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Are Men the Reason Women are so Unhappy?

Last week, The Huffington Post sent me my daily dose of news, politics and blogs. Some I read, many I didn’t. But that day’s lead blog got my attention. It was a blog from Arianna Huffington titled, The Sad, Shocking Truth About How Women Are Feeling. Arianna’s blog ultimately said that women around the world are generally unhappy. She then passed the ball to a leading expert in personal strength. That goes to show, you can be a self-proclaimed expert in anything. In his blog, Marcus Buckingham basically outlined the evidence the United States General Social Survey has found since 1972… women’s overall level of happiness has declined relative to where they were 40 years ago and relative to men.

I was so intrigued by the findings of this study that I almost read the whole thing. I immediately did a self-assessment to determine, if that were true, why I was unhappy. I thought about all the instances in my life in which I was unhappy and quickly determined that MEN were the cause of my unhappiness. All the times in my life in which I felt burdened, down-trodden, pained, unhappy, and right down miserable, a man was somewhere around.

When I was 16 years old, I had a seriously unhappy spell. That was my first broken heart. Here’s the thing, I broke up with him yet, I was the one that was completely miserable.

I recall another serious bout with unhappiness and damn near depression when I was living in Dallas, Tx. That was my first experience living with a man. Again, I had to give him the boot because I didn’t think he was as true as my man should be. So, he met the same fate as many before and after him… but again, I was the one moaning and groaning. What’s with me? I remember my grandfather T-Bo saying, ‘Teowonna, I’ll be damn. You the only woman I know to break up with a man and cries more that he does.’ I’m still working on that, Granddaddy. Trying to toughen up!

Years later, I experienced a more advanced level of unhappiness brought on again by heartache and feelings of abandonment when my husband passed. His death was so untimely and unfair. Just as we were finally finding our footing in the marriage thing, he passed away. Talk about unhappiness, confusion and disappointment.

Five years after my husband’s death, I experienced another bout with unhappiness and downright misery. I would tell you about that but I was asked not to discuss our relationship in my blogs anymore. As if you know or even care who he is. So to honor his request, I’ll just say that was a period of unhappiness in my life. Punk!

Just as I thought I had an explanation for all the unhappiness of the women of the world, it dawned on me that all of my experiences with unhappiness, a few of which I listed above, were situational. Anybody, man or woman would probably be unhappy during times of death, heartache and heartbreak. But the study specified women overall are unhappy. That is more like an internal discontentment with our general state of being, not in response to our current situation. So, I then had to abandon my ‘men are the root of all things evil’ theory.

An hour or so later, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Women are generally more unhappy than men, but WE are the blame for that. Nobody else. Just us. Here is why.

The Huffington Post article laid out an example of a woman in the 1969. Even though she probably would have thought that in 2009 we would be traveling in futuristic space cars, she probably could not have fathomed that the number of women receiving bachelors and masters degrees would outnumber men. She probably would not believe that a woman came very close to being elected President of the United States, Vice President, or that women are currently serving as Secretary of State and Speaker of the House. Like the Huffington Post article suggested, the 1969 lady would have found it difficult to believe that by 2009, four out of the eight Ivy League universities--Harvard, Brown, Penn and Princeton--would have female presidents. In other words, it would have been more realistic for a 1969 women to believe that we would be travelling in cars that hover in air than having a female as President of the United States.

What great strides we women have made! We should feel like we are on top of the world! What do we have to be unhappy about? Everything, that’s what! All of the advances that we have made is the problem. We have accomplished and done so much that we don’t know our roles in life, marriage and relationships anymore. We have taken on our roles and duties, as well as that of men, and now we are unhappy.

I can already hear women saying that I am setting women’s liberation and achievement back by 50 years. I’ve already been accused by a very close girlfriend of ‘just wanting someone to take care of me.’ But that’s so not true. What I’m saying will bring us great relief if we just recognize and accept what I am saying.

I think back to my grandmother. I recall her, Havana Cox, generally being a happy woman. She worked a little job cleaning this white family’s house and raising their children after she had raised her own. Even though she worked outside of the house, she knew her role in the family. She was T-Bo’s help meet. She cooked, cleaned, went to the grocery store on Saturday and fried chicken and baked cakes on Sunday. Even though T-Bo drank too much on Fridays, it never seemed to faze her. She went on to her prayer meetings and just enjoyed her life and her grandchildren. She sat on the front porch snapping beans for dinner or hanging loads and loads of laundry on the line as Granddaddy chopped and brought wood in for the wood-burning heater. My grandmother was happier because she new who she was and her role in the grand scheme of the universe. She was a mother, grandmother, wife, and helpmeet.

