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Feminism Unfulfilled : Why are so many Women Unhappy?
Christian Post ^ | 10/23/2009 | Albert Mohler

Posted on 10/24/2009 9:29:31 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

"The woman's movement wasn't about happiness." That judgment, attributed to feminist Susan Faludi, seems to be the blunt assessment shared by many other women. As numerous recent studies now indicate, a remarkably large percentage of women describe themselves as increasingly unhappy.

This issue came to light last month in a fascinating essay by Maureen Dowd of The New York Times. Dowd, whose columns often reveal the nation's Zeitgeist, cited the fact that a number of major studies indicate that "women are getting gloomier and men are getting happier." She asked: "Did the feminist revolution end up benefiting men more than women?"

A very similar set of questions arises from TIME magazine's current cover story and special report, "The State of the American Woman." As the cover of the magazine explains, "A new poll shows why they are more powerful - but less happy."

Reporter Nancy Gibbs traces the vast changes brought about by the feminist revolution. "It's funny how things change slowly, until the day we realize they've changed completely," she observes. As she documents, these changes are easily visible in contemporary America:

In 1972 only 7% of students playing high school sports were girls; now the number is six times as high. The female dropout rate has fallen in half. College campuses used to be almost 60-40 male; now the ratio has reversed, and close to half of law and medical degrees go to women, up from fewer than 10% in 1970. Half the Ivy League presidents are women, and two of the three network anchors soon will be; three of the four most recent Secretaries of State have been women.

Along the way, Gibbs also traces more fundamental changes. With remarkable understatement she simply notes "the detachment of marriage and motherhood" among other transformations. "Women no longer view matrimony as a necessary station on the road to financial security or parenthood," she explains.

Nevertheless, "Among the most confounding changes of all is the evidence, tracked by numerous surveys, that as women have gained more freedom, more education and more economic power, they have become less happy."

Gibbs cites a growing body of research that documents this trend toward unhappiness. In "The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness," [pdf file] published in the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers explain that women in the 1970s "reported higher subjective well-being than did men." Now, the opposite is the case.

The big question raised by these studies is this: Has feminism produced unhappiness among women? That question is inescapable when seen in light of the historical context. The great transformation of society by feminism took shape only after the 1970s. As a political and social movement, feminism has been stunningly successful. In the span of a single generation, the society has been overwhelmingly transformed. But, over the same period, women report themselves less happy, especially as compared to men.

As Gail Collins notes in her new book, When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present, the pace of this transformation has been absolutely stunning. "The cherished convictions about women and what they could do were smashed in the lifetime of many of the women living today," she observes. "It happened so fast that the revolution seemed to be over before either side could really find its way to the barricades."

Nevertheless, Collins, also a columnist for The New York Times, concluded: " The feminist movement of the late 20th century created a new United States in which women ran for president, fought for their country, argued before the Supreme Court, performed heart surgery, directed movies, and flew into space. But it did not resolve the tensions of trying to raise children and hold down a job at the same time."

These tensions have erupted as flash points in our national conversation over recent years. Some feminists have accused women who decide to stay home with their children as "letting down the team." Gail Collins cites Marlyn McGrath Lewis, director of undergraduate admissions at Harvard University as saying, "It really does raise this question for all of us and for the country: when we work so hard to open academics and other opportunities for women, what kind of return do we expect to get for that?"

The essays by Maureen Dowd and Nancy Gibbs both raise the fundamental question of feminism - Has it led to greater unhappiness among women? Dowd and Gibbs remain committed feminists. Nevertheless, as Dowd notes, feminism has served to increase the burdens upon women, even as it promised to open doors.

Sadly, most feminists seem incapable, given their ideological commitments, of asking the hardest questions. "Progress is seldom simple," Gibbs explains, "it comes with costs and casualties, even challenges about whether a change represents an advance or a retreat."

In reality, feminism was never only about opening doors for women. In order to make the case for the vast social transformation that feminism has produced, the feminist movement aspired to nothing short of a total social, moral, and cultural revolution. Along the way, feminism redefined womanhood, marriage, motherhood, and the roles for both men and women.

