“In Popular culture, we have ‘the bachelor pad’ and ‘the bachelor lifestyle,’ but no such phrases for women. Women who live alone are objects of fear or pity, witches in the forest or Cathy comics. Even the current cultural popularity of female friendship still speaks to how unwilling we all are to accept women without a social framework; a woman who’s ‘alone’ is a woman having brunch with a bunch of other women. When a woman is truly alone, it is the result of a crisis – she is grieving, has lost something, is a problem to be fixed. The family, the fundamental social unit, dwells within the female body and emanates from it. Women are the anchors of social labor, the glue pulling the family, and then the community, together with small talk and good manners and social niceties. Living alone as a woman is not just a luxury but a refusal to bend into the shape of patriarchal assumption and expectation.”
Helena Fitzgerald, The Fierce Triumph of Loneliness
Definitely NOT a “luxury” for most independent mothers. But she is right that embracing that independence and rejecting social stigma IS a refusal to obey/fall in line as we are expected to.