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Does Being a 40-Year-Old Woman Without a Husband or Children Equal Failure?

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Monica Lewinsky is the infamous White House intern with whom former President Bill Clinton admitted to having an "inappropriate relationship" while in office. The scandal has been revisited because Lewinsky recently wrote an essay in Vanity Fair entitled, "It's time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress." Prior to a morning discussion about Lewinsky on CNN's Newsroom on May 7, 2014, Carol Costello inferred that Lewinsky has failed in life because she is 40-years-old, has no husband and has no children. Why do women who are married and/or married with children impose their idea of success on women who are not married?

The response to Lewinsky's essay has elicited feelings of pity and discussions about her seeming misfortune and failure. The following are a few notables about Lewinsky:

  • B.A. - Lewis & Clark College
  • M.S. - London School of Economics
  • Fashion Designer of a line of handbags
  • Former spokesperson for Jenny Craig
  • Interviewed by Barbara Walters
  • Interviewed by Larry King

This does not look like the curriculum vitae of a failure to me. Excerpts from the full version of Lewinsky's essay, which will be released on May 8, 2014 reveal that because of her past "history" she has not been able to secure a job in the charity campaigns, communications and branding arena. Maybe she has not secured jobs in this arena but it does not mean that she is jobless. How many people can say that they have had their own line of handbags? Lewinsky merely stated the fact that entities will not hire her in a particular job field but the excerpts do not reveal that she has failed or had overwhelming misfortune. Furthermore, the excerpts do not reveal that Lewinsky has any aspirations of having a husband and children.

So what Carol Costello said this morning opens a larger discussion about a perception that many married women equate having a husband and children as success. The excerpts do not reveal that Lewinsky feels like a failure or experiences any misfortune because she is 40 and does not have a husband and children. Maybe Lewinsky has aspirations of having a husband and children. But does it mean that she should be pitied because she is 40 and does not yet have a husband and children?

There are many women who do not want a husband or children. There are many women who are successful in many other areas and who enjoy the freedom of not having a husband and children. Every woman is not looking for someone to put a ring on it! Women who are married and/or married with children should not feel as if they should pity those who do not nor should they assume that every woman wants the same life. Am I wrong? Does a woman like Monica Lewinsky who is 40-years-old with no husband and no children equal failure? I say it does not!