Marie Kock, celibacy, by choice

For a long time, journalist Marie Kock organized her life « around the search for the other », the meeting and the relationship with men. The ace ! She never exceeded the « bar » of two years. And then, at 37, after wondering why she didn’t have the right to her « part of happiness », the young woman decided to stop looking. How do you go from a life obsessed with love to a life that pays little attention to it? This is the whole development of this book, which rehabilitates the figure of the « old maid », a charming term designating, with a touch of condescension, the unmarried or unloved woman. She is said to be ugly, surly, embittered. We imagine her surrounded by cats and solitude… She represents an anti-model for young girls, in short. And yet, for Marie Kock, being an old maid – when celibacy is chosen and not suffered – can also be a path to emancipation, and in no way prevents “a happy, full, whole life”although devoid of husband and child.

Without bitterness or frustration, the author dissects and twists the clichés around this figure of the single woman, whether transmitted by history, literature, cinema, advertising, popular opinion… She describes how, for she, « don’t wait for love » meant “regain possession of your body, your brain, your time”.No longer depend on the desires of the other on a daily basis, for meals, holidays, music, activities. Break free from compromise. Get rid of constantly shared space. have a life « banal, ordinary », but whose terms we choose as much as possible, without having to be accountable to anyone. Selfishness? No, independence, pleads the book, which ensures that it is possible to live alone while loving people. Not candid, the essay hides nothing of certain moments of blues, loneliness and does not elude « the great fear » singles: that of dying « in general indifference ». But are these moments only the prerogative of old girls? “This anxiety linked to a vision of the future that may never happen is not a sufficient reason to compromise my present”reassures the journalist.

Advocating for chosen celibacy, the book is obviously not intended to advocate the dissolution of the couple. He is not « a manifesto that would try to slap you in the face that your life, your loves, your sexuality, your family, are just a bunch of illusions and barriers that should be blown up », Marie Kock defends herself. No, this book is » a proposal « , a hypothesis: yes, it is possible to live without ticking all the boxes to which society too often predestines from childhood. Yes, it is possible to want something else. “I will remain the daughter of my parents. That’s the reverse, notes the author. But the medal is that I had to find other ways to become an adult than through motherhood. » By watching other people’s children grow up (niece, nephew, child of friends, etc.) in particular, with no regrets. By being happy to burst into these lives, without settling there. By noting that one can be neither a mother nor a wife, but that a transmission is possible.


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