I wish this last sentence were true… I still have some hope:
Because women alone are dropouts from society of sorts, they tend to overconform in order to be accepted. But precisely because there are so few options open to them, they have a chance to make their own. They do not have to build friendships and life patterns around a husband’s life. They do not have to ask anyone’s permission to, for example, move to the city, where being alone is not considered unusual or strange. They can go out and find supportive people and build supportive relationships, even build a community of their own. (In a sense, I am part of a community of two in the city room, sharing and gaining self-confidence with another woman reporter). They can form organizations of widows or divorced women and shape them to be what they want them to be– not settle for groups of lonely women consoling each other. They can form and join summer communes where women and men alone can share with each other what they wish of their lives. They can choose jobs, not for security, but for challenge and supportive atmosphere.
–Patricia O’Brien, The Woman Alone, p. 200