Skip to comments.Feminism Unfulfilled : Why are so many Women Unhappy?
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
Plus men LISTEN to her.
I don’t think I’ll buy that whole line; but we disrupted the natural workings of families.
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.
>>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”.
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.
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.
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.
Well, thank you! I’m honored!
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.
You forgot to mention that women are also pressured to look like something that crawled out of a Ralph Lauren ad and remain that way for all their lives. It is an unrealistic expectation because the vast majority of women do not have bodies like a 12 year old boy or an emaciated junkie on her last legs with size DD plastic tits.
If men were held to the same standards and pressured to conform to them all of their lives they would not be very happy, either. I know very few men that have bodies and faces like the Calvin Klein underwear models and never would have them no matter how much they worked out or how much plastic surgery they had.
I have a curvy Italian type figure coming from over a thousand years of Italian ancestry. According to today's "standards of beauty" I am considered "fat", just like Venus de Milo and the ladies that Rubens and Rembrandt painted would be considered "fat" if they came to life today. For decades I unhappily starved and exercised myself to try to get myself to look like what was "expected" of me by society. The day I decided that it was not worth it to be an anorexic exerciseaholic and accept myself for who and what I am was the happiest day of my life and I have been quite happy ever since. Does that mean I do not have guys waiting in line at my door? Yes. But you know what? The ones that are there are, by and large, worth knowing-mature and secure in their masculinity. It is quality over quantity.
IMPACT OF HOMOSEXUALITY, FEMINISM AND PC ON THE WEST
I believe it was the EARLY Romans who prohibited several classes of people from holding public office: Those of illegitimate birth (bastards), eunuchs and homosexuals. (That unfortunately changed leading up to the fall.)
While these children had no choice in the matter, bastards were prohibited because, having no sense of their family past or history, they could not be trusted to operate for the good of the culture based on its history or traditions.
Eunuchs (castrated males) and homosexuals because they could not and/or would not sire children and would, therefore, most likely have no abiding interest in preserving the culture for future generations.
While there are a number of exceptions, I’ll let YOU tell me what sort of folks we have in public office HERE today.
It appears that America has employed technology to compress into slightly over 240 years what it took the Romans over 2,000 to achieve — total and utter cultural collapse.
I believe the Romans would also have put radical feminists in that group had they permitted radical feminism at the time. Wisely, they did not. More on that a bit later.
While channel-surfing recently, I stopped for a moment on an Animal Planet show featuring two lesbian roommates. And, no, they were NOT in the bedroom. As I watched, I began pondering the question of the growing impact of homosexuals and radical feminists on our culture.
None of these thoughts are original to me and all have been written about and discussed ad nauseam. This little rant is really an exercise in catharsis.
At the individual level, I have personally known a few homosexuals and, in general, have found them to be quiet, respectful and intelligent. Again, there are exceptions such as the moron from California (where else?) cited below — but I havent personally met them and hope I dont as there would be serious trouble between us.
Having said that, I fear that the homosexual and the recent politically correct fervor to further legitimize that lifestyle has done irreparable harm to our NATIONAL life and what remains of what many of us still call Western European Culture. When that impact is coupled with the rise of radical feminism (youll be pleased to know that the EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT is again being disinterred), the product is a result from which the West may never recover.
Allow me to explain:
The physiological fact is that homosexuals normally do not reproduce. The current population replacement rate the rate necessary to maintain the current native born population level — for the United States is somewhere north of 2 children per couple. Homosexuals usually dont HAVE kids. Add the radical feminist impact which holds that motherhood is some form of slavery and has driven many women to seek fulfillment OUTSIDE the home — and the current birth rate here is disturbingly FAR BELOW 2.1 per couple.
The other side of the demographic coin is that the virtually unrestrained immigration policies of past administrations have brought a huge influx of people from cultures radically different from that which existed here prior to the advent of PC, diversity, tolerance and all the other names by which many now call these self, nation and culture identity destroying behaviors.
Add the millions and millions of illegals who are now placing such a physical and economic burden on the healthcare and school systems that natural born citizens are being taxed to death and/or cannot, themselves, get the services to which they would otherwise be entitled. Its a recipe for chaos.
And the politicians who hope these new welfare recipients will support their perpetual reelection — turn a blind eye.
And as these groups agitate and campaign for THEIR particular flavor of diversity and tolerance, they also give added traction to virtually EVERY OTHER flavor. As they change millions of minds and cause others to reconsider long-standing and time-tested value systems, they are turning our world upside down.
