Society has always had a double standard concerning men and women who choose not to get married. Women were supposed to be programmed for marriage and family while men were envied for their carefree bachelor lifestyle.
Women could stay single for just so long before they were classified as spinsters, too old in the tooth, while men were often referred to as being lucky for having escaped the parson’s noose, and they were never too old to be desirable as a marriage partner.
In the old days, a woman was thought to be put on earth for the purpose of procreating, while the man could hold onto his bachelorhood and childfree status indefinitely.
But so much has changed. More and more women want the same privileges that men have always taken for granted. They want equal relationships and, if they can’t have that, they want to remain single. They want fulfilling careers and they want their voices heard in and out of the house.
Many of them aren’t interested in being the movers and shakers, but they don’t want to be treated as chattel, having little value. They want to have a voice in the household finances and retirement plans. They don’t want to be relegated to the posiion of being “the little woman” who has to make her husband believe that all of her great ideas come from him.
There has been so much said about men being commitment phobes but we’re starting to see a growing trend among women who are also commitment phobes. The reason they’re slipping under the radar is because they have always been regarded as the nurturers, the ones with the nesting instinct who dream of a husband and children.
But times are changing. Women want more in life than just being a wife and mother. They want their own identity, and they want to pursue their own dreams. If their dreams include a husband and children, that’s all right, as long as that’s not the only thing in their life. And many of them are holding off on marriage in much the same way that men have always held off on marriage.
Only time will tell if women can ever have true equality in relationships or if this is just a short spurt of independence, like a firecracker, bursting to life briefly, and then fizzling out.