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"Singing Spinsters" and other insults

Someone in church told me about the woman on 'Britain's Got Talent' with the stunning voice.  Several people have posted links to You Tube copies of the performance and commented on the tension of human obsession with the body beautiful and disparagement of those who don't fit our preconceived notions.  I admire Susan Boyle's courage in entering the competition, enduring the insults and patronising comments and I also admire what seems to me to be some sense of admission by two of three judges that they had been guilty of  dismissing her based on appearance and nervous gaucheness (though some commentators say even these comments were patronising).  Today I was really annoyed to hear a news report refer to her as 'the singing spinster' in a way that suggested something odd and pitiable.  Maybe it just pressed my own buttons - Susan is a 47 year old single woman and I'm a 46 year old single woman - but I don't why someone should be defined by those details (this information was, in any case, elicited from questions the judges asked her).  So, for the record, anyone who dares to refer to me as a preaching spinster may discover the entire set of Barth's Church Dogmatics engaging with their cranium from great height!  (Granted I'd have to purchase it first!)

Why can't we just say 'newly discovered singer Susan Boyle' and value her for who she is rather than insult her (and all the other single woman past an undefined 'certain age') by making her marital status in to a veiled insult?  I can't quite work out why to be young, stereotypically gorgeous and single is good but to be middle aged, average looking and single is to be pitied, but such comments make me more than a little bit mad (in case you had failed to notice).

As I type away I find myself recalling a some words of Isaiah about the LORD's servant who was not much to look at (no stately form, no majesty, marred appearance, etc).  Which is interesting to ponder.  Would Jesus have been equally patronised in a society obsessed by the body beautiful and the apparent necessity of a significant other?.  Hmm.



  • You can borrow my set of Dogmatics!

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