Note from the Director: The next seven blog posts will feature a range of issues from Rebecca Traister’s All the Single Ladies. Students in Dr. Lake’s semester’s LIB 100 “Reflect, Connect, Engage” course have curated content from across the web in order to explore how social media frames various issues surrounding various chapters from the Community Read-All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation.
The Center for Women and Gender Equity will continue to post information and events from all the Social Justice Centers that will allow for discourse to further complicate some of the issues identified from an intersectional lens and I invite you to get involved whenever possible or to stop into the Center to engage in conversations as well. Happy reading and talking, Jessica Jennrich, CWGE Director
Discrimination in the workforce can be seen through the salary gap between genders, as men earn more money than women in almost every occupation. This makes it hard for women to make a living by themselves, especially if they have kids. This pay gap could be making women feel reliant on a marriage to survive. Other societal stigmas make women feel obligated to have kids, and a husband. As we unravel the ideas mentioned in Chapter 10 of Rebecca Traister’s All the Single Ladies, this page has been created to raise focus on the stigmas both men and women face regarding independence, as well as what both genders can do for support and change.
Starting a family is a big decision. Society has a perfect, little image in mind for when this process of a family should begin, and many people feel obligated to follow the expected timeline. Comparing this idea to Allegory of the Cave, it is difficult to exceed from “societal norms,” but a lot of knowledge and experience can come out of doing so. Women have different bodies and lives that make it easier/harder to have kids especially in a short window. Both men and women face challenges that make starting a family difficult, or even unreachable either by choice or by nature.
The above article touches on Rebecca Traister’s, All the Single Ladies book and talks about how men and women have both changed and adapted to a new way of life. The age for marriage, that was once around 20-22, is now in the late 20’s and women have gained the love for independence. The article touches on the emotional effect this has had on men who are becoming lonely and depressed due to this increasing women independence.
The above article goes in depth about the stigma that men receive for being independent. The reasons men and women choose to be single and independent may differ, but it has become apparent that both parties receive shame for being independent whether they chose that lifestyle or not. Men are shammed for their image, and could be labeled as weird for being single, or even called gay. Men also receive shame for independence from their employees and coworkers. The article talks about the stigma of corporate men at country clubs taking their wives out, but wouldn’t it be awkward to be in that employment position as a man with no wife?
Having kids after the age 35 has always been looked down upon; millions of women have been told when to get pregnant “based on statistics from a time before electricity, antibiotics, or fertility treatment” (273). Although there are increased risks that involve having kids at a later ages, there are other options for women, like freezing her eggs. Women should have the option to have kids at later age without getting judged by the world.
On page 272 of chapter 10, All The Single Ladies, Rebecca Traister talks about “old mamas” referring to women who are single or don’t have kids at an older age. She mentioned that people instinctively ask women when they are going to have kids, as if it is some sort of requirement. These women stand out from the normal of society and society asks for an excsuse in return.
Women having kids has been produced as a societal norm, however, some women do not want kids and are therefore viewed as a “failed woman” (275). Choosing to have kids is a woman’s choice and no one else’s, no matter how hard family, a church, friends, or society pushes. The women who choose not to would rather put their work first, not be viewed differently for being a mother, do not believe they are fit to be a mother, or as simple as not wanting to be a mother.
New York times talks about single men in a way most people would learn from. The article mentioned that men are depressed and lost being single, divorced, or widowed, so groups have been started for men to meet other men, rap, and give advice. Men spoke up and admitted that they feel women are easily equipped for the bonding ability and men are not, that’s why men need support groups to learn how to bond.
Included in the above New York Times article, men admitted to feeling gay by having a close relationship with another man. This makes it hard for men to be independent because society will think these men are gay. Men are uncomfortable being independent because they feel they lack nurturing abilities for themselves, and feel they lack personal connection resulting from the gay stigma for men with other men friends. However, these support groups for men encourage the shedding of a tear to create an emotionally accepting environment rather than a distant hostile environment between men in similar life statuses.
There are many support groups within the Grand Valley campus that can support families within the community. These groups are a way for women, children and family to have a way to vent and connect with others just like them. Connecting with these groups can benefit you and the community, offering resources that you have access to and gaining a better understand can overall benefit everyone.
Living The Life Unexpected by Jody Day discussed the fear felt by women over forty years old and don’t have kids. Jody herself never had the chance to have kids because she wasn’t ready when the time was right. She created the Gateway Women Network to help childless women around the world.
Created by: bareisn on Wakelet