Why Single Working Women’s Week is tied to August 4

Well, ladies and gentlemen. it’s that time of year again. Single Working Women the world over, hurrah! According to Chase’s Calendar of Events, an entire week is officially dedicated to celebrating the courage and creativity of single working women everywhere. “Single Working Women’s Week” takes place this year between August 4 and August 11 (and every year during the week surrounding August 4).

A few media outlets have asked the question: Why is this holiday connected to August 4? That date, August 4, was designated Single Working Women’s Day because it’s the birthday of the woman who inspired this movement, Perrine Knight – a talented, young woman who bravely faces the challenges of single womanhood – and the even-bigger ones of single motherhood – and who was also the woman to notice that although there are holidays for relationships of all sorts – mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, lovers, bachelor/bachelorettes, brides, grooms, weddings, and wedding anniversaries – nowhere in that long list is anything to celebrate what it takes to live, work and sustain mind, body and heart through life as a woman on one’s own in our society. And that seems an especially egregious omission given the realities of doing so on the generally 1/4 to 1/2 less money many females are paid for their labors.

The unique challenges of single life for a woman tend to be even larger in the realm of human interactions. The glass ceiling in business is still a grim reality, despite some improvement in middle management levels. And despite anti-discrimination laws, which tend to be sidestepped by disguising prejudice as something else, single women are often singled out for less desirable assignments and to endure other subtle forms of injustice. Read specifics on how these types of prejudices manifest themselves in single women’s lives at Psychology Today’s column Living Single by Bella DePaulo, PhD.

Socially, single women tend to be bypassed when coupled colleagues, friends and family get together. Single men usually continue to be invited – friends even work actively to “fix them up” – but single women are often excluded. So the happy single woman finds ways to connect with other single women to enjoy life. Though, of course, she often finds herself in a restaurant being offered the dining table by the kitchen door, or told she must pay 25% to 50% more for the privilege of being a single passenger on, say, a cruise, etc.

So if you have a single working woman friend, consider this holiday your opportunity to appreciate her for all she does. Take her out for a drink and compliment her on her resourcefulness and her guts. Tell her how much you admire her courage. Even better, do a task or an errand for her – although be sure to ask how first, as single working women tend to be fiercely independent and, like many women of all stations, often have very specific ways they want things done!

God willing an’ the creek don’t rise, life is getting a little better for single women. All we can do is keep up the good fight. Time will tell if we’ll be able to make enough more progress to matter for single women, people of color, LGBQT people, and so on before the looming disastrous consequences of global warming make all our questions and struggles around fairness and equality simply moot.

The SWWAN social network site!

After a request from a UK member to connect with others in her region, we decided it was time to create our social network site. And it is here at SWWAN‘s site on ning.com. We’ll soon be inviting you and all our SWWAN members to communicate. Lots more work to do! But take a visit if you have a minute and send us your feedback.

Oh, and take a look at this site: SmartNow for women over 35, a category that fits some SWWANs.




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