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Old 03-19-2008, 08:22 PM   #1
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Why Feminism Harms Women

Ladies, quit your moping and get back to the kitchen
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It is widely reported that women suffer depression at twice the rate of men. Apparently, more women are clinically depressed than ever before.

On the assumption that these assessments are true, the question anyone interested in the subject -- which means anyone who cares about any woman -- is, why?

As one who regularly talks to women, and about men and women, on my radio show and who has informally counseled women of all ages, I would like to offer some explanations that may run counter to currently acceptable ones, but which should shed light on the subject.

Assuming that any new phenomenon -- in this case, much higher rates of depression among women -- suggests a new cause, the major new cause can only be the consequences of feminism.

This does not mean that feminism has achieved nothing good. Of course it has. A movement for equality between the sexes, an attempt to remove all sex-based obstacles to a woman's right to do whatever she wishes with her life, must do some good.

But how much good feminism has achieved is unrelated to the question of whether it is a, or even the, primary contributor to the rise in depression among so many women. One can view feminism as the greatest social achievement since the emancipation of slaves and still regard it as the major reason many women are depressed.

So, enumerating the reasons feminism has caused many women's depression is not necessarily an indictment of feminism. Many good social developments come with personal prices.

We begin our list with the expectations feminism raised in a generation of women.

As I wrote in my book on happiness ("Happiness Is a Serious Problem," HarperCollins), much unhappiness comes from having expectations. When our expectations are not fulfilled -- and most are not -- we can become unhappy and even bitter. And when our expectations are fulfilled, we are no happier because fulfilled expectations undermine gratitude (we are not grateful when we get what assume we will get) and gratitude is indispensable to happiness.

Feminism raised women's expectations beyond what life can deliver to the vast majority of them. It was hard enough for women in the past to realize their far fewer expectations of marrying a good man and making a happy family. But feminism told a generation of women that they can not only expect to have that but, perhaps even more important to feminism, they could also expect to have a fulfilling, financially rewarding, society-honoring career.

I wish all Americans could hear the women who call my radio show who tell of how they were raised to believe this feminist promise, and therefore pursued often successful careers while delaying marriage. And now at 35, 40, 45 years of age, they wonder why that career is so unfulfilling and now yearn for a man and family they put off having.

For most women -- of course, not all -- careers are not nearly as fulfilling as are a good marriage and family. The astronaut who destroyed her career -- perhaps the most prestigious career in America for either a man or a woman -- out of romantic jealousy is an extreme but instructive example.

Unless one believes that women and men are the same and therefore the same things bring them happiness, the feminist emphasis on career has been an obstacle to many women's happiness. As a rule, women derive most of their happiness from relationships, not from work. Men need both to be happy far more than women do. Men's very identity is predicated on their answer to the question, "What do you do?" Whether fair or not -- to either sex -- virtually no woman's identity is dependent on what she does for a living. That is why, while both sexes suffer financially from the loss of a job, when men lose their jobs, they often also lose their self-worth as a man. The greater importance of work to men is also manifested in their willingness to work many more hours than woman.

To make things even worse for many women, not only are most women not finding their careers nearly as fulfilling as they had been led to expect, they rarely find the demands of home life lessened much. Now many women experience double the pressure -- having to succeed in jobs outside of the home and, as much as ever, inside the home. The feminist promise that everything in their marriage will be 50-50 -- each partner will do half the outside work, half the housework, and half the child rearing -- has rarely panned out. Most men will work their tails off outside the home, but won't inside the home. Consequently, many working women either experience increased tension with their husband or increased pressure to succeed both outside the home and inside the home as mother, homemaker, and wife.

Failed expectations are not the only reason many more women are depressed. But it is a big one. And there are more.
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Old 03-19-2008, 08:33 PM   #2
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I have not read the whole article

but it is safe to say

us white, healthy, straight males are most likely the least depressed

culture and society reward the proper groups


hegemony rocks
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Old 03-19-2008, 08:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep
I have not read the whole article

but it is safe to say

us white, healthy, straight males are most likely the least depressed

culture and society reward the proper groups


hegemony rocks
you know how depressing is being related to you?

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Old 03-19-2008, 08:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep
I have not read the whole article

but it is safe to say

us white, healthy, straight males are most likely the least depressed

culture and society reward the proper groups


hegemony rocks
Suicide rates among young males are the highest of any demographic.

A holocaust of male youth - largely ignored on FYM, and elsewhere.
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:01 PM   #5
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Did they only count suicide, or suicide attempts as well?
What I've read last, in Europe suicide attempts among men and women do not differ that much. Only difference was that among males those attempts far more often resulted in death, while women more often survived their attempts. That was because men are more likely to take measures such as shooting themselves, hanging or jumping, while women more often took overdoses or cut their artery.

What does "largely ignored on FYM" mean? The last two threads you mentioned that it was other topics being discussed. And I cannot remember you opening a thread about a study on suicide, if it's so important to you.
A bit of a stretch then to say it is getting ignored.

Could you provide figures for your "holocaust of male youth" claim? And maybe also recent figures including attempted suicide among men and women?
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by financeguy

A holocaust of male youth - largely ignored on FYM, and elsewhere.
A holocaust? Come on man...

And it's not ignored, it's just your conclusions from these facts are ridiculous.
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Vincent Vega
Could you provide figures for your "holocaust of male youth" claim? And maybe also recent figures including attempted suicide among men and women?
No, I won't. The figures are readily available. I'm not doing your research for you.
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:07 PM   #8
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
And it's not ignored, it's just your conclusions from these facts are ridiculous.
What conclusions?
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by financeguy


What conclusions?
That this means men are being discriminated against.

Have you forgot your conclusions?
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by financeguy


No, I won't. The figures are readily available. I'm not doing your research for you.
Wow, I just kindly asked. You make claims, you have to back them up.
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
That this means men are being discriminated against.

Have you forgot your conclusions?
I drew no such conclusions, you clown.

You're telling lies. With any other poster, I'd give the benefit of the doubt and put it down to misunderstanding, but given your consistent habit of misrepresenting my point of view (and that of other conservative posters), I'm not giving you the benefit of the doubt.
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:14 PM   #12
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Guys, don't just piss all over Financeguy, this article deserves to be mocked just the same.
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:18 PM   #13
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Back to the thread topic...

The reality is that these kinds of appeals to "the good old days" when (most) women didn't work outside the home (does he have reliable data on clinical depression incidence for that period?) are pretty much moot in the face of present-day economic realities anyway. For a great many families, it simply isn't financially tenable in the longterm for one partner to never work outside the home. And even if one is willing and the family's current financial situation permits it, I still think it's ill-advised to not at least have a part-time job, so that your eggs aren't all in one basket and you've at least got a foot in the door somewhere and a work history to show for yourself should the unexpected happen. Especially if you've got children to support. As far as personal fulfillment and gratitude for what you do, if you've found that, great, consider yourself blessed--but accountability for yours and your family's welfare comes first.
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by financeguy



A holocaust of male youth - largely ignored on FYM, and elsewhere.


a holocaust of gay youth would be more accurate.

if we're going to swing this way.
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
(does he have reliable data on clinical depression incidence for that period?)



pshaw.

back then, people were tougher. depression wasn't anything a stiff gin and tonic and a valium couldn't fix but quick.
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