The effect of these factors is that the America in which many of us older folks grew up is disappearing at an alarming rate. As the nation many of us came to love and donned uniforms to defend drifts toward some sort of Balkanized
despotism, large segments of these new arrivals who know little and care even less of the traditions, values and history of this place and even refuse to learn the common tongue — separate themselves into ghetto-like enclaves where outsiders are often not welcomed unless theyre spending money. We run the very serious risk of repeating the experiences of the former Yugoslavia from which some of my people came.
Speaking of whom, my great-great grandparents waited for years then stood in long lines at Ellis Island to be deloused, interrogated and told they had to learn English and our history and traditions and pass a test something the Hispanics and radical Muslim terrorists strolling across the border with Mexico don t have to do.
The Clinton administration well known for its tolerance of the gay lifestyle published some statistics in connection with AIDS that startled many. Of course, the PC then rearing its ugly head prohibited all but the brave from commenting on any of that.
The CDC statistics showed that 85% of all AIDS/HIV cases are
1. Active, non-monogamous homosexuals,
(the largest subset)
2. Heterosexuals and bisexuals who have had sex with group 1 and
3. IV drug abusers who share needles.
(Kinda gives new meaning to Romans 6:23, doesn’t it?)
The remaining 15% are those who have contracted AIDS via other,
non-sexual/non-drug means SUCH AS TRANSFUSIONS OF TAINTED BLOOD (which one homosexual “leader” on the West Coast URGED his fellow homosexuals to CONTINUE to attempt to contaminate in order to involve the straight community in the push to increase federal funding for AIDS research).
So, with the population replacement rate practically down to zero, we have some leaders of the homosexual community who do nothing to help raise that rate encouraging their members to make ill or kill those of us who have and/or are having and raising kids here.
I find it fascinating that many members of the homosexual community and the radical feminists are on the front line of the assault on traditional values and seek to replace them with more tolerance, diversity and other politically correct nonsense. They have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.
While their activities have produced short-term benefits for them, that diversity, tolerance and egalitarianism have also opened the door to the idea that no culture is better than any other. Obama apparently having confused Chicago with America — spent days recently apologizing to everyone he met for our defective, decadent and corrupt culture.
And that has brought to our shores a formerly foreign culture, the more radical elements of which are breeding at a rate well in excess of the rate among the indigenous LEGAL and NATURAL BORN population.
And, just as it already has in Great Britain and continental Europe, with those increasing numbers will come increased political and social power.
And with that will surely come a foreign theology and law system.
And that foreign theology thatd be Islam— and law system thatd be Sharia — DOES NOT TOLERATE HOMOSEXUALITY and regards WOMEN AS CHATTEL WHO HAVE NO PERSONAL RIGHTS LET ALONE THE SORT OF FREEDOM TO WHICH THE FEMINISTS ARE ACCUSTOMED.
The bottom line, gays and ladies? You will either fall under the sword (put to death for you government school folk) or confined to the house unless your man who will beat you periodically wants to take you out, in which case you will be garbed from head to toe. And, only HE can drive the car.
Heres a short video clip of the reward your PC destruction of traditional American values will bring you.
A number of years ago, a writer posited that there was a War Against Boys within and without the government school system. He opined that little boys were being psychologically and emotionally emasculated by millions of female teachers and others in the America of John Wayne.
We have now entered the era of the feminized metrosexual (one now occupies the White House) where boys are discouraged often prohibited — from playing games with toy plastic guns, rubber knives or other weapons. Feminists, if it hadnt been for millions of young men with REAL guns venturing forth from time-to-time to face down very rough folks with designs on this country and YOU — your freedom (albeit shrinking thanks largely to our having become the Metrosexual States of America) to promulgate your radical worldview would not exist.
So there you have it.
Id urge you to think about these things while there MIGHT still be time to alter course.
PS: I had to get this out of my system BEFORE the new, improved congress passes the pending legislation making it a crime to post ANYTHING on the web that could in any way cause ANYONE emotional distress. Would it matter that it was factual? Nope! While its probable that the Supremes will rule it a violation of the First Amendment, Id rather not squander my kids small inheritance on lawyers bringing the case.
Its all about ‘ME’ and self-centered people are rarely happy or content.
Its when you give unselfishly that others give back. That is what makes people happy, men or women.
You got it. It was all about raising a generation of unhappy, bitter feminists who would reliably vote Democrat.
The unhappy realization that many arrive at, is that the end result of their not needing a man, is that men don't need them either.
No, I call it choice. Isn’t it wonderful to be able to choose? Instead of having no choice but perhaps to marry some man you really don’t care for becaue you have no choice in your life’s path?
RE: How happy are men?
Well, the above article cited Maureen Dodd. It says : “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?”
Because they’re expected to be female men. And the movement wants the men to become perpetual adolescents who never grow up and remain dependent, metrosexual losers that they can point their fingers at as the bad guys.
