Thursday, 13 January 2011

Out To Pasture : Do We Still Judge Spinsters?

I think that times may actually have changed. Am I right? You be the judge.


A century ago women were judged according to their "marriage-ability" You were a Spinster only if you were "unmarriageable" before you outgrew the two year window period of eligibility (heaven help you if there was a war on) then you were put out to pasture… don't you love it? Put out to pasture…let that roll around your tongue for a while…Put. Out. To. Pasture. Like cows. Like very old cows. It irks me to think of the countless lovely ladies who were denied the chance to have children, to find true love, all because they were:


a. Not wealthy (Dad was a poor drinking 'bliksem)

b. Not near to town (Making it difficult to meet available and willing men)

c. Uglier than a pickled blueberry (after a long soak in a barrel of vinegar)


Women who missed the time frame mark, and grew out of the ideal age group, were destined to spend their lives as: Governesses, old aged people's Assistants, Live-In Maids, Ladies in Waiting and other menial drivel. Ridiculous! Some brave ladies fought hard to establish themselves as Madams, as School Mistresses and Store Owners but these were few and far between. I like to think that if I had been denied married life (spending my life tied to some moustachioed snot bag, who droned on about the war, and how he fought hard in the trenches "to stem the tide of hideous gangrene that threatened to swipe out our glorious legion!…" blah bleh blah fwah fwah) I would have done one of two things:


  1. Nunnery – Living a life in a robe swinging a crucifix and creating illegal late night poetic groups and a social network called "FaceScroll" or "FaceParchment" not sure which.
  2. Wild Woman of the West – I would have been the stuff of legend. Climbing mountains while wearing pants, Riding Horses facing the front (stuff the blinking side-saddle crap) Playing competitive Poker and winning, and probably smoking ciggies that I rolled myself. Australia would have been the place for my woman's lib nonsense… my annoying asthma, religious views and many allergies aside of course…


Focussing again,…There were Coming Out parties (not the gay kind but the kind where you actually come out and start dating right there in the room, no pressure, I mean it's 1879 and the boys are heading off to fight the Spartans or some such…) There was Courting in the Parlour, Going Walking, Taking Tea with the Parents… all of which took time, you see, so the girl in question had to be at least 18  -19 to be considered "fresh enough" So, basically if you were nearing 25 you were starting to sag a bit and your figure looked a bit more like Mum's…near to 30 and you were old enough to BE his Mum… it was tough. I was a hearty 24 when I was married, I looked like me Mum and I was an 'old bride' by Victorian standards. I had my first child at 28, my second at 30 – Ancient by those same standards!


Now in 2010/11 things have changed. Single ladies who are 30ish are common, they are not in any hurry to marry the first John that asks, they are fun, young and still very much in demand. In my opinion I think that if you want children, you can have children safely until you are around 40 years old. There is still time. Don't rush anything. I personally believe that marriage is FOREVER. The D word does not have a place in our home. We are in it for life, "We will spend our lives together laughing at each other as we grow old and fall apart" – Robin Williams


I have been astounded at the amount of Divorce's of friends and family. Astounded. It seems that people don't know how to truly love and honour one another anymore. Laughter is gone, people are over worked, under paid, stressed, sad, lonely in marriage, bored, lacking good moral sense… it is a mess of broken children, weekend visits, tears, financial stress… I hope I never have to endure that kind of utter heartbreak and ruin of a purpose built relationship.


Back to my point, do we as a society still judge the single women harshly?

Do we look upon them as flawed or weird, or unattractive, or picky or past it?

Do we feel the same way about same aged men?

Have we changed that much in 100years?

I know I have. I think.



Sandy Bigara

1 comment:

  1. Hmm... Good to think about! I rather think I have double standards - I don't judge women who haven't married by thirty. Don't think it's abnormal at all. Yet I at 25 feel QUITE on the shelf! I wonder why no-one has ambled past my neck of the woods! Perhaps a case of us being our own harshest critics. Men, on the other hand, continue to be deliciously attractive til, say, 40 :) Then I wonder, 'Goodness... what is repelling the women? There must be something!' Shame on me.


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