ONTD Political

Does freedom make women unhappy?

5:54 pm - 05/27/2009
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Liberated and Unhappy
By ROSS DOUTHAT

American women are wealthier, healthier and better educated than they were 30 years ago. They’re more likely to work outside the home, and more likely to earn salaries comparable to men’s when they do. They can leave abusive marriages and sue sexist employers. They enjoy unprecedented control over their own fertility. On some fronts — graduation rates, life expectancy and even job security — men look increasingly like the second sex.

But all the achievements of the feminist era may have delivered women to greater unhappiness. In the 1960s, when Betty Friedan diagnosed her fellow wives and daughters as the victims of “the problem with no name,” American women reported themselves happier, on average, than did men. Today, that gender gap has reversed. Male happiness has inched up, and female happiness has dropped. In postfeminist America, men are happier than women.

This is “The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness,” the subject of a provocative paper from the economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers. The paper is fascinating not only because of what it shows, but because the authors deliberately avoid floating an easy explanation for their data.

The decline of the two-parent family, for instance, is almost certainly depressing life satisfaction for the women stuck raising kids alone. But this can’t be the only explanation, since the trend toward greater female discontent cuts across lines of class and race. A working-class Hispanic woman is far more likely to be a single mother than her white and wealthy counterpart, yet the male-female happiness gap holds in East Hampton and East L.A. alike.

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deevee45 28th-May-2009 01:21 am (UTC)
I'm willing to listen to some of these points... for example, I definitely thing that work-life balance is out of whack in this country. Women have found they have to work to provide for their household, but they still are left with the cooking, cleaning and nurturing when they get home. We do not have a society where child rearing is made easy, for either single or traditional households.

I definitely don't agree with most of the reasons he says women are unhappy, but if indeed the polling indicates that women are more unhappy today, we probably should have a healthy conversation as to why that is.
me_and_jimmy 28th-May-2009 01:38 am (UTC)
I agree with you. I think part of the reason women are more unhappy if this poll is true, is because maybe women are more honest with themselves as a whole now days because we are allowed to be "unhappy" and then there has to be other factors...the economy comes to mind. Just a thought.
darthweez 28th-May-2009 01:24 am (UTC)
popehippo READ: ICON28th-May-2009 01:25 am (UTC)
laurie_springs 28th-May-2009 01:26 am (UTC)
They were talking about this on The View yesterday. I STILL don't get what the point is supposed to be.

Edited at 2009-05-28 01:26 am (UTC)
de_wood 28th-May-2009 01:34 am (UTC)
I've read it over a few times, and I still don't understand it.
mhael SEE THIS, ASSHOLE??28th-May-2009 01:27 am (UTC)


THAT'S A MOTHERFUCKIN' PLATE OF GODDAM COOKIES I BAKED YESTERDAY, ALL BY MY MOTHERFUCKING, FEMINIST, STAY-AT-HOME-DAD SELF, FOR ME, MY CHILDREN, AND MY FEMINIST, BREAD-EARNING WIFE! AND YA KNOW WHAT? SHE LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVES THEM! SHE ATE THEM WARM OUT OF THE OVEN AND SQUEED WITH GLEE OVER THEIR AWESOME CHOCOLATELY CAPPUCCINO-CHIPPED GOODNESS! SHE'S ONE HAPPY BITCH GODDAM, AND I, SIR, AM LUCKY TO HAVE BEEN CHOSEN BY HER.

PS.
AND YOU CAN'T HAVE ANY, YOU KNUCKLE-DRAGGING HALF-WIT. FUCK YOU!
germli Re: SEE THIS, ASSHOLE??28th-May-2009 01:28 am (UTC)
:(

Can I have some please?

OMG I'm so hungry now.
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
celtic_thistle 28th-May-2009 01:28 am (UTC)
OH YES, WHITE MAN, TELL ME HOW UNHAPPY I AM. I SHOULD BE BAREFOOT AND PREGNANT AND HAVE ALREADY HAD TWO KIDS BY NOW. HOW DARE I GO TO SCHOOL OR LEARN. I SHOULD JUST PRETEND IT'S 1850 AND GET BACK IN THE KITCHEN.
box_in_the_box ROSS DOUTHAT'S RESEARCH MATERIAL:28th-May-2009 01:31 am (UTC)
mhael ROTFLMAO!!28th-May-2009 01:39 am (UTC)
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH! THE EVIL! IT BURNS! WHY MUST I KNOW WHY THAT IS FUNNY??
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
trumpydoesmagic 28th-May-2009 01:42 am (UTC)
Photobucket
rawbery79 28th-May-2009 07:29 am (UTC)
AHAHAHAHA, THAT IS SO PERFECT.
jwaneeta 28th-May-2009 01:45 am (UTC)
CONCERN TROLL
___closetome 28th-May-2009 01:55 am (UTC)
sirdrakesheir 28th-May-2009 01:55 am (UTC)
Nothing depresses me more than having the free agency to pursue my own happiness and satisfaction, let me tell you.
roostah 28th-May-2009 02:05 am (UTC)
I know, it's such a pain, having rights and shit.
sunoftheskye 28th-May-2009 02:00 am (UTC)
For some reason I read his last name as "DoucheHat"
chaobell 28th-May-2009 02:58 am (UTC)
Which is... about right, yeah.
(no subject) - Anonymous
luvlorn 28th-May-2009 03:58 am (UTC)
This was one of my thoughts too.
snadybloop 28th-May-2009 02:04 am (UTC)
I haven't even read the article, just the title. my reaction so far: "WHAT KIND OF BULLSHIT IS THAT?!"

snadybloop 28th-May-2009 02:07 am (UTC)
reaction stayed pretty much the same after I read the article, only add lots of eye rolling.
(no subject) - Anonymous
de_wood 28th-May-2009 03:05 am (UTC)
Time travel is only fun for white men.
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
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