Friday, September 28, 2007

DADvocate has some interesting thoughts on the recent "Happiness" study showing women to be less happy than men.


Blogger N/A said...

I think the discrepancy in male-female happiness is easy to explain. It's all about definitions.

For decades, to be a man meant that you got to express precisely one emotion: anger. Anything else was seen as childish, or womanly, and hence discouraged.

Women, however, are societally permitted to have all sorts of emotions. Happiness, sadness, anger, you name it.

So we see, for a man all emotions are negative ones. That is, the absence of something. Happiness is simply the absence of anger. Sadness is the absence of someone to be angry at other than the self. Love is the absence of anger at a specific person.

But for a woman, emotions are positive. She must specifically feel happy, rather than simply not feel sad.

By this yardstick, of course women are going to come across as being unhappy when compared to men. It takes less energy to not be something than it takes to be something.

When someone asks me if I'm happy, I can only reply that I must be, because I'm not specifically unhappy. This is often quite puzzling to women, but it's all I can say. Not-unhappy = happy. There are benefits to a black-and-white way of looking at things.

10:33 AM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

Yeah. Those angry men -- Jack Benny, Cary Grant, Clark Gable, Milton Burl, Rowan & Martin, Elvis Presley, etc, etc, etc.

Pitiable, angry lot.

In my six decades, I've been 'allowed' to express whatever the hell I felt and I can't for the life of me recall being chastized as childish or womanly for it.

12:47 PM, September 28, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't for the life of me recall being chastized as childish or womanly for it.


2:00 PM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger rudebwoy said...

I've read that Freud during his last days on the planet stated that he had wasted decades of his life trying to understand women, and had failed.

I take that as a sign for the attitude men today would be well advised to adopt.

Dr. Helen, do you disagree?

6:05 PM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

Women are happier than men: That is good.
Men are happier than women: That is evil and disgusting and we must immediately spend billions of dollars fixing this great tragedy!

The above IS our society, this is who and what we have become. It is scary, it is terrifying.

I will make one comment on women and happiness: All of our press-media go out of their way to include daily comments on women's troubles: breast cancer, heart troubles, work troubles, etc.. They, of course, do not have time to include male troubles.

This means all women are bombarded daily by "life is terrible." That effects our women in a negative way. It also effects our men in a negative way.

You'll never hear a commentator making this point! No! Women are all holy, all pure and must get all of the time available to the press-media. None-the-less, the fact remains that all of that time scares our womenfolk and makes our menfolk into less than human pieces of machinery. That does indeed make women less happy in a powerful way.

4:24 AM, September 29, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

dogwood --

Got my morning coffee, just started sipping, read this. Took almost four seconds, then I almost fell out. Friggin' funny and subtle.

8:04 AM, September 29, 2007  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Helen - thanks for the mention.

This means all women are bombarded daily by "life is terrible." That effects our women in a negative way.

Very true. I was still in high school when I first learned about relative deprivation. Advertisers are experts at creating relative deprivation. But, the MSM has really gotten in the game too. The MSM's basic message seems to be "if everybody doesn't have everything then something is wrong and you should be unhappy about it."

9:23 AM, September 29, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad you enjoyed it!

Always nice to start the weekend with a good laugh!

10:02 AM, September 29, 2007  
Blogger N/A said...

In my six decades, I've been 'allowed' to express whatever the hell I felt and I can't for the life of me recall being chastized as childish or womanly for it.

Oh, well if your experience is different, then that must invalidate my entire thesis. Except that my personal experience is different from yours, so the debate is now at an impasse.

Of course men are allowed to express whatever emotion they wanted. I said it was discouraged. Nobody ever said anything to you. Lucky you. And sure, actors were paid to express emotions.

But on the whole, the picture of manhood has been one of stoicism. Life hits you. You suck it up, you move on. Because, darnit, there's bills to pay and there's no time for whining or weepiness.

It's all the more noticeable now that stoicism isn't valued and we have movements of chubby white guys with blue paint on their faces blubbering in the woods about their feelings.

There was a book a while back titled "Self Made Man." Dr. Helen wrote about it back in January of '06. It's a journal written by a woman who posed as a man for a year. My wife read it. The author had a nervous breakdown because she couldn't handle all the bottling of emotions that men are expected to do.

Men are expected to display a very narrow range of emotions when compared to women. I don't know if that makes it easier or harder for men to be happy, but I suspect it's the former. If you have fewer to choose from, the decision can be easier.

2:17 PM, October 01, 2007  
Blogger rudebwoy said...

Dr. Helen has elected to ignore my question above...

or maybe she's merely busy...

That is not necessarily a character defect, or a mistake.

(And, perhaps she is not all that familiar with Freud, a long-dead white European dude with still-unresolved problems.)

But, anyhow.

When Dr. Helen does her "silent treatment" schtick, I have to repress all the reasonable emotions that might make me unhappy.

Thanks Dr. Helen!

8:57 PM, October 01, 2007  
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