Note also that, unlike male celibacy – which is never a subject – women’s loneliness is never presented as a chosen life path. Even in 2022, it is still too often interpreted as ” a supposed inability to submit to the value system of men writes Marie Kock, with the corollary of diffuse shame among those who have “failed” to form a couple, and pity on the part of the rest of society.
In the Middle Ages, women particularly badass chose to wall themselves alive to protest against this system of values making marriage the alpha and omega of a successful life. Without going that far (the solution is a little extreme), Marie Kock encourages us to denaturalize the horizon of marriage and the couple, the first essential step in rebuilding a system of values within which lasting female celibacy could constitute “a way of liberation”. And this for many reasons. First, in an economic system where love sells, and even sells more than any other ideal, not submitting to the laws of seduction is probably one of the best snubs to the capitalist system. Enough to make my little leftist heart beat faster.
Then, and this is probably the most powerful argument developed by the journalist, the chosen and joyful celibacy that she describes is also incredibly emancipatory since it frees the female imagination from the obsession of the couple to open it to a thousand other possibilities hitherto unexplored. ” No more waiting for lovewrites Marie Kock, it is first of all to rest. Take back possession of your body, your brain, your time”.
If I think of the mental burden that the search for the ideal companion may have represented for me in the past, I can only subscribe to this vision and regret having for so long narrowed the horizon of possibilities at the quest for love.
Perhaps there was even a form of laziness in directing my life around an objective drawn up by others than myself. But it was so “easy”, in a way, to choose the couple as an existential quest. Once rid of this objective, only one question prevails: “ What to do with yourself when you don’t take care of someone else? “. When we decide to escape in this time of tragically linear women “, according to the philosopher Camille Froidevaux Metterie, this time which reduces an entire existence to the ticking of our biological clock but which also plunges us into the comforting illusion that our life is marked by stages that make sense?
It takes courage to build your own standards rather than slipping down the gentle slope of social convention. To invent your own time beacons. And, why not, to imagine new forms of love freed from patriarchal injunctions. And if the chosen and joyful celibacy defended by Marie Knock was the best possible way towards the conquest of this autonomy? The only truly feminist position? Something to make us see all the cat women in the world with a different eye.