A New Spin on Spinster: 5 Badass, Single Women Who Changed History

A New Spin on Spinster: 5 Badass, Single Women Who Changed History

Posted by Kristian Porter on March 19, 2017
Author Bio
Kristian Porter
13 posts so far
I'm a book hoarder and a serial crafter. You can catch me on a Friday night binge watching "Cutthroat Kitchen" in a dinosaur onesie. I'm a proud cat mom to two beautiful fur babies. I believe in the power of female friendship and a good cup of coffee. In the next life, I hope I'm a sunflower.

As a woman, I’m sure you’ve endured countless interrogation sessions that sounded something like this:

“Have you met someone yet?”

“When are you going to get married?”

“When are you going to have kids?”

“Your clock is ticking.”

And on and on it goes, never ending questions from those who can’t fathom the idea that being happy and being single can exist simultaneously. But strong, independent women change the world every day—blissful and menless.

Once upon a time, being of age and single would have granted you the title of “spinster,” a term that evolved from the occupation of spinning wool, something apparently mostly unmarried women did. But I personally find the term pretty amazing.

If being a spinster means a kickass, arts-and-crafts-loving, independent woman who doesn’t need a marriage to be happy, then sign me the hell up. Am I right?

In honor of Women’s History Month, and all of you beautiful, single ladies, here’s a list of badass women who made history and did it all without ever being married.

  1. Susan B. Anthony

This incredible woman dedicated her entire life to education and activism. After spending 15 years of her life teaching, she became an advocate for Women’s rights, canvassing across the nation in favor of women’s suffrage, right to retain their paychecks, and right to own property. She also fought for the abolition of slavery.

She remained unmarried on principle, fighting against the idea that a man’s wife was somehow inferior to him. What a BAMF, right?

Her words of wisdom: “I think the girl who is able to earn her own living and pay her own way should be as happy as anybody on earth.”

  1. Jane Austen

If you’ve ever read one of Austen’s incredible novels, you may be surprised to learn that, though her books were filled with romance (Mr. Darcy *swoon*), she never married.

There was a time when she found herself engaged, but that lasted only a few hours until she made the choice to remain single and dedicated to her work. Her strong-willed attitude can be seen in the characters she created and the themes her novels explored, often taking a critical look at social class and structure.

I like to believe that somewhere in the Character Afterlife, Lizzy Bennet gave a silent clap for Austen’s choices.

Her Words of Wisdom: “There are as many forms of love as there are moments in time.”

  1. Condoleezza Rice

In true strong, independent woman fashion, Condoleezza Rice broke down many barriers in her political career. She was the first black woman to serve as the United States’ National Security Advisor, and then, because this woman couldn’t be stopped, she became the first black woman to serve as Secretary of State.

But, despite her incredible accomplishments, the question that seems to weigh on everyone’s mind is why hasn’t she ever married. Because she knows her worth and refuses to settle, her response has consistently been, “I just haven’t found anybody that I want to spend my life with.”

Her Words of Wisdom: “The fact of the matter is, you don’t want to get married in the abstract, you want to get married to someone.”

  1. Coco Chanel

The French fashion designer and business woman is most famous for freeing women of the corset (Thank. God. Let’s all take this moment to silently thank her for our abilities to breathe without constriction.). Her talent and influence are still seen today, decades after her death, and I’m not sure if there’s anything quite as iconic as her classic CC logo.

Almost as iconic is the fact that she never married, despite having several relationships throughout her life, and even a few marriage proposals. When the 2nd Duke of Westminster (yes, an actual duke) proposed, she gave the most inspiring rejection, saying, “There have been several Duchesses of Westminster, but there is only one Chanel.”

Her Words of Wisdom: “The two men I’ve loved, I think, will remember me, on earth or in heaven, because men always remember a woman who caused them concern and uneasiness. I’ve done my best, in regard to people and to life, without precepts, but with a taste for justice.”

  1. Rosalind Franklin

The hero that Science forgot, Rosalind Franklin was integral in the discovery of the DNA double helix. She provided two sets of high-resolution images of DNA that allowed her, along with Watson and Crick, to discover DNA’s structure.

It’s speculated that Franklin was extremely passionate about her work, never stopping to take a moment to breathe, but her passion could be “challenging” to work with because loved an intellectual debate, making her seem stubborn and, dare I say it, bossy. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

She never married, dedicating too much time to her studies for romance, and “spinster” was actually written on her death certificate. My hero.

Her Words of Wisdom: “In my view, all that is necessary for faith is the belief that, by doing our best, we shall succeed in our aims: the improvement of mankind.


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A New Spin on Spinster: 5 Badass, Single Women Who Changed History

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