Feminism Is a Pursuit of Happiness

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), October 30, 2009 | Go to article overview

Feminism Is a Pursuit of Happiness


Not long ago a group of writers decided to publish a book of essays we called: "Feminism Made Me Happy." It was an in-your-face title, a deliberate attempt to counter the narrative we all knew by heart. The one that kept describing how the womenAEs movement had left us stressed out, discontented, wrenched from home, hearth and motherhood to struggle and fail at doing it all.

Life and writers being what they are, we never did the book u excuse me, we havenAEt yet done the book! u but we have had some terrific lunches. Now I think we are due for another one because we are in the midst of another dust-up over research published under the (too) provocative headline: "The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness."

Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers, partners in marriage and research, dove into the data and came up with numbers suggesting a decline in womenAEs happiness or, to be more precise, in their "self-reported subjective well-being." In 1972, women were four points more likely than men to describe themselves as "very happy." Today they are one point less likely than men to check that box.

This is hardly proof of a mass depression, but the story fueled the predictable debates on Web sites and talk shows.

Stevenson and Wolfers should have known they were walking into this propeller when they linked the womenAEs movement and happiness. The paradox, as this pair framed it, was that despite all the improvement in womenAEs lives over the last 35 years, women werenAEt "self-reporting" greater happiness.

Our lunch group could have warned the researchers against one sentence that truly raised hackles. "As womenAEs expectations move into alignment with their experiences," they speculate, "this decline in happiness may reverse." Oh goody, lower your expectations and get happy, gals?

In fairness, the researchers didnAEt pin the decline in happiness u oops, "self-reported subjective well-being" u on any specific ideology or social change. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Feminism Is a Pursuit of Happiness
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.