Nowadays, we turn our children over to the daycares to raise while we run off and slay the dragons, which used to be the man’s job. We override our husband’s decisions; we make the money; we have to write the checks to pay the bills because we can’t trust him and his judgment; we are the heads of the household instead of helpmeets. And now, studies show our happiness is steadily decreasing, while the man’s is increasing. That’s what we get for trying to be the woman and the man.

And for that same reason, men are getting happier. In our quest to be superwomen, we are lightening their loads significantly. And their expectations and responsibilities are quickly and easily adjusting to our new-found manliness. They have absolutely no reason to be unhappy! We are taking on more and more and they are being required to do less and less. We are bringing home the bacon, frying it, paying the electricity bill that powered the stove, washing the plates we ate out of, paying the mortgage that houses the stove and the dishwasher, and trying to out-screw every other woman that we think might be looking at our men. No wonder we are unhappy… and exhausted too. And the men are sitting back enjoying the benefits of our self-induced tragedy. As much as I am fan on equal opportunity, I think it is becoming clear that women’s lib has screwed us!

Ladies, listen up. I believe the findings of the United States General Social Survey; we are an unhappy group of fools. It is a bitter pill to swallow, but we are the sole reason for our discontentment. We’ve made our beds… you know the rest! Edit

17 comments

I LOVE IT AND EVERYTHING YOU SAID FROM THE CHANGE FROM WHAT THE WOMEN DID IN 1969 TO THE PRESENT IS SO TRUE KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK AND I WANT TO SAY I AM PROUD TO KNOW A SMART, INTELLIGENT WRITER AND HER NAME IS THAT TEOWANNA KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK Delete Reply

Girl, tell me something I DON'T know!!! Loved the blog. Delete Reply

Bingo! Let me say that again, B-I-N-G-O!!! Somehow we've been descending into the “bizzaro” world of role reversals. Our social systems are leading us right down that road. And all of us are accomplices to the fact. Do you notice how over the past 30 or so years that single parent households, divorces, and women in the workforce spiked? Socially, we’ve embraced systems that put more pressure on women. But, why haven’t women pushed back? I believe it’s because they have been tricked. And why haven’t men challenged the system? I believe it’s because men have an innate desire to relinquish responsibility to women (think momma's boy).

Recall the biblical story of Adam and Eve. Eve was tricked by a serpent. But what cannot be overlooked is that Eve wanted what the serpent promised that eating the fruit would deliver. And although Adam was in charge and knew God’s edict regarding the fruit, Eve ultimately influenced Adam to follow her lead. Knowing it was wrong, Adam chose to follow Eve.

Deep in the belly of this whole thing is the “Eve” desire of women to be in complete control and the “Adam” desire of men to relinquish control. If women are seeking happiness, it won’t come from pushing men aside and attempting to be more man then they. It just won't work because women and men are not equals. Equal implies sameness. Women and men are compliments. Compliment implies counterbalance within a whole. And striking balance is where happiness resides, in my opinion. Delete Reply

Wow, I had this conversation at work yesterday. Yes, women are doing too much!! Too damn much, and in that not letting a man be a man leads to tragedy. When my ex and I broke up, it was because my load felt heavier. Yep, he was happy and thought I was crazy. I did not notice a difference in my life, so what was the point if I was only gonna end up with more to do and the same time to do it in? No thank you...

I love what Mark said Adam following Eve, that was a great point. Delete Reply

Just like I thought, I didn't get mad because it's the truth in a lot of aspects. I think women have evolved because today's man does not offer the security our grandfathers offered to our grandmonthers. It's sad, but oh so true. On the flip side however, in this new society, we have to teach our young men how to adapt to this "new-found" woman. He needs to be groomed to be stronger, more supportive and more understanding of a woman's goals because I believe a real woman will reciprocate what she receives from her man.
No matter how much success I obtain, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I desire also to be that help-meet, but I need the security and protection I saw my Daddy give my Mama Lucy. Once again, as I say a lot now, it goes back to women truly knowing themselves, and most simply do not! They think degrees, money and status is what will make them happy, but when you strip away all the layers, they simply want security and protection from a man. If they say they don't want that, then they are lying to themselves FOR REAL!!

