Saturday, May 23, 2009

Our Having-It-All Culture, Part 2

Chalk it up to the great-minds-think-alike syndrome. At the moment I was writing a post on how much damage a having-it-all culture could have on our happiness (link here) Megan O'Rourke was writing on the DoubleX site about a recent study that showed that women today were less happy than they were 35 years ago. Link here.

Since O'Rourke's interpretation is the same as mine, I find it eminently quotable: "I've always hated the phrase 'having it all' for its tyrannical insistence on absolute perfection. Does this mean that it is finally time to put that phrase to rest in the cemetery of bad language."

Then Ann Althouse picked up the topic on her blog and drew a slightly different conclusion: "... why are women so sad? I think it's because we think about our feelings so much and care so much about being happy." Link here.

But who was telling women to become introspectively obsessed with their feelings? Dare I suggest that the therapy culture bears some responsibility for creating the conditions under which unhappiness could flourish.

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