Nevertheless, it appears that most women are uncomfortable with this total package. Instead of producing a vast expansion of happiness among women, the feminist movement must now answer for the fact that women, by their own evaluation, appear to be less happy than before the revolution.

The reason for this is probably quite simple. Women are in the best position to evaluate, not only what feminism has gained, but what it has lost. Maybe Susan Faludi is right - The women's movement wasn't about happiness. Adapted from R. Albert Mohler Jr.'s weblog at www.albertmohler.com.

___________________________________________________

R. Albert Mohler, Jr. is president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. For more articles and resources by Dr. Mohler, and for information on The Albert Mohler Program, a daily national radio program broadcast on the Salem Radio Network, go to www.albertmohler.com


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: feminism; happiness; mohler; psychology; women
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1 posted on 10/24/2009 9:29:31 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Why are so many women unhappy?

They haven’t met me.


2 posted on 10/24/2009 9:35:51 AM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously... You'll never live through it.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Penis envy! (Ducks and runs for cover...)


3 posted on 10/24/2009 9:37:00 AM PDT by Kenton
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To: SeekAndFind

bump


4 posted on 10/24/2009 9:37:35 AM PDT by Mr. Silverback (We're right! We're free! And we'll fight! And you'll seeeeeeee!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Because they are being stretched too thin.

Society expects them to find a career AND raise healthy, happy babies. The rare woman can manage both and remain content herself.


5 posted on 10/24/2009 9:37:35 AM PDT by autumnraine (You can't fix stupid, but you can vote it out!)
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To: SeekAndFind

See. You shouldn’t fool with Mother Nature.


6 posted on 10/24/2009 9:38:43 AM PDT by donhunt ("Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them." - Ronald Reagan)
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To: SeekAndFind

the feminist movement was about socializing women

towards the establishment of a one world government.


7 posted on 10/24/2009 9:39:33 AM PDT by ken21 (i am not voting for a rino-progressive.)
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To: Vendome

Dear Ms.Dowd: Just because Michael Douglas is always smiling.You shouldn’t take any inference for that.


8 posted on 10/24/2009 9:40:06 AM PDT by Dr. Ursus
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To: SeekAndFind

Because women have found out the big lie of the Feminazi’s was h***.
they tried to turn women into men. And guess what being a women is work enough.
Women did’t need to take on the role of men too.
WOMEN ARE TIRED.


9 posted on 10/24/2009 9:40:23 AM PDT by Marty62 (former Marty60)
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To: SeekAndFind

Women want men who are confident leaders.
Women want control in a relationship and now view being submissive to a man as a bad thing.

Consequently, if the woman gets control, then she is unhappy because her man is not leading and his confidence is shaken. She will despise him.

And if the woman doesn’t get control, instead of being happy that her man is a confident leader, she feels slighted and ignored. And sinks into self pity and becomes angry at her man.

Women have set up a no win situation, where they are going to be unhappy regardless of what the man does.


10 posted on 10/24/2009 9:41:00 AM PDT by DannyTN
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To: SeekAndFind

By the way, I do NOT advocate that women should go back to the way it was. The biggest thing I had issue with before the ‘revolution’ of women’s rights were the lack of choice (I don’t mean abortion).

I feel women should be able to CHOOSE to do what they want with their lives. But I also think it’s unreasonable to expect that you can have ‘everything’.


11 posted on 10/24/2009 9:41:59 AM PDT by autumnraine (You can't fix stupid, but you can vote it out!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Miserable spawn of the deluded sixties generation, who could’ve predicted this?


12 posted on 10/24/2009 9:42:19 AM PDT by tired1 (When the Devil eats you there's only one way out.)
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To: SeekAndFind

You mean killing your babies, sleeping with hundreds of men, trying to act like men and being a communist doesn’t make you happy?


13 posted on 10/24/2009 9:42:57 AM PDT by Trillian
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To: ken21

When I was in junior high school, I used to babysit for several families with small children. All of the mothers got together and formed a “women’s consciousness raising” group, which, as far as I could tell, meant little more than sitting around and complaining about men in general and husbands in particular. Every single one of those marriages ended in divorce.


