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I am a SPINSTER apparently. Who knew?

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

I was in a committee meeting at church and we were talking about inviting others to be on our committee. During the meeting another woman with a few years on me, said, "We don't need anymore SPINSTERS like you, Christine."

Huh? What? Why are we so quick to label others?

There was so much vinegar in her tone and the statement that I didn't even need to rise up to defend my honor. The two male members of the committee that were sitting on either side of me jumped all over the statement she made. One said, "Whoa, nelly! That's not nice!" At the same time the other exclaimed in a very parental tone, "Ellen!" It was right out of a southern Hallmark movie! I felt a bit vindicated.

I responded with, "So moving on..." I acted like it wasn't even said.

I was taken back actually, but sadly not surprised. At the age of 50, and having never married, I know my lifestyle is judged by others. I know that many apply negative labels to me. Okay. Fine. Honestly, unlike criticism about my weight, on this topic I am unapologetic. I own my lifestyle choice to be single with a bit of pride.

If I so choose to have someone in my life I want to do so when the person and the situation are good for all concerned. Also, I choose to date not because I am expected to be a certain way, or fit into a cultural standard.

Well, I decided to reframe the word SPINSTER. Here is what I came up with.

S = Special
P = Precious
I = Independent
N = Nimble
S = Successful
T = Tough
E = Enough
R = Responsible

Why do we label (and let's be honest it is one) a single older man a bachelor and even name a TV show after the word? Because we just look at single men differently (even in this day and age) than we do single women. Yet the female term, Spinster, is considered negative. So much so the TV show is called Bachelorette, not the Spinster.

What does this have to do with being healthy? I think a lot.

When you are losing weight you need support, not people tearing you down with labels. And on social media we are very quick to rip on others for being outside the norm. I am not sure why. Maybe there is a documented scientific reason somewhere. But, it is damaging and words can be hurtful. I have been called fat, lazy, super-size, wide and gluttonous by total strangers. I had a hard time with those and it made me want to hide and be ashamed. But I go to the grocery store, sit in the restaurant, and walk on the hike and bike trail anyway.

So, I am reframing the words used by others to shame me into compliance. I will surround myself with positive people who are confident in themselves enough to accept others as they are right now, no judgement or labels. We need a bit more acceptance in general right now, I think.

Side note: I love my church family. I do also love the woman who said this to me and am working on completely forgiving her. Sometimes I need to step back, take things a bit less personal and realize that when people do things like that it is more about what is going on with them. I have been a member of this church for about 12 years and drive many miles out of my way to attend there. This incident was very out of the ordinary.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You're right, Christine~ her careless remark is a reflection on her, not you darlin'. Apparently, she has limited thinking due to our patriarchal society that pigeonholes women into very limiting expectations.

    I, for one, would like to CHEER YOU ON! I think it's emoticon that you march to your own drummer! Having tripped down the aisle twice, I can testify there are worse things than choosing to live single. Good on you, so hold your head up, beautiful!

    Love your acronym, too! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon BB~
    166 days ago
    First off, is she still in 1850?

    Second, I love your acronym.

    Third, whether married or unmarried all of us are striving to be independent, true to ourselves, and strong. Frankly, whether or not one is coupled has little to do with what modern women admire in other women. I think of all the famous women I admire and I don't even know if they have a partner in their lives. It is irrelevant. Thank God we're leaving behind the notion that a woman's status is in any way connected to a man.

    339 days ago
    Unfortunately, we as woman have been judged on societal standards (at the time) of beauty. Which is ever changing. We are are also considered less than if we are not married or heaven forbid don’t want children.

    I love your reframing of spinster. I commend your ability to not straight out laugh at her for her absurd comment— I definitely would have.

    Too many people do things that make themselves unhappy to live up to the Jones. You keep being the beautiful (inside & out), unique, intelligent and interesting woman you are.
    339 days ago
    I didn’t even know people used that term anymore. emoticon
    339 days ago
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