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October 26th, 2009 by Dr. Phil

Women: Does Equality Equal Happiness?

busWomanUsually, I offer opinions on the show or here on the blog, but today I am full of questions. I’m probably just chicken to weigh in to women about women! But either way, I have to say, I was so intrigued by a couple of reports that came out last week supposedly detailing the state of today’s American women at work and at home, so I wanted to blog with you about them.

Time magazine had a long cover story on women’s economic progress, which was based on its in-depth survey of women around the country. Coincidentally, NBC News had all of its news programs devote air time last week to the release of another study of American women called “A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything,” that had been put together by the Center for American Progress and A Woman’s Nation founder, Maria Shriver.

Some of it was pretty tedious, technical, (boring) reading, but embedded in the studies were some very interesting “conclusions.” I put that in quotes because there is always a degree of subjectivity when it comes to interpreting such information, so it is one step beyond just reporting the data. As near as I can tell, here is what the research concluded:

* It’s expected that by the end of the year, for the first time in history, the majority of workers in the U.S. will be women — an extraordinary change in a single generation.

* Mothers are now the major breadwinners in 40 percent of American families — perhaps an even more extraordinary statistic in such a short time span.

* In 1972, seven percent of students playing high school sports were girls. That number is now six times as high.

* College campuses used to be almost 60-40 male. Now, the ratio has reversed.

* Close to half of law and medical degrees now go to women, up from fewer than 10 percent in 1970.

* We have a female Speaker of the House and a female Secretary of State.

* A female Supreme Court judge was recently appointed, the third woman in history to sit on the high court.

* Thirty-two women have served as governors. Thirty-eight have served as senators.

* Four out of eight Ivy League presidents are women.

* And for the first time, five women have won Nobel Prizes in the same year (for Medicine, Chemistry, Economics and Literature).

scalesPersonally, I am thrilled that so many women are in the workforce these days because they constitute an incredible talent pool. I would be lost without the women of the Dr. Phil staff. Probably more than 90 percent of our 300-plus team at the Dr. Phil show is female, and that includes our top positions of executive producer, all of our supervising producers, the majority of our producers, our legal counsel, our head of public relations, our Web director, and I could go on and on. They are the engine that makes the Dr. Phil show run, they are my “feminine side,” but they are also so much more. Their instincts and skill sets are invaluable. Many are mothers, some married, some not. They are smart, dedicated and relentlessly committed to creating quality shows. They can be tough as well as compassionate, and they are supremely confident. I know it, because I live it. (By the way, we have great men on the team as well, but today, I’m talking about the ladies.)

Despite undeniable economic progress, there are still major areas where women are under-represented and underpaid. Corporate boardrooms and whole swaths of professions like, say, hedge-fund management, remain predominantly male. On top of that, in most job categories, women continue to earn only 77 cents on the dollar compared to men. They are also charged higher premiums for health insurance, yet still have greater out-of-pocket expenses for things as basic as contraception and maternity care. And last year, during the economic downturn, women’s earnings fell two percent, twice as much as men’s.

I probably haven’t told you much you don’t already know, but here’s the something I found most interesting: Despite the advances of women in so many areas, according to several studies, including the General Social Survey, which has been tracking the moods and social attitudes of Americans since 1972, women reportedly have not gotten any happier over the last four decades — while men have. And factors such as marital status, income, ethnic background and whether children are involved don’t seem to matter. Women, in general, are reported to be no happier despite professional advances. Does that mean those economic achievements don’t define happiness for the group surveyed? I suppose there is no reason why we should equate better success in the workplace with happiness, but I do wonder why the results are what they are.

Most research is based on samples of a larger group of people, and then generalizations are made that sometimes can be just flat wrong. So, what do you think? Are you surprised by these results? Are they right, or do you think they are all wet?

How about your life? Are you no happier, or even becoming less happy? If so, what are the obstacles to becoming happier? Too many demands? Too much stress to actually feel happier? Too much juggling of everything you need to do between career and home, which zaps the energy and joy?

And what about you women who do not work outside the home? Are you becoming more or less happy as the years go by? Are the obstacles, if there are any, different than for women in the workplace? A colleague told me about a study that concluded that stay-at-home moms work the equivalent of two full-time jobs. So obviously, there’s no rest in or outside of the ol’ homestead!

Some social scientists (not me!) claim that women are just hormonally more complicated than men, and furthermore, are harder on themselves; hence, they experience less feelings of satisfaction. A few suggest that the reason men are getting happier might be because they now have the luxury of relying on more and more working spouses who help bring home the bacon.

That all seems over simplified to me, and I do NOT subscribe to the hormone theory. But what do you think? Today I’m asking not telling! And how do you define “happiness” anyway?

