Thank you Maureen Dowd for writing this fantastic Op-Ed piece in the New York Times asking when this shift occurs – going from being called “single” to the dreaded “unmarried.”
Dowd talked about how the marker can be 40 or 50, when people stop thinking of women as eligible and just unmarried. What a downer huh? Then she mentioned some skuttle-but about Elena Kagan who started off with a swagger about being the hip and powerful single woman and was reduced to rumors of being gay.
I know about this personally. It happened to me. Staying single until my 40th birthday, I rarely dated or talked about men whom I found attractive. I was shut down from all of this activity, I didn’t date and I didn’t meet men who interested me. It took some real soul searching to understand how I had contributed to my own single status. Turning 40 helped open my eyes.
Once I started dating and talking about all the men in my life, something shifted. One male friend, Mark, actually admitted he had thought I was gay and either not dealing with it or not talking about it. I must admit that conversation shook me up. For goodness sakes, if people thought I was gay, that certainly diminished my chances of begin set up on blind dates! Truth is, in the absense of information, people make stuff up as they stretch to understand your life choices.
This is a great article, as Dowd often writes. The close is positive and provacative where she asks why isn’t it possible that Kagan was coming to Washington and planning to sign up with jdate, now that she has a fancy new job. She could certainly update her linkedin profile and get noticed that way too.