Recently, I read this article on Freakonomics (one of my favorite sites to check on every day). The gist of it seems to be that, despite improving conditions and rights for women, they appear to be less happy than they were 35 years ago. First of all, I’m not sure they ARE more unhappy than they were 35 years ago. Happiness is an incredibly difficult thing to measure and evaluate. And I think women are more prone to call themselves unhappy than men are. i have absolutely no scientific evidence of this, but I will make the call anyway.
But I think something that might contribute to the increases in reported unhappiness is the guilt factor. Because even though we do, as the article says, have increased ability to control reproduction as well as greater opportunities in the work forces, and apparently men are doing more ‘housework’, we still have the massive guilt factor. If we pursue a career, we feel guilty about not getting married and raising the happy Brady Bunch. If we play the happy housewife and stay-at-home mom, we feel guilty about not going out there and using our brains. And if we try to be superwomen and do BOTH, then we feel guilty all the time about neglecting one or the other part of our lives. That’s my theory anyways. And it’s time to GET OVER IT – do what we enjoy and start being happy!