Women's Liberation = Unhappiness?

First, apologies for our lack of posting over the last month. The end of the semester was crazier than usual and the blog got lost in the shuffle, but we’re back. We will likely have a lighter posting scheduled over the summer, but promise to try not to disappear for almost a month again.

The New York Times one of the frequent targets of my ire as regular readers of this blog know) published an op-ed piece today titled “Liberated and Unhappy,” in which NYT columinist Russ Douthat argues that the “achievements of the feminist era may have delivered women to greater unhappiness.” While he does avoid drawing conclusions, ultimately he seems to agree that if women are unhappier now than they were in the 1950s, it is indeed due to feminism.

Personally, I think that is the wrong conclusion and would argue that IF women are indeed unhappier now than they were before (and that’s a big if as self-reporting is always suspect and it’s very possible that women in the 1950s studies said they were happy because they felt they were expected to be), that it’s due to too little feminism rather than too much — while things have changed in regard to women’s workforce participation, things at home still far too often to women. It’s hard to be happy when your liberation is only halfway completed. What do you all think?

Moms are Mad!

Brenda sent me these two links a couple of weeks ago and asked if I would post on them, as she knows the whole parenthood dynamic is something about which I’m passionate.



The short description is that mothers of young children are really angry with their male partners (of course, no mention of single-gender households here – then again, perhaps that’s telling). They are angry that they are being required to do so much, and their husbands are being required to do so little.

Despite the fact that I find these articles sad, that so many women are struggling under this huge burden of the motherhood standard that has been set in place for generations, I have to admit that I also find this inspiring. The fact that so many women are realizing that they shouldn’t have to do these things alone, that their partners should be doing more, that maybe something needs to change tells me that maybe, just maybe, we are ready for that change.

Both of the articles mention that there was no similar survey of dads (although I doubt it will be long in coming after the uproar this one cause). I would be curious to know how they think they’re doing. It may be that there are men out there that recognize this inequality but don’t know how to fix it, not having any role models to show them the way. It also might be that they’re utterly clueless (although I prefer to think it’s the former).

What I’m going to choose to take away from this is that we’re ready for change. We’re ready for men to pick up some of the responsibilities. Let’s hope they’re listening.