27 January 2012

Why Are Today's Women Unhappy?

According to a recent study, women today are less happy than they were 40 years ago, and are less happy than men. 
Official Happiness Meter, courtesy of the Carebears.

This study by "economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers... indicates that across race, marriage status, economic bracket, and even country, women's subjective experience of being happy has declined both absolutely and in relation to men."

Putting aside the fact that economists decided this, and not someone who is actually trained in handling human emotion, this is sobering news.  With all our liberation and freedom, how can the happiness levels of women be less than in the 1960s?  

And what do men have to be so happy about?
Fair enough.

Religious folks will tell you that all this liberation has taken women away from our purpose in life, which is to care for the home and hearth while the man is at work.  We should have a couple of babies (more than a couple, if you're Catholic or Baptist), and work hard to raise them.  This is what Nature and God intended.  To deviate from this path is to bring about our own unhappiness.

In a New York Times editorial about this same study, the conclusion was a bit different.

"There's no necessary reason why feminists and cultural conservatives can't join forces -- in the same way that they made common cause during the pornography wars of the 1980s -- behind a social revolution that ostracizes serial baby-daddies and trophy-wife collectors as thoroughly as the 'fallen women' of a more patriarchal age."

He suggests that it is in fact the fault of Men that Women are so unhappy.  Think about it - men made out like bandits in this age of sexual liberation!  Want regular, socially acceptable sex?  Don't get married; just get your girlfriend to move in with you.  Bored with your 40 year old wife/mother of your children?  Trade her for two twenty-year-olds.  Knock a girl up?  Don't marry her, and don't worry about the baby's life complicating your own.  After all, the best form of birth control is not using your real name. 

Yet as much fun as it is to blame men for all female ills, I just can't agree in this instance.  Yes, there are men out there who are jerks.  To suggest that all women are less happy today because of a few bums is unfair to men.  This view is also unfair to women, as it implies that our happiness is dependent upon men (when my happiness is obviously dependent upon shoes).

Personally, I believe that our unhappiness is self-imposed. 

For the most part, American women tend to believe that they must do the following in order to be considered a complete and successful woman:

  • I HAVE to get married.
  • I HAVE to have a career.
  • I HAVE to have children.
  • I HAVE to look good while doing it (exercise, eat well, wear the right clothing, keep a nice house).

But it's more than merely what I think about myself.  If any woman is lacking in any of the aforementioned departments, then all the other hens sit in judgment. 

"Sally and her husband haven't had kids yet.  Do you think there's something wrong with her?"

"Omg, Julie has 3 little girls, and all she does is work.  What kind of mother leaves her kids at day care for someone else to raise?"

"Honey, you're almost 35 and you're still not married.  Are you at least seeing anyone? There's this nice man from church that I want you to meet..."

Supposedly, modern females in this country have "choices."  However, I noticed we tend to place limitations and expectations on each other without any help from men.  I can't tell you how many times I've been told how selfish I am because I don't want kids, or how I'll "change my mind in time."  I thought Woman's Rights and the Pill allowed me to have reproductive freedom.  
I guess not. 

What about women who actually want to be housewives? Some women are perfectly happy to care for the home and for their children while their husband works.  "Progressives" will say that those women live under a misogynistic husband, have been socialized to think this is their correct path, and are too weak to stand up for themselves. 

"Choice" to some feminists means "Choice as long as you do what I think you should do."  

Women are judged by other women for having children and keeping the career, for not having a career and staying home, for not having children.... the list goes on.

This is why we're unhappy.  It is our own fault.


  1. I'm going with the pie explanation. Yup, modern women would be happier if men made them more pies.

  2. "if by "happy" you mean trapped with no means of escape...then yes, I'm happy." (Love that one!)
    But yes, pies would help; if the men also cleaned up the kitchen after.

  3. Women are unhappy because they're trying to be men.

  4. I participated in a month-long happiness survey in which an outfit sent me mobile alerts, I'd pop onto their website, answer a few questions about what I was doing, what was on my mind, and how happy I (thought I) was. The survey results were interesting. I was only moderately happy dealing with children and friends, and most happy when running or reading a book. (Other surveys have showed that grandparents are happier dealing with kids than parents are.)

    We should all run. And read books. Screw the kids.

