BLUEBIRD: Women and the New Psychology of Happiness
Crane, Connie Jeske, Herizons
Women and the New Psychology of Happiness
Far rar, Strauss, G i roux
REVIEW BY CONNIE JESKE CRANE
For any woman ever stung by admonishments to "Smile!" Bluebird offers welcome illumination.
In the U.S., the insistence on cheer can be traced back more than a century. But author Ariel Gore was initially attracted by the late-1990s "positive psychology" movement, with its focus away from "neurosis and pathology and toward resilience and well-being." Slowly, though, as she explored the work of proponents like psychologist Martin Selig man, Gore saw a Twilight Zone kind of weird. "Everyone in this strange and smiley land, it seemed, was a guy," she writes, adding that "an intriguing number of the movement's critics were female."
Gore resolved to remain open-minded. "I didn't need to live in some feminist ghetto, after all." Yet, after extensive research, she eventually came to criticize a "psychological field that had largely disregarded the female experience." Gore notes that "the majority of the commonly cited studies rely on male subjects" and that, historically, women have been patronized, handed mood-altering drugs or cruel blame more often than healing (psychiatrists tagged her grandmother for her son's schizophrenia). …