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The Privilege and Revolution of Being Single (And Happy About It)

by Hannah Jenkinson |

Thinking about being 35 and single. Thinking about how a few years ago that really wasn’t somewhere I wanted to be at this age. I wanted to be ‘settled’, to maybe be starting a family and to have someone (i.e. hot man) by my side. But where I am now, I could never have got to while being in a relationship. I now feel so blessed and privileged that I can be this age with all the experience I have and be fully in control of my life, my money, my decisions of how I choose to live my life (including just getting up and moving to Peru for as long as I please).

I read this passage in Rebecca Traiser’s book ‘All The Single Ladies’ which really put things into perspective:

“For most women, there were simply no other routes, besides marriage, to economic stability, to a socially sanctioned sexual and reproductive life, to standing within communities. But it was simultaneously true that to have a husband (and in turn, children, sometimes scads of them) was to be subsumed by wifeliness and maternity. More than that, it was a way to lose autonomy, legal rights and the capacity for public achievement. Of the few women who managed to leave a historical trace, usually from wealthier castes, a great number turn out to have been single, or, at the very least, single for the period during which they carved out space for themselves”

p38,

This reminder of where we have come from societally really gave me a wake up call. That being single - or even if you are not single – to be 25 or 35 or 45 and be independent, autonomous and thriving, is a whole new way for women to be in the world, that we are a relatively new class of society. I feel like I will never again wish away my singledom, but instead thank all the women that have come before me, who have pushed the boundaries a bit further with each generation, until finally we are at a place where we have true CHOICE. We are So blessed to live now, to have the freedom we have, and although I hope in the future it is not a privilege, but a given, I will still feel privileged and blessed right now to be able to do as I please in this world, and push the boundaries even further to release any stigma or negativity around living life away from the norm. Also to remember that the rest of the world is not necessarily as progressed as we are in the West.

Seeing my wonderful friends in their 30’s and 40’s making beautiful lives full of love, chosen family, creativity, freedom, community and independence is truly inspiring. Even a generation or so ago being single, independent and thriving wasn’t even really an obvious option.

I want women everywhere to have the choice of being in a relationship out of love and partnership on equal footing, and never again have to feel like they need to make that decision based on a need for survival or for fear of exclusion by society. To have options. To make their decisions about their lives, their children, their bodies and their money in an equal way to their partners. For women everywhere to truly create their own lives however they wish without any fear. Helping other women towards financial freedom and the option to make their own money is a step in that direction. We can help lift up other women towards the privileged place we are in in the world right now. To restore some of the balance from the ground up.

You owe it to all the women who have come before you to do WHATEVER THE HELL YOU WANT with your life (whether single or not), and feel AMAZING doing it. To be an example to all the women that see you today and all that will come after you, that ANYTHING is possible, and you can create a better life in WHATEVER way you want. YOU get to say what is a good life, without the need to fit into a prescribed way of how things look. Remember where you have come from – and see how expansive the possibilities are from here.

I would love to know what you think –

 

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