Women & Happiness: Don’t Ask us to be Happy, Let us BE!
Skimming through various news sources to find something interesting to blog, I found this- “To be happier, women should try giving up on being good” in The Guardian. I skipped a heartbeat with the very sense of the headline. Being a teen, working through various things and on being constantly policed to “be good”, this headline is sort of confusing and intriguing at the same time. I proceeded to see this – “Women are more unhappy than men, and men are blamed for this. But perhaps men aren’t the real culprits” in their subtitle. I’m sure you are intrigued too! Let me break this down for you all!
A new survey conducted by NHS concluded that women are unhappier until their 80s, which is when most of their male partners die.
Women are unhappiest in the middle years, with 24% aged between 45 and 54 classifiable as mentally ill. This was because women had to bear the brunt of child-rearing and taking care of the elderly. This begins to lessen as they grow old and therefore slight increase in happiness. The sole duty and responsibility bestowed upon women, unfortunately, overburden her.
According to the report, further analysis of the figures supports the case that men are the problem. Above the age of 65, more men than women have mental health problems. Men who are single, widowed or divorced are more likely to develop depression. In contrast, married women are the most likely to be miserable.
Tim Lott, the columnist who wrote this piece mentions certain things from studies that make women miserable like menopause or the fading physical attractiveness. He mentions further that women get affected more as they tend to pay attention to it while men dust it off. He says, “Maybe women are unhappier than men because they pin themselves to higher moral standards. I think I would rather be happy than good. Women should try it.”
“Do women naturally seek to be of higher moral standards?”
Looking around and observing different facets of society, it’s easy to recognise that women are conferred with expectations to uphold higher moral standards. Women who perform the prescribed duty of the society are glorified, celebrated and rewarded while the others are shunned away.
Women don’t try to pin themselves with higher moral standards but rather are forced to uphold it.
Talking to some working women who wished to be unnamed mentioned that women are expected to do a lot of things and unfortunately, they fall into the trap. Most of them mentioned that women are expected to be good always and everywhere. Women cannot show their family stress at work and not the work stress at home. She is always expected to smile and breeze through troubled times. Since she is almost treated as an outcast if she expresses her views in the open, she tends to keep to herself. This results in the women becoming depressed, worried and miserable.
It’s easy to ask everyone to cycle but it’s impossible to expect them to do so until they are provided with cycle if they cannot buy it. Similar is the situation. It’s easy to ask women to be happy but it’s impossible to change the scenario in a way where women can be happy. They cannot also create a scenario to be happy with all these years they have been denied the access to even create a scenario. Luckily, we do have certain heads popping out to help create a platform but the ratio is minimal. Time to ponder?
Yes, Time to ponder!
Reshma is an intern with SheThepeople.TV