I know I like to get my advice about the role of women in today’s society from a person who recently published a book called “Adam and Eve and the Pill,” so I couldn’t wait to learn how there really is no current war on women going on in today’s society.
At least, so claims author Mary Eberstadt, who gleefully debunks the idea that women are happier now that they have the option to be birthing babies.
So let’s look a little closer at her debunking, shall we?
Eberstadt states that because about half of all women polled say they are anti-abortion, “This same diversity of opinion was also manifest in the arguments over the proposed new federal mandate forcing employers to pay for birth control, including abortifacients.” The implication, of course, being that women are roughly divided in half at the idea of mandatory contraceptive coverage in insurance. To back up her argument, she points to a letter signed by “over 20,000 women” asking that coverage not be included.
There are roughly 150 million women in the U.S. If 20,000 women signed a letter, that represents about 0.013 percent of the female population. According to the CDC, 80 percent of all women have used oral contraceptives at some point in their lives. That’s a pretty big difference in percentages.
Eberstadt also argues that the myth of the war on women is propagated on the idea of a religious crusade, and that religion has little to do with it. “Families are smaller, birthrates have dropped, divorce and out-of-wedlock births have soared. Demography has now even started to work against the modern welfare state, which has become harder to sustain as fewer children have been produced to replace aging parents.”
In other words, we have a duty to procreate that isn’t “Biblical,” it’s societal. If we want all of the niceties like flush social security, economic assistance that is paid for by taxes, and the like well, we’d better make sure we are giving birth to enough children to work and pay for all of that.
But in essence, what Eberstadt really wants to talk about is whether women are “happier” now than they were back when you only had sex while married and for the purpose of making babies. And, in case you didn’t know this, you aren’t. “Why do so many accomplished women simply give up these days and decide to have children on their own, sometimes using anonymous sperm donors, thus creating the world’s first purposely fatherless children? What of the fact, widely reported earlier this week, that 26% of American women are on some kind of mental-health medication for anxiety and depression and related problems? Or how about what is known in sociology as ‘the paradox of declining female happiness’? Using 35 years of data from the General Social Survey, two Wharton School economists, Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers, made the case in 2009 that women’s happiness appeared to be declining over time despite their advances in the work force and education. The authors noted that women (and men) showed declining happiness during the years studied. Though they were careful not to draw conclusions from their data, is it not reasonable to think that at least some of that discontent comes from the feeling that the grass is greener elsewhere—a feeling made plausible by the sexual revolution?”
So, since we are allegedly more “unhappy” the more opportunities we have, it’s truly in our best interest to limit our opportunities to wife and mother, by taking away anything that might allow us to be something different, or to be all of the above?
That argument right there is the surest sign yet that the war on women isn’t a myth at all.
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