You’d be happier at home

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28 Responses

  1. Avatar DavidTC says:

    She’d probably be happier anywhere that *wasn’t* arguing with an idiot.Report

  2. Avatar Doctor Jay says:

    The complaint that feminism has made women unhappy is based in part on data that measures subjective self-reported happiness over the last 35 years. This data shows a broad trend in women becoming less happy relative to men. One pair of researchers, Justin Wolfers and Betsey Stevenson said this: (in

    Yet trends in self-reported subjective well-being indicate that happiness has shifted toward
    men and away from women. This shift holds across industrialized countries regardless of whether the
    aggregate trend in happiness for both genders is flat, rising, or falling: in all of these cases we see
    happiness rebalancing to reflect greater happiness for men relative to women. This finding of a
    decline in women’s well-being relative to that of men raises questions about whether modern social
    constructs have made women worse off, or alternatively about the interpretability of subjective wellbeing data analyzed over long-time periods.[Emphasis added] Despite findings of higher well-being among women in
    countries with less gender discrimination (Bjørnskov, Dreher, & Fischer, 2007), the decrease in gender
    discrimination since the 1970s has not improved the (subjectively perceived) lot of women. Rather
    than immediately inferring that the women’s movement failed to improve the lot of women, we
    conclude with a simple taxonomy for organizing alternative explanations of this paradox.

    I’ll summarize their taxonomy:

    1. There might be other socio-economic trends that have a stronger impact on women’s subjective happiness than men’s. Such trends are descreased social cohesion, increased anxiety and neuroticism, and increased household risk. Men and women might not weight these the same when reporting their happiness.

    2. The social changes wrought by feminism might have a confounding impact on the reporting of subjective happiness. For instance, women might now be comparing themselves to men where they used to compare themselves to just other women. With more being possible, it’s easier to feel unhappy about one’s accomplishments.

    3. It might be that women weren’t willing to be honest about their happiness before, or that their expectations for their life was quite low.

    The authors note that factors such as “health, comfort, virtue or wealth” have little impact on subjective happiness measures. But gains in this area have been quite real.Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to Doctor Jay says:

      I think there might be some distribution of tasks issues here, too.

      The whole notion of ‘having it all’ meant, for many women, burning the candle at both ends; men are doing more, (Hi Kazzy!) and that’s a very good thing.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Doctor Jay says:

      4) Men lie about happiness because it’s not manly to be depressed. They have the term “masked depression” for a reason.
      5) Researcher Effect — women asked by men how happy you are (particularly in the 70’s) might be more prone to lying than if asked by women. And there were a lot more men in psychology back then.Report

  3. Avatar aaron david says:

    “this is some Fox News Stupid (FNS) to see if I can get an OTC post up.”

    What do you mean by Fox News Stupid here?Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to aaron david says:

      He verbally attacked her. Great talking point — Hilary paid women staffers less then men, and he blew it with his misogynistic attack on her.Report

      • Avatar aaron david in reply to zic says:

        So, the guy who works for Vice, per your note, says something you don’t like and we should call Fox stupid…

        Not following you.Report

    • Avatar Notme in reply to aaron david says:

      It is nothing more than a petty dig at fox. I dont see how an author can start with a petty comment like that and not assume that it wont color how it effects how readers view the story.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to Notme says:

        Of course it was a Fox News dig. McInnes blew a perfect opportunity to shame Clinton just to make man points and (as likely) offend a lot of the women viewing who actually have to work. Not to mention some back-handed shaming of the men who can’t afford their lifestyles if their wives don’t work.

        Plus, being rude like that is always stupid.Report

        • Avatar Notme in reply to zic says:

          While i agree about mcinnes remark, you might seem like the bigger person without the dig. Not to mention the fact that more play about Clinton’s pay disparity on fox wont make any difference in other media outlets continuing to ignore it.Report

          • Avatar zic in reply to Notme says:

            Do you think I care about ‘seeming like a bigger person?’ I don’t. Or a better person. Or a perfect person. I’m a person, flaws and all, and I don’t give a damn what you think about me.

            The goal were those first few clips — do you even remember those? The woman on the street, “I wouldn’t vote for Hilary knowing that.” By the time you get to the end, that’s vanished. That’s a stupid failure for someone who founded a media company and should be on message.

