I took some time off this weekend to just relax and chill out. One of the things I did with my “chill-out” time was catch up on some light reading (it’d been weeks since I actually had time to read through all of my favorite sections of the Sunday NYTimes).
Sometime around midday I came across this brief interview with Eve Ensler in The Times Magazine. I was struck by the last few questions (and answers).
Are you married?
No. I’m a nomad. I have a place in New York in the Flatiron District, and I have a place in Paris in Île Saint-Louis, and I spend a lot of time in Congo.
Do you ever yearn for security now that you’re 56?
Thank you for putting my age right out there! Security isn’t what I hunger for. I hunger for change. I hunger for connection. I hunger for good sex.
What if you just want somebody to help you find a ladder in the basement?
I don’t have a basement. And actually it turns out I’m fully capable of changing a light bulb all by myself.
Like I said, struck.
Whatever you might think of Eve Ensler as a playwright, performer or activist, her life is hardly incomplete. She has homes in New York and Paris and spends a lot of time in Congo, where her foundation is building a facility for survivors of gender violence. But she is a woman. So no interview with her would be complete without asking about her marital status.
She answered in a positive, upbeat way, only to have it followed up with “do you ever yearn for security now that you’re 56”. Um, excuse me, but here is a successful woman who’s earned enough money to be financially secure for the rest of her life, and who is well respected by millions of people all around the world. How is she in any way insecure?
Anyway, the article got me annoyed. Really annoyed. Because it was in the The Times Magazine and written by a respected journalist. And because there was an underlying, no matter what you achieve as a single woman you’re never going to be secure assumption made. Which just sucks. And I feel like the whole security myth (married = secure; single = insecure, therefore get married and stay married) probably does married women as much (if not more) harm as it does single women (think for a moment of all of the women you know who would be financially devastated/completely lost if their husbands died or left them). Whoa, too many parentheses in that paragraph.
Random fact: I have pretty high ceilings and spent weeks after I moved in to my current apartment looking for a tall stepladder (as I’m so petite) so that I could change the light bulbs on my own. I found one and do, indeed, change my own damn light bulbs.
Tags: change, nytimes, Paris