Because it offers women the same choices men have long had – lots of them.
Over at Instapundit we have the observation that modern feminism does indeed seem to have made women more miserable. It becomes – heck, is – terribly tempting to explain this by stating that of course women do only desire, really, that Kinde, Kuche und Kirche and that any widening of the horizons is simply going to make the poor little darlin’s as unhappy as the modern world has left them. Plus we get to point out to Laurie Penny that settling down with just the one guy’s gonads will make her much happier as will the incubation of, rather than washing away of, said gonad’s emissions. Which would be fun as teasing Ms. Penny always is.
There is though the actual reason for this:
WEIRD, FEMINISM HAS MARCHED FROM VICTORY TO VICTORY AND WOMEN ARE UNHAPPIER THAN EVER: Antidepressant use rising in U.S., mostly in women, CDC says.
Flashback: “By many objective measures the lives of women in the United States have improved over the past 35 years, yet we show that measures of subjective well‐being indicate that women’s happiness has declined both absolutely and relative to men. The paradox of women’s declining relative well‐being is found across various datasets, measures of subjective well‐being, and is pervasive across demographic groups and industrialized countries. Relative declines in female happiness have eroded a gender gap in happiness in which women in the 1970s typically reported higher subjective well‐being than did men.”
It is not, in fact, that women are becoming unhappier. It is that the difference between male and female unhappiness is shrinking. This is akin to that difference between relative and absolute poverty that causes so many such confusion. It’s entirely possible for the entire society to be getting richer even as some do so faster than others. Less poverty and more inequality as it goes in the political slanging matches. This is also the explanation for that change in female happiness.
The basic point to recall being that you cannot have it all. There are many things in this world and they are not all attainable by the same person. We cannot be both tall and short for example, the cost to us of being tall is that we are not short. It is possible to be both a CEO and a parent. But we cannot be a hands on, full time, home making parent, whether male or female, and the CEO of a large corporation. The cost of rising to the top of one greasy pole and grasping that brass ring is that we have not been baking brownies with the snot rags. We may have had time to do what we’ve recommended Ms. Penny do above and procreate but we cannot run GM and also be the knees that are hugged each day on the return from kindergarten. Despite the manner in which any number of generations of GM management would have been better employed as grasped patellae.
So, over recent generations the number of specific things that women can be has increased. The cost of being any one of them is not being all of the others. Thus as choices have increased the number of things one cannot be has increased and so the unhappiness, the regret at all that isn’t. The logical proof of this being that female unhappiness is now approaching men’s, men always having had those more choices and thereby being unhappier.
It’s opportunity costs, the second great thing about economics. The cost of whatever it is that you do is the inability to do everything else. As the universe of everything increases the mental burden of doing any one thing increases. There’s no going back either. Those earlier restrictions upon female choice were only partially sociological and imposed. In a world of human muscle power those of lighter physique really are limited. In a time of high child mortality near continual pregnancy or nursing are required merely to maintain the population. These restrictions don’t apply any more so the Kinde, Kuche would not be a return to a simpler world with less choice but the imposition of same.
Welcome, that is, to the world desired, where women are equal to men and just as unhappy for being so.