A “Home” for Single Women

I want to appreciate Diane and Tokumbo for making a home for us single women. This is important—for us, for the RC Communities, and for society as a whole. Single women play a big role in making all kinds of institutions (including RC) work well for everyone. I especially appreciate that attention was put on the oppression of Black single women.

I love the perspective that single women can be a revolutionary force, especially in this moment in history. Right now, for the first time, there are more unmarried women than married women in the United States, and single women often have time and space in to think about and do big things.

This workshop reminded me of the discharging we must do—and make space for all single women to do—so that we can always remember and act from our power and goodness. I realized what a challenge this has been, even for those of us who are very experienced in RC.

I started Co-Counseling when I was nineteen years old. I am now forty-five. I have lived mostly as a single woman. And for most of this time I have been actively looking for a partner—always thinking that if I just “tried harder” I would find one.

It is hard for us women—single or not—to show how much of our lives, starting at a young age, we spend trying to find a man. (This aspect of sexism affects us even if we identify as LBQT.) The message is, “This is what your life is about. Every decision you make should help create the conditions for this to happen. You should be willing to change everything about how you look, eat, dress, talk—really everything about how you live—if it helps you achieve this goal.” Even though I have done many other things in my life, in the back of my mind this has always been a goal.

It feels humiliating to admit this to my Co-Counselors. It feels terrible to share all the things I have stopped doing or started doing because I thought it would help me get a man. I don’t want to admit the ways I have undermined other women or treated them as a lower priority in order to be chosen by a man. And I don’t want anyone to know that I still feel like I would give up everything in my life if the “right” guy asked me to marry him. (I don’t think I would actually do it, but the feeling is that strong.)

Even though my life is good and successful by almost every measure, I need to be able to show my counselor that I feel like a failure because my life doesn’t look the way I had planned; I didn’t end up with a husband and a baby.

After twenty-five years in RC, I feel like I am just starting to see that maybe the actual life I have built is better than the life I thought I should have. Finally, most mornings, I don’t start out feeling lonely or sad—something I never thought would change.

Alysia Tate

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion listfor leaders of women

(Present Time 193, October 2018)

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00