Getting married so people will shut the hell up about it

March 26, 2010

There’s a new study out that says single women between the ages of 25-35 are more subject to the social stigmas of not being, or having never been, married, even as the number of single women has increased.  Apparently being 36 and above gives you immunity.

“We found that never-married women’s social environments are characterized by pressure to conform to the conventional life pathway,” said Larry Ganong, co-chair of Human Development and Family Studies in the College of Human Environmental Sciences. “This pressure was manifested in women feeling highly visible and invisible. Heightened visibility came from feelings of exposure and invisibility came from assumptions made by others.”

What visibility and invisibility mean in this context is explained as…

They felt heightened visibility in situations such as bouquet tosses at weddings. These events brought about unwanted, intrusive questions. Feeling invisible, on the other hand, was likely when others made assumptions that they were married and had children or when they had to justify their singlehood. These interactions made them feel that their actual lives weren’t important or went unnoticed.

We fully agree with this study’s findings, and offer up a substantial example of how damaging these social stigmas can be.

Ninja Vicki. 

She’s single, she’s within the 25-35 age range (ask for her exact age and she’ll kick you in the throat), and she’s not married.  She’s a master of the ninja arts but even she cannot escape the societal pressures beset on the single woman in America for the crime of not settling down with the first guy who can remember her birthday. 

(Note: Tina the Lesbian does not have these pressures because she’s not allowed to get married in most parts of America.  She has a whole other laundry list of issues to contend with.)

Vicki’s mom has set her up on dates and gotten her an e-Harmony membership as a gift (which she canceled after a year of not getting any worthwhile matches) as not -so-subtle hints that she’d prefer her daughter to get hitched (which have often resulted in Vicki not talking to her parents for long stretches of time).  But it did grind down Vicki after a while, to the point where she went through a phase where she’d crash weddings just to steal the bouquet after the bride tossed it on the mistaken assumption that she could build enough cosmic mojo to be the next one of our friends to get married. 

We think these social stigmas have caused and perpetuate Ninja Vicki’s penchant for only liking men who don’t like her, which first manifested itself the time she tried to date Mikka just so he couldn’t date her blood enemy Samurai Cathy, and then mourning the fact that Mikka chose Cathy over her even though she doesn’t even like him. 

Then there were her dealings with Tag Larkin, the first of which being bringing him on an ambush double date with Mikka and Samurai Cathy for the misguided purpose of trying to make Mikka jealous.   That ended poorly for all parties involved, and with Tag Larkin standing outside Ninja Vicki’s house with a boombox for a couple months trying to woo the fair ninja, much to Ninja Vicki’s annoyed dismay.  Then Tag Larkin found someone else to ply his charms on and Vicki got jealous. 

They did have a second date or sorts, which was engineered by Tina the Lesbian as a diversion in her devious plot to see if Samurai Cathy would swing both ways.  The diversion (and subsquent date) involved Tag Larkin playing on Ninja Vicki’s tendency to only want men who don’t want her.   Luckily Ninja Vicki realized just in time that her weakness was being exploited and put an end to the lesbian plot. 

Then there was her attempts to get help for all these issues, which ended in her throwing a knife into her therapist’s chest because she thought he was going for a weapon.  A complete New Year’s Resolution failure on her part.   

So if the pressures society puts on women to get married can do these things to a master of ninjitsu, imagine what they can do to all you non-ninja single 25-to-35 year old women out there. 

Of course, men of that range feel those pressures as well (mostly from our moms), but not in the heightened doses that women do.  You don’t see men telling each other “Dude, when are you finally going to get married?”  That’s because that’s how Lance Patriarchy, the living embodiment of male dominance, arranged it, and arranged it masterfully.  A bold plan creating a societal expectation directed at women and having women be the very ones tasked with carrying out the majority effort of enforcing said expectation?  Brilliant!    Lance Patriarchy would be a Bond villain if he didn’t already rule the world. 

The solution: think like a 36 year old, because they don’t give a shit.  And not this young people’s enthusiastic not giving a shit attitude either, I’m talking about the not giving a shit where you look into the abyss, the abyss looks back into you, and you make the abyss flinch. 


  1. it doesn’t completely end at 36. at 47, if one more clueless dork tells me “oh, honey, you’ll find a nice man again someday”, there will be knives meeting chests. i don’t want one. i’m collecting the entire set…


    Oh, I slay myself.

    It’s quite sad, actually, that someone actually had to STUDY this, and they didn’t just know about it. Lance Patriarchy is going to do all he can to discredit that, isn’t he? Just by like, going up to a married woman and mentioning, offhand, that it seems like these single ladies are just looking for any excuse to explain their solitude.

  3. I considered asking Ninja Vikki out once but then I realized that I don’t like her very much, largely because she’s so quiet.

    Also, I’m Pagan and would probably get along better with Avonia.

  4. I am deliriously happy that I’m out of the 25 to 35 age bracket and not married. now where is Tag Larkin?

  5. I don’t discard this theory. You’ll find plenty of examples.

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