Women's Happiness, or lack of

Here we go again with that American dream, the pursuit of happiness. Are we really surprised to find that we have less, rather then more in this country of supposed plenty, the richest country in the world with supposedly the most opportunities? (A list of the US standing in terms of education, child death, death penalty, health care and on and on would be appropriate here. Sorry, I am not a great researcher.)

"First, since 1972, women's overall level of happiness has dropped, both relative to where they were forty years ago, and relative to men. You find this drop in happiness in women regardless of whether they have kids, how many kids they have, how much money they make, how healthy they are, what job they hold, whether they are married, single or divorced, how old they are, or what race they are." Marcus Buckingham, Huffington Post "All told, more than 1.3 million men and women have been surveyed over the last 40 years, both here in the U.S. and in developed countries around the world. Wherever researchers have been able to collect reliable data on happiness, the finding is always the same: greater educational, political, and employment opportunities have corresponded to decreases in life happiness for women, as compared to men."

What constitutes happiness? We know that the northern European countries are considered to be the happiest, but I would prefer calling them more content, in great part due to their greater social security and stability. My Swiss friends rarely change jobs or homes or mates. Functioning within the system they gain social status and the added comforts that go with such. Telling though the Swiss can hardly wait to get away, is there a nation that travels more for escape?

The US is such a melange of everything, surely in the metropolitan areas there is barely any refuge to be found in the glue of social conventions. A sense of belonging and purpose surely must contribute to an individuals happiness.

As a child of the seventies, or sixties how can we possibly feel happy in this oh so very strange world, where Bush manages to get elected not once, but twice. Where wars are fought despite mass protests on absolutely wrong presumptions. Where the earth keeps on being raped and polluted despite forewarnings for decades. Where global warming kills off the walruses, to mention only today's news. Where as a feeling, breathing human being we are inundated with atrocities from around the globe by the hour, even the minute. "Anybody who can look at the state of the world and NOT be depressed isn't paying attention." someone's quote and maybe bumper sticker

What happened to peaceful coexistence and living with nature? Dominion is still the name of the game. Animals suffer our perceived needs, which really are just endless wants and we turn a blind eye to theirs. And what really gets me is the cry to violence from those professed Christians, those that kill doctors that perform abortions, those that cry war on those not proven guilty, those that seek revenge when Christ told us to turn the other cheek.

Oh well, let's get personal: I don't go to church, I do not have family, I am an immigrant, first generation, I don't feel I belong, I am not happy!

First thought is well, get your attitude adjusted, happiness is of your own making, no one to blame but yourself. How easy we are at assigning blame, including to ourselves!

To be happy is supposedly a choice we make. This goes in the face of us human beings, by nature being if not dependent, certainly interdependent. We need one another for survival, at least have been doing so for millenniums. Yet, instead of cooperating and thriving, we the human race, engage in wars and exploitation of one another and Mother Earth. How can we not feel depressed in this male dominated western, uncivilized world? And no, I am not a hard core feminist that hates men, but think that this patriarchal way of being sadly is emulated by women too, especially those on the ladder upward.

Walruses are dying en mass because of global warming, in today's news. Somali warlords keep on fighting and the women keep subsisting in inhumane conditions. Women still work harder for less. For the few that did break through the ceiling that many slave away in one form or another. Isn't it amazing that the word slavery still applies and such conditions thrive in today's US democracies. Russian and Asian women and so many others are lured to the land of milk and honey only to find themselves in a living hell.

Want not and you will be happy, all misery exists because of desire is what some say. Blame is placed on the images found in magazines and on TV. Supposedly I make my own misery by subjecting myself to such and comparing myself to face lifted, plastic boobed dolls and maybe to the sex kitten toys sought out in men's magazines. We live in a world of addiction, now who of those porn obsessed, beer bellied, incoherent dopey eyed specimens of the male variety can go beyond the old fashioned role of provider and make a woman feel truly seen, heard and met intellectually, emotionally, spiritually and bodily?

I would say that every woman living in a patriarchal society must feel, to the extent that she has not given up her own nature in trying to adjust to the dominant male mode, like a round, fluid sphere inside a rigid, tight fitting square. The dominant mode of striving for success - at any price, placing value in acquisitions, promoting image and hiding essence, none of it for the common good, must feel alienating.

And then comes the midlife crisis, the no longer holding value with diminished sex appeal in a man's eye and finding out how easily one is replaceable. Some women turn to women only to find out that we lost our sense of cooperation and engage in similar dominant behavior with one another as we tried to escape from.

Women supposedly get sadder and men happier after 4o, isn't it obvious? Men think they still can score a young chick, at least they imagine themselves in the running league, to them it is always a possibility. Women know better, that is with the exceptions of those like Demi Moore and the likes, and you know how they look and tweet!

But sex goes only so far and then are the realities for some of us: No insurance, no secure income, over the hill with no good prospects for work or a mate and only one incident away from catastrophe. Men rot in jails while women struggle to survive and bring up their kids alone. Men cheat, some women leave. It is known that men do better financially after divorce then women. We wonder why these women are unhappy? No doubt if we asked them they would express relief from having gotten away from an unfaithful husband,  one more interested in porn, or hanging out with beer drinking buddies watching TV all night, or ogling women because another male heart failed to open. Is it a wonder women are unhappy? How many truly happy couples do we know?

Women used to have friends that filled the role of a caring, nurturing, intimate other in their lives, but in today's society, try to make a friendship a priority, when work demands run round the clock and time is scheduled down to the love making, or fucking, if both involved indulge more their fantasies then each other.

Happiness is relative that is for sure. Bliss isn't, we know when we are immersed in it and usually it has something to do with feeling connected, with feeling seen for who we really are, with being intimate and alive with an open heart.

The pursuit of happiness may be overrated as regards the striving for success and acquiring of acquisitions while states of bliss, such as in watching the sun rise and set, the shadows fall and take their places, the birds come and go, and the dogs cock their heads while they look up expectantly, these kinds of pleasures may be way underrated.

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