Clap your hands! Stomp your feet! Well, apparently not too many women are clapping and stomping these days. Recently, there have been many articles and reports on how women’s happiness has declined in the last few decades. Quite honestly, it’s depressing just to read these articles.
Many theories have been tossed around; some related to the failure of feminism. These theories suggest that the more a woman’s sphere of existence expands and diversifies, the more she has to be unhappy about. In other words, increased opportunities for women raise the level of expectations and these expectations are not fulfilled causing unhappiness. I don’t see how feminism has failed. What I do see is how society has fallen short of supporting women.
What has become apparent with the release of Maria Shriver’s report, “A Women’s Nation Changes Everything”, is that women have not made significant progress in many key areas. For instance, women still earn 73 cents to every man’s dollar. Women pay more for health insurance. Old gender stereotypes do still exist to some degree and this forces women into lower paying professions. And most importantly, no matter how many hours women work, we still do most of the care-taking and housekeeping at home.
Is this all changing? Yes. In fact, many more men are now sharing the load at home. But until there is more progress toward gender equality, I don’t think you will see many women jumping up and down with joy.
Please send me your comments. I would love to hear from you about this issue.