Among the towering buffet of false choices fed to women over the last few decades, the idea of marriage and children as a happy ending is somewhere near the top. Historically, women have been led to understand that a husband, and by extension, children, were the missing pieces in their lives; the only real solution to the problem of female loneliness.
Up until very recently it appeared near impossible for our culture to conceive of a single, child-free woman who was happy about it, largely because, women needed men in order to stay afloat economically and psychologically. Women have historically been defined by their relationship to man, largely because they needed to in order to survive. The stigma of singleness was a form of social leprosy. These days, amid the cries of a “loneliness epidemic” there still exists the caricature of a sad, single lady, scrolling longingly through her social media feed, wine in hand, envious of all the happy families. A cat usually within close vicinity.
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