.
Rachel Held Evans (A Year of Biblical Womanhood)
Are you unmarried? Do not bewail yourself, as if your life must be incomplete. Yours is not a higher state, as celibacy has falsely taught, but it is neither a failure nor a shame. Cease to measure yourself by human standards. Find rest in being just what your heavenly Father wills you to be. It may be that you have been kept free from the limited circle of a home, in order to pour your love on those who have no one else to love them.
F.B. Meyer
Bertram!” Jackaby patted him on the arm affably as he bustled past him into the front hall. “It’s been ages, how are the kids?” “I remain unmarried, Mr. Jackaby, and I’m afraid you can’t be seen just now.” “Nonsense. Miss Rook, can you see me?” “Certainly, sir.” “Well, there you have it. You must have your eyes checked, Bertram. Now
William Ritter (Ghostly Echoes (Jackaby, #3))
Gideon could not imagine any other young unmarried woman of his acquaintance passing up the opportunity to snare, if not himself, then the Carradice fortune. In any case, the number of women who’d rejected him in any way was gratifyingly small. Yet Miss Prudence Merridew had most unmistakably rejected him. Several times. Wielding that damned lethal reticule like a little Amazon, to emphasize her point.
Anne Gracie (The Perfect Rake (The Merridew Sisters, #1))
Miss, n. A title with which we brand unmarried women to indicate they are in the market. Miss, Misses (Mrs.) and Mister (Mr.) are the three most distinctly disagreeable words in the language, in sound and sense. Two are corruptions of Mistress, the other of Master. In the general abolition of social titles in this our country they miraculously escaped to plague us. If we must have them let us be consistent and give one to the unmarried man. I venture to suggest Mush, abbreviated to Mh.
Ambrose Bierce
What the hell is that?" yelled Lord Maccon. He had turned to anger so swiftly; Alexia could only stare at him, speechless. She let out her pent-up breath in a whoosh. Her heart was beating a marathon somewhere in the region of her throat, her skin felt hot and stretched taut over her bones, and she was damp in places she was tolerably certain unmarried gentlewomen were not supposed to be damp in. Lord Maccon was glaring at her coffee-colored skin, discolored between the neck and shoulder region by an ugly purple mark, the size and shape of a man's teeth. "that is a bite mark, my lord," she said. Lord Maccon was ever more enraged. "Who bit you?" he roared. Alexia tilted her head to one side in amazement. "You did." She was then treated to the spectacle of an Alpha werewolf looking downright hangdog. "I did?" She raised both eyebrows at him. "I did.
Gail Carriger (Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1))
In the New World, “spinster” gained a more precise meaning: in colonial parlance, it indicated an unmarried woman over the age of twenty-three and under the age of twenty-six. At twenty-six, women without spouses became thornbacks, a reference to a sea-skate with sharp spines covering its back and tail. It was not a compliment
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
When people call single women selfish for the act of tending to themselves, it's important to remember that the very acknowledgement that women have selves that exist independently of others, and especially independent of husbands and children, is revolutionary. A true age of female selfishness, in which women recognized and prioritized their own drives to the same degree to which they have always been trained to tend to the needs of all others, might, in fact, be an enlightened corrective to centuries of self-sacrifice.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
Progress got me to the age of 50 as a woman, unmarried with my own money, no kids, writing for shits and giggles and not being burned as a witch with a lippy mouth. I will take progress as we currently know it flaw and all.
S.E. Bourne
I would have the small happinesses of the unmarried girl in glasses who spends her life studying: a walk, being taken by the hand.
Elena Ferrante (The Story of a New Name (The Neapolitan Novels, #2))
De Montaigne described marriage as much like a cage full of birds, where the unmarried struggle to get in and the married struggle to get out.
Fiona Paul (Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #1))
The majority of black women are unmarried today, including 70 percent of professional black women.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
Lady Harborough... was on the platform, making a short speech in which she described the valuable work her hospital fund was doing. It seemed to consist largely of rescuing unmarried mothers from poverty and subjecting them to slavery instead, with the additional disadvantage of being preached at daily by evangelical clergymen.
Philip Pullman (The Shadow in the North (Sally Lockhart, #2))
Statistically, athletes with solid family units have better stamina, more purpose, better mental health, and overall improved performance than athletes who are either divorced or unmarried.
Amy Harmon (The Song of David (The Law of Moses, #2))
Unmarried women in their forties, with false teeth and tousled hair, aren't usually held in the highest esteem by our society. The feeling seemed to be that if I could be a success then anyone could!
Susan Boyle (The Woman I Was Born to Be: My Story)
Sejal had not thought of her home, or of India as a whole, as cool. She was dimly aware, however, of a white Westerner habit of wearing other cultures like T-shirts—the sticker bindis on club kids, sindoor in the hair of an unmarried pop star, Hindi characters inked carelessly on tight tank tops and pale flesh. She knew Americans liked to flash a little Indian or Japanese or African. They were always looking for a little pepper to put in their dish.
Adam Rex (Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story)
[F]rom my years of understanding ... I happily chose this kind of life in which I yet live [i.e., unmarried], which I assure you for my own part hath hitherto best contented myself and I trust hath been most acceptable to God. From the which if either ambition of high estate offered to me in marriage by the pleasure and appointment of my prince ... or if the eschewing of the danger of my enemies or the avoiding of the peril of death ... could have drawn or dissuaded me from this kind of life, I had not now remained in this estate wherein you see me. But so constant have I always continued in this determination ... yet is it most true that at this day I stand free from any other meaning that either I have had in times past or have at this present.
Elizabeth I (Collected Works)
When we cast, as we so often do, the choice not to permanently partner as a failure or as a tragedy, we assume partnership as a norm to which everyone should or must aspire.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
Everyone knows that part of the spirit descends to the afterworld, while part of it remains with the family, but we have a special belief about the spirit of a young woman who has died before her marriage that goes contrary to this. She comes back to prey upon other unmarried girls--not to scare them but to take them to the afterworld with her so she might have company.
Lisa See
To Take Back a Life First, you must learn desire. Hold its fruit in your hands. Unmarry it from the hunger to be held, to be wanted, to be called from the streets like the family dog. You are not a 'good girl.' You are not somebody's otherness. This is not a dress rehearsal before a better kind of life. Pick up your heavy burdens and leave them at the gate. I will hold the door for you.
Kate Baer (What Kind of Woman)
The solution, she advises, is, “when you meet a woman who is intimidatingly witty, stylish, beautiful, and professionally accomplished, befriend her. Surrounding yourself with the best people doesn’t make you look worse by comparison. It makes you look better.” Marital
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
Any time women do anything with their lives that is not in service to others, they are readily perceived as acting perversely. Historian
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
Sir, married or unmarried, all women bleed.
Ronlyn Domingue (The Mercy of Thin Air)
In my experience, the unmarried women are the smartest.
Marius Gabriel (The Designer)
Maybe it shouldn’t have come as such a surprise, but like a tooth extraction, there was a moment of intense pain and then a numbing sense of loss. I was officially unmarried.
Larry J. Dunlap (Night People (Things We Lost in the Night, #1))
Throughout the island they wear the same sort of clothes, without any other distinction except what is necessary to distinguish the two sexes and the married and unmarried. 
Thomas More (Utopia)
To be clear, the vast increase in the number of single women is to be celebrated not because singleness is in and of itself a better or more desirable state than coupledom. The revolution is in the expansion of options, the lifting of the imperative that for centuries hustled nearly all (non-enslaved) women, regardless of their individual desires, ambitions, circumstances, or the quality of available matches, down a single highway toward early heterosexual marriage and motherhood.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
Women in these societies often dislike marriage specifically because as wives they are obliged to produce food for men, and they have to work harder than they would as unmarried women.
Richard W. Wrangham (Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human)
The door of Reverend Verringer’s impressive manse is opened by an elderly female with a face like a pine plank; the Reverend is unmarried, and has need of an irreproachable housekeeper. Simon is ushered into the library. It is so self-consciously the right sort of library that he has an urge to set fire to it.
Margaret Atwood (Alias Grace)
Anyone who practices a scientific technique for divine realization is a yogi. He may be either married or unmarried, either a man of worldly responsibilities or one of formal religious ties.
Paramahansa Yogananda (Autobiography of a Yogi (Complete Edition))
Loving without judgment or fear of abandonment is. . . . the toughest activity known to mankind and I think with best friend that can be even more pronounced because you aren’t my mom, we don’t have kids together—but we do have matching tattoos.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
Marriage, historically, has been one of the best ways for men to assert, reproduce, and pass on their power, to retain their control.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
It is an invitation to wrestle with a whole new set of expectations about what female maturity entails, now that it is not shaped and defined by early marriage. In
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
But Elizabeth didn’t flinch. “I’m confused,” she said. “You’re firing me on the basis of being pregnant and unwed. What about the man?” “What man? You mean Evans?” Donatti asked. “Any man. When a woman gets pregnant outside of marriage, does the man who made her pregnant get fired, too?” “What? What are you talking about?” “Would you have fired Calvin, for instance?” “Of course not!” “If not, then, technically, you have no grounds to fire me.” Donatti looked confused. What? “Of course, I do,” he stumbled. “Of course, I do! You’re the woman! You’re the one who got knocked up!” “That’s generally how it works. But you do realize that a pregnancy requires a man’s sperm.” “Miss Zott, I’m warning you. Watch your language.” “You’re saying that if an unmarried man makes an unmarried woman pregnant, there is no consequence for him. His life goes on. Business as usual.
Bonnie Garmus (Lessons in Chemistry)
I was a grown-up: A reasonably complicated person. I'd become that person not in the company of any one man, but alongside my friends, my family, my city, my work, and, simply, by myself.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
The best man. You know? He hands you the ring and has to marry the bride if you ran away and so on. The Dean's been reading up on it, haven't you, Dean?" "Oh, yes," said the Dean, who'd spent all the previous day with "Lady Deirdre Waggon's Book of Etiquette". "She's got to marry someone once she's turned up. You can't have unmarried brides flapping around the place, being a danger to society." "I completely forgot about a best man!" said Vimes.
Terry Pratchett (Men at Arms (Discworld, #15; City Watch, #2))
He that hath wife and children," says Lord Bacon, "hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief. Certainly the best works, and of greatest merit for the public, have proceeded from the unmarried or childless men." I say the same of women.
