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Comments

will

excellent point.

I think we should commission a study to find out whether college educated people are happier than non-college educated people. Or perhaps whether men who are married to Democrats are happier than men who are married to Republicans. Or whether we are happier when our in-laws live more than 200 miles away.

The Happy Feminist

Tee hee. Long time, no see Will! Sorry I was a bit anti-social last week.

will

Hi Happy. I had a busy week last week too. So it was good that you were not there to distract me from preventing justice.

Tamakazura

I think I do remember seeing an article that said that people with more education are less likely to be happy, by some measure or another. A quick google didn't turn it up, though, so I'm not sure where I saw it or if I just dreamed it up. I've sometimes wondered if I'd be happier if I didn't know so dang much about things, but giving up interests for the sake of peace of mind just isn't an option. The next best thing would have to be doing something with that knowledge, I guess.

And on the actual topic of the post, was there any control for financial status? Seems to me if a family can afford for one parent to stay at home, that'd mean they're under less stress to make ends meet than a family where both parents must work to stay afloat.

j0

great point Happy. I've seen similar comments about the "duh" reaction to this study elsewhere, but your illumination of why this is a stupid/patronizing question to ask in the first place really brings it home.

I think its also something to battle on a daily basis - the desire to stick one's head in the sand because the daily stuff gets so exhausting that there is no energy left to challenge sexist norms can be overwhelming. Even though I'm angry more of the time (aah, just like college) now that I've discovered all these fabulous feminist blogs that remind me of all the crap in the world (or should I say a different range of crap than what you read in the MSM), I'd rather be angry than unknowing. The hilarious snark of these blogs makes it all worthwhile.

Zan

So the traditional people like me aren't smart enough to know if we are happy? If someone asks me if I'm happy I think I should know whether I am a SAHM or not. It is a pretty easy question. I am happier now than when I worked my very high stress job as a nurse. I can't imagine trying to do both now.

Yes, my sister is one of those people out there who choose to stay home with her kids even though finances are really tight. They are able to budget accordingly. She does this because she believes that this is the best way to raise children.

I understand that some feminists just want the choice to stay at home or work and be treated fairly. I am all for that but just because a woman makes the choice it doesn't mean it is the RIGHT choice. I think if a woman sacrifices her children for career she is making the WRONG choice.

BTW, how many people out there are mothers who commented on this post? Just curious. When you have children of your own your opinions and beliefs change alot. I know mine did.

The Happy Feminist

Hi Zan -- I am so glad you're still here reading! I hope your health and that of your soon-to-be-born baby is good.

I don't see anyone saying that traditional people aren't smart enough to know if they're happy.

I am just happiness ain't everything. I am sure most traditionalists would agree!

will

I have tried to beat into my son's brain that his happiness is 10 percent what happens to him and 90 percent how he reacts to those events. He is in control of his happiness. (I think I stole that from Charles Sidnore or something like that.)

Hypatia's Father

Funny thing, the people around me whom I suspect of being miserable--certainly the ones who seem oblivious to the suffering of others--are often the very ones obsessed with happiness. Happiness becomes for them a kind of benchmark for zero-sum success.

I'm with Kazantzakis, another unruly Greek. His epitaph: "I have no hope. I have no fear. I am free."

Forgive him a twinge of renunciatory machismo. He is hinting that happiness is just another pursuit, and it is better to be free of such vanities altogether. (Does one sound barbaric yawps from "happiness" ?)

Paradoxically, for me, this little quotation shifts the whole context of what 'prosperity means', aligning it with the deeper sense of simply "having" peace of mind.

h sofia

If someone asked me in a survey if I was happy, my first question would be, "Happy about what?" I can be happy with my spouse, but unhappy with the job market, or unhappy with the public school system, or unhappy with the way our government is going, and a whole host of things. But personal happiness and happiness for the rest of my community, or society as a whole - or the future of the UNIVERSE (okay, I hyperbolize, obviously), is not the same thing.

Me being happy is not enough.

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