“All the Single Ladies”

Women’s HIstory Month may be past but the subject of women’s history is always relevant. I recommend to your attention a new book All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation by Rebecca Traister (New York City: Simon & Schuster, 2016). The author traces the history of “the unmarried state,” changes in attitude toward it over time, and what those changes have meant for women as well as for the nation. As she points out, the “vast increase in the number of single women is to be celebrated not because singleness is in and of itself a better or more desirable state than coupledom. The revolution is in the expansion of options.”

For women in the New World the road to independence began with the Revolutionary War and the birth of the nation as evidenced by In the Words of Women and many posts in this blog. Many began to push back against the constraints of marriage and the concept of couverture under which a woman’s identity—legal, economic, and social—was subsumed or “covered” by her husband. Women proved to themselves and to others that they could raise children, manage farms, and conduct business affairs while the menfolk went off to war. Traister’s book takes the movement forward. Well worth a read.

posted April 4th, 2016 by Janet, CATEGORIES: Book Beat, Women's Rights

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