Now here’s a comment I just can’t let hang out there:
Despite the “progress” in decreasing the glass ceiling of wage gaps, educational attainment, fertility control, improvements in technological changes in domestic appliances, and more freedom in the market sphere, women are not any happier. Instead, career-women, failing marriages, neglected children, unkempt homes and general unhappiness are the hallmarks of feminism. [Zeal for Truth ????!!!!]
Well roll on the miserable floor, I just had to come up with something to counter that howling piece of miscreancy. And here it is, just in time, from Barbara Ehrenreich via Tom Englehardt:
Feminism made women miserable. This, anyway, seems to be the most popular takeaway from “The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness,” a recent study by Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers which purports to show that women have become steadily unhappier since 1972. Maureen Dowd and Arianna Huffington greeted the news with somber perplexity, but the more common response has been a triumphant: I told you so.
On Slate’s DoubleX website, a columnist concluded from the study that “the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s gave us a steady stream of women’s complaints disguised as manifestos… and a brand of female sexual power so promiscuous that it celebrates everything from prostitution to nipple piercing as a feminist act — in other words, whine, womyn, and thongs.” Or as Phyllis Schlafly put it, more soberly: “[T]he feminist movement taught women to see themselves as victims of an oppressive patriarchy in which their true worth will never be recognized and any success is beyond their reach… [S]elf-imposed victimhood is not a recipe for happiness.”
But it’s a little too soon to blame Gloria Steinem for our dependence on SSRIs. For all the high-level head-scratching induced by the Stevenson and Wolfers study, hardly anyone has pointed out (1) that there are some issues with happiness studies in general, (2) that there are some reasons to doubt this study in particular, or (3) that, even if you take this study at face value, it has nothing at all to say about the impact of feminism on anyone’s mood. [more]
Ehrenreich’s latest book is out – Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking has Undermined America at amazon.ca
Here’s Ehrenreich interviewed by John Allemang at the Globe & Mail, more stuff at The Situationist here and a half-hour audio discussion at Talk of the Nation here