  5. P.S. I am not a woman. My comments necessarily reflect the male perspective.

  6. I wonder if it's more a matter of paying too much attention to media (social or otherwise).
    People on TV and Facebook look really happy. I'm not as happy as they are. Therefore, I must not be very happy at all.

  7. I would like to amend that to include men who aren't eating their fair share of pie. At least, not often enough, according to Rooney Mara.

  8. No...I have been discussing this at work...women are completely responsible..we are fed this crap of WHAT will make us happy. I personally stay clear of most women in general..I find them to be much more insecure..and that's dangerous. Men are much more secure with what they want. Now, with that said I have 3 kids. I come home from work and drive whoever to whatever practice as now kids play sports year round..the over productive schedules that women have to mold their lives around is what is leaving women unhappy. For example...I worked till 3.. went to one kids volleyball game...came home...put on running stuff...to only discover I have to get bk in car and take other to soccer practice...until 9pm tomorrow...rinse..shampoo..and repeat...this is what makes women unhappy...stop..drop..and go.

    1. Thanks for taking a moment to post from a mother's perspective. You appear to be constantly on the go, which does nothing positive for one's stress level, which in turn affects health - both of which affect happiness.
      I hope you get a well-deserved vacation soon!

    2. My ex wasn't happy despite that I did everything around the house!
      Brought her breakfast in bed vacuumed dusted cleaned the bathrooms the floors and the yard work and washed the cars not to mention walk the dogs while she sat on her phone texting other men
      I finally divorced her sorry ass and realized how much more happy I am without her
      She moved to another state and told me she still wasn't happy and never will be
      Did I mention I set her up in her retirement and worked on a work comp settlement for her where she got 150 thousand dollars!
      She told me I took away her independence!
      More like she is a lazy ass!
      She is fat and has a bad knee
      I'm in good shape and hit the gym everyday
      So it's nice to see a normal woman as yourself
      Thank God

  9. Thanks for letting me vent! I have been just fried all week...I know I'm not alone but some are so scared of saying " this sucks!!!"...yes sometimes its what you have to do, but finding folks you can be honest with is so helpful. My husband doesnt get it as his Mom never complained...more of a martyr...he's a firefighter so he works long shifts which means I come home from work at 3 and usually dont see my house until 9....every once In a while you gotta blow...I have 3 great kids...one is at a college showcase soccer tourn this week...its her thing....I hold the title of Anti Soccer Select Mom for a reason....I know there are others like me...I've got It good, but If I could go without sleep I'd be thrilled...more time to relax.....sports..school..Its all different now. No more going to practice after school now its driving to different lands far away...whole thing Is draining..Happy Thanksgiving all:)

  10. Wemon are unhappy, because they say they are unhappy to them selves and eachother. So they become unhappy. You are what you think everyday and then you want the family friends to feel like you.
    That why girls get along with other men not girls.

  11. It is miserable to be a woman. Hormones menopause birth control face creams makeup tampons wrinkles getting oldest fast wemon don't have friends they hate eachother. When one is happy the other is upset she is happy and makes the her unhappy.If there was a world war started by wemon it would still be war times now. I am sorry for you wemon. 80% of devorses are initiated by wemon that might as well be 100%. I am 37 years old I have seen you wemon in action. You are all crazy.

    1. You can't spell. It's women and divorce. Geez.

    2. You can't spell. It's women and divorce. Geez.

  12. And don't change one thing about your selves girls bcause it makes us guys happy.

  13. I'm going to sound very sexist when I say this, but I'm not trying to be. I have Sirius and after spending the last couple years listening to Cosmo Radio, I've come to the conclusion that modern women's culture (women's magazines, TV shows, movies, etc.) is entirely built on the idea that you're not happy unless you're x, and x is whatever it is the company behind the product wants.

    I'll try to unconfuse it: Women take-to-heart much more the messages of media then men do. One of the hosts suggested putting "Warning: This is Not How Real Life Relationships Work" on Nicholas Sparks' books. The general message of media, especially advertising, and products like clothes is "You are inferior if you do not buy our product". I think a lot more women internalize that as truth then men do.

    If your relationship isn't as dramatic as TV/Movies, you're doing it wrong. If you don't dress like Heidi Klum, you're doing it wrong. If your SO is not buying you a car for Christmas, he's doing it wrong and you're doing it wrong by still being with him.