So let me hear from you. I’m thinking about doing a show to explore all of this.

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134 Responses to “Women: Does Equality Equal Happiness?”

  1. Linda says:

    Maybe it’s just that change takes time and in another 40 years or so there will no longer be any difference that men are happier. There will also be understood that although men and women in general are different we are also all individuals.

  2. Carrie says:

    Personally I think it’s because women are working full-time jobs but their responsibilities at home haven’t decreased much overall. Now we are expected to go to work (I used to be a family law attorney and the judges here in SW Missouri would categorize women who didn’t work as lazy and irresponsible), but we are still expected to come home and do the majority of the housework (studies have shown men do about 1/3rd of it) and most of the childcare. I know this also from personal experience as well as from seeing stories about it on your show. And then, if a man loses his job, often he doesn’t do more around the house to make up the difference, so the woman is expected to work full-time and still do most of the housework.

    Don’t get me wrong–I’m not at all saying women shouldn’t have gone to work. On the contrary, women HAD to go to work to prevent men from continuing to treat them as inferior. But there needs to be more acceptance by men (who are happier because they benefit from this arrangement) that they need to help out more around the house. Plus, if we returned to more community-based living, people who lived in the same communities would help each other out as well (with childcare, etc.).

  3. RE: Paradoxis says:
    October 26, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Saw pain on live link to UR blog on UR name here. Count your blessings too, angel, because of me speaking in your behalf and others helping you you got back stage passes to see Dr. Phil in Brisbane and your picture with him. Most Americans will never be so blessed and when you share that Amazing Grace moment with others there people will take notice. I hope you find the two links below helpful yet, if not, hopefully it is true “It’s the thought that counts” too.

    http://www.alasqld.com/
    AND
    http://www.alasqld.blogspot.com/

    All the best to you, Dr. Phil, Dr. Phil Show Staff, we members, fans and all those dear to us.

    SEA

  4. Kelley K says:

    As a representative of Match International, a woman’s non-for profit organization that helps to empower women in developing and established countries, along with assisting them in achieving the practical enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, I can honestly say that women have taken greater strides to be seen as equal in a partnership, weather it be part of a couple, in a work environment or in social standing. There defiantly has been successes but women tend to be very critical of themselves, making them think that they are not good enough or not doing enough, when they in fact have. The real issue is that women have to give themselves permission to be happy with what they have personally accomplished in those areas of their lives because if they don’t they will just fall into believing other peoples stereotypical criticisms.

    http://www.matchinternational.org
    http://www.twitter.com/MatchIntCentre
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Match-International/149004639694

  5. Deborah Botnen says:

    Dear Doctor Phil,

    While I totally agree with the feelings of my gender above. What is really missing is fidelity in the men that we are married to that father our children, or promise to God to be faithful, in front of God and witnesses. (I agree it can swing both ways, and in fact if it were not for “women” who have no morals or values, and IFevery woman in America would embrace sex is for marrige “only”, there would be no adultry).

    Men told to go home to their wives that flirt with women, would create a culture of families till death do us part…..to say well that is great in a perfect world………why can’t we create it. Paradigms change……..Galileo for example….the entire population believed the universe was the center of the earth. It took one man to change the culture.

    We need men to “protect” us to “love” us to allow us to rest…….to be “part” of our lives as we give our lives in full to them and the children they fathered.

    Addictions……..phewey……..it is downright sin……pornography, adultry, overeating and the like.

    They are just excuses to continue a behavior that is lazy and comfortable to the individual.

    So……men……..be uplifting and supporting and loving and forgiving and kind and faithful…….it may not always rock your boat if you have expectations in doing so. But it will save your family and children life long scars that carry on through generations to come.

    Blessings

    Deborah

  6. Deborah Botnen says:

    America stop fighting………we are divided……..we are hateful to our own people and families…stop.

  7. Deborah Botnen says:

    America all we have to do is be Agape with one another and stop putting more pressure and making up excuses……….lets stop being divided…..because we ARE.

  8. Deborah Botnen says:

    I agree.