14 posted on 10/24/2009 9:43:22 AM PDT by La Lydia
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To: SeekAndFind

Well DUH! Men now don’t have to carry the whole responsiblity of bringing home the money, they aren’t on the hook for any unintended children anymore, and if they get bored it’s completely ok to just walk away from their family and take off with the hot 20 something he met at work who pays attention to them. How does any of this benefit women? Women now are expected to work 40 hours, keep the home and kids fed, if they get pregnant before being married are expeccted to get rid of the child, and usually have the major responsiblity of picking up the pieces if the hubby walks out on them. Feminism gave women the shot end of the stick IMHO! I very happy though but then I don’t work outside the home. We don’t have every new doodad coming down the pike, don’t have a 4,000 SF home nor new cars, but is that stuff really necessary for happiness? Not in my opinion.


15 posted on 10/24/2009 9:43:52 AM PDT by chris_bdba
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To: SeekAndFind; informavoracious; larose; RJR_fan; Prospero; Conservative Vermont Vet; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of interest.

Obama Says A Baby Is A Punishment

Obama: “If they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.”

16 posted on 10/24/2009 9:44:21 AM PDT by narses ("These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own.")
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To: SeekAndFind

The unhappy,bitter women I have met are almost ALWAYS liberal.

Deep down,these liberal women want a rugged,conservative man but they would never admit it publically.

This is one of the primary reasons liberal women loathe Sarah Palin. They are jealous of her husband.


17 posted on 10/24/2009 9:44:23 AM PDT by Le Chien Rouge
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To: DannyTN

That’s far too confusing. I’ll just keep doing what I’ve been doing and let them fight it out amongst themselves.


18 posted on 10/24/2009 9:44:54 AM PDT by donhunt ("Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them." - Ronald Reagan)
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To: Kenton

Only a man would invent the theory of penis envy.

The ONLY time I wished I had one of those attachments was when I was stuck in an elevator and the guy I was with could have relieved himself rather easily and I could not.

I think we women, being smaller, weaker, and nurturing, were made to be protected and taken care of by men. Unfortunately when a man doesn’t fulfill the obligation (frequently because women give away their trump card) then we have to fend for ourselves - which goes against our nature for the most part.


19 posted on 10/24/2009 9:44:57 AM PDT by Aria ( "The US republic will endure until Congress discovers it can bribe the public with the people's $.")
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To: Dr. Ursus

LOL


20 posted on 10/24/2009 9:45:47 AM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously... You'll never live through it.)
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To: SeekAndFind
"The woman's movement wasn't about happiness." That judgment, attributed to feminist Susan Faludi, seems to be the blunt assessment shared by many other women. As numerous recent studies now indicate, a remarkably large percentage of women describe themselves as increasingly unhappy.

When for the most part policies that are promulgated are dominated by lesbians what do they expect
21 posted on 10/24/2009 9:46:11 AM PDT by uncbob
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To: SeekAndFind

The pursuit of happiness is not a guarantee of happiness.
The Constitution covers this well enough.


22 posted on 10/24/2009 9:46:19 AM PDT by Lorianne
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To: Le Chien Rouge
This is one of the primary reasons liberal women loathe Sarah Palin. They are jealous of her husband.

They are not jealous of her husband. They are jealous of her influence on THEIR husbands.

23 posted on 10/24/2009 9:46:38 AM PDT by ColdWater
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To: Marty62

Women ARE tired.

Women were conned into this idea of “bring[ing] home the bacon and fry[ing] it up in a pan...and never let[ting] him forget he’s a man.”

Families have suffered—kids have been missing one half of the child-rearing team, and adults no longer have legitimate, workable partnerships.

The natural workings of our (gender-different types of) brains have been totally disrupted.


24 posted on 10/24/2009 9:47:28 AM PDT by bannie
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To: SeekAndFind

How happy are men?


25 posted on 10/24/2009 9:49:14 AM PDT by esquirette (If we do not know our own worldview, we will accept theirs.)
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To: autumnraine

yes,yes YES!!!
now we are expected to go out and bring home the $$$$, and still have 90% responsibilities of running the home.
I consider myself very lucky that I was able to stay home, and take care of my family, without having to work outside the home.


