Despite some apparent likenesses, single men and single women are perceived in very different ways. Bachelors are rarely considered lonely, aberrant, or pitiable. Rather, they are seen as having elected to be ""footloose and fancy free."" Single women, however, do not enjoy such an enviable reputation. Instead, over the past two centuries, they have been viewed as abnormal, neurotic, or simply undesirable - attitudes that result in part from the longstanding belief that a single woman would not have chosen her life.This collection of eleven original essays attempts to correct that bias by presenting a more complex view of single women. The writers embrace a broad definition of singleness, one that includes women who never married, those who cohabit but are legally denied the right to marry, divorcees, and widows. They describe women who defiantly voted in political elections, single mothers who rejected dependency on public assistance programs, women who successfully ran businesses, and others who found fulfillment in charitable work.
Collectively, the self-reliance, creativity, and power to redefine difficult situations that these women demonstrate make a powerful statement about the successes of women on their own.
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 640 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 23 mm
"Bell and Yans are outstanding scholars who have addressed an under-examined and important aspect of women's history. This volume is both original and interesting.
"--Carol Berkin"author of Revolutionary Mothers" (01/01/2099)
"Women on Their Own extends across an impressive range of temporal and geographic distances to raise important issues in how we view the status of widows and single women in various historical periods and today."--Andrew August"Abington College, Penn State University" (01/01/2099)