  9. Shawn Tiggs says:

    Well the hormone theory does have one undeniable truth. That truth is women are very complex. However, I do not feel as if it is because they are hard on themselves. In my experience their complexities come from being hard on others. What I mean is women tend to expect things more than men do. They expect things such as complements, acknowledgement, and reassurance; not just material things, which leaves them at a greater risk of let downs. That does not mean that women are less satisfied. It means women have more opportunities to be satisfied. For example I have seen women reach emotional peak when her spouse gives her flowers for no reason or when her child got off the bus, and that same child it would take a first touchdown to give the dad as much enjoyment. That being said, a shortage of satisfaction is not the diagnosis.
    Secondly, I am not baffled at all, that research concludes women “reportedly have not gotten any happier.” I feel that work related success and overall happiness only have minor comparisons. A person can only draw so much meaningful happiness from a job. I’m not talking a Cadillac or Bentley; I’m talking about the feeling of knowing your family is financially safe, etc. I call that futuristic happiness, because it might motivate you but it won’t keep you happy right now. On the other hand you have “overall happiness.” What I mean by that is your overall happiness how do you feel now. If you compared the two you will see why I feel that the research is accurate. To me Working does not make women happy now.
    Finally, to my knowledge of the situation the root cause for this unhappiness is that men have changed, because women changed. Before women workers started working men were the faces of society and their homes. Back then a man who did not work was deemed no man at all. I feel, as women were battling for equality men were battling for there image and dignity which some inevitably lost, and as women earned there freedom some men lost there will to provide and actually be what society considers a “man.”I feel this is what set the ripple in the older day equilibrium of men and women changing it forever. I bravely believe that women bit into the cake of equality, and did not get what was advertised. They instead got an unbalance from men because more and more men are not living up to the equality women were fighting for. I hope you can relate or make sense of all this, Thank you for your time.

  10. Melissa says:

    As we advance in this world, we are still the cooks, the cleaners and the fix it all at our homes, whether we work and become succesful in our careers or we stay at home like the old days. Its not surprising at all that we as women are becoming more sad, we are trying to succeed and the more we go for, the more we have to carry. Men on the other hand, can prosperably grow without the luggage to be carried on their backs. They might continue to grow in the same aspect that they always have, but they are not advancing in other areas like being stay at home dads, cooking, cleaning and being the emotional go-to person of the household. Afterall, why would they? Its still our task.

  11. LaurenZ says:

    To me true Happiness comes from working on yourself – in all areas.
    Emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually etc.
    The key is striving for balance/equilibrium.
    Otherwise people look to other things to make themselves happy – and when those things fall apart/don’t work out then they aren’t happy and need to chase or find other ways to get their “happy fix” [which is not real then by the way]

  12. Paradoxis says:

    Ms. Stephenson, I thank you for the links you posted. They are new to me after all these years and I appreciate them. :)

    You didn’t have anything to do with me meeting Dr Phil in Brisbane before his show when he was here. I tweeted him directly, and got a direct response from him. Nobody got backstage passes “for” me, as you seem to think.

    And yes, there is pain in my blog, but no more than in anyone elses. There is nothing special about me, and I have more to be grateful for than most people I know. That’s how I feel.

    But I don’t owe you or anyone else for what I’ve been given.

  13. Danielle Cassoff says:

    hi Dr.phil i dont know if youve been reading my tweets or anything but you answerdonce and words cannot describe how happy i was!! every episode you change someones life it bothers me when people say that Oprah made you successful because even though she helped you you work hard everyday and it really shows your passionate about your job, and you love what you you inspire me and make me want to be a better person! ive been a fan for as long as i can remember and i always will be. thank you for everything whenever i have a bad day i come home and watch your show and it makes everything better ive never looked up to someone they way i look up to you your kindness and sensitivity is beyond amazing! im so happy for you and all the success you have in your life

    -YOUR BIGGEST FAN EVER DANIELLE CASSOFF

  14. Kristin says:

    DrPhil~ I am 27, a fulltime student, and a stay at home mom. I am married to a man that is very abusive. He choked me to the point that i almost blacked out. Just two weeks ago, he said he doesnt want to be a father, husband and provider anymore and walked out on us. He makes all the money. I have nothing just two hungry, growning mouths to feed. I have no car, no job,no family and no money. I am trying to get state help but to get cash help u need to go to a class to help get you a job. I dont have a car to get there. I have tried shelters they wont take my 5 months old daughter or they dont have beds for us. He is out of the house and just got another DUI so he will be going ot jail very soon and then I am really screwed. I will kicked out of my house because there is no income. I want to leave with my kids to go to Chicago to be near my sister. I need this help and any other help you could provide would be great!. thank you for listening . Your friend and fan Kristin

  15. Victoria says:

    As you pointed out, there isn’t really equality yet. We do the same jobs as men, for often less pay, and still have to go home & cook, clean, do the kid stuff, pay the bills, etc., and be sex godesses.

    I personally am happier now than I was 20 years ago. And I’m single (and a mom of 3) which has alot to do with it. Sure I’d like to find a partner, but probably wouldn’t get married again.

    What I’m seeing out there is while women are getting stronger, more decisive and self reliant, a lot of men are getting weaker, indecisive, unable to commit or perhaps just scared. Women are looking for men who act like men and that is getting harder to find.

