Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

CNN’s Jessica Ravitz on Why She’s Not Married

I adore this article by Jessica Ravitz because it is sooooo brave and raw and gutsy and all the things I look for when I read a piece. She’s funny, snarky, but in an elegant, eloquent way. And she stands up not only for herself, but for all single women. I applaud her courage a thousand times over! You go girlfriend! I’ve excerpted the first part and then posted the link to her entire story over at CNN.

Tracy McMillan has gotten under my single-status skin.

I’m not sure how it took nearly a week for her Huffington Post column, “Why You’re Not Married,” to land in front of me, but it finally did. And now I’m fired up — not in an angry way but in the sort of way that made me skip to my desk, excited to type.
To hear it from the thrice-divorced McMillan, I’m 41 and not married because of one (or more?) of six reasons: I’m a bitch, a slut, a liar, shallow, selfish or not good enough.
Wow. Is that all? Maybe I smell, too.
I’ll be the first to admit I’ve got issues (c’mon, who doesn’t?), but I’m not owning these. 
Perhaps she was talking about why her own marriages failed or was simply setting out to get a rise, which she did brilliantly. And while I’ve been guilty of occasional transgressions that might fit in some of those unflattering boxes, McMillan doesn’t touch why I’m not married.
Based on the buzz surrounding her conversation-starting piece, I’m laying down and lining up behind reason number seven: Life happens.
Before reading on, know that I am not and refuse to be woe-is-me. Like Jennifer Aniston, minus the killer body and bank account, I’m happy. Really, I am. I skipped to my desk, dammit.
Of course I’d love to meet and marry that one and only, but in the meantime I’m living my life, and I’m taking everything that’s been given me on the journey.
Maybe, like me, that’s where you are, too.
Maybe you spent your adolescence clashing with a stepfather who didn’t get you emotionally. And maybe the father who did get you had been relegated by the courts, when you were 2 and your parents divorced, to every-other-weekend access. Maybe your first love cheated on you, just around the time a second divorce rolled through your family. So maybe your faith in men and marriage was a little shaken before you teased your hair for the prom.
But that’s nothing some therapy and better hair sense can’t fix, right?
Maybe you’re a searcher with a healthy dose of wanderlust, someone who needed time to commit to furniture, let alone a man, because there was so much you needed to see, do and become.


Read the entire story and comment at CNN.

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  • Elizabeth

    Okay, I just read that appauling McMillian article in order to get the context for this blog post. I am a-single-never been married-haven’t dated much-33 year old woman. And I was HIGHLY offended by McMillian’s “reasons why I’m single” article. Her sterotypes are part of the problem with the stigma surrounding single women in their 30’s and up. I’m glad Ravitz wrote that rebuttal!

  • Skylark

    In this age of “anything goes” I thought the un-married woman was “off the hook” so to speak. In the past she struggled with being labeled everything from an old maid, a left-over, to being, more recently, “suspect” as to her sexuality. Since the 60’s and 70’s and Betty Friedan, one would have thought the single woman was the only was to go through life, completely independent, self-sufficient and “free to be me” kind of gal….no more tied to a “man for their identity” rationale. Now we have McMillan positing just the direct opposite…sending single women back into the humiliating role, once more, of beig a negative un-contributing member of our society. I think McMillan was having a bad day at her typewriter and took the lazy way out of writer’s block by positing what surely was and has been for a long time a non-issue. Or is it? Judging from what some comments imply the stigma of being a single woman is still very much alive and well. Sad, really! A single woman comes in many varieties as does her married counter-part. However she arrives at her status she is and can be a whole person, a happy individual and at the same time, a contributing member of society. Perhaps those “stuck” in an unhappy relationship even envious of her apparent freedom…and strike out by writing nasty articles about her life style reverting to past prejudices.

  • Mrs Moore

    Thanks for sharing this. I thought Jessica R’s article was really great. I got depressed when I started to read the comments below her article, though. And then I read Terry M’s article and I just felt mad. What a judgemental load of garbage. She must not have any single friends she likes, and she probably won’t be getting any soon. Poor her.

  • Leo Lawrence

    It sounds like Jessica has aquired an idealised view about romantic life and about the likelyhood of finding a man that meets those ideals. Perhaps she’ll be happy living out her romantic life in that world, alone. Or perhaps she should find a good [not wonderful] man.

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