Meet the Spartan spinsters
Jane Austen has shown us young ladies heading for the Shelf and desperate to find a husband, because he is almost the only possible source of income for a woman of their social class. Their weapons are looks, charm, badinage and gossip.
It is therefore a great pity that no woman of old Sparta wrote comedies of manners for her own set, in which the desperation was equally great but the weapons were much more literally teeth and claws. For whenever a Spartan bachelor turned thirty, all the unattached females were locked in a room, and the last woman standing got to exit the room and take him home. It was more Tarantino than Merchant-Ivory.