Ah, the Brits. They brought us the terms "smug married" and "singletons via Bridget Jones' Diary, and now, they've brought us the "freemale," courtesy of London's Daily Mail. Though the "freemale" sounds like a creature found in a jar at Ripley's Believe or Not!, she's actually a single-by-choice woman who has chosen her freedom over a family.
According to the Mail, eight percent of the female population in Britain between 25 and 44, or almost three-quarters of a million women, are single -- twice the number of ring-less gals than 20 years ago. But no lonelyhearts are these -- two-thirds of women surveyed said they believe they can live a fulfilling life alone. Like Samantha Jones at the end of the Sex and the City movie (oops, spoiler alert!), the mighty freemale is tethered to no man, woman or child.
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We're delighted that a psychologist interviewed by the Mail says women "feel comfortable doing what they want to do with their lives" due to changing cultural attitudes. But the less-rosy reality is, being a free agent is often fun but it can take a hard outer shell not to let the predominant pro-coupling, pro-marriage and pro-family rhetoric get to you. Being a freemale isn't always seen as liberation; sometimes it is seen as indication something is wrong with you.
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Just look at our popular culture: it's thronged with match-making TV shows, from hunky-but-boring Bachelors to the polyamorous Tila Tequila. Party girl Jenna Bush tied the knot recently and even single girl mascot Carrie Bradshaw (another spoiler!) gets hitched on the big screen. For actual single gals, it can seem like American culture is one big Grandma, asking why a nice girl like you isn't married yet (tick tock tick tock).
What happened to Carrie Bradshaw on the (fake) cover of New York magazine, "Single and Fabulous?" We'd love it the approving nickname of the liberated "freemale" made its way Stateside. But hopefully, not in the Ripley's Believe It or Not!.