Katie Heaney talks of her “non-dating” dating memoir, “Never Have I Ever”, with Salon’s Anna North. Here’s the first question from the interview:
How do you feel it’s different for you, as a woman, to write about being single than it would be for a man to do so? How does gender affect that experience?
I don’t want to jump the gun on this, but there have been a couple of reviews that referred to me in kind of “desperate” terms. One review said something about, “this book is about Heaney’s search for a man — any man.” And I feel pretty strongly that anyone who read my book — or, I guess, anyone else that read my book — would think that that was literally the opposite of what I was trying to say the entire time. Admittedly, I’m not like, “this is just a book about how I’ve been single forever, have no problem with it, continue to be single forever.” But it also seems to jump right into “well, all she cares about is boys.” And it is immediately made to be more boy-crazy than I think it would be if a guy wrote it, where it would be like, “Here’s this bachelor lifestyle.”
One of my friends who wrote a book about women and dating was struggling with this when she was trying to come up with a title for her book. She was like, there’s no female equivalent of the word “bachelor.” Like, there’s “bachelorette,” but it doesn’t carry the same weight or meaning. There’s no cool word for the single woman who’s prioritizing other things in her life at that moment. Like, it’s always assumed that it’s a forefront concern.
Other topics from the interview include how being single affects aspects of life, the pressure on single people to “find someone”, and how the world can be more friendly and accepting of single people.