From Hannah Jane Parkinson in The Guardian, 12 May 2018:
All the single ladies, all the single ladies, all the single ladies, now put your hands up! Because you ruin absolutely everything and deserve to be called out. Endlessly, and around the world. The latest example is Kanji Kato, a Japanese MP who has called single women a “burden on the state”. Annoyingly, there is a grain of truth in this, if the single women are childless, as ageing populations put pressure on national health services, including our own NHS.
In the past, globally, when people tended to have more children, those children cared for their parents and other older relatives. But in many countries that trend is declining, requiring medical professionals, nurses and retirement homes to bridge the care gap. But it never seems to be the case that politicians pipe up about single, childless men, who also grow old and need care, and who, in their youth, are deified as ambitious or approved of as charming, roguish scamps. It’s women who, in the words of another Japanese politician, are the “birth-giving machines”, and any who choose not to have children, or who can’t, are deemed to be malfunctioning.
But hey, single women have become used to this attitude, alongside the millennial generation, who are also responsible for everything bad or depressing. Single women are making everyone feel awkward (particularly the entire global tabloid press if that woman is Jennifer Aniston). Their need for babies is forcing the rest of us to pay for them with our taxes and provide IVF on the NHS (a move that “casts doubt on the government’s family-friendly credentials”, according to the Telegraph). Apparently, single women are also responsible for men who go on murdering sprees because they had the indecency to reject them.
It’s amazing that single women have the audacity to roam about in daylight, as if they were, in fact, not single and therefore normal. A favourite series of articles of mine on this subject are titled along the lines of: Avoid the Mistakes Single Women Make, which include (really) “being shortsighted about life”, “falling down on the job of life” and “giving up and caving in” .
It’s not really a new thing, viewing single women as freaks. Remember that Bridget Jones quote, when she is asked why so many women in their 30s are single? “I don’t know. I suppose it doesn’t help that underneath our clothes, our entire bodies are covered in scales.”
Single women deserve a break. Especially because it’s actually society that is ruining everything for single women. There is the extortionate cost of renting alone, or forking out double the cost when you holiday solo, then having to watch couples coo at origami swan napkins while they demand you take photos of them. There is trying to pretend that other people’s babies don’t all look the same. Or, for single women who have children, having to deal with society’s raised eyebrows.
A , mostly because they are not tied down with the emotional and domestic labour that comes with being a woman in a (heterosexual) relationship. It probably also has something to do with the fact that nobody can veto your Netflix choices if you’re the only one making them, and not being dragged along to a partner’s work do. Could these snide asides at single women just be the politics of envy?