As a single girl in my 20’s I was confused. In my mid 30’s I became single and somewhat deranged. My 40s, well I’m still trying to figure that one out. According to the media I have two options as single woman these days – slut or spinster.
Watching TV the other night I noticed that all of the shows indicated that its cute and fun to be single in your 20s or early 30s (unless you’re turning up as a dead body on CSI) but at 40, if you’re single, you’re no longer ‘fun’ – you’re a slut or a spinster.
Think about any show on TV these days. Now locate the single woman. Slut or spinster? Weirdo or nymphomaniac? (and yes, detectives who live for their work are still spinsters, especially as we watch them microwaving their Lean Cuisine). Seriously, I couldn’t find one who didn’t fall into either category who was single (though there was some chick who slit her own throat on ‘The Following’ which I think fell into the ‘psycho’ category) Slut, spinster or psycho? Is my only role model on tv today the TMobile chick on the motorcycle? Jesus.
But everyone knows that tv is crap.. maybe I should be watching more movies. Yes, must be more role models in the movies right?
Lets look at some of the latest big movies and see if I can find some positive role models for single women over ..ahem….40:
Rust and Bone.. Single women in her later 30s? Check! Feisty and opinionated? Check! No legs? Fuccck. Ok, now I’ve got Slut, Spinster, Psycho or Legless.
Silver Linings Playbook?
Nope. The only single woman might be psycho, but definitely still falls into the cute and fun category.
Nope. The chick is single, but f-ks disabled dudes for therapy. Kind of slut, kind of spinster, kind of psycho. And I have dated enough retards to know I’ve done my bit for the disabled community.
Life of Pi?
All dudes… (even the tiger)
Old dudes and one old feisty married spinster type. And no, I’m not adopting Mary Todd as my role model, noble as she may be. The chick looked like she drank vinegar on regular basis.. and she was married. (Hmm might need to rethink the married = good archetype next week)
Well miserable is in the title, so its not boding well. But there are a few chicks… who die… so probably not.
Zero Dark Thirty
Finally! Feisty chick who might be 40 (in bad lighting and war zone type of way).. ok I can stretch it. Bold, strong, doing whats right? Check! Slut? No! Spinster? Didn’t see a Lean Cuisine anywhere.. Psycho? Hmmm questionable… she was chasing Osama Bin Laden. Ok, maybe I have a role model there… (and wouldn’t you know it, made by a woman).
So maybe I’m reading too much into tv and the movies but it the mantra of slut or spinster does seem to be backed up by real life. As a former ‘sluttess‘ I’ve dined out on my stories for quite some time and I’ve had more than one concerned conversation with a friend who is worried about my dating habits. I’ve had fun. But sluttess over 40 starts to feel like ‘cougar’, and I honestly don’t want to spend my salary on the plastic surgery and mini skirts that seems to require. So as I date less and spend more time hanging out with friends or just myself, the comments over dinner focus less on counseling bad behavior, and more on reassuring me that my spinsterhood isn’t forever and that someone will come along. When I mention riding my bike or afternoons at the movies, I hear that its ‘good to have hobbies’ to keep me ‘busy’. At this point I fully expect to receive a tea pot and some yarn for my next birthday so I can knit myself a spinster blanket. Frankly I’d prefer to live in the slut category but I fear my friends are much more comfortable with me spending weekends on the sofa, knees covered by a tartan throw as I listen to NPR. Hell to the no (sorry Ira).
So today I’m lobbying for a new category. Chick. Chicks ride bikes, travel on their own, take risks and wear what they like. They spend their weekends at the movies, hiking, eating brunch or reading a book. They garden. They write. They’re up for last minute suggestions to drive to Wyoming. They might be a little bit psycho and they probably drink too much vodka, but they’re not out to steal your man or your baby, work isn’t their defining characteristic and they’d doing just fine.
Somewhere between the slut, the spinster and the psycho. Here’s to chicks.