Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Feminist ideals make wives morose

Meghan O'Rourke writes in Slate:
...the most interesting data may be that the women who strongly identify as progressive -- the 15 percent who agree most with feminist ideals -- have a harder time being happy than their peers, according to an analysis that has been provided exclusively to Slate. Feminist ideals, not domestic duties, seem to be what make wives morose. Progressive married women -- who should be enjoying some or all of the fruits that Freidan lobbied for -- are less happy, it would appear, than women who live as if Friedan never existed. ...

Across the board, progressive women are less likely to feel content, whether they are working or at home, and no matter how much they are making. ...

The study's authors, W. Bradford Wilcox and Steven Nock, speculate that fault-finding on the part of wives makes it hard for men to do the emotional work that stabilizes marriages. Meanwhile, traditionalist women -- a significant portion of whom are Christian -- expect less emotional work from their husbands, Wilcox and Nock speculate, which makes it easier for them to shake off frustrations, and less likely to nag.
O'Rourke's theories are dubious, but this really shouldn't be too hard to understand. Feminists are often unhappy about human nature, and frustrated that they cannot change it.

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