    1. One of the hosts suggested putting "Warning: This is Not How Real Life Relationships Work" on Nicholas Sparks' books.

      This is hilarious and (sadly) accurate. This warning should also be affixed to Twilight books.

  14. Hello

    I think that a women's desire to have children is inborn. I also believe that trying to be a man when your not does not work. Feminazism does not work.
    It's going to be hard to put the shit back in the horse.

    1. *woman's
      "Feminazism" is not a word. Drug-addicts on the radio may fabricate words, but that doesn't mean the rest of us have to pay attention to them.

      Not all women want to have children. Not all women can have children. Not having children doesn't mean that I am therefore attempting to be a man. Women (usually poor women) throughout history have had jobs. This is not new, and doesn't indicate they are trying to be men.

      I've decided to discard your opinion for two reasons:
      1) You offered no evidence to back up your statement.
      2) Your failure to grasp basic English causes me to question your critical thinking abilities. If, however, your first language isn't English, then I'll revisit this comment.

    2. why because thats a valid reason to give someone a second opinion? Haha i have a sense you are maybe just a little liberal.... but in your article you say you are a victim of norms in society. How come men accept these things and work harder to fulfill them when women whine and overthrow the system? I honestly dont see where women over the years had to accept a certain lifestyle you always had free choice and in the south women were respected as hard workers for many years. But the difference is that we recognized our abilities and the abilities of women and focused on jobs we were better suited at its not sexist its efficient and when you dont have dishwashers, washers, dryers, or the luxury to rely on the government there was a need to be efficient. Men did the physically demanding jobs and women were homemakers and both participated in gardens and housekeeping its just men did the heavy work around the house and women also did hard work just not physically demanding work while their work was still very hard.

  15. "How Women Gained Power by Mass-Murder of Husbands." This article explains everything!

  16. Very good article.

    I'd say most everyone is less happy these days, and not just women. We live in a world full of mixed signals, contradictions, and hypocrisies; and all the while we're the all of us told that wealth will make us happy.

  17. Having many angry unhappy women in my life (not all angry at me), you might say "I'm doing it wrong" - that is just what the vast majority of women want males to say. By admitting this "doing it wrong" is step 1 of women's fallacious trap. This untruth is legion and multiplying. The simple truth is that natural state of the woman is to be emotionally distraught with the man in her life. Thus, unhappiness equals happiness for women. That western societies life expectancy is increasing only compounds the nature of the "problem". JC

  18. One thing I've noticed with a lot of women is a victim mentality. This will always make people bitter. You have a problem with your lives look at yourself. People are ultimately responsible for their own happiness and have a lot more control of their own lives than they like to admit. People are also expecting too much from life. You can't have it all and expecting it will leave you dissatisfied in the end.

  19. Women are passive by nature.This is why they absorb all this crap from the media, don't answer first in class, are low on organisational abilities and prefer to talk rather than do - they are wafflers with no clear goal or direction. If they all stopped talking and bothered to prioritize and do stuff which was more tangible/ "relationship-focused", EVERYONE would be much happier.

  20. Get off your tush and go outside and play. It sounds crazy but my stars hibernating inside just makes you miserable. Don't worry about tomorrow or yesterday. Singing in the choir helps improve one's mood. As the saying goes 'Keep It Simple Stupid' or just plain KISS. BTW kiss a guy does wonders too.

  21. continued:

    Now, competition has raised to a much higher degree. Their are 3x as many people in the world now, globalization, third-world industrialization and telecommunications have enlarged the labor force by multiple powers.

    American children require first-rate (expensive) educations. Not only do they require a 4-year college degree, but to reasonably support a family of their own, they'll probably need an additional degree. People are awake more, work more, and work harder.

    Women want children. And they pick mates that can give their children resources; mates that protect them while they themselves are pregnant, caring for their child and most vulnerable to poverty.

    Men don't have to worry about that. They aren't mothers. They worry about fertilizing fit mates. They compete for the youngest, most attractive mates because this is what nature designed them to do.
    Women are never more fertile than at age 18, when they're first legally able to have sexual intercourse with the male population. They lose eggs annually after they're born. After age 30, their fertility is greatly reduced until menopause.

