Women solitaries

Throughout history, note David Weeks and Jamie James, authors of Eccentrics: a Study of Sanity and Strangeness, reclusive women have been labeled agoraphobic, but the authors’ survey of contemporaries suggests withdrawal from society as a choice not a phobia. Reclusive women pointed out to the authors that a double standard prevails, wherein reclusiveness is more socially acceptable of men than of women. One woman — an artist — remarked:

People think that just because I’m a woman, I must be caring, nurturing, and “people-oriented.” They just can’t believe that I prefer my own company. They don’t realize that my happiest times are when I’m alone with my painting and music. … I don’t think that male artists are quizzed so much about their social lives. People respect their need for solitude. When a male artist says he wants to shut himself off and create, they say he’s serious about his work. When I do it, I’m either being selfish or I have a psychological problem.