With the opportunities available today, it's up to women to take charge of their own happiness.
Earlier this week, New York Times columnist, Ross Douthat, wrote an op-ed piece about how feminism has made women increasingly unhappy over the last 30 years. Despite being wealthier, healthier and better educated than they were a generation ago, women in post-feminist America aren't as happy as they used to be. He suggested this may have something to do with the number of women "stuck raising kids alone," a "depressing" lifestyle that's much more common among women in the lower socioeconomic class. This hardly explains why so many wealthy women in East Hampton are so miserable, though, Douthat admits. He suggests women's unhappiness may have something to do with their politics — maybe women "prefer egalitarian, low-risk societies, and the cowboy capitalism of the Reagan era had an anxiety-inducing effect on the American female," he writes. Um, sure. Or, it could also be the famous "second shift," Douthat offers, "in which women continue to do the lion's share of household chores even as they're handed more and more workplace responsibility." Hmm, you think? And whose fault is it that women continue doing the lion's share of household chores? Is it possible that women, who have more options now than ever, are making the wrong choices, creating their own unhappiness? Read: Chores for Two: Why Men Don't Pitch In
In a world — and economic climate — when so much is out of our hands, American women enjoy "unprecedented control over their own fertility," as well as the freedom to partner with whomever they choose. True, gay marriage is still illegal in most of the country, but that doesn't mean women can't form lasting unions and partnerships in parenthood with whomever they choose, regardless of sex. And if they never want to partner with anyone or have children at all, they're free to make that choice as well. So why are so many women ending up in marriages and partnerships that suck the life out of them? In an age when more and more women have careers outside the home, why are so many of them in relationships that continue to foster the archaic idea that household chores fall solely — or even mostly — in their camp?
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