Friday, October 23, 2009

You've Come a Long Way Baby. Why So Glum?

I try to stay out of women's issues but I found an interesting column by Judith Warner in today's New York Times about claims that, despite the progress women have made over the past four decades, they're less happy today than they were in the early 70's.

There appears to be a raging argument over whether success has made women less happy. My question is, "compared to what?"

How many of us are happier today than we were in the early 1970's? My guess is that, unless you were lying in a heap at Kent State or suited up in combat fatigues in Vietnam, chances are you were considerably happier back then.

For starters, life was simpler. Global warming meant Fort Lauderdale for spring break. There weren't really many existential crises other than the prospect of nuclear Armaggedon. We weren't as sensitized to issues like inequality nor as desensitized to horror and carnage and mass mayhem. We actually believed tomorrow would bring a better day and that our children would have better lives than we did.

Come to think of it, I think I'd rather be back in 1970.


cls said...

Neoconservatism hadn't yet gone on its destructive rampage, either. Wages were higher, it was still possible to have a 'family wage' without having to rely on an overdraft or lots of debt. And the relentless campaign to aspire to 'designer' goods and high end products was still in its infancy. It was during the eighties that things began to unravel and things began to get more stressful.

Oemissions said...

We were rebellious, seeking alternatives, experimenting, sensing the need for change but we
didn't know how bad things would get.
The pace and the race has doubled too.