An Inspiring Picture of Single Womanhood

Being mainly single as a young and young adult woman has given me so much space to prioritize close female friends, wide world leadership, teaching RC, and my re-emergence. And single women have played a major role in my life.

My older sister, Emily Galpern, learned RC when she was an older young person and I was little, and she made backing [supporting] me a priority. Being single gave her the space to do that and to stick close to me as I became a teenager and a young adult. Our conversations, special times, and sessions, and birthday cards from her, were my reference points on reality. She held out that I was a powerful girl with a powerful mind and that the discharge process was good. Her commitment to me changed my life and what I was able to do. I am thankful for her role in my life and for the life she has lived as a single woman.

I’ve lived with my close friend, also a single young adult female, for seven years. We got close when we were sixteen in a wide world youth group. We are committed to building our lives together, seeing each other as primary, and backing each other’s wide world and RC leadership—whether we have romantic partnerships or not. Having RC as young people made a big difference in our getting and staying close. We started trading time [taking turns listening to each other] in high school, and that helped us fight for our relationship.

I also have two other female friends whom I met when we were young and am committed to. They are now RC teachers and a big part of my life. I also trade time weekly with my close friend from third grade who is about to join a fundamentals class. And I have a close “central” relationship with my younger brother, who is in my RC class.

At the same time, restimulation about being a single young adult woman takes up a lot of my attention. It would be incredible to have slack around this and get to enjoy the amazing life I have built, to not be preoccupied with having a male partner and organizing my life around him.

It’s been a challenge to stay close to longtime female friends as they move away to live with partners, get married, and so on. They are often eager to stay close, but my attention for them dries up. I am restimulated by their decisions and lives and am much less available to connect with them.

Single women are one of the groups that U.S. progressive strategists call the “Rising American Electorate.” The idea is that young people, people of color, and single women can shift U.S. politics to the left.

I am a union and community organizer and have found it striking how many husbands discourage their wives from being active, taking risks, and becoming leaders and how many single women (moms and not) have more space to do that. What would it be like for us single women to take ourselves seriously as a political force?

I love the idea of a single womanhood based on sisterhood, political power, not believing bad feelings about myself, and being pleased with my life—while also being open to a romantic partnership. Maybe my mind is powerful enough, alongside all of yours, to fight for this perspective.

Claire Galpern

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for leaders of women

(Present Time 193, October 2018)

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