Personally I think it's because the socialists promised women "success" and now the really successful ones are getting "screwed" by same said power hungry commies.
Commies just used them like an old rag to get themselves some more votes and power. Doing the same to minorities, gays and the rest.
After the 60's, none of the "movements" have been about helping anyone but government itself to grow.
The various authors miss the generational aspect, however. Modern "Feminism" was a Boomer phenomenon, and the bulk of Boomer women are now well into, past, or approaching menopause. Women are getting older, and the ones tricked by feminism in their early years are now adding up what they have to show for it--
Divorces; no kids, or grown kids who want no part of a high maintenance mommy dearest; a law degree and a humdrum job in some cubicle doing the same crap she's been doing for twenty years; crones who are finding out that being the head of the local UCC or the battered women's shelter is not the royal road to fulfillment.
The Sufferage Movement began in 1850, culminating in 1920 with the right to vote.
Certainly NOT with a bunch of unwashed bra burning (resulting in sagging boobs)commie symps.
1587 Virginia Dare is the first person born in America to English parents (Roanoke Island, Virginia).
1650 Anne Bradstreet’s book of poems, The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America, is published in England, making her the first published American woman writer.
1707 Henrietta Johnston begins to work as a portrait artist in Charles Town (now Charleston), South Carolina, making her the first known professional woman artist in America.
Mary Katherine Goddard and her widowed mother become publishers of the Providence Gazette newspaper and the annual West’s Almanack, making her the first woman publisher in America. In 1775, Goddard became the first woman postmaster in the country (in Baltimore), and in 1777 she became the first printer to offer copies of the Declaration of Independence that included the signers’ names. In 1789 Goddard opened a Baltimore bookstore, probably the first woman in America to do so.
1767 Anne Catherine Hoof Green takes over her late husband’s printing and newspaper business, becoming the first American woman to run a print shop. The following year she is named the official printer for the colony of Maryland.
1790 Mother Bernardina Matthews establishes a Carmelite convent near Port Tobacco, Maryland, the first community of Roman Catholic nuns in the Thirteen Colonies. (The Ursuline convent established in New Orleans in 1727 was still in French territory.)
1792 Suzanne Vaillande appears in The Bird Catcher, in New York, the first ballet presented in the U.S. She was also probably the first woman to work as a choreographer and set designer in the United States.
1795 Anne Parrish establishes, in Philadelphia, the House of Industry, the first charitable organization for women in America.
1809 Mary Kies becomes the first woman to receive a patent, for a method of weaving straw with silk.
Elizabeth Ann Seton establishes the first American community of the Sisters of Charity, in Emmitsburg, Maryland. In 1975 she became the first native-born American to be made a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.
1849 Elizabeth Blackwell receives her M.D. degree from the Medical Institution of Geneva, N.Y., becoming the first woman in the U.S. with a medical degree.
1853 Antoinette Blackwell becomes the first American woman to be ordained a minister in a recognized denomination (Congregational).
1864 Rebecca Lee Crumpler becomes the first black woman to receive an M.D. degree. She graduated from the New England Female Medical College.
1866 Lucy Hobbs becomes the first woman to graduate from dental school, the Ohio College of Dental Surgery.
1869 Arabella Mansfield is granted admission to practice law in Iowa, making her the first woman lawyer. A year later, Ada H. Kepley, of Illinois, graduates from the Union College of Law in Chicago. She is the first woman lawyer to graduate from a law school.
1872 Victoria Claflin Woodhull becomes the first woman presidential candidate in the United States when she is nominated by the National Radical Reformers.
1873 Ellen Swallow Richards, the first woman to be admitted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, earns her B.S. degree. She becomes the first female professional chemist in the U.S.
1879 Belva Ann Lockwood becomes the first woman admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Mary Baker Eddy establishes the Church of Christ, Scientist, becoming the first woman to found a major religion, Christian Science.
1885 Sarah E. Goode becomes the first African-American woman to receive a patent, for a bed that folded up into a cabinet. Goode, who owned a furniture store in Chicago, intended the bed to be used in apartments.
1887 Susanna Medora Salter becomes the first woman elected mayor of an American town, in Argonia, Kansas.
1896 Alice Guy Blaché, the first American woman film director, shoots the first of her more than 300 films, a short feature called La Fee aux Choux (The Cabbage Fairy).
1897 H.H.A. Beach’s “Gaelic Symphony” is the first symphony by a woman performed in the United States, and possibly the world.
<<<<<<< womensfirsts1.html Sally Jean Priesand is ordained as the first woman rabbi in the United States.
Juanita Kreps becomes the first woman director of the New York Stock Exchange. She later becomes the first woman appointed Secretary of Commerce.
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