From Publishers Weekly
Despite its cliched title, this absorbing volume goes far beyond a superficial examination of the current dating scene for single women. It delves deeply into how dating and commitment differ from times past and the effects those changes are having on women and our culture. The author, whose previous book, The Divorce Culture, looked at a related social phenomenon, here makes a strong case for a phenomenon she calls the "Girl Project," a social "project" that has succeeded in preparing young women for adult lives of economic self-sufficiency, social independence, and sexual liberation, which began in 1972 when Title IX broke down major sex discrimination barriers and has had great success since then. Whitehead rightly argues that women today are operating in new social circumstances, in which they delay marriage until college-or, sometimes, graduate school-is finished and a career is established. This woman "embodies a new model of success based on educational and professional achievement," but, says Whitehead, the choices she makes in her 20s and 30s sometimes make finding a mate difficult. In exploring recent social changes that have made a strong and lasting impact, Whitehead highlights possible developments, such as online dating, that may replace traditional cultural systems. Her engaging cultural assessment, while not novel, sheds light on a current problem many women now face.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Whitehead, author of The Divorce Culture
(1997), tackles a new hot topic: the single woman's search for love. She points out that women are putting off marriage until they have accomplished career goals, which leads to not only a later median age for first marriages but also an entirely new set of rules for dating. Whereas courtship was rather strictly mapped out in previous decades, the 1980s and 1990s have seen dating moving out of the traditional arena, school. Young women are graduating college and pursuing careers before they pursue potential husbands. When they do decide to begin searching for suitable partners, they face questions such as where to meet men and whether living together is a good idea. Whitehead notes the new venues for meeting men, such as the Internet and SpeedDating, and the prevalence of Chick Lit, which chronicles the search for love in comic tones. Single women will recognize their quandary in this study and will benefit from Whitehead's insights about everything from cohabitation to time management. Kristine HuntleyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved