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The spinster wars

We live in an age of individuality, yet prize living in couples. Should women reclaim the idea of spinsterhood?

© Martin Parr/Magnum

Back in my early twenties, when such distinctions seemed both reliable and significant, I remember settling on the definition of a “girlfriend girl” with a college friend. We were at a housewarming—a shiny new rental in London’s docklands—and as we sipped warm wine from plastic cups, we decided she was pretty, responsible, had a sense of humour but probably never laughed too loudly. She was, most saliently of all, wife material. What she wasn’t was us, and even though there was an element of defensiveness…

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