Awaiting the women’s happiness movement
Posted Saturday, September 22 2012 at 01:00
- Women are taking on male roles at the expense of personal fulfilment. How long before they realise that they just want to be female and happy?
Hanna Rosin. You might not know her. She writes for the Washington Post, The New Yorker, GQ, The Atlantic and has a few books to her name. She also gives talks.
OK, fine, you don’t know her. But you might know TEDTalks (Technology, Entertainment and Design).
Hanna Rosin recently gave a TEDTalk titled Are women leaving men behind? It was a sobering talk that men will listen to with a stiff drink in their hands.
She put forward a sound – but startling – argument on how we have reached a new point in history where the power dynamics between men and women are shifting rapidly “by connecting the data points: college graduation rates, job projections, marriage patterns, and pop culture images.” (I didn’t understand this last point, but anyway…)
For every two men who receive college degree, she said, three women will. There are more women than men in workplace; they are flooding the professional fields and hold more than half of all managerial and professional jobs.
The worldwide economy, she added, is a place where overall, women find more success than men. In a nutshell, men are struggling to stay relevant in a rapidly changing economy as women make more decisions on how to raise children, manage the money and “even whether to get married at all.” Yeah, that TEDTalk doesn’t sound too inspiring now, does it? Well, that was the bad news.
Women are not happy
The good news? Hanna is essentially crying wolf. Women will never be men if they read all the books in the world or attended numerous talks because men still have their genetically predetermined role to play.
What will await women after they have acquired freedom and power is the burden of managing households alone and being pressured to be as close to perfect and efficient as possible.
So far, in developed countries where this has played out further, women are experiencing increased rates of unhappiness, alcoholism (that’s starting to show here as well, check out the bars today) and more telling, violent behaviour.
An interesting report by two scholars called Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers titled The paradox of declining female happiness shows that although lives of the women in the US have improved over the last 35 years, their happiness has declined “both resolutely and relative to men.”
In short, it says that a gender gap is emerging in the area of happiness (I cannot wait for the women’s liberation and happiness movement to kick off). So as women continue to edge into traditional male territory, they do so at the expense of their happiness. OK, enough of that scientific gobbledegook.
In brief, there is nothing to worry about because Hanna and ilk are scaring men with dead snakes. Manhood is a product without a shelf life on it and women will always need it. There are things women aren’t able to do like men.
They are prone to make more decisions based on emotion and gut feeling than on logic, like men. And no matter how ‘butch’ a woman is, she can’t be a father figure to a boy.
Or exude the sense of security which his presence commands – no matter how skinny he is. And then of course, women can’t check the engine oil.
But what Hanna was good for during the talk is the advice she gave women. She told them, “You may be the boss, but you’ll get nowhere if you don’t bring the men up with you.”