Single Vs. Married Is The New Mommy Wars & It Needs To Stop

Whatever happened to the good old days when women bashed each other over whether or not we breastfed or if we planned staying home with our kids or work outside the home? The tides are changing when it comes to women’s priorities, and that means a change in the ways we compare ourselves and tear each other down. At this rate, a hundred years from now we’ll be bickering over the proper way to train our robotic dogs.

  1. Fewer women are having babies. Finally, more and more women are exercising our rights to make the decision to remain childless by choice. This is a huge accomplishment when viewed in the big picture of women’s history and will shape the future of the world in numerous untold ways. However, it also leaves a huge opening in the ways we traditionally compete with, judge, and sabotage each other.
  2. Woman are staying single longer. We’ve come a long way from the days when you were considered an old maid if you weren’t married off by 19. On average, women now remain unmarried until nearly age 30. This adds a lot of time to contemplate the differences between single and married life that women of previous generations were not afforded. Knowledge is power, but it can also breed a sense of superiority and resentment toward women who make different choices.
  3. More women than ever are choosing not to marry at all. All that time waiting for the right time to get married means consciously deciding to forgo marrying at all for many of today’s women. When this is applauded as a strong choice by so many people, some traditional married women are bound to be left feeling insecure, defensive, and judged about their own choice to marry. This breeds anger and contempt.
  4. The current political climate pits women against each other. The extreme polarization presently seen between political parties ties into women battling each other over the choice between marrying and remaining single. Conservative women regard those who choose not to marry as silly, rebellious liberals at best, and a serious threat to traditional family values at worst. Liberal women roll their eyes at traditionalists, calling them outdated dangers to the progression of society. It’s pretty silly, but it is happening.
  5. Women have been taught to see each other as threats. It is no secret that girls receive the message that it is necessary to compete with one another at a young age. There’s only one prince, one fairy godmother, and one Cinderella. We must beat out the others for our dreams to come true. As we age, it only continues. There are only so many jobs for women, there are only so many good men out there. We learn to zero in on other females and pick apart anything about them that makes us feel insecure about ourselves, whether it’s their flawless skin or the confidence with which they decide to remain single (or get married).
  6. Women’s online communities are changing. Ten years ago, it was hard to find an online support group, message board, blog, or any other online community intended for women, that wasn’t centered around marriage and motherhood. Even five years ago it was quite difficult to find an online female writer who wasn’t of the “mommy blogger” variety. This fueled the mommy wars, giving women an easy way to compare and contrast their parenting styles against other mothers while hiding behind a keyboard. But now, there are online communities for everyone, including those that specifically celebrate single and childless women. This shift has caused a change from online infighting between wives and mothers to an even more divided “us versus them” mentality.
  7. Millennial myths persist. Although “millennial” was originally coined as a term for people born between the early ’80s and mid-’90s, it’s taken on a much more derogatory meaning for many, especially in the media. Millennials, the same group of women who are more likely to choose not to marry or have children, are often portrayed as being immoral, selfish, lazy, entitled brats. This causes division between older women, who most likely married at least once, and the younger women who are less likely to.
  8. The grass is greener on the other side. If you’ve listened to pop music in the past decade, you’ve probably heard of the theory that those who hate you secretly envy you. When it comes to the tension between single and married women, this idea may not be far off. Every married woman on this earth has had a day when she couldn’t help but think about how much easier life would be if she were single. Every single woman out there occasionally wishes she had someone to share her life with. It’s hard not to regard someone with bitterness if you think of them as having the life you should have chosen when you had the chance.
  9. We still treat single women as weak. It is not at all uncommon for a grown woman to be asked questions like how she manages to live alone. Isn’t she afraid at night? Doesn’t she need someone around to fix things? This attitude is offensive and breeds resentment, which feeds into the cycle of single women seeking empowerment and married women being threatened by them doing so.
  10. It’s framed as a debate. Take a look around this or any other women’s website and see how many articles you find listing the reasons being single is better than being in a relationship, or the reasons finding the right relationship is the best thing that will ever happen to you. Spoiler alert: it’s a lot. This automatically sets the issue up as some kind of contest to be won, triggering women’s need to compete and take others down to build themselves up.
Freelance writer and Feng Shui blogger.