Mary Wollstonecraft (Vindication of the Rights of Woman)
Fubuki, wouldn’t it be a thousand times better to stay unmarried than tie yourself down with some creep? What would you do with a husband like that? And how can you feel ashamed of not marrying one of these men, when you’re so sublime, so Olympian? They’re almost all shorter than you. Don’t you think that’s a sign? You’re too long a bow for any of these pathetic little shooters.
Amélie Nothomb (Stupeur et tremblements)
Noah, however, was a son of a bitch of a captain who ran a very tight ship. Only pairs of the best and the brightest were allowed to climb the plank—perpetuate the species, repopulate the planet, and all that Nazi nonsense. Would Noah have allowed a lesbian zebra aboard, an unmarried hedgehog, a limping lemur?
Rabih Alameddine (An Unnecessary Woman)
Prudence’s flat was in the kind of block where Jane imagined people might be found dead, though she had never said this to Prudence herself; it seemed rather a macabre fancy and not one to be confided to an unmarried woman living alone.
Barbara Pym (Jane and Prudence)
The fact is, being married to your job for some portion or all of your life, even if it does in some way inhibit romantic prospects, is not necessarily a terrible fate, provided that you are lucky enough to enjoy your work, or the money you earn at it, or the respect it garners you, or the people you do it with. Earning,
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
She could have wept. It was bad, it was bad, it was infinitely bad! She could have done it differently of course; the colour could have been thinned and faded; the shapes etherealised; that was how Paunceforte would have seen it. But then she did not see it like that. She saw the colour burning on a framework of steel; the light of a butterfly’s wing lying upon the arches of a cathedral. Of all that only a few random marks scrawled upon the canvas remained. And it would never be seen; never be hung even, and there was Mr Tansley whispering in her ear, “Women can’t paint, women can’t write ...” She now remembered what she had been going to say about Mrs Ramsay. She did not know how she would have put it; but it would have been something critical. She had been annoyed the other night by some highhandedness. Looking along the level of Mr Bankes’s glance at her, she thought that no woman could worship another woman in the way he worshipped; they could only seek shelter under the shade which Mr Bankes extended over them both. Looking along his beam she added to it her different ray, thinking that she was unquestionably the loveliest of people (bowed over her book); the best perhaps; but also, different too from the perfect shape which one saw there. But why different, and how different? she asked herself, scraping her palette of all those mounds of blue and green which seemed to her like clods with no life in them now, yet she vowed, she would inspire them, force them to move, flow, do her bidding tomorrow. How did she differ? What was the spirit in her, the essential thing, by which, had you found a crumpled glove in the corner of a sofa, you would have known it, from its twisted finger, hers indisputably? She was like a bird for speed, an arrow for directness. She was willful; she was commanding (of course, Lily reminded herself, I am thinking of her relations with women, and I am much younger, an insignificant person, living off the Brompton Road). She opened bedroom windows. She shut doors. (So she tried to start the tune of Mrs Ramsay in her head.) Arriving late at night, with a light tap on one’s bedroom door, wrapped in an old fur coat (for the setting of her beauty was always that—hasty, but apt), she would enact again whatever it might be—Charles Tansley losing his umbrella; Mr Carmichael snuffling and sniffing; Mr Bankes saying, “The vegetable salts are lost.” All this she would adroitly shape; even maliciously twist; and, moving over to the window, in pretence that she must go,—it was dawn, she could see the sun rising,—half turn back, more intimately, but still always laughing, insist that she must, Minta must, they all must marry, since in the whole world whatever laurels might be tossed to her (but Mrs Ramsay cared not a fig for her painting), or triumphs won by her (probably Mrs Ramsay had had her share of those), and here she saddened, darkened, and came back to her chair, there could be no disputing this: an unmarried woman (she lightly took her hand for a moment), an unmarried woman has missed the best of life. The house seemed full of children sleeping and Mrs Ramsay listening; shaded lights and regular breathing.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
As journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates has sensibly observed, “human beings are pretty logical and generally savvy about identifying their interests. Despite what we’ve heard, women tend to be human beings and if they are less likely to marry today, it is probably that they have decided that marriage doesn’t advance their interests as much as it once did.”60
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
For single women, with or without children, cities offer domestic infrastructure. The city itself becomes a kind of partner, providing for single women the kind of services that women have, for generations, provided men.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
Nearly everyone I meet expresses deep sympathy about the fact that I have never married. Sometimes I wonder why.
Anna Quindlen (Rise and Shine)
CHASUBLE: Your brother was, I believe, unmarried, was he not? JACK: Oh yes. MISS PRISM: [Bitterly.] People who live entirely for pleasure usually are.
Oscar Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest)
«And yet, you are unmarried?» «No,” she says, “I confess, I do not want a master, and I’ve yet to find an equal.»
V.E. Schwab (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue)
unmarried women make good academics because they’ve been neutered by too much knowledge and bookish pleasure. The world hands them a tiny domain it never cared about to begin with.
Dominic Smith (The Last Painting of Sara de Vos)
In your time, politicians win points in the polls for proposing to punish unmarried teenaged mothers like me, not to mention our children.
Elizabeth Cunningham (Magdalen Rising: The Beginning (Maeve Chronicles, #1))
There were undoubtedly worse things than being an unmarried woman in charge of her own life, free to come and go as she pleased, free to explore pleasure.
Beverly Jenkins (Rebel (Women Who Dare, #1))
Miss? Miss Phryne? Are you all right?’ ‘Come in, Dot. I’m fine. Some son of unmarried parents just tried to kidnap me.’ ‘What did you do with the body, Miss?
Kerry Greenwood (Death At Victoria Dock (Phryne Fisher, #4))
And yet, you are unmarried?'... 'No,' she says, 'I confess, I do not want a master, and I've yet to find an equal.' That earns a smile from her hostess.
V.E. Schwab (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue)
Marriage has worked better for men than for women. The two happiest groups are married men and unmarried women.
Gloria Steinem (The Truth Will Set You Free, But First It Will Piss You Off!: Thoughts on Life, Love, and Rebellion)
But being an unmarried man at a certain age, it’s like there’s no place for you in the world. The world needs you to have a family, or you’re always someone’s bachelor friend who he can use for a good time, but who has nothing substantial himself.” Toby was shocked, maybe unfairly but still, that Seth had such a depth of understanding of his place in the world.
Taffy Brodesser-Akner (Fleishman Is in Trouble)
Because, as historian Alice Kessler-Harris has observed, the possibility of land ownership created a path to existence outside of marriage, other colonies “began to recognize that giving land to women undermined their dependent role” and thus took measures to curtail the option.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
It shows him to be a very wealthy man. How did he acquire wealth? He is unmarried. His younger brother is a station master in the west of England. His chair is worth seven hundred a year.
Arthur Conan Doyle (The Complete Sherlock Holmes)
Happy smiles were shared between the bride and groom, but it was the cake their guests remembered - the vanilla custard filling, the buttercream finish, the slight taste of raspberries that had surely been added to the batter. No one brought home any slices of leftover cake to place under their pillow, hoping to dream of their future mate; instead, the guests… ate the whole cake and then had dreams of eating it again. After this wedding unmarried women woke in the night with tears in their eyes, not because they were alone, but because there wasn't any cake left.
Leslye Walton (The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender)
So it is with sorrow, each thinks his own present grief the most severe. For of this he judges by his own experience. He that is childless considers nothing so sad as to be without children; he that is poor, and has many children, complains of the extreme evils of a large family. He who has but one, looks upon this as the greatest misery, because that one, being set too much store by, and never corrected, becomes willful, and brings grief upon his father. He who has a beautiful wife, thinks nothing so bad as having a beautiful wife, because it is the occasion of jealousy and intrigue. He who has an ugly one, thinks nothing worse than having a plain wife, because it is constantly disagreeable. The private man thinks nothing more mean, more useless, than his mode of life. The soldier declares that nothing is more toilsome, more perilous, than warfare; that it would he better to live on bread and water than endure such hardships. He that is in power thinks there can be no greater burden than to attend to the necessities of others. He that is subject to that power, thinks nothing more servile than living at the beck of others. The married man considers nothing worse than a wife, and the cares of marriage. The unmarried declares there is nothing so wretched as being unmarried, and wanting the repose of a home. The merchant thinks the husbandman happy in his security. The husbandman thinks the merchant so in his wealth. In short, all mankind are somehow hard to please, and discontented and impatient.
John Chrysostom
Of course some people say it is her own fault that she’s alone: that she is impossibly romantic, asks too much (or too little) of men, is unreasonably jealous, egotistical/a doormat; sexually insatiable/frigid; and so on—the usual things people say of any unmarried woman, as Vinnie well knows.
Alison Lurie (Foreign Affairs)
Liberating ourselves from the traditional strictures of marriage altogether, and/or transforming those strictures to include all of us -- gay, feminist, career-focused, baby crazy, monogamous, non-monogamous, skeptical, romantic, and everyone in between -- is the challenge facing this generation. As we consciously opt out or creatively reimagine marriage one loving couple at a time, we'll be able to shift societal expectations wholesale, freeing younger generations from some of the antiquated assumptions we've faced (that women always want to get married and men always shy away from commitment, that gender parity somehow disempowers men, that turning 30 makes an unmarried woman into an old maid).
Courtney E. Martin (Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists)
The word “autistic” is accurate. But so are other words that we no longer use to describe people: spinster (unmarried woman), hobo (migrant worker), cripple (person with a physical handicap), and so on. The fact that a person is unmarried or has sustained a mobility-reducing injury or birth defect certainly figures into their life experiences, but it does not define their character—unless they or we let it.
Ellen Notbohm (Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew)
Nora Ephron explained in a 1996 commencement address at her alma mater, Wellesley College, about her own graduating class of 1962: “We weren’t meant to have futures, we were meant to marry them. We weren’t meant to have politics, or careers that mattered, or opinions or lives; we were meant to marry them. If you wanted to be an architect, you married an architect.” Both
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
Today’s free women, as Gloria Steinem might say, are reshaping the world once again, creating space for themselves and, in turn, for the independent women who will come after them. This is the epoch of the single women, made possible by the single women who preceded it.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
The youngest one,” she interrupted. “The youngest son, I mean. The one who is unmarried.” “I know who he is.” “Very well, then. What is wrong with him?” At that she cocked her head to the side and waited expectantly. He thought for a moment. “Nothing.” “You—wait.” She blinked. “Nothing?” He shook his head, then shifted his weight a little; his good foot was beginning to fall asleep. “Nothing comes immediately to mind.” It was true. She could do a good deal worse than Gregory Bridgerton. “Really?” she asked suspiciously. “You find nothing at all objectionable about him.” Marcus pretended to think about this a bit longer. Clearly he was supposed to be playing a role here, probably that of the villain. Or if not that, then the grumpy old man. “I suppose he’s a bit young,” he said.