Finally, we need to stop trying to control every situation when it comes to relationships. If he is truly "the one", we should be good to each other and let nature take its course. Delete Reply

When God made a women he did not make and design her body for excessive manual labor, He made a man to work. He made a women not to do the man's job, but to give assistance to the man to help him do his job better. If I were a woman and I'm now doing a Job that my body is not designed for I think I would be unhappy also.
Gen 2:18 I will make a helper suitable for him. So what does he need help doing? God created Adam perfectly but incomplete. He purposely left out some things that reflected His image that HE would put into the woman to help Adam do what he told him to do in the first place. (It says in the bible that man and woman were created in God's image) Adam was not going to be able to do what God was asking him to do by himself so he needed help. Companionship while important was not Gods first intention for creating Eve. As Men our calling precedes our sexuality or put another way having someone by you who can help you achieve what God has for you is more important than companionship. So I believe Men are called to lead (very broad) for example the home. Women are called to HELP him lead effectively and efficiently with the qualities God has purposely left out of a man and given to YOU as a woman to HELP him lead. The word HELP in Hebrew means one who shares in the responsibility with whom you corroborate in order to fulfill your purpose. As Men we do not have all the information, perspective or intellect. So the woman brings to the table her gifts,talents and abilities so there will be a collaborative effort in doing what God would have us do. So the role of the woman is to complete what the Man is lacking. She is to be a person close to him, who understands him, to give a perspective to him he would not otherwise have. SHE IS NOT TO TAKE OVER AND DO HIS JOB FOR HIM! Delete Reply

Wow. You open the box this time. I know you are on to something but I wonder if we have gone too far to listen?

We have made it unattractive for men to be men and women to be women. We are both broken. Knowing this, how do we get to where we need to be?

I wish I had the answer. Delete Reply

We are beautiful, strong women, and we are responsible for our own happiness. The women’s liberation movement helped to give us this power and responsibility. Our role is to be happy. Look, whether we like it or not, everyone has to pull his or her own weight. The pressures are not any less for men, and the pressures for women are not any greater. Your grandmother worked outside of the home, and she still had to do all the dishes. It sounds like she was happy because she chose to be happy.
In this post “let's-give-everyone-a-sticker” age, everyone is looking to someone else to validate him/her or looking to someone else for their happiness or the lack thereof. There is no magic pill to happiness. Just as someone has to work hard to succeed in college or a career--guess what?--that same someone has to work equally as hard to maintain his/her sanity and not let things that really do not matter get in the way of "happiness." For each of us, maybe we should discuss what we need in our own particular relationships so that we all are not exhausted. Perhaps a good dose of communication is in order.
Being miserable is easy. At every turn on almost every single day, there is something or someone or some force that pulls us closer and closer to despair, anger, disappointment, and judgment. We all could make more money, have more time to meditate, be 10 pounds lighter, travel more; and the list goes on and on. Someone's mother never said that she was proud; someone's father never hugged; someone's grandfather did not come to college graduation; someone’s coach never had a kind word to say. Look, we could go for a check-up and be told that we have cancer or kidney failure. Instead of going on about how unhappy we are, let us continue to make every single day "our best day." Instead of letting the television or some blog or survey tell us how we feel, let us "be": healthy, strong, powerful, determined, graceful, merciful, forgiving, loving, and kind. Sure, there are those cases where men and women find themselves in terrible relationships, but it is up to "them" to make themselves happy. Each person has the power for his/her own happiness. No one--not a man, not a woman, not a dog/cat/pet--can make you happy. Each person is responsible for his/her own happiness. Each person “must” find the time to work on his/her happiness.
As for being taken care of, I find that no one knows what is best for me but me; therefore, if there is a tough decision to made, I want to make that decision. My having the power "to control" my life and "to make decisions" about my life means that I also “must” be responsible--if that means that I have to clean my house in order to have a clean house, I have no problem with that; if that means that I have to make money so that I can take a trip, have a home, have a gym membership, hey, I will work hard for that money. I have the power, and I like using it. I do not feel foolish at all. Thank the stars for women’s liberation/movement and all those women who fought hard so that my significant other and I are members of a partnership—this is not to say that your grandmother was not a member of a partnership; her partnership was just different.
We women did not get “screwed”; we got power. However, with power comes responsibility, and it is all good; be happy. Just because I have power and I use it does not mean that I am more of a “man”; it means that I am a strong individual who is in control of my destiny. For me and my significant other, my power enhances his power, and his power enhances my power, and our lives are rich and full. While we both participate and interact in each others’ lives, he does not determine my happiness, and I do not determine his. We are two equal halves of one whole that is made better because we come to the union, responsibly. When two responsible parties come together, it cannot help but be good and happy. Delete Reply

