The Pursuit of Happiness Dept.

“On Slate’s DoubleX website, a columnist concluded from the study that ‘the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s gave us a steady stream of women’s complaints disguised as manifestos… and a brand of female sexual power so promiscuous that it celebrates everything from prostitution to nipple piercing as a feminist act — in other words, whine, womyn, and thongs.’ Or as Phyllis Schlafly put it, more soberly: ‘[T]he feminist movement taught women to see themselves as victims of an oppressive patriarchy in which their true worth will never be recognized and any success is beyond their reach… [S]elf-imposed victimhood is not a recipe for happiness.’

“But it’s a little too soon to blame Gloria Steinem for our dependence on SSRIs. For all the high-level head-scratching induced by the Stevenson and Wolfers study, hardly anyone has pointed out (1) that there are some issues with happiness studies in general, (2) that there are some reasons to doubt this study in particular, or (3) that, even if you take this study at face value, it has nothing at all to say about the impact of feminism on anyone’s mood.”

TomDispatch.com has more from Barbara Ehrenreich with “Do Women Have the Blues?.”

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