Headlines, headlines, headlines

// 1 June 2009

“Women less happy after 40 years of feminism,” says the Times Online headline. “Women are more unhappy despite 40 years of feminism, claims study,” screams the Mail.

My first reaction when this popped into my inbox was, really? We’ve been living in a feminist state since 1969? How did I not get the memo?!

But, actually, the Times story at least is not as annoying as the headline suggests (although they do quote a man ranting about feminism, it’s buried on page four). It’s about a study by US researchers, which is not in actuality analysing how feminism has caused women’s misery, as you might be forgiven for assuming from the headline and Mail take.

The story is actually full of interesting quotes about the way that socialisation and the structure of society conspire to make it harder for women to be happy (“Women may now feel more comfortable being honest about their true happiness and have thus deflated their previously inflated responses.”)

Comments From You

KJB // Posted 1 June 2009 at 6:52 pm

So wait… women aren’t lying about how happy they are anymore?

Yay feminism!

It is of course no shock that the Mail and Times led with things like that. Everyone seems to love a bit of reaction these days, and it sounds like they struggled to twist the story into something suitably misogynist. Naturally, the headlines had to make up for that, eh…

Shea // Posted 1 June 2009 at 10:41 pm

Feminist state? What feminist state? Solid, liquid or mineral?


But its an equality to men that has occurred, not the reverse. Women now have “equality” to do a full time job and participate economically in the world, but with all the domestic and caring duties that were there before. Men have consistently avoided taking on more responsibility in those arenas. “Having it all” (how I loathe that phrase) really means doing it all.

Even apart from that, we have a growing social inequality, the breakdown of community and family structures, partly because of the flexible labour market and incredible competitiveness of our society, and a culture of long hours. Add to which, massive economic mismanagement, political corruption and the challenges of climate change– Isn’t that enough to make anyone unhappy, irrespective of feminism?

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