Thank you all for this wonderful conversation and feedback. Few have disagreed with my theory. If you do, what is your explanation for the gradually increasing unhappiness of women? How do you explain that as women get older, studies show they get more unhappy whereas men get happier? Could it be that the older we get, the more responsibility we take on... again lightening the man's load? Yes, my grandmother worked outside of the home to HELP my grandfather. She wasn't trying to BE my grandfather. Delete Reply

you done went and opened up a can of worms on this one...great job!!! Delete Reply

Loving it! The sad part is that a lot of drop shots have come to expect women to take of them. They want to move into her house, drive around in her car while she goes to work. Worse than that, they even expect an allowance on payday, if not the entire check. If I was getting pimped like that, I would be unhappy too.....all in the name of having a man. It's past time for women not only to know their role but also to know who they are. Keep doing what you do. Delete Reply

A little insight into men.

Men respond to women differently than we do to other men. If you are going to take the posture of a man, do not be surprised that we respond to you like a man. I am not looking for someone battle against to be the "man" in the relationship. I am looking for a helpmeet that is strong where I am weak and weak where I am strong.

This is less about what you have and more about who you are. ThatTeowonna is talking about looking inward and realizing that if you wage war against your TRUE nature to be a woman, you will never be happy. No man will ever bring you happiness because your unhappiness is internal.

If I held what women in my past had done to me against the new women in my life that would be wrong. The same is true for women. We have got to allow new people in our lives to be themselves and not pay for the crimes of someone in the past. Delete Reply

Derek hit the nail on the head. You restated my thoughts very well. Delete Reply

Oh That Teowanna! Bring it Sister, bring it! If one doesn't study the Bible, they don't get the concept. I agree with you and Mark on this. Society tells us we need to follow the gods around us, Bible says follow GOD. Truly the answer to everything!
I say it again, Oh That Teowanna! Love you Gurl! Delete Reply

I’ve waited to add my two cents until now. Reading through these wonderful comments, I have to agree Teowonna has opened a dialogue and that’s always a beautiful thing. Nakia hit me in my face with her comments because they’re right on the mark. Woman do-do more in many of the millennium relationships. I’m a product of the 60’s when life was much slower than it is now. I watched my mother do everything for my father. She ironed, cleaned, cooked, handled the bills and the disciplining of myself and my siblings. She also went across town to clean someone else’ house. I grew up thinking this was how it was supposed to be. As I got older my Aunt told me something I will never forget: “As a woman, you will always bear the majority of the burden.” I don’t want the majority of the burden! I want an equal partnership. If it’s not equal then guess what? I Can Do Bad all By Myself.

Lastly, this comment brings it all home:

We women did not get “screwed”; we got power. However, with power comes responsibility, and it is all good; be happy. Just because I have power and I use it does not mean that I am more of a “man”; it means that I am a strong individual who is in control of my destiny.

Thatteowonna…girl, you are doing the doggone thing! I love it! Delete Reply

I love this. I have been looking for the words to say just this but you did it for me. Congradulations on your success. Continue to do as u do and I know I do not have to tell u but stay the same. Do not ever change. Trying to be someone you are not is not only hard but leads to situations and places you do not want to be.You are precious to me. I owe this moments smiles to you. Thank you cousin. (Hillary) Delete Reply

Every individual is barefeet to the knuckles-responsible for their own happiness.If you are over the (I rely on another person or circle) percentage barrier to be happy then to your own dismay it will be.Women in particular are ingrained with a socio-economical financial blanket view they see while being childreared and that the father usually has spread around the mother.It morally corrupts little women by the time they reach adulthood and clings to this psychosocially concept of man do all & be all and spend all.This is unequivocal bull because both genders are equally applicable for this task.Women want things easy,but it does not come everyone's way,man or woman but specifically women dominate that conceptual area thinking it should be no way nontheother.Basing things off money,or take me shopping,spending someones else money and think you never have spend your money on them is blatently sickening.The hour-glass has been ticking for quite sometime now.Women you are not in a relationship nor sexual power seat and neither is man in an economic or sexual power seat.If women look at their character and nature some of these things will change and men as well need to do a charater and nature scalp.All this deception women do and men needs to be addressed on level that is subpar to none..STOP TRYING TO USE EACH OTHER FOR MONEY/SEX,women need to dress appropiately and stop this peacock attraction charade as this has alot to do with both sexes androgynous behavior toward one another DECEPTIVENESS! Bottom & Top Line...... Delete Reply

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