Julia Quinn (Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith Quartet #1))
She’s unmarried but, as she confided early on to Judy, ‘not short of offers’. Nelson often thinks that Jo is not nearly as attractive as she thinks she is but, as with all these things, her insane self-belief rubs off on others, and after a week King’s Lynn police were treating her as if she were Helen of Troy. Her technique is divide and rule.
Elly Griffiths (The Chalk Pit (Ruth Galloway #9))
It was a fact generally acknowledged by all but the most contumacious spirits at the beginning of the seventeenth century that woman was the weaker vessel; weaker than man, that is. ... That was the way God had arranged Creation, sanctified in the words of the Apostle. ... Under the common law of England at the accession of King James I, no female had any rights at all (if some were allowed by custom). As an unmarried woman her rights were swallowed up in her father's, and she was his to dispose of in marriage at will. Once she was married her property became absolutely that of her husband. What of those who did not marry? Common law met that problem blandly by not recognizing it. In the words of The Lawes Resolutions [the leading 17th century compendium on women's legal status]: 'All of them are understood either married or to be married.' In 1603 England, in short, still lived in a world governed by feudal law, where a wife passed from the guardianship of her father to her husband; her husband also stood in relation to her as a feudal lord.
Antonia Fraser (The Weaker Vessel)
It is finally becoming possible to be both single and whole.”22
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
We have no good blueprint for how to integrate the contemporary intimacies of female friendship and of marriage into one life.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
There is absolutely nothing that should tempt you into matrimony - early, or indeed, ever - except love. would it not be preferable to remain unmarried all your life rather than compromise on that principle of singular importance - Elizabeth Darcy
Shannon Winslow (The Darcys of Pemberley (The Darcys of Pemberley, #1))
Historically, women have pushed each other into, and supported each other within, intellectual and public realms to which men rarely extended invitations, let alone any promise of equality.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
By the time I walked down the aisle—or rather, into a judge’s chambers—I had lived fourteen independent years, early adult years that my mother had spent married. I had made friends and fallen out with friends, had moved in and out of apartments, had been hired, fired, promoted, and quit. I had had roommates I liked and roommates I didn’t like and I had lived on my own; I’d been on several forms of birth control and navigated a few serious medical questions; I’d paid my own bills and failed to pay my own bills; I’d fallen in love and fallen out of love and spent five consecutive years with nary a fling. I’d learned my way around new neighborhoods, felt scared and felt completely at home; I’d been heartbroken, afraid, jubilant, and bored. I was a grown-up: a reasonably complicated person. I’d become that person not in the company of any one man, but alongside my friends, my family, my city, my work, and, simply, by myself. I was not alone.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
If I were anyone else…your opera singer…the woman across the hall…would you have apologized?” He looked confused. “No…but you are neither of those women. You deserve better.” “Better,” she repeated, frustrated. “That’s just my point! You and the rest of society believe that it’s better for me to be set upon a pedestal of primness and propriety—which might have been fine if a decade on that pedestal hadn’t simply landed me on the shelf. Perhaps unmarried young women like our sisters should be there. But what of me?” Her voice dropped as she looked down at the cards in her hands. “I’m never going to get a chance to experience life from up there. All that is up there is dust and unwanted apologies. The same cage as hers”—she indicated the woman outside—“merely a different gilt.
Sarah MacLean (Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love By Numbers, #1))
But what was so great about marriage? I had been married and married. It had its good points, but it also had its bad. The virtues of marriage were mostly negative virtues. Being unmarried in a man's world was such a hassle that anything had to be better. Marriage was better. But not much. Damned clever, I thought, how men had made life so intolerable for single women that most would gladly embrace even bad marriages instead. Almost anything had to be an improvement on hustling for your own keep at some low-paid job and fighting off unattractive men in your spare time while desperately trying to ferret out the attractive ones. Though I've no doubt that being single is just as lonely for a man, it doesn't have the added extra wallop of being downright dangerous, and it doesn't automatically imply poverty and the unquestioned status of a social pariah. Would most women get married if they knew what it meant? I think of young women following their husbands wherever their husbands follow their jobs. I think of them suddenly finding themselves miles away from friends and family, I think of them living in places where they can't work, where they can't speak the language. I think of them making babies out of their loneliness and boredom and not knowing why. I think of their men always harried and exhausted from being on the make. I think of them seeing each other less after marriage than before. I think of them falling into bed too exhausted to screw. I think of them farther apart in the first year of marriage than they ever imagined two people could be when they were courting. And then I think of the fantasies starting. He is eyeing the fourteen-year-old postnymphets in bikinis. She covets the TV repairman. The baby gets sick and she makes it with the pediatrician. He is fucking his masochistic little secretary who reads Cosmopolitan and things herself a swinger. Not: when did it all go wrong? But: when was it ever right? ....... I know some good marriages. Second marriages mostly. Marriages where both people have outgrown the bullshit of me-Tarzan, you-Jane and are just trying to get through their days by helping each other, being good to each other, doing the chores as they come up and not worrying too much about who does what. Some men reach that delightfully relaxed state of affairs about age forty or after a couple of divorces. Maybe marriages are best in middle age. When all the nonsense falls away and you realize you have to love one another because you're going to die anyway.
Erica Jong (Fear of Flying)
This is Maximilien de Robespierre, barrister-at-law: unmarried, personable, a young man with all his life before him. Today against his most deeply held convictions he has followed the course of the law and sentenced a criminal to death. And now he is going to pay for it.
Hilary Mantel (A Place of Greater Safety)
There is not a young man in our community who would not be willing to travel from here to England to be married right, if he understood things as they are; there is not a young woman in our community, who loves the Gospel and wishes its blessings, that would be married in any other way; they would live unmarried until they could be married as they should be, [even] if they lived until they were as old as Sarah before she had Isaac born to her [see Genesis 17:17]. Many of our brethren have married off their children without taking this into consideration, and thinking it a matter of little importance. I wish we all understood this in the light in which heaven understands it.
Brigham Young (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young)
Working-class and poor women are also living outside of marriage, at even higher rates than their more privileged peers. When it comes to unmarried women and money, the unprecedented economic opportunity enjoyed by a few is a small fraction of a far more complicated story.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
I know of nobody that is coming, I am sure, unless Charlotte Lucas should happen to call in—and I am sure my dinners are good enough for her, since she is an unmarried woman of seven-and-twenty, and as such should expect little more than a crust of bread washed down with a cup of loneliness.
Seth Grahame-Smith (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies)
It's my mother's job to answer the question of how I got here; it's my own job to say where I'm going, and all I can really say is that now that I'm in my late thirties, unmarried, and irregularly employed, I have come to realize that merely remaining alive is more of an achievement than I expected.
Corwin Ericson (SWELL)
Don’t be so sily, Philippa,” the marchioness said, “Lord Castleton is an earl. Beggars cannot be choosers.” Penelope gritted her teeth at the adage, her mother’s favorite when discussing her unmarried daughters’ prospects. Pippa turned her blue gaze on her mother. “I was not aware that I was begging.
Sarah MacLean (A Rogue by Any Other Name (The Rules of Scoundrels, #1))
She thought too that women didn't know what to do with themselves these days which could turn them into harridans. Hardly a female friend she knew wasn't miserable. Either mind dumb with children, or in the married condition married to an earnest toiler, or lonely unmarried in their successful career.
J.P. Donleavy (The Lady Who Liked Clean Restrooms: The Chronicle of One of the Strangest Stories Ever to Be Rumoured About Around New York)
Miss Finch, it’s not wise for officers to quarter in the same house with an unmarried gentlewoman. Have a care for your reputation, if your father does not.” “Have a care for my reputation?” She had to laugh. Then she lowered her voice. “This, from the man who flattened me in the road and kissed me without leave?” “Precisely.” His eyes darkened. His meaning washed over her in a wave of hot, sensual awareness. Surely he wasn’t implying… No. He wasn’t implying at all. Those hard jade eyes were giving her a straightforward message, and he underscored it with a slight flex of his massive arms: I am every bit as dangerous as you suppose. If not more so. “Take your kind invitation and run home with it. When soldiers and maids live under the same roof, things happen. And if you happened to find yourself under me again…” His hungry gaze raked her body. “You wouldn’t escape so easily.” She gasped. “You are a beast.” “Just a man, Miss Finch. Just a man.
Tessa Dare (A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove, #1))
Since arriving in England, Katherine had come to know a freedom she had never dreamed of in Spain, where young women were kept in seclusion and forced to live almost like cloistered nuns. They wore clothes that camouflaged their bodies and veiled their faces in public. Etiquette at the Spanish court was rigid, and even smiling was frowned upon. But in England, unmarried women enjoyed much more freedom: their gowns were designed to attract, and when they were introduced to gentlemen they kissed them full upon the lips in greeting. They sang and danced when they pleased, went out in public as the fancy took them, and laughed when they felt merry.
Alison Weir (The Six Wives of Henry VIII)
The difficulty that some people have in believing that others might truly relish a life, or even a portion of life, disconnected from traditionally romantic or sexual partnership can merge with a resentment of those who do appear to take pleasure in cultivating their own happiness. As the number of unmarried people steadily rises, threatening the normative supremacy of nuclear family and early bonded hetero patterns, independent life may swiftly get cast as an exercise in selfishness.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
The negative focus on single black motherhood is also not about helping black communities. If it were, those who rail against unmarried mothers would spend at least equal time calling for affordable family planning and reproductive health care, universal access to good child care, improved urban school systems, a higher minimum wage, and college education that doesn't break the banks of average people. And they would admit that the welfare-queen image is a distortion and a distraction.
