Continuing our topic of stereotypes, I came across this Salon article by Tracy Clark-Flory, about the pressure on single women to marry and settle down. She says:
… a new study has found that the “spinster” stigma is still alive and thriving — and it’s worst for women in their mid-20s to mid-30s. After reaching the age of 25, LiveScience explains, women begin to feel “scrutinized by friends, family members and others” — including themselves, of course — “for their singlehood.”
Ah yes, the old “When are you going to settle down?” question. Stick around all you 20- to 30- year olds, because not far behind that one is, “When are you going to have kids?” As Clark-Flory goes on to point out:
Decades later, that warning [that being too picky will lead to a life of spinsterhood] has been passed along fully intact and internalized even by supposedly enlightened young feminists like myself. It just goes to show how cunning and insidious that prince charming, fairy-tale ending is.
And the same goes for having children. While many women do think it through, weigh the pros and cons, and make the decision to have or to not have children, many more feel the pressure from society, family, peers, and just follow along with what’s expected of them, and some of them discover that the fairytale isn’t really what they wanted after all.