26 posted on 10/24/2009 9:49:50 AM PDT by ronniesgal (is it still okay to say 'spooky' this Halloween, or is that racist now?)
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To: SeekAndFind

Umm, where are all of these unhappy women? I know a lot of women and they’re just living their lives. Working, dealing with the husband and kids, etc.

Ya know, just because someone says ‘a lot of women are unhappy’ that doesn’t make it so. I love my freedom. NEVER want things to go back to ‘the way they were’.


27 posted on 10/24/2009 9:49:57 AM PDT by ReneeLynn (Socialism is SO yesterday. Fascism, it*s the new black. Mmm Mmm Mmm.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I’m thinking there is “a picture is worth a thousand words” solution to the problem, what comes to mind, are pictures of Helen Thomas, and a home grown beauty with a husband, and eight children side by side.

If a woman wants to wear herself out competing in the working world with men, then go for it, but don’t expect to be happy about it. There is so much more, but at the moment I don’t have my fire proof panties on, so...


28 posted on 10/24/2009 9:50:35 AM PDT by wita
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To: SeekAndFind

“Instead of producing a vast expansion of happiness among women, the feminist movement must now answer for the fact that women, by their own evaluation, appear to be less happy than before the revolution.”

How can you compare happiness between people living in previous decades and now? There are so many mitigating
facts this would be impossible.


29 posted on 10/24/2009 9:50:37 AM PDT by stumptalker
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To: SeekAndFind
Feminism has resulted in masculine women and in effeminate men. When women marry women with penises, its no surprise they're completely unhappy!

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find only things evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelogus

30 posted on 10/24/2009 9:50:39 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: esquirette

Really. This sounds like navel-gazing taken to the max.


31 posted on 10/24/2009 9:51:18 AM PDT by ReneeLynn (Socialism is SO yesterday. Fascism, it*s the new black. Mmm Mmm Mmm.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Because they got swept up with the “feminist movement” and believe all the crap about “You can have it all”.

Having it all isn’t realistic for any gender- even the ones who cannot decide what gender they are.

As a woman, I thought it was junk from the git-go, and therefore, am not disappointed with not having it all.

I worked for what I have, and I chose what I chose.


32 posted on 10/24/2009 9:51:54 AM PDT by ridesthemiles
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To: All

Before you start:
Remember at the founding of this country WOMEN were the nurses, teachers, cooks, farmhands,milkmaids, bearers of babies,homemakers and when needed defenders of the home.

Gentle reminder.


33 posted on 10/24/2009 9:52:52 AM PDT by Marty62 (former Marty60)
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To: bannie

To paraphrase P.J. O’Rourke, there was a day when all women had to do is bat their eyes and they got anything they wanted. Then women’s lib came along and brought them stomach ulcers and coronary artery disease just like everyone else.


34 posted on 10/24/2009 9:53:05 AM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: Vendome

“Why are so many women unhappy?

They haven’t met me.”

A confident man!


35 posted on 10/24/2009 9:54:39 AM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (Pray for, and support our troops(heroes) !! And vote out the RINO's!!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Because they got swept up with the “feminist movement” and believe all the crap about “You can have it all”.

Having it all isn’t realistic for any gender- even the ones who cannot decide what gender they are.

As a woman, I thought it was junk from the git-go, and therefore, am not disappointed with not having it all.

I worked for what I have, and I chose what I chose.


36 posted on 10/24/2009 9:54:43 AM PDT by ridesthemiles
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To: Trillian

LOL! and you forgot smoking like a chimney, drinking like a fish, and swearing like a sailor.


37 posted on 10/24/2009 9:55:14 AM PDT by wita
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To: Vendome

LOL...good one!


38 posted on 10/24/2009 9:56:02 AM PDT by Vanders9
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To: ReneeLynn

Working, dealing with the husband and kids, etc.

..............
add etc etc etc etc.
No self-respecting leftie will admitt the WM was a bunch of C***.