Tamara Winfrey Harris (The Sisters Are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America)
Guilliame. ‘No, I was born in the capital.’ He said no more than that. Charls supposed that he and Guilliame were two of the few who knew the truth of Lamen’s origins—that under that long Veretian sleeve there was a golden cuff, and that Lamen had once been a palace slave. He did not know how Lamen had come by his freedom, though he could see how Lamen had caught the Prince’s eye. Lamen was a young man in peak physical condition, good natured and loyal. Any unmarried nobleman would notice him. ‘And how is it you now fight for Veretians?’ said Alexon. Charls found himself curious to hear his answer, but Lamen said only, ‘I came to know one of them.’ The
C.S. Pacat (The Adventures of Charls, the Veretian Cloth Merchant (Captive Prince Short Stories, #3))
It is true that when single, I swiftly chased off any men whose threatened disruption of my Saturday mornings, which I set aside for breakfast on my own and a ridiculous apartment-cleaning ritual that involved dancing, I found too irritating to bear.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
First, if you are a homosexual or feel that inclination, keep yourself pure. If you are unmarried, you should practice abstinence from all sexual activity. I know this is difficult, but really what God is asking you to do is pretty much the same thing that he requires of all single people. That means not only keeping your body pure, but especially your mind. Just as heterosexual men should avoid pornography and fantasizing, you, too, need to keep your thought-life clean. Resist the temptation to rationalize sin by saying, “God made me this way.” God has made it very clear that He does not want you to indulge your desires, but to honor Him by keeping your mind and body pure. Finally, seek professional Christian counseling. With time and effort, you can come to enjoy normal, heterosexual relations with your spouse. There is hope.
William Lane Craig
The black mother perceives destruction at every door, ruination at each window, and even she herself is not beyond her own suspicion. She questions whether she loves her children enough- or more terribly, does she love them too much? Do her looks cause embarrassment- or even terrifying, is she so attractive her sons begin to desire her and her daughters begin to hate her. If she is unmarried, the challenges are increased. Her singleness indicates she has rejected or has been rejected by her mate. Yet she is raising children who will become mates. Beyond her door, all authority is in the hands of people who do not look or think or act like her children. Teachers, doctors, sales, clerks, policemen, welfare workers who are white and exert control over her family’s moods, conditions and personality, yet within the home, she must display a right to rule which at any moment, by a knock at the door, or a ring in the telephone, can be exposed as false. In the face of this contradictions she must provide a blanket of stability, which warms but does not suffocate, and she must tell her children the truth about the power of white power without suggesting that it cannot be challenged.
Maya Angelou (The Heart of a Woman)
All the while, Sayeed Faddoul would be watching from the small kitchen, a smile in his eyes. Another man might grow jealous of his wife’s attentions, but not him. Sayeed was a quiet man—not awkward, as Arbeely could be, but possessed of a calm and steady nature that complemented his wife’s heartfelt vivacity. He knew that it was his presence that let Maryam be so free; an unmarried woman, or one whose husband was less visible, would be forced to rein in her exuberance, or else risk the sorts of insinuations that might damage her name. But everyone could see that Sayeed was proud of his wife and was more than content to remain the unobtrusive partner, allowing her to shine.
Helene Wecker (The Golem and the Jinni (The Golem and the Jinni, #1))
It's not such a bad thing to always have something to do, someone to meet, work to complete, trains to catch, beers to drink, marathons to run, classes to attend. By the time some women find someone to whom they'd like to commit and who'd like to commit to them, perhaps it's not such a bad thing that they will have, if they were lucky, soaked in their cities and been wrung dry by them, that those who marry later, after a life lived single, may experience it as the relief of slipping between cool sheets after having been out all night.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
I have heard many a young unmarried lady exclaim with a bold sweep of conception, “Ah me! I wish I were a widow!” Mrs. Keith was precisely the widow that young unmarried ladies wish to be. With her diamonds in her dressing-case and her carriage in her stable, and without a feather’s weight of encumbrance, she offered a finished example of satisfied ambition.
Henry James (Watch and Ward)
Your relationship or marriage is dead or dying, if you almost always have to remind your partner to miss you (and/or they almost always have to remind you to miss them).
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
Until the worry sets in that you might not be able to undo your own attachment to independence and its attendant eccentricities.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
The truer story is that even the most intense waves of backlash have rarely fully undone the progress made previously.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
Maybe she’s meant to be alone. Unmarried. Deliciously free of people’s expectations. It sort of sounds like heaven, actually.
Deb Caletti (What's Become of Her)
I was young, yes, unmarried, yes - but I was a mother, and that placed me nearer to the people.
Maya Angelou (Gather Together in My Name)
The realization that a bad marriage might be bad enough to cause a painful split provided ammunition to those women who preferred to abstain from marriage than to enter a flawed one. What
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
I’m a lone wolf, unmarried…and not rich….I like liquor and women and chess and a few other things. The cops don’t like me too well, but I know a couple I get along with. I’m a native son, born in Santa Rosa, both parents dead, no brothers and sisters, and when I get knocked off in a dark alley sometime, if it happens…nobody will feel that the bottom has dropped out of his or her life.
Raymond Chandler (The Annotated Big Sleep)
I know I should not take such liberties with an unmarried woman.…” “Especially when you’ve alluded to your indecent past.” Mr. Kent nodded soberly. “I have. Before I met you, I went to brothels, gambling halls, scandalous music halls, all sorts of indecent places.” “And let me guess, ever since you met me, you’ve changed?” He shook his head. “No, I just want to do these indecent things with you.
Tarun Shanker (These Ruthless Deeds (These Vicious Masks, #2))
As Kimberlé Crenshaw reported1 in 2014, the median wealth, defined as the total value of one’s assets minus one’s debts, of single black women is $100; for single Latina women it is $120; those figures are compared to $41,500 for single white women. And for married white couples? A startling $167,500.2
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
It used to be that parents didn't have to be home. If a neighbor so I child misbehaving, it was considered appropriate for the neighbor to intervene. The parents would be grateful when they found out, and they would take the word of the neighbor if the child protested his innocence. Unmarried and divorced parents tend not to behave that way. Instead, they tend to try to be the good guy to their children.
Charles Murray (Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010)
The postponement of parenthood has brought its own set of challenges and peculiarities, among them the likelihood that if you are an unmarried women over the age of twenty-four, you've read, heard, or been told something that has made you quite certain that your ovaries are withering and your eggs are going bad. Right now. This second. As you're reading this and still not doing anything about getting pregnant.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
At the present time the institution of the whorehouse seems to a certain extent to be dying out. Scholars have various reasons to give. Some say that the decay of morality among girls has dealt the whorehouse its deathblow. Others, perhaps more idealistic, maintain that police supervision on an increased scale is driving the houses out of existence. In the late days of the last century and the early part of this one, the whorehouse was an accepted if not openly discussed institution. It was said that its existence protected decent women. An unmarried man could go to one of these houses and evacuate the sexual energy which was making him uneasy and at the same time maintain the popular attitudes about the purity and loveliness of women. It was a mystery, but then there are many mysterious things in our social thinking.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
Women's work, married or unmarried, is menial and low paid. Women's right to possess property is curtailed, more if they are married. How can marriage provide security? In any case a husband is a possession which can be lost or stolen and the abandoned wife of thirty odd with a couple of children is far more desolate and insecure in her responsibility than an unmarried woman with or without children ever could be.
Germaine Greer (The Female Eunuch)
Remember this in choosing a husband or wife, if you are unmarried. It is not enough that your eye is pleased, that your tastes are met, that your mind finds congeniality, that there is amiability and affection, that there is a comfortable home for life. There needs something more than this. There is a life yet to come. Think of your soul, your immortal soul. Will it be helped upwards or dragged downwards by the union you are planning? Will it be made more heavenly, or more earthly, drawn nearer to Christ, or to the world? Will its religion grow in vigour, or will it decay? I pray you, by all your hopes of glory, allow this to enter into your calculations. ‘Think,’ as old Baxter said, and ‘think, and think again,’ before you commit yourself. ‘Be not unequally yoked’ (2 Corinthians 6:14). Matrimony is nowhere named among the means of conversion.
J.C. Ryle (Holiness)
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not recommending one form of love over another. I don’t know if prudent or reckless love is the better, monied or penniless love the surer, heterosexual or homosexual love the sexier, married or unmarried love the stronger. I may be tempted towards didacticism, but this isn’t an advice column. I can’t tell you whether or not you’re in love. If you need ask, then you probably aren’t, that’s my only advice… But I can tell you why to love. Because the history of the world, which only stops at the half-house of love to bulldoze it into rubble, is ridiculous without it. The history of the world becomes brutally self-important without love. Our random mutation is essential because it is unnecessary. Love won’t change the history of the world (that nonsense about Cleopatra’s nose is strictly for sentimentalists), but it will do something much more important: teach us to stand up to history, to ignore its chin-out strut. I don’t accept your terms, love says; sorry, you don’t impress, and by the way what a silly uniform you’re wearing. Of course, we don’t fall in love to help out with the world’s ego problem; yet this is one of love’s surer effects.’ Love and truth, that's the vital connection, love and truth. [. . .] How you cuddle in the dark governs how you see the history of the world.
Julian Barnes (A History of the World in 10½ Chapters)
The lowest of the low-poverty countries manage to get along in the world with similar levels of single mother parenting just fine. . . . We plunge more than 1 in 5 of our nation’s children into poverty because we choose to.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
Let's set aside the subject of Tom Severin for a moment," West told Cassandra. "Phoebe and I have come up with a plan." "It's West's plan," Phoebe said. "You'll recall she has a younger brother named Raphael," West continued. "Tall, unmarried, nice teeth. He's perfect." "He's not at all perfect," Phoebe said. "And how do you know he's tall and has nice teeth?" "Your parents are obviously incapable of producing a less than superior human being.
Lisa Kleypas (Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels, #6))
So many gods. Which was the god of test scores? Which was the god of unmarried shopgirls who wished to stay that way? She decided to simply pray to all of them. “If you exist, if you’re up there, help me. Give me a way out of this shithole. Or, if you can’t do that, give the import inspector a heart attack.” She looked around the empty temple. What came next? She had always imagined that praying involved more than just speaking out loud. She spied several unused incense sticks lying by the altar. She lit the end of them by dipping it in the brazier, and then waved it experimentally in the air. Was she supposed to hold the smoke to the gods? Or should she smoke the stick herself? She had just held the burned end to her nose when a temple custodian strode out from behind the altar. They blinked at each other. Slowly, Rin removed the incense stick from her nostril. “Hello,” she said. “I’m praying.” “Please leave,” he said.
