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Laurie Penny on why young women should be single

(15 Posts)
AskBasil Mon 13-Feb-17 21:54:02

This is possibly the best article I've read on being single and why it's a necessity in patriarchy

www.newstatesman.com/politics/feminism/2016/02/maybe-you-should-just-be-single

Happy Valentine's Day grin

M0stlyBowlingHedgehog Mon 13-Feb-17 22:15:22

"That girl doesn’t get to have the kind of adventures you really ought to be having in your teens and twenties. It’s not that her dreams and plans don’t matter, but they always matter slightly less than the boy’s, because that’s what boys are taught to expect—that their girlfriend is there to play a supporting role in their life."

This really strikes a chord with me. I've probably spent more of my adult life single than in a couple (have now been single for over a decade and don't expect that to change) and when I look back at the stuff I've done, the stuff I've achieved, the stuff I've really enjoyed, most of it has been done while I've been single. Relationships have this way of making what I want secondary to what he wants.

Prawnofthepatriarchy Mon 13-Feb-17 22:31:15

I didn't settle down until I was over 30. I had some great times single. My career was more important than any bloke. I had a lot of FWB though we didn't call them that then. smile

EurusHolmesViolin Wed 15-Feb-17 09:44:36

I thought that was an interesting article. Penny has a bit of a dodgy record on certain issues, but this was well worth a read.

I have been with my DH since I was pretty young and while I have no regrets whatsoever and would change nothing, she's right on the money that energy you pour into relationships (and having children in your 20s as I did) is energy that isn't available for other things. Being in a sufficiently serious relationship that you also think of someone else when you take your major life decisions inevitably imposes limitations, just as it also (ideally) provides you with a lot of support you wouldn't have otherwise had.

Having only really been single as an adult at university and for a little while afterwards I can't really look at my life and identify periods of greater or lesser achievement, but it was useful to reflect on the difference being partnered early has made. Not all negative by any means, I don't think Penny does a very good job of covering that part- probably as she hasn't experienced it. But I think the topic is something we could generally benefit from thinking more about.

EurusHolmesViolin Wed 15-Feb-17 09:49:41

So like for example, there is no way I'd have written several books in my 20s or equivalent, as Penny has, because I'd have preferred spending my time with DH and later DC instead. That isn't something I necessarily view as a bad thing, but it undeniably does mean wasted potential, career wise.

UncontrolledImmigrant Wed 15-Feb-17 09:52:43

Laurie Penny chums around with fascists, and writes articles that normalise and humanise them

I'd rather take life advice from a syphillitic magpie, cheers

M0stlyBowlingHedgehog Wed 15-Feb-17 11:29:06

I've checked out the list of Laurie's articles in New Stateman over the last year, and I can't see any that match that description, Uncontrolled, but I'd be very interested to know why you've come to that conclusion, so if you could supply the link, I'll happily read it.

(Disclaimer - I'm not holding LP up as a shining beacon of left-wing writing which I agree with all the time. Sometimes I agree with what LP writes, sometimes I really, really disagree with her - the article on "sex work" and work is a complete pile of shite: she argues in effect that because having to clean streets/ empty bins because you need the money is pretty unpleasant, sex work is no worse than these.)

EurusHolmesViolin Wed 15-Feb-17 17:20:53

She's written about meeting alt-right figures before and some on the left feel she has humanised them, oxygen of publicity etc. Ava Vidal was slagging her for it before Christmas.

I'm not sure how I feel about that argument, but I do note with interest that her willingness to write about her association with Milo and attend Trump campaign events as his guests contrasts with her at best mixed attitude to no-platforming Julie Bindel and similar.

M0stlyBowlingHedgehog Wed 15-Feb-17 18:45:26

Ah - thanks. That makes sense now.

AskBasil Wed 15-Feb-17 20:07:12

She's also woeful on trans.

Which is why she's allowed to publish of course.

Larainette Thu 16-Feb-17 11:38:31

Thanks for sharing that Ask. I really needed that right now.

IrenetheQuaint Thu 16-Feb-17 19:42:49

God knows I don't agree with Laurie Penny on everything, but I thought this was a fantastic article.

Though it makes me feel slightly embarrassed as I have been single pretty much all of my life without achieving anything amazing at all. Still, it's been fun, and it absolutely has enabled me to put much more effort into my friendships and interests.

Gwenhwyfar Sat 18-Feb-17 10:18:15

"Though it makes me feel slightly embarrassed as I have been single pretty much all of my life without achieving anything amazing at all."

My life has been a complete failure, but the short periods when I had a boyfriend were the ones when I had more confidence and moral support so I think if I'd been less single, I might have been less of a failure.

CruellaDeVilsEvilSister Sat 18-Feb-17 10:51:16

Thought this was a great article. I agree that we need to be encouraging more young women to disengage from men. Singledom needs to be promoted as something to aspire to!

creampinkrose Sat 18-Feb-17 10:54:49

To my surprise, I read it and was unable to identify with it at all, although I have spent my twenties and thus far my thirties single.

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