The Vagenda

A Single Woman Responds to a Bullshit Article About Single Women

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Last week at work I received a distressed message from my sister alerting me to an article entitled “Signs You Are Dating a Girl Who Has Been Single For Ages.” She warned me that as it had made her (the immeasurably more placid and easy going sibling) annoyed, it was sure to evoke very strong feelings in me. I am a single woman, so at first glance it would appear that this article is more personal to me, and therefore I might have a more averse reaction to it than my coupled up girlfriends would. However, there is actually a much darker and more generalised sexist message behind this piece.

Here is the article in all its glory. I urge you to read it before continuing reading what I have to say, but be warned – it is not for the fainthearted and is likely to cause outrage and indignation, and will certainly make you ask the question “How can an article this unbelievably stupid get published!?” (The banner ad for femfresh will, joy of joys, also slow your computer right down – ed.)

Angry? Yes, I was too. I don’t take kindly to being labelled greedy, selfish, sad, and desperate, with an unkempt vag by a person who has never met me, based solely on the fact that I don’t have a boyfriend to affirm my worth as a woman. And that’s not to mention all of the other sexist connotations that are rife in this article. Furiously, I scrolled to the bottom of the page to find the name of the misogynistic pig who had taken it upon himself to provide such an offensive and unintelligent insight into the traits and behaviours of women who have spent too long without a man and who are therefore no longer capable of sharing, trusting or acting in a socially acceptable manner. To my horror, I found that this had actually been written by a woman. I think it was at this point that my anger turned to sadness and to be frank, embarrassment that another woman could be so sadly misinformed as to what it means to be fulfilled, content and valuable as a female.

Happiness and self-worth do not depend on whether or not you have a man in your life to prove that you are worthy (I should not have to say this_. Single women are not sad. They do not cry to their girlfriends about being single, nor do they beg for reassurance that they are attractive. In reality, they probably just aren’t so desperate to be in a relationship that they’ll jump into the first one that comes along.

Not all single women are clueless as to how to “manicure their lady garden”. The idea that a woman does or should tend to her pubic region purely for the benefit and gratification of a man is unhealthy and demeaning, and the suggestion that women will only “get the hang of” removing their pubes when they have a man to help them out (“You missed a bit”!?!?) is laughable. Furthermore, words can’t do justice to the negative impact on society of a woman who writes an article in which she begs forgiveness of men on behalf of those women who choose not to opt for a Hollywood or a Brazilian.

Not all single women go out every Friday night and “snog the faces off” every stranger that they meet in a desperate attempt to reassure themselves that somebody wants them. In the same way, not all single women (in the absence of a man) have nothing to do on a Saturday so resort to staying in, festering on the sofa and not bothering to brush their teeth.

Not all single women like the colour pink. I am a single woman with a younger sister, 6 female cousins, mostly female friends, and I hate pink.

And finally, I will come to what in my opinion is the most offensive point in the whole article. Not all single women watch Keeping up with the Kardashians! We also do not all cry to Whitney Houston and eat Branston Pickle out of the jar. If you insist on shaming women who are independent and too happy on their own to feel the need to conform to your sad and outdated views on the ways in which women should live their lives, at least do them the justice of appreciating that they can independently have a decent taste in film, music and TV.

I will gloss over the wildly inappropriate use of a GIF at point 10 which shows a pre-pubescent child licking her lips after the author makes a reference to masturbation, and make my final point.

It is important that we acknowledge that this article is not just shaming single women. Girls in relationships who feel that they are not also victims of this article need to understand the hidden and very sad message: stripped of your boyfriend you are nothing but a sad, Kardashian-watching loser who fondles her own boobs and doesn’t know how to look after herself.

Yay, patriarchy!

- Charlotte Jones

44 thoughts on “A Single Woman Responds to a Bullshit Article About Single Women

  1. The most offensive bit is the second sentence- “When your girl has been captain of her own ship for too long”. Any self respecting woman is captain of her own ship forever, coupled up or not.