39 posted on 10/24/2009 9:56:27 AM PDT by Marty62 (former Marty60)
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To: bannie
The natural workings of our (gender-different types of) brains have been totally disrupted.

Worth repeating. That sentence encompasses the entire argument.

40 posted on 10/24/2009 9:56:51 AM PDT by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
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To: ReneeLynn

LOL.


41 posted on 10/24/2009 9:57:05 AM PDT by esquirette (If we do not know our own worldview, we will accept theirs.)
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To: ColdWater

Plus men LISTEN to her.


42 posted on 10/24/2009 9:57:19 AM PDT by investigateworld (Abortion stops a beating heart)
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To: SpaceBar

I don’t think I’ll buy that whole line; but we disrupted the natural workings of families.


43 posted on 10/24/2009 9:57:30 AM PDT by bannie
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To: autumnraine

If you think about it, it was always going to be thus. Feminism is about empowering women. Empowerment means more power, power means more responsibility, responsibility means more stress, stress means more unhappiness.


44 posted on 10/24/2009 9:58:03 AM PDT by Vanders9
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To: ReneeLynn

>>NEVER want things to go back to ‘the way they were’.<<

What way they were?
You mean when women raised kids and were given kudos for it?
When one got all her housework done then sat around with the other neighborhood moms, drank coffee and watched soaps while the kids played?
When we never had to deal with a “b!tch” boss fighting her way to the top?

I’m there. I would not settle for some lazy man who decided that my paycheck was worth more than my motherhood.

I’m home, homeschooling my kids and he deals with all the work crap.

You call it “freedom”.
I can it “chains”.


45 posted on 10/24/2009 9:58:10 AM PDT by netmilsmom (Psalm 109:8 - Let his days be few; and let another take his office)
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To: bannie

Yep..
Women had “evolved” to a civilized position in society. Raising a healthy and educated family was the most important job in the Country.
The Feminazi’s destroyed that and now women have had it with their BS.


46 posted on 10/24/2009 9:59:39 AM PDT by Marty62 (former Marty60)
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To: autumnraine
I feel women should be able to CHOOSE to do what they want with their lives.

Amelia Aerhart, Madame Curie, Nellie Ross (WY Gov. 1925), just for three quick examples.

Women have been able to choose what they do for a long time. They had to want to, they had to be good.

Now, not so much. Our whole economy is predicated on the two-breadwinner family, and has been since the 80s, at least. Either the husband makes danged good money so his wife can raise children (or vice-versa), or both have to work in order to enjoy a decent standard of living.

What feminism has done for women it has done to women, namely made them into workers whether they want ed to be or not.

Let me note here, as a preemptive measure, that I understand that a housewife who runs a tight ship does an incredible variety of tasks, puts in long hours, and works hard.

Now that workload is there in addition to whatever they do for a paycheck, especially if children are involved.

The sad part is that the other end result is an increase in the influence of the organs of the State over children. Rather than get the nurturing and education that having mom at home would have provided, they get it piecemeal at school, daycare, etc. or not at all.

The amount of real quality parent/child time is cut tremendously when both parents work because the kids get farmed out.

47 posted on 10/24/2009 9:59:55 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: DannyTN

Tremendous analysis. I would add a rider though...yes women have set up a no-win situation for themselves, but they have also set up a no-win situation for men as well.


48 posted on 10/24/2009 10:00:26 AM PDT by Vanders9
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To: Balding_Eagle

Well, thank you! I’m honored!


49 posted on 10/24/2009 10:01:07 AM PDT by bannie
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To: Marty62

I think there were elements of ‘crap’. But there were gains as well. Sarah Palin seems to be handling things nicely. Gee, I wouldn’t even be able to vote for Sarah if it weren’t for the old women’s movement. Sarah wouldn’t be allowed to run for office. I guess it wasn’t total crap, huh?

I’m not a conservative woman who thinks that railing against ‘all’ aspects of the women’s movement improves my bonafide’s.


50 posted on 10/24/2009 10:01:09 AM PDT by ReneeLynn (Socialism is SO yesterday. Fascism, it*s the new black. Mmm Mmm Mmm.)
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