R.F. Kuang (The Poppy War (The Poppy War, #1))
The vision of human marriage as the reward for faithfulness to Christ is a deadly lie. Nowhere in Scripture is earthly marriage promised to any of us. Not only is not promised but it's not even presented as the preferred state of being. Instead, under the new covenant we see that the unmarried and the married have equal dignity and opportunity to image and serve the Lord. They are both beautiful, and both circumstances require the death to self which is at the heart of following Jesus.
Rachel Gilson (Born Again This Way)
If there was one thing Michael was absolutely certain of, it was that Maggie was meant to be his and his alone, and Fate would have found some way to ensure that their paths crossed. And once he’d come in contact with her, he would have realized who and what she was to him. The fact that she was unmarried and uninvolved when he found her made it easier, really, but the end result would still be the same. When all was said and done, Maggie was his. That was the beauty of finding your croie.
Abbie Zanders (House Calls (Callaghan Brothers, #3))
1 You said ‘The world is going back to Paganism’. Oh bright Vision! I saw our dynasty in the bar of the House Spill from their tumblers a libation to the Erinyes, And Leavis with Lord Russell wreathed in flowers, heralded with flutes, Leading white bulls to the cathedral of the solemn Muses To pay where due the glory of their latest theorem. Hestia’s fire in every flat, rekindled, burned before The Lardergods. Unmarried daughters with obedient hands Tended it. By the hearth the white-armd venerable mother Domum servabat, lanam faciebat. At the hour Of sacrifice their brothers came, silent, corrected, grave Before their elders; on their downy cheeks easily the blush Arose (it is the mark of freemen’s children) as they trooped, Gleaming with oil, demurely home from the palaestra or the dance. Walk carefully, do not wake the envy of the happy gods, Shun Hubris. The middle of the road, the middle sort of men, Are best. Aidos surpasses gold. Reverence for the aged Is wholesome as seasonable rain, and for a man to die Defending the city in battle is a harmonious thing. Thus with magistral hand the Puritan Sophrosune Cooled and schooled and tempered our uneasy motions; Heathendom came again, the circumspection and the holy fears … You said it. Did you mean it? Oh inordinate liar, stop. 2 Or did you mean another kind of heathenry? Think, then, that under heaven-roof the little disc of the earth, Fortified Midgard, lies encircled by the ravening Worm. Over its icy bastions faces of giant and troll Look in, ready to invade it. The Wolf, admittedly, is bound; But the bond wil1 break, the Beast run free. The weary gods, Scarred with old wounds the one-eyed Odin, Tyr who has lost a hand, Will limp to their stations for the Last defence. Make it your hope To be counted worthy on that day to stand beside them; For the end of man is to partake of their defeat and die His second, final death in good company. The stupid, strong Unteachable monsters are certain to be victorious at last, And every man of decent blood is on the losing side. Take as your model the tall women with yellow hair in plaits Who walked back into burning houses to die with men, Or him who as the death spear entered into his vitals Made critical comments on its workmanship and aim. Are these the Pagans you spoke of? Know your betters and crouch, dogs; You that have Vichy water in your veins and worship the event Your goddess History (whom your fathers called the strumpet Fortune).
C.S. Lewis
Children in father-absent homes are five times more likely to be poor. Infant mortality rates are 1.8 times higher for infants of unmarried mothers than for married mothers. Youths in father-absent households still had significantly higher odds of incarceration than those in mother-father families. Youths are more at risk of first substance use without a highly involved father. Being raised by a single mother raises the risk of teen pregnancy. Fatherless children are twice as likely to drop out of school.
Myles Munroe (The Fatherhood Principle: God's Design and Destiny for Every Man)
In later years, Paul would draft the Equal Rights Amendment, which read, simply, "Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction;", it would be introduced to every Congressional session from 1923 until 1972, when it finally passed but was not ratified by the states. (It has been reintroduced, though never passed, in every session since 1982).
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
This large pool of single youth, along with the extension of the life span, has contributed to a stunning explosion of solitary living in Western societies. More than one-quarter of all U.S. households now contain only one person. At various times and in various places in history, rates of nonmarital sex, divorce, cohabitation, or out-of-wedlock childbearing have been higher than they are today.38 But never before have so many people lived alone. And never before have unmarried people, living alone or in couples, had the same rights as married adults.
Stephanie Coontz (Marriage, a History: From Obedience to Intimacy)
Tranquility is the soul of our community.” Not a quarter mile’s distance away, Susanna Finch sat in the lace-curtained parlor of the Queen’s Ruby, a rooming house for gently bred young ladies. With her were the room house’s newest prospective residents, a Mrs. Highwood and her three unmarried daughters. “Here in Spindle Cove, young ladies enjoy a wholesome, improving atmosphere.” Susanna indicated a knot of ladies clustered by the hearth, industriously engaged in needlework. “See? The picture of good health and genteel refinement.” In unison, the young ladies looked up from their work and smiled placid, demure smiles. Excellent. She gave them an approving nod. Ordinarily, the ladies of Spindle Cove would never waste such a beautiful afternoon stitching indoors. They would be rambling the countryside, or sea bathing in the cove, or climbing the bluffs. But on days like these, when new visitors came to the village, everyone understood some pretense at propriety was necessary. Susanna was not above a little harmless deceit when it came to saving a young woman’s life. “Will you take more tea?” she asked, accepting a fresh pot from Mrs. Nichols, the inn’s aging proprietress. If Mrs. Highwood examined the young ladies too closely, she might notice that mild Gaelic obscenities occupied the center of Kate Taylor’s sampler. Or that Violet Winterbottom’s needle didn’t even have thread.
Tessa Dare (A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove, #1))
Linnet’s thudding heart raced blood through her veins, sending a flush of embarrassing heat to her face. She had been avoiding him, but she could never tell him why. It took all her discipline not to quail under Sir Anthony’s penetrating gaze. Blast the man. She’d lost count of the times he’d made her feel like a blushing maiden. Strictly speaking, she was still a maiden, but she’d given up blushing years ago—along with simpering, flirting, and so many other talents deemed useful to unmarried women. Except, of course, in Sir Anthony’s august presence.
Vanessa Kelly (Lost in a Royal Kiss (The Renegade Royals, #0.5))
What I am recommending to the unmarried person, therefore, comes straight out of the Word: Stay out of bed unless you there alone! I know that advice is difficult to put into practice today. But I didn't make the rules. I'm just passing them along. God's moral laws are not designed to oppress us or deprive us of pleasure. They are there to protect us from the devastation of sin, including disease, heartache, divorce, and spiritual death. Abstinence before marriage and fidelity afterward is the Creator's own plan, and no one has devised a way to improve on it.
James C. Dobson (Life on the Edge: A Young Adult's Guide to a Meaningful Future)
It is still women who must do the lion’s share of the arithmetic. The tallying and risk and rewards of lost wages and promotions, sick days and leave policies, pumping rooms and corner offices that come with kids. Women are all too mindful of the variety of losses they incur should they choose to bear children. “We’re well aware that we lose fertility at a certain age…but also that we lose professional power after we have kids.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
Say!” Benedict exclaimed. “Why don’t you save her, Hastings?” Simon took one look at Lady Bridgerton (who at that point had her hand firmly wrapped around Macclesfield’s forearm) and decided he’d rather be branded an eternal coward. “Since we haven’t been introduced, I’m sure it would be most improper,” he improvised. “I’m sure it wouldn’t,” Anthony returned. “You’re a duke.” “So?” “So?” Anthony echoed. “Mother would forgive any impropriety if it meant gaining an audience for Daphne with a duke.” “Now look here,” Simon said hotly, “I’m not some sacrificial lamb to be slaughtered on the altar of your mother.” “You have spent a lot of time in Africa, haven’t you?” Colin quipped. Simon ignored him. “Besides, your sister said—” All three Bridgerton heads swung round in his direction. Simon immediately realized he’d blundered. Badly. “You’ve met Daphne?” Anthony queried, his voice just a touch too polite for Simon’s comfort. Before Simon could even reply, Benedict leaned in ever-so-slightly closer, and asked, “Why didn’t you mention this?” “Yes,” Colin said, his mouth utterly serious for the first time that evening. “Why?” Simon glanced from brother to brother and it became perfectly clear why Daphne must still be unmarried. This belligerent trio would scare off all but the most determined— or stupid— of suitors. Which would probably explain Nigel Berbrooke. “Actually,” Simon said, “I bumped into her in the hall as I was making my way into the ballroom. It was”— he glanced rather pointedly at the Bridgertons—“ rather obvious that she was a member of your family, so I introduced myself.” Anthony turned to Benedict. “Must have been when she was fleeing Berbrooke.” Benedict turned to Colin. “What did happen to Berbrooke? Do you know?” Colin shrugged. “Haven’t the faintest. Probably left to nurse his broken heart.” Or broken head, Simon thought acerbically. “Well, that explains everything, I’m sure,” Anthony said, losing his overbearing big-brother expression and looking once again like a fellow rake and best friend. “Except,” Benedict said suspiciously, “why he didn’t mention it.” “Because I didn’t have the chance,” Simon bit off, about ready to throw his arms up in exasperation. “In case you hadn’t noticed, Anthony, you have a ridiculous number of siblings, and it takes a ridiculous amount of time to be introduced to all of them.” “There are only two of us present,” Colin pointed out. “I’m going home,” Simon announced. “The three of you are mad.” Benedict, who had seemed to be the most protective of the brothers, suddenly grinned. “You don’t have a sister, do you?” “No, thank God.
Julia Quinn (The Duke and I (Bridgertons, #1))
I wish I hadn't cried about a girl a couple of months ago so I would have more tears for this moment, this moment that rips up the term reality, forever un-marries it from the word boring. I am also, I have to admit, terrified, because I have always lived in this one world, and I am leaving it, right now in this moment, for a whole different one. I imagine it's a lot how leaving for college feels, if you were going to college in Atlantis.
