Takeaways from the Single Women’s Workshop

 The following are some of my takeaways [things I took away] from the Single Women’s Workshop, led by Diane Balser (the International Liberation Reference Person for Women) in Massachusetts, USA, in September 2017.

It was a contradiction [to distress] to be together with a hundred-plus single women. I realized how hard it has been to navigate relationships, even in Co-Counseling, with women who are partnered and to show my humiliation, loneliness, desperation, fear, and anger. It’s been terrifying to lean on other women, to ask for more closeness, when I’ve known that their partner or children will likely trump [take precedence over] my needs.

“Singledom” does not need fixing. I am okay, now. “Single” does not equate to pitiable or alone or lonely. I can be single and be so much. I do not need to be defined in relation to marriage. (Maybe we need a new term?) Being single can be a refuge from sexism and a place to catch my breath, get in touch with my own mind.

“Singledom,” sexism, and “mental health” oppression intersect when single women are a stereotype for loneliness.

Fear, desperation, and loneliness can manipulate us into de-prioritizing friendships and non-traditional families. They can keep us from thinking freshly and creating communities and social supports outside of marriage and nuclear families.

The oppressive society benefits when we are scared and unable to think and act creatively to build community, connection, and resource.

Society pits us against each other. Our need (out of fear) to be pretty and “picked” [chosen] makes us complicit in a game that some women—often because they are members of certain oppressed groups—almost always lose.

Single women creating the lives, relationships, and communities they want are a revolutionary force. We can model for everyone ways to build and sustain community. What kinds of commitments could I make to, and ask from, communities and other women? What are the many types of partnerships and relationships I could negotiate and explore? Who might be willing to engage and commit?

 “Beryl Blevins”

North Carolina, USA

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


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