    Because there is always a small ratio of attractive, fertile females in any system, men have a decision to make. 1. Spend large amounts of resources boasting (flashy car, diamond jewelry gifts), which is a marketing attempt to attract a female. Or, 2. save their resources and attempt to have as many partners as possible. A prized mate guarantees fit children that will survive and the male will want to stick around for. The decision is essentially quality vs. quantity.

    What I'm getting to is that we all know exactly what the problem here is. The fact is, women value looks and marriage first, because men value looks and youth first. Yet, it's a very cruel, and harsh reality for women over 40 years old. You can't turn back the clock.

    This problem has been exacerbated greatly, by huge increases in competition and--by no coincidence--a de-emphasis on monogamy.

    Don't be depressed society, this is the nature of humankind. Life goes on.

    1. Part I:

      Your list is wrong.

      The fact that you put looks as 4th, tells me a lot about what you really think the real reason is.

      For men, if I made a list as to the most important things to a man it would look like this:

      1. I HAVE to have a career (more resources will attract the best mate possible).
      2. I HAVE to look good. (health and strength will make my mate confident in my fertility)
      3. I HAVE to have Children. (I will father quality/expensive children, or I will fertilize many women)
      4. I HAVE to get married. (monogamy is the enemy to propagating my genes, but to keep a quality mate and raise quality children I will. )

      And if you were being honest, or at least using empirical research, the list for women would look like this:

      1. I HAVE to look good (maximize my age 18-25 years, exercise, eat well, stay healthy, attractive/fertile)

      2. I HAVE to get married (to keep a quality man invested in my children and nobody else's; this means I have to look good--see #1).

      3. I HAVE to have children.(this means I have to get married and have enough resources for my children to compete in an increasingly competitive world-- so they can have have smart, vigorous children of their own)

      4. I HAVE to have a career. (I do not want to have a career unless I have to, to provide resources for my children if I get pregnant before a marriage contract)

      The world is more competitive now. Women's liberation and the sexual revolution has essentially destroyed the possessive nature of marriage. That possessiveness was more beneficial to women then men, as it kept men invested in child-rearing.

      In nature's opinion, child-rearing doesn't require monogamy. It requires resources. It certainly doesn't require a father.

      This competitiveness means that people compete for mates harder than they ever have. Women are only attractive to men for about 20 years of their lives, from their late teens until right before menopause. This is the only time that a man will start a so-called 'serious' relationship with a woman. Men place emphasis on youth and fertility while women place an emphasis on men's income, resources, genes. Men can be rich their entire lives, women can only be fertile for a small portion of it. This, is why there are so many sugar-daddy couples (old rich man and young attractive woman) and so few sugar mommies.

      For your child to succeed, a half-century ago you had to provide a one-story house, a half-decent public school, clean drinking water and anything better than canned ham for supper was a plus. A high school diploma was all you needed for your education.

      The qualifications for a good mate were much lower. And because religion and society were much closer, marriage wasn't just a social norm for men, but it was the only way to get to heaven after death. And back then, death was a consideration earlier (when 17-year-olds could fight a war with a note from mom).

  22. I actually agree with most of what is said in previous statement. My uncle went into Vietnam at 16 with a note from Mom...

    Now, I just turned 40 and while I agree with nature and fertility ( older men..younger women) I find at 40 I don't need the praise or admiration from men I did 20 yrs ago. However..society tells me I better do everything but offer my soul to look younger, sexier as what is life with out a man thinking your sexy? Why live? Look what it creates? OC Housewhores. .that's what. Now I have friends who are 45+ ..good looking women..older boyfriends..some have younger. They are far from caving and living with cats. However I have noticed a lot of their relationships tend to fail as they don't NEED men. One guy told me his gf doesn't need him to provide money for living, or kids or whatever. She doesn't text him all the time or wonder where he is. If he calls her to go out , she has plans that she won't break for him. To me..this sounded perfect.. but it bothered him . Almost like the younger version of his gf would have needed him and he would feel more masculine? I don't know..while there are traits to blame on nature, we all need to remember, nature evolves. 40+ women are not who they were 100 yrs ago..

  23. I need a "big hard cock".

  24. Miserable Low Life Loser Women are everywhere nowadays, and that is very Scary for us Good men. Run.

  25. Mental Issues Unfortunately.

  26. Is there a doctor in the house?