I have been watching a lot of Ally Mcbeal lately (I know, I'm so retro). I find her character relate-able, often a little annoying, but sometimes inspiring. Would I find her as interesting if she was in a committed relationship, or do we idolise singletons.
There is definitely a trend in this. Carrie Bradshaw and her friends were exciting because they were single, at least on and off. I read a blog by a writer at Marie Claire for a while, but lost interest when she got a long-term partner. Are we just more interested in the juicy single stories of the minefield that is dating, or is there something better about single women? Do we lose something when we enter into a relationship? The ability to stand alone and make our own decisions perhaps?
Bridget Jones - being single is important for this character
Carrie Bradshaw spent most of Sex and the City without a man
Poppy from Mike Leigh's film Happy-Go-Lucky is a strong character who doesn't rely on men
Maybe I am being mislead by the fact that all the exciting storylines revolve around relationships, and I'm confusing entertainment with inspiration. After all, most of the female single characters end up in relationships in the end. There are exceptions, Samantha Jones chooses to stay single, but I don't find her particularly inspiring, especially not when she is horny beyond belief in the Sex and the City movies. Ugh.
Aside from being less available, I don't find my friends less interesting when they're in relationships. At least I don't think so anyway. Although I do have a friend whose boyfriend calls every time we meet up, and she always answers. Is that a sign of being needy or just in love?
Personally I would rather hear about a strong independent woman than a great relationship, but the two things aren't mutual exclusive. I believe, or at least hope, that a woman can be strong and independent whilst being in a committed relationship. It is a difficult thing to balance though. It's easy to use a partner as an emotional crutch, and that's part of the reason they're there. Holding back from this makes a person appear cold and unloving.
What do you think?