A lot of ink has been spilt in the past few days on the issue of whether women are unhappier now than they used to be. But what is a woman's happiness, and does it make any sense to try to measure it?
As handily deconstructed by Megan last week, the Times's Ross Douthat thinks "women's happiness" is a great excuse for shaming various groups of people. According to the conservative columnist, the rise of single motherhood has made women unhappy, and as a cure we need "a new-model stigma [...] that ostracizes serial baby-daddies and trophy-wife collectors as thoroughly as the "fallen women" of a more patriarchal age." Because nothing makes ladies jollier than stigmatizing others! For the Daily Mail, women's happiness is an excuse to quote anti-working-mother advocate Erin Pizzey ("The hard-won freedom of choice has imprisoned women. I just see an exhausted generation trying to do it all.") and a total idiot ("You've got real democracy and there really are no glass ceilings, despite the fact that some of you moan about it all the time.")