Link: Free Solo

Other women have rebelled in smaller, more quotidian ways. “They expect you to get married,” Whoopi Goldberg said in a recent interview in The New York Times Magazine. “Then one day I thought: I don’t have to do this.” Goldberg is an EGOT winner, remember. No woman should feel pressured to adhere to conservative standards, but it is a testament to the intractability of these gendered expectations that a woman as accomplished as Goldberg, someone who in theory has earned the power to do what she wants, would still feel beholden to them. It reminds me of Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Brigid Schulte publishing an op-ed for The Guardian entitled, “A woman’s greatest enemy? A lack of time to herself.” These are extraordinarily accomplished women who still have to fight for the right to solitude, a state which men in the same position no doubt take for granted. Of course it was a man who authored a recent book that went viral for stating that the happiest demographic was unmarried and childless women, as though the record low number of marriages levels somehow required explanation. In fact, the data this behavioral scientist cited indicated that marriage benefited men more than it benefited women. Another survey found that one of the top reasons women cited for not having children was wanting more time for themselves. In other words, choice, not just to reject what they don’t want, but to choose what they do — now and in the future. As Rebecca Traister wrote, “Wherever you find increasing numbers of single women in history, you find change.”

Source: Free Solo