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The year of the (single) woman

‘Tis the season of the single woman.  Advice to candidates on how to appeal to single women, whose numbers, and therefore political power, is growing.
The influential women of HBO's Sex and the City HBO / Reuters file

‘Tis the season of the single woman.

On the eve of this New Year, we learn that staying single leads to better mental health in women, courtesy of a new study conducted in England.  Stateside, the decades-old image of the single girl as "discarded spinster" has been upgraded to one of a savvy stiletto wearing power broker, thanks to an influential run and final season of Sex and the City.  Meanwhile, single moms are facing less stigma and more choices as one-person households outnumber traditional ones for the first time ever, and in mid-December an advisory panel winked at an established "right to choose" by voting to recommend that the FDA place a morning after pill on counters next to cough medicine and condoms.  At the same time, Hollywood takes a previously unthinkable commercial gamble this holiday season with Something’s Gotta Give – a middle aged love story that concludes an aging single woman’s wrinkles and experience are sexier than her daughter’s dewy glow of youth.

Changed cultural iconography, marked demographic shifts, and a political study released by the San Francisco-based Tides Center set the stage for the unprecedented political courtship of America’s Single Woman.  Unmarried women could decide the 2004 election if they register and vote in large numbers, especially since many remain unregistered in critical states including Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan, and Illinois, the study says.  Though single women tend to lean to the Left and favor the aims of big government, concerns about security and terrorism provide the Right an "equal opportunity" for persuasive wooing.

Some preliminary non-partisan campaign advice on issues that would appeal to women seeking to make good on the promise of economic independence:

This is just a starting point.  But what’s clear is that it is time to replace the "family values" platform with one that recognizes the definition of "family" has already changed.  Married couple households, the leading household configuration since the country’s founding, has slipped from 80 percent in the 1950s to just over 50 percent today, and the U.S.’s 86 million single adults may soon define the majority.  April will see the launch of Segue magazine, a new national publication aimed at 30-55-year old affluent, professional singles, and unmarrieds comprise 42 percent of the workforce.  So, a candidate romancing single women with the proffered suggestions might also "pick up" more than a few men along the way.  He (since there is unfortunately no qualified she in the race) will also win points as a visionary by hastening the implementation of inevitable revisions that will lead to major changes over time.