“The Gender Happiness Gap”

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Echidne of the Snakes has a thoughtful post on this issue. Below is an excerpt:

… On one level the statement is obviously true: nobody can “have it all” by being both a master tenor, the leader of a country, the mother of fifteen children, a Buddhist monk and so on, all at the same time. But feminism really never said that women are capable of such superhuman acts. The point was more along the lines that if men could have both jobs and families couldn’t women have those, too? And if married men could have bank accounts in just their own names, why couldn’t married women have the same? Stuff like that. Equality stuff.

But reading some of those 700 comments on the NYT post I get the impression that what most critics see as “having it all” is the need for women to both work for money and to do all the housework and if they are stuck with this it is either the fault of feminism which made them think that they could do it all, without help or their own fault for not realizing that they can only be happy as stay-at-home wives and should have picked their husbands more carefully. Or they should have remained childless if they wanted a job that badly.

Note what is held constant in all those explanations? Men’s roles. …

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0 Responses to “The Gender Happiness Gap”

  1. Good post at Echidne. The first part of it (not exerpted here) is also very important – the “gap” is incredibly small, although the debate about the specifics rages on.