Bridget Jones was funny, but not exactly inspirational. Now in this guest post, UK blogger and author Paula Coston shares a much more enlightened perspective on single life from the UK. Read More
One should be able to be single, hooked up or married and happy in all three situations. Glenn
A friend of mine was very into Bridget Jones (she was a Smug Married) and didn't understand why I found it a mildly amusing read, but not the funniest thing I'd ever read in my life. I was fine with it as long as I took it as her own story and not representative of all singles, but too many people took her as a singles' folk hero.
It bothers me when any book or TV show tries to represent an entire group. None can; you can only take it for what it is. Like The L Word couldn't possibly have represented all lesbians, no matter how hard it tried to diversify its core characters. At least no show could possibly represent Everywoman if it was set in LA. >: ) Anyway, it's nice to see a different, realistic perspective.
Hi, Psyngle (I like your handle, by the way!) Yes, I really agree with you that it's so easy for The Single Woman (like so many other womanhoods) to become a stereotype, even an archetype. It kind of freezes in time, with the help of characters like Bridget Jones, then many readers/viewers can't get beyond it.
That's why I like using terms like 'alternative womanhoods' - plural; another phrase could be 'single identities' - plural - don't you agree?
Thanks so much for calling my/Bella's perspectives 'different' and 'realistic' - high praise, in my book! (Though a sense of humour is also a wonderful thing. And boy, do we singles need it a lot of the time!)
I discovered "Singled Out" while browsing the shelves of my local independent bookstore, and it changed my life.
My parents could never figure out why I didn't think the old movie "Some Like it Hot" was the funniest movie of all time. It was a funny movie, but as a person who had recently come out as a lesbian (and yet to make the even more difficult debut as single-at-heart), I saw in it so many stereotypes that LGBT people live with every day, and I found it somewhat hurtful as well. That movie cemented archetypes in the minds of a lot of people. Which isn't to say that comedy should ever aspire to be politically correct, it just means that people are going to see it from different perspectives, and some are going to laugh harder than others.
How interesting about SLIH. I always loved that movie, but I suspect that, if I saw it again now, I would see it with a more jaundiced eye. Those were such crude, innocent times - and people like you suffered for them, I can see.
I'm gonna get my violin out any moment now.
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Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., is author of Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After. She is a visiting professor at UCSB.
It can take a radical reboot to get past old hurts and injustices.