  2. Yep, just as annoying and offensive as femail magazine (does the writer freelance for them by any chance?)

  3. It’s also important to note that there is absolutely nothing wrong with liking the things mentioned in the article. (Kardashians, pink, etc.) People get to choose things that fulfill their own tastes, and anyone who says (for whatever reason, even if they mean well) that anyone else can’t or shouldn’t need to understand that they are trying to take that from you. Some men watch those “super manly”shows. Women do too. Some women love Real Housewives. Men do too. We are all completely autonomous. The woman who wrote this is a product of our society and her environment. She was told these horrible things and now she’s just repeating it. That’s why it’s sad.

  4. I think it’s a joke, intended ironically, the same way that your website’s pink borders are intended ironically.

  5. This article was amazing!! I love reading this kinds of articles, they restore my hope and faith in girls that know what its going on!

    As for the mysogynistic article.. UGH.

  6. Get a grip love…stop taking yourself so friggin seriously, it was a tongue in cheek cynical article..not a piece in the Guardian..myself and countless other ‘ single’ women found it hilarious..Wind your neck in.

  7. Sense of humour failure much? As a reader, and a single woman, it just made me giggle. I feel a bit sad that you found it offensive as i believe in being able to laugh at myself and finding the good everywhere I can but each to their own I guess.

  8. I actually think the article is a fun read by a writter who clearly isn’t that bothered about being single. You, on the other hand, sound slightly bitter and distressed by the fact that your very much single.

    Have you ever watched the news, honey? With all that’s going on in the world, I find it quite bizarre that you have taken offence to a light hearted article like this. And what I find even more bizarre is that your sister went out of her way to call you regarding the article.

  9. You need to loosen up and realise it’s not personally aimed at you and stop slating the writer just to get yourself noticed. Funny how it upsets you so much must of hit a nerve…maybe you realises it does relate to you and that’s what hit that nerve. Single lady with too much time on her hands springs to mind maybe you need to find a hobby as not managed to find a partner.

  10. Get a grip love it’s a lighthearted article written by a female laughing at herself. What if I’m offended by the stupid name of your magazine “Vagenda” are you referring to my vagina ?? Ooooo I hope not. I’m sure you and your sister lead boring sad lives that she had to call you at work about it, so you call yourself a feminist because you have earthy hairy armpits ? You’re an embarrassment to women if anything be careful when you fall off your pedestal it’s a long way down from your angry tower

  11. Calm down dear it is a light hearted piece that I’m sure every woman who isn’t stuck up their own pretentious deluded I’m a feminist arse can relate to at some point or another. Get off your high horse and celebrate another woman who can laugh at life instead of making every woman who enjoys a man’s company feel bad or is that a little too much competition for you?

  12. Agreed, what the hell does that mean?? We need someone else to come and ‘captain’ our ‘ship’?!?

  13. Hi, I can’t seem to get to the original article, I don’t know if the host website took it down? When I click on the link it just takes me to a page full of adds with an empty box on it.

  14. So far all that’s loaded of the original article is the ads and the words ‘posted 45 years ago’. Ha.

  15. Haha! How ironic! The views expressed by the author would be a lot more fitting if posted 45 years ago. However, still bullshit!

  16. I think they must have taken it down. Like Marianne, I get the ad and “posted 45 years ago”. Mind you, there’s a lot more drivel on the site to compensate for any disappointment you may experience, e.g. “14 Problems All Girls Go Through When Getting Ready”

  17. actually i have a boyfriend and found it really offensive too. it’s pure sexism. sad that so many girls can’t see this.

  18. Haha was this comment written by the author of the first article/a close friend? Find it hard to believe that someone would get so angry about a feminist post for any other reason…

  19. There’s a certain amount of repetitive lexicon going on here that suggests a number of the comments above may have been written by the same person under different names… Are Vicky, Lou, Rachel, Pip and Danielle the author of the original article being commented on, or just a friend / relative?

  20. … and ditto Lisa and T Baker below. Why come to a feminist website if you were just enjoying the original article as a ‘light hearted read’? It does suggest a personal stake in the whole thing. Weird.

  21. You say the writer is sad and bitter with too much time on her hands when you’re the one trolling in such an aggressive and personal way… The fact that the original article was taken down proves that the above article is spot on.

  22. “Get a grip love, must of hit a nerve” looks like a lot of these comments were written by the same person!

  23. Why are you reading Vagenda – a feminist blog – if you’re going to slate people who are standing up against sexist articles? I think your time would be better spent reading…

  24. It seems like the original article writer has asked her minions (or maybe just one minion with a box of pseudonyms) to do some serious trolling. Us die-hard Vagenda lovers can smell you a mile off. Try harder.

