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A Room of One’s Own Redux?

June 25th, 2009     by Mir Verburg     Comments

Author Virgina Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own is an eloquent argument in support of the idea that a woman, should she want to pursue her own dreams and goals, must have a measure of financial and material independence.

For Woolf this was because:

Intellectual freedom depends upon material things. Poetry depends upon intellectual freedom. And women have always been poor, not for two hundred years merely, but from the beginning of time. Women have had less intellectual freedom than the sons of Athenian slaves. Women, then, have not had a dog’s chance of writing poetry. That is why I have laid so much stress on money and a room of one’s own. (Full essay here)

(If you have not taken the time to read this brilliant but dense essay I urge you to do it. It is a great argument, although long.)

So it was surprising to me to read the headline “Females who rent weigh less”. The subhead? “Home-owning women outweigh their renting counterparts by an average of 12 pounds.” That’s right ladies, do not try to own property - you may think it leads to a greater degree of financial security, and thus more social power and control over your life circumstance, but in fact it just makes you fat. And we all know fat, stressed out, property-owning ladies are not as good as skinny, care-free, renting ladies.

This article is actually about how a study shows that possibly the personality types that go in for home ownership are less socially active and more domestically-oriented then renting types. This domestic orientation leads to the taking on of more responsibility and also a more sedentary lifestyle. But to get suckers like me invested in snarkily reading the whole article, it starts by saying “women who own homes are fat and unhappy.”

Maybe they are unhappy because you are bugging them to complete a phone survey when they have a draft of a novel waiting in the spare room and they are just at a good part?

Tags: bibliothèque, media savvy

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