D.C. Pierson
More than a century later, Anthony’s argument, that women living independently in ways that once made them unattractive mates will eventually rearrange men’s very tastes, is in tandem with shifts described by marriage historian Stephanie Coontz, who has pointed out that female college graduates and high earners, once the women least likely to find themselves hitched, are now among the most likely to one day become wives and to enjoy long-lasting unions.20
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
In many ways, the emotional and economic self-sufficiency of unmarried life is more demanding than the state we have long acknowledged as (married) maturity. Being on one’s own means shouldering one’s own burdens in a way that being coupled rarely demands. It means doing everything—making decisions, taking responsibility, paying bills, cleaning the refrigerator—without the benefits of formal partnership. But we’ve still got a lot of hardwired assumptions that the successful female life is measured not in professional achievements or friendships or even satisfying sexual relationships, but by whether you’re legally coupled.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
I know more of the realities of life than I once did," wrote Bronte. "I think many false ideas are propagated...those married women who indiscriminately urge their acquaintances to marry [are] much to blame. For my part I can only say with deeper sincerity and fuller significance--what I always said in theory--Wait.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
When about 16 years of age I happened to meet with a book, written by one Tryon, recommending a vegetable diet. I determined to go into it. My brother, being yet unmarried, did not keep house, but boarded himself and his apprentices in another family. My refusing to eat flesh occasioned an inconveniency, and I was frequently chid for my singularity. I made myself acquainted with Tryon's manner of preparing some of his dishes, such as boiling potatoes or rice, making hasty pudding, and a few others, and then proposed to my brother, that if he would give me, weekly, half the money he paid for my board, I would board myself. He instantly agreed to it, and I presently found that I could save half what he paid me. This was an additional fund for buying books. But I had another advantage in it. My brother and the rest going from the printing-house to their meals, I remained there alone, and, despatching presently my light repast, which often was no more than a bisket or a slice of bread, a handful of raisins or a tart from the pastry-cook's, and a glass of water, had the rest of the time till their return for study, in which I made the greater progress, from that greater clearness of head and quicker apprehension which usually attend temperance in eating and drinking.
Benjamin Franklin (The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin)
It’s about a woman, who may be a wife. But it’s first and foremost about a woman, and it’s not an unattainable description of an idealized woman. She’s born of experience and, I like to believe, knows her worth because she knows who created her. One of my favorite things John Paul II ever said was ‘Woman transcends all expectations when her heart is faithful to God.’ All expectations. And I’ve seen it too. My mom was amazing. My sisters are strong women—two are unmarried, by the way, and this is who they are. They don’t need a husband to be this woman. I believe God can do tremendous things through you—once you stop trying to wield all the power yourself.
Katherine Reay (The Printed Letter Bookshop)
No, not at all,' I told her. 'I had a reasonably happy childhood, which is rather strange in retrospect, as neither Charles nor Maude showed any particular interest in me at all. But they didn't beat me or starve me or anything like that. I wasn't a Dickensian orphan, if you know what I mean. And as for my birth mother, well I daresay she did what she had to do. I assume she was unmarried, that's where adopted babies usually come from, isn't it? No, I don't feel any anger at all. What's the point' 'That's good to hear. There's nothing more tedious than a grown man blaming his parents, birth or otherwise, for all the things that have gone wrong in his life.' (p. 267)
John Boyne (The Heart's Invisible Furies)
Parts of rural China are seeing a burgeoning market for female corpses, the result of the reappearance of a strange custom called "ghost marriages." Chinese tradition demands that husbands and wives always share a grave. Sometimes, when a man died unmarried, his parents would procure the body of a woman, hold a "wedding," and bury the couple together... A black market has sprung up to supply corpse brides. Marriage brokers—usually respectable folk who find brides for village men—account for most of the middlemen. At the bottom of the supply chain come hospital mortuaries, funeral parlors, body snatchers—and now murderers. —"China's Corpse Brides: Wet Goods and Dry Goods" The Economist, July 26, 2007
Danica Novgorodoff (The Undertaking of Lily Chen)
Cities allow us to extract some of the transactional services that were assumed to be an integral, gendered aspect of traditional marriage and enjoy them as actual transactional service, for which we pay. This dynamic also permits women to function in the world in a way that was once impossible, with the city serving as spouse and, sometimes, true love.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
Days after the elections of 2016, asha sent me a link to a talk by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. We have to have hope, she says to me across 3,000 miles, she in Brooklyn, me in Los Angeles. We listen together as Dr. deGrasse Tyson explains that the very atoms and molecules in our bodies are traceable to the crucibles in the centers of stars that once upon a time exploded into gas clouds. And those gas clouds formed other stars and those stars possessed the divine-right mix of properties needed to create not only planets, including our own, but also people, including us, me and her. He is saying that not only are we in the universe, but that the universe is in us. He is saying that we, human beings, are literally made out of stardust. And I know when I hear Dr. deGrasse Tyson say this that he is telling the truth because I have seen it since I was a child, the magic, the stardust we are, in the lives of the people I come from. I watched it in the labor of my mother, a Jehovah's Witness and a woman who worked two and sometimes three jobs at a time, keeping other people's children, working the reception desks at gyms, telemarketing, doing anything and everything for 16 hours a day the whole of my childhood in the Van Nuys barrio where we lived. My mother, cocoa brown and smooth, disowned by her family for the children she had as a very young and unmarried woman. My mother, never giving up despite never making a living wage. I saw it in the thin, brown face of my father, a boy out of Cajun country, a wounded healer, whose addictions were borne of a world that did not love him and told him so not once but constantly. My father, who always came back, who never stopped trying to be a version of himself there were no mirrors for. And I knew it because I am the thirteenth-generation progeny of a people who survived the hulls of slave ships, survived the chains, the whips, the months laying in their own shit and piss. The human beings legislated as not human beings who watched their names, their languages, their Goddesses and Gods, the arc of their dances and beats of their songs, the majesty of their dreams, their very families snatched up and stolen, disassembled and discarded, and despite this built language and honored God and created movement and upheld love. What could they be but stardust, these people who refused to die, who refused to accept the idea that their lives did not matter, that their children's lives did not matter?
Patrisse Khan-Cullors (When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir)
To give up a marriage - someone unmarried might imagine it's like giving up a seat in a theater, or sacrificing a trick in bridge for the possibility of better, later. But it is harsher than anyone could realize: a hot invisible fire, burning pieces of hope and fantasy, and charred bits of the past. It had to go, however, if something were to be built in its place. So I stood there and gave Buzz advice, and all I could think of were the automatons we had seen at Playland, moving beautifully in the wind, and the children who were taken behind the scenes on a tour and shown, to their surprise, the vast tangle of wires and switches that would be so hard to undo, and even worse, once undone, to bring to life again.
Andrew Sean Greer (The Story of a Marriage)
Georgie, I've got it," she said. "I've guessed what it means." Now though Georgie was devoted to his Lucia, he was just as devoted to inductive reasoning, and Daisy Quantock was, with the exception of himself, far the most powerful logician in the place. "What is it, then?" he asked. "Stupid of me not to have thought of it at once," said Daisy. "Why, don't you see? Pepino is Auntie's heir, for she was unmarried, and he's the only nephew, and probably he has been left piles and piles. So naturally they say it's a terrible blow. Wouldn't do to be exultant. They must say it's a terrible blow, to show they don't care about the money. The more they're left, the sadder it is. So natural. I blame myself for not having thought of it at once...
E.F. Benson (Lucia in London (Lucia, #3))
To constantly have at your side a woman,an unmarried woman,a sister,a wonderful person who is there because you need her and because she can't do without you,to know that you are indispensable to the one you need, to be endlessly able to measure her affection by the amount of presence she grants you and to say to your self, "since she devotes all her time to me,that means i have her whole heart";to see her thoughts,if not her face,to weigh one being's faithfulness when the rest of the world has been eclipsed,to detect the rustling of her dress as though it were the sound of wings,to hear her coming and going,going out,coming back,talking,singing,and to know you are the centre of every step she takes,of every word,of every song,to manifest your own gravitational pull every minute of the day,to feel yourself your infirmity,to become in darkness,and through darkness,the star around which this angel revolves-few worms of bliss come anywhere near it!The ultimate happiness in life is the conviction that one is loved;loved for oneself-better still,loved in spite of oneself.And this conviction is what the blind have.In such distress,to be waited on is to be hugged and kissed.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
Joel Kotkin, a professor of urban development, argued in the daily beast that the power of the single voter is destined to fade, since single people "Have no heirs," while their religious, conservative, counterparts will repopulate the nation with children who will replicate their parents politics, ensuring that "conservative, more familial-oriented values inevitably prevail." Kotkin's error, of course, is both in assuming that unmarried people do not reproduce -- in fact, they are doing so in ever greater numbers -- but also in failing to consider whence the gravitation away from married norms derived. A move toward independent life did not simply emerge from the clamshell: it was born of generations of dissatisfaction with the inequalities of religious, conservative, social practice.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
…women are not rejecting marriage. They like their...are delaying it until it is something they can be sure of, until they feel stable and self-assured enough to hitch themselves to someone else without fear of losing themselves or their power to marriage. Rich, middle class, and poor women, all share an interest in avoiding the dangerous pitfalls of dependency that made marriage such an inhibiting institution for decades. They all want to steer clear of the painful divorces that are the results of bad marriages. They view marriage as desirable is an in enhancement of life, not a ratifying requirement.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
I give in,” she gasped. “What has turned your evening into such a dreadful affair?” “What or whom?” “‘ Whom’?” she echoed, tilting her head as she looked at him. “This grows even more interesting.” “I can think of any number of adjectives to describe all of the ‘whoms’ I have had the pleasure of meeting this evening, but ‘interesting’ is not one of them.” “Now, now,” she chided, “don’t be rude. I did see you chatting with my brothers, after all.” He nodded gallantly, tightening his hand slightly at her waist as they swung around in a graceful arc. “My apologies. The Bridgertons are, of course, excluded from my insults.” “We are all relieved, I’m sure.” Simon cracked a smile at her deadpan wit. “I live to make Bridgertons happy.” “Now that is a statement that may come back to haunt you,” she chided. “But in all seriousness, what has you in such a dither? If your evening has gone that far downhill since our interlude with Nigel, you’re in sad straits, indeed.” “How shall I put this,” he mused, “so that I do not completely offend you?” “Oh, go right ahead,” she said blithely. “I promise not to be offended.” Simon grinned wickedly. “A statement that may come back to haunt you.” She blushed slightly. The color was barely noticeable in the shadowy candlelight, but Simon had been watching her closely. She didn’t say anything, however, so he added, “Very well, if you must know, I have been introduced to every single unmarried lady in the ballroom.” A strange snorting sound came from the vicinity of her mouth. Simon had the sneaking suspicion that she was laughing at him. “I have also,” he continued, “been introduced to all of their mothers.” She gurgled. She actually gurgled. “Bad show,” he scolded. “Laughing at your dance partner.” “I’m sorry,” she said, her lips tight from trying not to smile. “No, you’re not.” “All right,” she admitted, “I’m not. But only because I have had to suffer the same torture for two years. It’s difficult to summon too much pity for a mere evening’s worth.
Julia Quinn (The Duke and I (Bridgertons, #1))
The chief care of the legislators [in the colonies of New England] was the maintenance of orderly conduct and good morals in the community: thus they constantly invaded the domain of conscience, and there was scarcely a sin which was no subject to magisterial censure. The reader is aware of the rigor with which these laws punished rape and adultery; intercourse between unmarried persons was likewise severely repressed. The judge was empowered to inflict either a pecuniary penalty, a whipping, or marriage, on the misdemeanants; and if the records of the old courts of New Haven may be believed, prosecutions of this kind were not unfrequent. We find a sentence, bearing date the 1st of May, 1660, inflicting a fine and reprimand on a young woman who was accused of using improper language, and of allowing herself to be kissed. The Code of 1650 abounds in preventive measures. It punishes idleness and drunkenness with severity. Innkeepers were forbidden to furnish more than certain quantities of liquor to each customer; and simple lying, whenever it may be injurious, is checked by a fine or a flogging. In other places, the legislator, entirely forgetting the great principles of religious toleration which he had himself demanded in Europe, makes attendance on divine service compulsory, and goes so far as to visit with severe punishment, and even with death, Christians who choose to worship God according to a ritual differing from his own. Sometimes, indeed, the zeal for regulation induces him to descend to the most frivolous particulars: thus a law is to be found in the same code which prohibits the use of tobacco. It must not be forgotten that these fantastical and vexatious laws were not imposed by authority, but that they were freely voted by all the persons interested in them, and that the manners of the community were even more austere and puritanical than the laws.... These errors are no doubt discreditable to human reason; they attest the inferiority of our nature, which is incapable of laying firm hold upon what is true and just, and is often reduced to the alternative of two excesses. In strict connection with this penal legislation, which bears such striking marks of a narrow, sectarian spirit, and of those religious passions which had been warmed by persecution and were still fermenting among the people, a body of political laws is to be found, which, though written two hundred years ago, is still in advance of the liberties of our own age.
Alexis de Tocqueville (Democracy in America)
In the very same years that Rousseau was writing his books, Franklin admitted that ‘No European who has tasted Savage Life can afterwards bear to live in our societies.’47 He described how ‘civilised’ white men and women who were captured and subsequently released by Indians invariably would ‘take the first good Opportunity of escaping again into the Woods’. Colonists fled into the wilderness by the hundreds, whereas the reverse rarely happened.48 And who could blame them? Living as Indians, they enjoyed more freedoms than they did as farmers and taxpayers. For women, the appeal was even greater. ‘We could work as leisurely as we pleased,’ said a colonial woman who hid from countrymen sent to ‘rescue’ her.49 ‘Here, I have no master,’ another told a French diplomat. ‘I shall marry if I wish and be unmarried again when I wish. Is there a single woman as independent as I in your cities?
Rutger Bregman (Humankind: A Hopeful History)
When abolitionist and suffragist Lucy Stone married Henry Blackwell in 1855, the couple asked their minister to distribute a statement protesting marriage’s inequities. It read, in part: “While acknowledging our mutual affection by publicly assuming the relationship of husband and wife . . . this act on our part implies no sanction of, nor promise of voluntary obedience to such of the present laws of marriage, as refuse to recognize the wife as an independent, rational being, while they confer upon the husband an injurious and unnatural superiority.” Stone kept her last name, and generations of women who have done the same have been referred to as “Lucy Stoners.” An
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
There can have been no doubt in Eleanor's mind as to what was expected of her as a wife. In her day, women were supposed to be chaste both inside and outside marriage, virginity and celibacy being highly prized states. When it came to fornication, women were usually apportioned the blame, because they were the descendants of Eve, who had tempted Adam in the Garden of Eden, with such dire consequences. Women, the Church taught, were the weaker vessel, the gateway to the Devil, and therefore the source of all lechery. St. Bernard of Clairvaux wrote: "To live with a woman without danger is more difficult than raising the dead to life." Noblewomen, he felt, were the most dangerous so fall. Women were therefore kept firmly in their place in order to prevent them from luring men away from the paths of righteousness. Promiscuity--and its often inevitable consequence, illicit pregnancy--brought great shame upon a woman and her family, and was punishable by fines, social ostracism, and even, in the case of aristocratic and royal women, execution. Unmarried women who indulged in fornication devalued themselves on the marriage market. In England, women who were sexually experienced were not permitted to accuse men of rape in the King's court. Female adultery was seen as a particularly serious offence, since it jeopardized the laws of inheritance. Men, however, often indulged in casual sex and adultery with impunity. Because the virtue of high-born women was jealously guarded, many men sought sexual adventures with lower-class women. Prostitution was common and official brothels were licensed and subject to inspection in many areas. There was no effective contraception apart from withdrawal, and the Church frowned upon that anyway: this was why so many aristocratic and royal bastards were born during this period.
Alison Weir (Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life (World Leaders Past & Present))
Amina Sow agrees. The advice she gives everyone is “Always choose yourself first. Women are very socialized to choose other people. If you put yourself first, it’s this incredible path you can forge for yourself.” Amina too understood how she sounded as the words were coming out of her mouth. “If you choose yourself people will say you’re selfish,” she said. “But no. You have agency. You have dreams. It takes a lot to qualify a man as selfish.” Freakishness
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
As Anthony would tell the journalist Nellie Bly, “I’ve been in love a thousand times! . . . But I never loved any one so much that I thought it would last. . . . I never felt I could give up my life of freedom to become a man’s housekeeper. When I was young, if a girl married poor, she became a housekeeper and a drudge. If she married wealth, she became a pet and a doll. Just think, had I married at twenty, I would have been a drudge or a doll for fifty-five years.”3 Of
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
But if she were still unmarried by war’s end . . . What the bloody hell are you thinkin’, MacKinnon? He was thinking of bedding her. Nay, ‘twas more than that. He was thinking of wooing her. Och! For God’s sake, he was thinking of marrying her. Are you mad, MacKinnon. You barely ken the lass. Even as he rejected the notion, some part of him decided it was not so daft as it seemed. They were both from the Highlands. She was bonnie, strong, and spirited, qualities that would surely pass to her children, while he had the skill to protect her, provide for her—and show her what the passion in her Scottish blood was for. Aye, but she was a Protestant and came from Loyalist roots, while he was Catholic and sprang from a clan that had stood by the Stuarts. Then there was the fact that he was bound to this war until its end. And had a price on his head. And was without a roof to shelter her. A lass would be silly to pass up such a match, MacKinnon. Bloody grand idea.
Pamela Clare (Surrender (MacKinnon’s Rangers, #1))
It was the kind of upheaval, smack in the middle of adulthood, which was messy enough to make me consider, back then, the wisdom of early marriage. When we’re young, after all, our lives are so much more pliant, can be joined without too much fuss. When we grow on our own, we take on responsibility, report to bosses, become bosses; we get our own bank accounts, acquire our own debts, sign our own leases. The infrastructure of our adulthood takes shape, connects to other lives; it firms up and gets less bendable. The prospect of breaking it all apart and rebuilding it elsewhere becomes a far more daunting project than it might have been had we just married someone at twenty-two, and done all that construction together. The
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
Look you," Pandora told him in a businesslike tone, "marriage is not on the table." Look you? Look you? Gabriel was simultaneously amused and outraged. Was she really speaking to him as if he were an errand boy? "I've never wanted to marry," Pandora continued. "Anyone who knows me will tell you that. When I was little, I never liked the stories about princesses waiting to be rescued. I never wished on falling stars, or pulled the petals off daisies while reciting 'he loves me, he loves me not.' At my brother's wedding, they handed out slivers of wedding cake to all the unmarried girls and said if we put it under our pillows, we would dream of our future husbands. I ate my cake instead. Every crumb. I've made plans for my life that don't involve becoming anyone's wife." "What plans?" Gabriel asked. How could a girl of her position, with her looks, make plans that didn't include the possibility of marriage? "That's none of your business," she told him smartly. "Understood," Gabriel assured her. "There's just one thing I'd like to ask: What the bloody hell were you doing at the ball in the first place, if you don't want to marry?" "Because I thought it would be only slightly less boring than staying at home." "Anyone as opposed to marriage as you claim to be has no business taking part in the Season." "Not every girl who attends a ball wants to be Cinderella." "If it's grouse season," Gabriel pointed out acidly, "and you're keeping company with a flock of grouse on a grouse-moor, it's a bit disingenuous to ask a sportsman to pretend you're not a grouse." "Is that how men think of it? No wonder I hate balls." Pandora looked scornful. "I'm so sorry for intruding on your happy hunting grounds." "I wasn't wife-hunting," he snapped. "I'm no more interested in marrying than you are." "Then why were you at the ball?" "To see a fireworks display!" After a brief, electric silence, Pandora dropped her head swiftly. He saw her shoulders tremble, and for an alarming moment, he thought she had begun to cry. But then he heard a delicate snorting, snickering sound, and he realized she was... laughing? "Well," she muttered, "it seems you succeeded." Before Gabriel even realized what he was doing, he reached out to lift her chin with his fingers. She struggled to hold back her amusement, but it slipped out nonetheless. Droll, sneaky laughter, punctuated with vole-like squeaks, while sparks danced in her blue eyes like shy emerging stars. Her grin made him lightheaded. Damn it.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
Discreet as you are, Rohan, one can’t help but notice how ardently you are pursued. It seems you hold quite an appeal for the ladies of London. And from all appearances, you’ve taken full advantage of what’s been offered.” Cam stared at him without expression. “Pardon, but are you leading to an actual point, my lord?” Leaning back in his chair, St. Vincent made a temple of his elegant hands and regarded Cam steadily. “Since you’ve had no problem with lack of desire in the past, I can only assume that, as happens with other appetites, yours has been sated with an overabundance of sameness. A bit of novelty may be just the thing.” Considering the statement, which actually made sense, Cam wondered if the notorious former rake had ever been tempted to stray. Having known Evie since childhood, when she had come to visit her widowed father at the club from time to time, Cam felt as protective of her as if she’d been his younger sister. No one would have paired the gentle-natured Evie with such a libertine. And perhaps no one had been as surprised as St. Vincent himself to discover their marriage of convenience had turned into a passionate love match. “What of married life?” Cam asked softly. “Does it eventually become an overabundance of sameness?” St. Vincent’s expression changed, the light blue eyes warming at the thought of his wife. “It has become clear to me that with the right woman, one can never have enough. I would welcome an overabundance of such bliss—but I doubt such a thing is mortally possible.” Closing the account book with a decisive thud, he stood from the desk. “If you’ll excuse me, Rohan, I’ll bid you good night.” “What about finishing the accounting?” “I’ll leave the rest in your capable hands.” At Cam’s scowl, St. Vincent shrugged innocently. “Rohan, one of us is an unmarried man with superior mathematical abilities and no prospects for the evening. The other is a confirmed lecher in an amorous mood, with a willing and nubile young wife waiting at home. Who do you think should do the damned account books?” And, with a nonchalant wave, St. Vincent had left the office.
