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The Rise Of The Single Woman

Wife, in black and whiteIt’s official. Men are no longer necessary.

That’s what lots of media articles have been debating lately. Yesterday’s New York Times editorial “Men, Who Needs Them?” (written by a man) is only the last in a series of discussions that celebrates the achievements and strength of womankind.

Women have risen above men when it comes to education, longevity and connectivity. We’ve got ourselves careers, raise children by ourselves, and tend to have a satisfying social life. Career women have never been happier. As fellow blogger Bella DePaulo points out, most women who prioritize career over family have no regrets doing so.

According to an article in the New Atlantic, women ought to get ready to build their lives without a husband. Demographic trends point towards a decreasing percentage of men, who also tend to be less educated, less successful and less committed than earlier generations.

There is a “shrinking pool of traditionally ‘marriageable’ men” writes author Kate Bolik. “Today we’re contending with a new ‘dating gap,’ where marriage-minded women are increasingly confronted with either deadbeats or players.”

The more women are available and ready to lead a grown up life, so goes the theory, the less men want to chose to settle down. And while women are more empowered than ever, the existential angst about being alone and at some point turning into a “cat lady” seems to persist in younger cohorts.

But women seem to tackle that as well. Manuals about “How to be alone” seem to proliferate. There is a certain confidence – however shaky – that it’s possible to manage life as a single woman (and single mom) just fine.

The poet Tanya Davis created a video about just that. “If you are, at first lonely, be patient” she concludes. “If you’ve not been alone much, or when you were, you weren’t OK with it, then just wait. You’ll find it’s fine to be alone once you’re embracing it.”

The eternal adaptability of humans did not just make us stronger and smarter. It may even make us women powerful beyond what you’ve ever imagined.

A quote from the above mentioned New York Times editorial: “Women live longer, are healthier and are far less likely to commit a violent offense. If men were cars, who would buy the model that doesn’t last as long, is given to lethal incidents and ends up impounded more often?”

Indeed, women are able to take reproduction pretty much fully into their own hands. As the Times repeatedly states: Only women are “necessary and sufficient” for reproduction. Men are not.


photo credit: Dewayne Neeley

The Rise Of The Single Woman

Gerti Schoen, MA, LP

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APA Reference
Schoen, G. (2012). The Rise Of The Single Woman. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 20, 2019, from


Last updated: 3 Sep 2012
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 3 Sep 2012
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