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Women on Their Own

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Being Single

Women on Their Own by Rudolph M. Bell
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Despite some apparent likenesses, single men and single women are perceived in very different ways. Bachelors are rarely considered lonely, aberrant, or pitiable. Rather, they are seen as having elected to be “footloose and fancy free.” Single women, however, do not enjoy such an enviable reputation. Instead, over the past two centuries, they have been viewed as abnormal, neurotic, or simply undesirable—attitudes that result in part from the longstanding belief that a single woman would not have chosen her life.
This collection of eleven original essays attempts to correct that bias by presenting a more complex view of single women. The writers embrace a broad definition of singleness, one that includes women who never married, those who co-habit but are legally denied the right to marry, divorcees, and widows. They describe women who defiantly voted in political elections, single mothers who rejected dependency on public assistance programs, women who successfully ran businesses, and others who found fulfillment in charitable work. Collectively, the self-reliance, creativity, and power to redefine difficult situations that these women demonstrate make a powerful statement about the successes of women on their own.
Rutgers University Press; December 2007
282 pages; ISBN 9780813544014
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Title: Women on Their Own
Author: Rudolph M. Bell; Virginia Yans