Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ariel Gore

Ariel Gore is the author of numerous books on parenting, the novel The Traveling Death and Resurrection Show, the memoir Atlas of the Human Heart, and the guidebook How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead.

Her new book is Bluebird: Women and the New Psychology of Happiness.

From her Q & A with Amy Benfer for Salon:

How do you think feminism became the fall girl for women's unhappiness?

People said, OK, if women are less happy than they were 40 years ago -- which, in itself, would be very hard to measure -- then they thought, Well, what happened 40 years ago? Oh yeah -- feminism! So therefore feminism failed! It’s this crazy talk because the first rule of research is not to confuse correlation with causality. What else has happened in the past 40 years? Well, hey, maybe women have replaced the time we used to spend talking with friends with TV watching. When you study postpartum depression, there is a very clear understanding that in communities where you see more support, there is less depression. How come nobody said, "Oh, women are unhappy because of TV!" It’s at least equally plausible.

Some commentators have blamed women's alleged unhappiness on unrealistic expectations. Is there any truth to the idea, or is it just an anti-feminist cop-out?

When Marion Milner’s book "A Life of One’s Own" came out in the '30s, reviewers said, "Oh, the reason this woman is unhappy is that she wants too much." It’s crazy, especially in American culture, to say something like that, because American culture is built on this notion of striving. I do think it’s pretty rich to then turn around and say, "Oh, ladies. It’s back to the ironing board for you."

But I think there is a kind of depression that is...[read on]
Visit Ariel Gore's website.

--Marshal Zeringue