analytical Q May-Aug 2000 Sept-Dec 2000 Jan-Apr 2001 Discussion

The Diary
Anne Ku

7 March 2001 Wednesday

From my father 11 March:
Actually spinster is a term already out of date or obsolete. There are many words phased out in every generation.
In Taiwan,thousands of well educated women, well over 30, 40, live alone independently. Many of them are best seller writers, actresses, singers, mutual funds agents, senior insurance agents, lawyers, prof, etc and of course they all hold postgraduate degrees. Most of them studied abroad before. Their marriage status? single. This doesn't mean they have never fallen in love or they have never been married. Some noted ones do live with their respective boyfriends, who have much less income and are obviously taking a low profile. These quiet, good-tempered boyfriends seldom show themselves in media.


The Diary of Bridget Jones opens 10 April 2001 in London. Having never read this popular book, I still nevertheless followed the press on the progress of the film.

The actress Renee Zellweger had broken up with her fiance and is now a "singleton." I like that word. It has a more positive connotation than "spinster."

It is unreasonable that the word "bachelorhood" conjures up a happy sought-after lifestyle, while the word "spinster" conjures up an anal-retentive, homely person.

Monday's METRO free newspaper had an article headlined "Single and over 35? It's a sad, lonely life." The Mintel survey dispelled the myth of singles continuing to enjoy a fun-filled existence. More than half of mid-life singles ( age > 35) were sadder than 5 years ago. Single people put priority on having close friends, a good job, and financial security.

I read the book called Singles Living Single in the toilet. Chapter by chapter, I got more and more depressed. Somebody should write a book about the joys of being single. Perhaps I should.

This is a society that would shock Confucian-minded Chinese, but today, people seem to accept this phenomenon by and large. Through media, some of them even say they like to have a child, and a few months later, they get pregnant, now they have a son or a daughter. Media never say the identity of the father. Maybe that father is not so important as the mother who is known to everyone. I think this shows that women's social status has been rising, and the traditional Confucian idea of "men are high and women are low" is being phased out.
When a woman is financially strong or independent, she is like a man. (Before 1912, Chinese women had another weakness besides lack of education and financial dependence: small feet that prevented her from moving around conveniently or working in society. During those days, all Chinese women had to rely on family before they got married, and after they married, they relied on husbands, and as widows, they relied on their sons. When they had fathers too strict or irresponsible, husbands too lazy or cold in feeling, then their fate would be miserable indeed.