            Now I can’t help notice that you don’t apply your same ‘bigger person’ expectations to yourself; often displaying a petulant spirt. You might, the next time you want to call someone out to be a ‘bigger person,’ remember to look in the mirror while you’re at it.Report

            • Avatar Damon in reply to zic says:


              I expect YOU to be a bigger person because you’re just not a poster of comments on this site. I expect more from the folks who write for this site. Much less for the masses commenting. Does that always happen? Nope. But it should be a goal.Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to Damon says:

                I responded politely the first time; I even agreed with the point; but I will not be bullied by someone simply because I’m a liberal, @damonReport

              • Avatar Damon in reply to zic says:

                Zic, oh you may have responded politely first…but you doubled down and justified your totally irrelevant dig at fox news with a “i don’t have to” wah wah. And you weren’t being bullied. You got fairly criticized.

                First article you post on this site since becoming a member and contributor and you pull this? Like I said. I expect better.

                Oh, and you’re a “liberal’ now? I thought you “consider myself libertarian, too, particularly when it comes to the private property rights of one’s own self.” So which is it? Are you somewhere in the middle or do you just consider your self libertarian when it’s your body when you want your way and demand liberal things like “a community of people to help her give birth, to recover from birth, and to help her care for those children.” when you want that?Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to Damon says:


                What’s going on?

                I have never, ever seen you criticize anyone else this way here, and notme, too. So there’s something specific about me. I’ll also point out that I’ve repeatedly said I value notme’s contributions here, when s/he get’s over habitual liberal disdain and speaks from the heart. What I said above is nothing new; talk to me, a reiteration of talk to me as a person, not as a liberal.

                So I’m really not sure what you’re making a fuss about, and I doubt you’d do it with most/any other writers here. And that sorta sucks.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to zic says:

                Please do not think that I’m singling you out for anything other than I have posted. I’ve done it to a few other people. Perhaps you’ve just not seen it. It doesn’t happen often but it does happen.

                However, that’s beside the point. Don’t think I didn’t notice that you didn’t answer my question. 🙂Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to Damon says:

                I’ve always said I was a liberal. I also said I’m conservative in some ways (conserve resources, for instance,), and libertarian I said libertarian if it was understood the principles applied to one’s physical self; but they only seem to apply to some selfs far too often.

                (There’s some back and fourth between Hanley and I on this in the archives; some pretty brutal.)

                But like I told you the other day, women, in child bearing and rearing, need community and are too often punished and left out of male-centric libertarian thinking. Your response was “I don’t wanna pay for someone else.” Yet without kids, there is no society, libertarian, liberal, conservative, or anarchist. You’re willing to rent seek in women’s bodies and time; Aquinas determination of women’s eternal subjugation reiterated through the centuries.

                Which leaves me in the liberal tent, because at least liberals fight for some understanding of the need for communal support for child bearing and rearing and the health and well being of the organs required to do those necessary things, while fostering the notion of women as fully human and capable.Report

  4. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    My general presumption is that most humans are not happy, especially ambitious ones.Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to LeeEsq says:

      I think this is probably true, @leeesq

      I’d rather be mentally engaged than happy, if that makes sense. Or better put, I’m happiest when I’m mentally engaged and not aware that I’m happy because I’m busy.Report

      • Avatar James K in reply to zic says:


        This is one of problems with studies of Subjective Wellbeing. I see studies saying feminism has made women less happy, and I ask myself “what exactly are these studies measuring?” Because it doesn’t map onto my concept of happiness at all.Report

  5. There were many days I’d rather have been home with the kids than at work. Even more so if work had included a moron like that getting up in my face.Report

  6. Avatar Murali says:

    Seriously, in this day and age, there are still people telling women to stay home and raise children? Seriously?Report

    • Avatar j r in reply to Murali says:

      It’s part of shtick, like the Mad Max feminism article. Say outrageous things, get coverage.

      These guys believe this stuff to some extent, but there’s no audience for having these sorts of conversation in moderated tones.Report

    • Avatar Will H. in reply to Murali says:

      I believe that’s typically called “maternity leave” these days.

      I would wager that were you to look a that guy’s kin, you would see that most, if not all, are busy calling him full of malarkey with their deeds.

      I think what’s going on here is that McInnes really wanted to be like Howard Stern, but he just didn’t know how to ask about smearing her ass with mayonnaise and throwing slices of bologna at it.
      That’s one question you really want to phrase delicately.Report