Lisa Kleypas (Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1))
The formal dinner was a great success. Every time Harry glanced at the other end of the long table, he saw that Poppy was acquitting herself splendidly. She was relaxed and smiling, taking part in conversation, appearing to charm her companions. It was exactly as Harry had expected: the same qualities that were considered faults in an unmarried girl were admired in a married woman. Poppy's acute observations and her enjoyment of lively debate made her far more interesting than a demure society miss with a modest downcast gaze. She was breathtaking in the violet gown, her slender neck encircled with diamonds, her hair rich with dark fire. Nature had blessed her with abundant beauty. But it was her smile that made her irresistible, a smile so sweet and brilliant that it warmed him from the inside out. Harry wished she would smile at him like that. She had, in the beginning. There had to be something that would induce her to warm to him, to like him again. Everyone had a weakness. In the meantime, Harry stole glances of her whenever he could, his lovely and distant wife... and he drank in the smiles she gave to other people.
Lisa Kleypas (Tempt Me at Twilight (The Hathaways, #3))
Is not true that marriage is the answer, it is true that by simply living independently, they face an additional set of challenges in a world that remains designed with married Americans in mind. Single women foot more of their own bills, be they necessities like food and housing, or luxuries like cable and vacation; they pay for their own transportation. They do not enjoy the tax breaks for insurance benefits available to married couples. Sociologist Bella DePaulo has repeatedly pointed out there are more than one thousand laws that benefit married people over single people.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
…women are not rejecting marriage. They...are delaying it until it is something they can be sure of, until they feel stable and self-assured enough to hitch themselves to someone else without fear of losing themselves or their power to marriage. Rich, middle class, and poor women, all share an interest in avoiding the dangerous pitfalls of dependency that made marriage such an inhibiting institution for decades. They all want to steer clear of the painful divorces that are the results of bad marriages. They view marriage as desirable is an in enhancement of life, not a ratifying requirement.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
It’s not such a bad thing to always have something to do, someone to meet, work to complete, trains to catch, beers to drink, marathons to run, classes to attend. By the time some women find someone to whom they’d like to commit and who’d like to commit to them, perhaps it’s not such a bad thing that they will have, if they were lucky, soaked in their cities and been wrung dry by them, that those who marry later, after a life lived single, may experience it as the relief of slipping between cool sheets after having been out all night. These same women might have greeted entry into the same institution, had they been pressured to enter it earlier, with the indignation of a child being made to go to bed early as the party raged on downstairs.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
deathAloneness has been my constant companion in life. I lost early the people that I loved: first when my young and unmarried biological mother had to leave me because of outer circumstances. I was adopted by a very loving couple, who could not concieve a child. I have always felt naturally loved by them, and I have never really felt that I was adopted. Instead, I have always felt that I did a little detour to be able to be adopted by my real parents. Then my mother died when I was 15 years old after a long sickness. On her funeral I took the decision to never depend on anybody again. Her death created such a deep pain in me that it was also the death of relationships for me. Then my father died when I was 21 years old – and I was completely alone in the world. This created a basic feeling of being alone and unloved in me, it created early a feeling of independence and self-suffiency in me. It also created a basic feeling of not trusting that I am alright as I am, and of not trusting that life takes care of me. This created such a pain in me that I simply repressed the pain for many years in order to survive. These early meetings with death also created a thirst in me to discover a quality, an inner awareness, that death could not take away. Now I can see that these early painful experiences are a blessing in disguise. It liberated me from relationships. I relate with people, but there is always an aloneness within me. I realize that a seeker of truth needs to accept that he is totally alone. It is not possible to lean on other people like crutches. When we totally accept our aloneness, it becomes a source of love, joy, truth, silence, meditation and wholeness. I shared these experiences with a beloved friend and her thoughtful comment was: “I have my own aloneness.” Aloneness is to be at home in ourselves, to be in contact with our inner source of love, while loneliness is to hanker for other people, to hanker for a source of love outside of ourselves. Aloneness is to come home.
Swami Dhyan Giten (Presence - Working from Within. The Psychology of Being)
Social prejudices are in the process of disappearing. More and more, nature is reclaiming her rights. We're moving in the proper direction. I've much more respect for the woman who has an illegitimate child than for an old maid. I've often been told of unmarried women who had children and brought these children up in a truly touching manner. It often happens amongst women servants, notably. The women who have no children finally go off their heads. It's somewhat striking to observe that in the majority of peoples the number of women exceeds that of men. What harm is there, then, in every woman's fulfilling her destiny? I love to see this display of health around me. The opposite thing would make me misanthropic. And I'd become really so, if all I had to look at were the spectacle of the ten thousand so-called élite. Luckily for me, I've always retained contacts with the people. Amongst the people, moral health is obligatory. It goes so far that in the country one never reproaches a priest for having a liaison with his servant. People even regard it as a kind of guarantee : the women and girls of the village need not protect themselves. In any case, women of the people are full of understanding; they admit that a young priest can't sweat his sperm out through his brain. The hypocrites are to be found amongst the ten-thousandstrong élite. That's where one meets the Puritan who can reproach his neighbour for his adventures, forgetting that he has himself married a divorcée. Everybody should draw from his own experience the reasons to show himself indulgent towards others. Marriage, as it is practised in bourgeoise society, is generally a thing against nature. But a meeting between two beings who complete one another, who are made for one another, borders already, in my conception, upon a miracle. I often think of those women who people the convents—because they haven't met the man with whom they would have wished to share their lives. With the exception of those who were promised to God by their parents, most of them, in fact, are women cheated by life. Human beings are made to suffer passively. Rare are the beings capable of coming to grips with existence.
Adolf Hitler (Hitler's Table Talk, 1941-1944)
She could envision Shakespeare's sister. But she imagined a violent, an apocalyptic end for Shakespeare's sister, whereas I know that isn't what happened. You see, it isn't necessary. I know that lots of Chinese women, given in marriage to men they abhorred and lives they despised, killed themselves by throwing themselves down the family well. I'm not saying it doesn't happen. I'm only saying that isn't what usually happens. It it were, we wouldn't be having a population problem. And there are so much easier ways to destroy a woman. You don't have to rape or kill her; you don't even have to beat her. You can just marry her. You don't even have to do that. You can just let her work in your office for thirty-five dollars a week. Shakespeare's sister did...follow her brother to London, but she never got there. She was raped the first night out, and bleeding and inwardly wounded, she stumbled for shelter into the next village she found. Realizing before too long that she was pregnant, she sought a way to keep herself and her child safe. She found some guy with the hots for her, realized he was credulous, and screwed him. When she announced her pregnancy to him, a couple months later, he dutifully married her. The child, born a bit early, makes him suspicious: they fight, he beats her, but in the end he submits. Because there is something in the situation that pleases him: he has all the comforts of home including something Mother didn't provide, and if he has to put up with a screaming kid he isn't sure is his, he feels now like one of the boys down at the village pub, none of whom is sure they are the children of the fathers or the fathers of their children. But Shakespeare's sister has learned the lesson all women learn: men are the ultimate enemy. At the same time she knows she cannot get along in the world without one. So she uses her genius, the genius she might have used to make plays and poems with, in speaking, not writing. She handles the man with language: she carps, cajoles, teases, seduces, calculates, and controls this creature to whom God saw fit to give power over her, this hulking idiot whom she despises because he is dense and fears because he can do her harm. So much for the natural relation between the sexes. But you see, he doesn't have to beat her much, he surely doesn't have to kill her: if he did, he'd lose his maidservant. The pounds and pence by themselves are a great weapon. They matter to men, of course, but they matter more to women, although their labor is generally unpaid. Because women, even unmarried ones, are required to do the same kind of labor regardless of their training or inclinations, and they can't get away from it without those glittering pounds and pence. Years spent scraping shit out of diapers with a kitchen knife, finding places where string beans are two cents less a pound, intelligence in figuring the most efficient, least time-consuming way to iron men's white shirts or to wash and wax the kitchen floor or take care of the house and kids and work at the same time and save money, hiding it from the boozer so the kid can go to college -- these not only take energy and courage and mind, but they may constitute the very essence of a life. They may, you say wearily, but who's interested?...Truthfully, I hate these grimy details as much as you do....They are always there in the back ground, like Time's winged chariot. But grimy details are not in the background of the lives of most women; they are the entire surface.
Marilyn French (The Women's Room)
For if single women are looking for government to create a "hubby state" for them, what is certainly true is that their male counterparts have a long enjoy the fruits of a related "wifey state," in which the nation and its government supported male independence in a variety of ways. Men, and especially married wealthy white men, have a long relied on government assistance. It's a government that has historically supported white men's home and business ownership through grants, loans, incentives, and tax breaks. It has allowed them to accrue wealth and offer them shortcuts and bonuses for passing it down to their children. Government established white men's right to vote and thus exert control over the government at the nation's founding and has protected their enfranchisement. It has also bolstered the economic and professional prospects of men by depressing the economic prospects of women: by failing to offer women equivalent economic and civic protections, thus helping to create conditions whereby women were forced to be dependent on those men, creating a gendered class of laborers who took low paying or unpaid jobs doing the domestic and childcare work that further enabled men to dominate public spheres. But the growth of a massive population of women who are living outside those dependent circumstances puts new pressures on the government: to remake conditions in a way that will be more hospitable to female independence, to a citizenry now made up of plenty of women living economically, professionally, sexually, and socially liberated lives.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)