  25. So nothing below the level of terrorist attack or earthquake is worthy of attention? That’s a bizarre argument

  26. And if you were to use proper punctuation while you were at it (a bit of a dead give away, the run on sentences), I´d be much obliged. Not to be nitpicky, but I have a thing about grammar (yes, on top of the feminist thing. I´m a regular Nazi)…

  27. This piece is brilliant! I’ve always been single and I’ve never been ashamed. It’s sad that there has been such disrespect in response to an article whose main point is that we should respect each other regardless of our relationship status. Keep it up! Xx

  28. It couldn’t possible be the author as I believe the phrase should be ‘It must HAVE hit a nerve’ – perhaps it is just a large family?

  29. That web site is way broken. Good.

    I have not been single for 25 years, and I’ve had an underpaid stranger tear my pubes out exactly 0 times.

    Do what you want with your bodies, young ladies, but I swear the men worth having are looking for the same thing as you: someone they enjoy spending time with. Be that.

  30. Yeah it’s not cynical or ironic if there’s absolutely no criticism in it… That’s just repeating the harmful ideas BUT with a knowing wink that doesn’t change anything except to say you find the social oppression of women tragically funny… Which it still isn’t.

  31. The American media also abounds with articles of this type. A large proportion are written by women. If one is targeted to your demographic, it is actually a sign that you are an interesting person who makes the female author feel threatened. Many of these writers hate intelligence, hate ambition, and hate sex and are on a quest to ban all of the above among women. They are deeply concerned that their SOs (male or female — a large number of anti-sex radical “feminists” are married to men while others are political lesbians repulsed by sex with actual women; what both have in common is a set of views that would be at home with the American Religious Right) will leave them for someone else who enjoys affection more than once every 5 years, who treats them as more than an ATM and sperm donor, and who has goals of her own, so they bury their insecurities in a pathetic attempt to shame women who they view as competition.

    Another popular “shaming” tactic in America (and apparently also in the UK if what I read on this site is any indication) is the “Oh my god you rotten heartless b**ch your fertility is declining as you selfishly work to feed yourself and not sleep on a park bench how dare you.” Look beneath the surface and the author of this type of fertility concern-trolling piece is inevitably the type of woman who despises motherhood and would be the next Andrea Yates if she could do it without getting caught. She is angry about their demands on their money and time and often, not subtle about being outraged that some women do not have “post pregnancy bodies.” In order to feel better about herself, she must shame as many women as possible into life circumstances similar to her own — something about “misery loves company” and all that. Some of these women spend literally every waking minute trolling child-free forums, etc. to wax rhapsodic about how their children are their true joy and thank god they don’t work and thank god they don’t have to spend time with their partners anymore because the wonderful, nurturing blah blah blah motherhood is so all-engrossing and fulfilling. Yeah? Then hows comes you spend most of your life on the internet? LOL! You little liar!

    Real-life anecdote time: When I lived in the midwest, I met a hideous example of this type of woman, who has literally wasted years of her life trolling other women on the internet. She left her job to win at the internet and writes concern troll essays about women in open marriages and non-Xtian marriages and childless and childfree women who apparently collectively “bully and shame” her (by having a job!) and etc. Know why? She is a skill-less, low-IQ (as in failed basic math and cannot use basic English words correctly), ugly loser whose best job was editing a newspaper the size of a pamphlet in a cow town with a couple hundred people for $9/hour in the early 2000s. She is outraged that any women exist who live differently than her. All represent a threat to her loveless, sexless marriage to a military guy who she chose specifically because he is out of the country for months at a time, reducing the chance of needing to have sex with him. Women like you represent a different way of life for the abused, sex-starved, belittled people married to women like this piece of s–t, which is why they howl and lash out. This loser once demanded I GO TO HER HOUSE FOR A WEEK so she could observe my marriage to reassure herself it was failing because my spouse and I are in the LGBT community which also threatens her. So there you go. I assure you this is the mindset behind much of this toss you read.

    Basically my point is that each time I read one of these anti-feminist screeds, I laugh at the author and think, “What a pathetic piece of s–t, and I must be pretty cool to threaten her that much.” See if that works for you too.