  16. Sandra says:

    I think that many women will never be satisfied no matter what happens in their lives. To paint with a broad brush, a woman may say she wants a man who will be an equal partner at home, but if she finds him, she either complains because he doesn’t do things the ways they “should” be done, or she thinks he’s boring and not worth getting involved with — she’d rather go for the “bad boy” who will treat her like dirt.

    In all honesty, I’m not surprised that men are happier, because they don’t have to worry about taking on any responsibilities that they don’t want. As we can see from popular (advertising) culture, men are regarded by our society as either children or animals (I am getting *very* tired of all the male-bashing that goes on in commercials). Whether they behave well or badly, they will receive no respect from women or society, so why should they bother?

    I am a woman, and I am also a teacher. I am becoming increasingly concerned about the young men I teach. Many of them have no fathers in their lives, for whatever reason, and I worry about those that have no positive male role models in their lives to show them how to be real men.

  17. Annie says:

    Dear Dr. Phil,

    I believe the increase of women in the work force was developed out of necessity not necessarily out of desire. Like you said Dr. Phil, being a stay at home mom is equivalent to having 2 full time jobs. Now what right minded person, being male or female, wants to add to that load? Women had to start picking up where the men were leaving off. When women were little girls they were taught to take a back seat and depend on the men to take care of their needs. Well sorry fellow’s you fell short of that a long time ago. Women have had to learn the hard way that the only person they can count on and depend on is themselves.

    I feel sorry for the men who allow their ego’s to be pricked by women joining the ranks of the work force. Women raising their kids alone need to eat too. But to answer your question about happiness, women didn’t join the work force to be happier. They joined to survive a world that was created by men for men. Kind of hard to be happy about competing in an area your not wanted in the first place and getting very little in return for the same, if not more, effort that’s put into their job.

    I am 55 years old and since I have been 17 I have had to scratch and claw my way to where I am today which isn’t very far in comparison to where some of the very successful women are today. I work for a small company and although I finally found a boss that speaks to me like I am a human being, my wages do not reflect the importance of my job which is to take care of every aspect of his business. I am the only woman in this company and all the men who are equal to my responsibilities make two and a half times more than me. When I asked for a raise last year you would think I was asking for the man’s right lung and it all depended upon the business finances. Yet during that very same time he hired someone and asked me to set up his pay in a way that made sure he came home with x amount of dollars (which was considerably more than mine) because he had a family to take care of. Thank God he was requesting this of me by phone because he would have seen my jaw drop to the ground.

    Life is always about growth and improvements. People either learn to adapt or drop out. Women aren’t any happier because men are still men. And we weren’t created to be alone.

  18. Kathi Grace says:

    Dear Dr. Phil,
    One reason I see that women as a group are not happier even though we now make up more of the workforce outside the home is that sexism is still the accepted “ism”. Racism, ageism, etc. receive attention. Sexism is largely overlooked and justified by many religious people and their institutions.
    I believe that the cause of this prevailing sexism is the need men have to define themselves as different from women. A boy has to experience a “break” in his identity as he realizes ( often unconsciously) that he is not “like” the person with whom he has first identified – his mother. From that point on he begins to define himself as “not that”. For example in the family: if females give birth, then males kill (to protect the family or nation etc.). If females are talkative and involved with the children then men are more remote and less involved. (I’m not referring to individual personality differences here but to deep biological differences in behavior.) Because these behavioral differences are not recognized the differences are not valued equally by men who are competitive and who order their concepts about the world in an hierarchical way. So as a man rejects his own femininity internally, he also rejects, externally, females of his species. Only after a man has integrated his own femininity can he see females as complementary to himself and thus equal to him, rather than inferior to himself. Unfortunately we as a species are not all so conscious and aware as to have passed through this stage of our mental/emotional development.
    Femininity and masculinity are indeed complementary. We need to value femininity within ourselves and within our culture to a much greater extent than we do. We also need to insist on equal pay for equal work and insist on equal “nesting work” at home for males and females. We have enough plasticity in our brains to succeed at this elimination of sexism if we choose to. It does take work though and a commitment from feminists to keep on making changes.

  19. RE: Paradoxis says:
    October 29, 2009 at 5:02 am

    Paradoxis, you are welcome for the links. Since I’ve posted suicide prevention and other help information for my fellow members for over 6 years… When I clicked your name here as I do other members here who have links to their name and others likewise click my name here. I saw your most recent blog and it touched my heart so I found below links for you. I’m not perfect and just doing my best on a wing and a prayer. Some days everything clicks and others not.

    http://www.alasqld.com/
    AND
    http://www.alasqld.blogspot.com/

    I meant that when you followed my name link here to twitter and tweeted that you wanted and were hesitant to ask for backstage passes when Dr. Phil in Brisbane… I tweeted you that it never hurts to ask so you did. I should have used the word encouraged you when you were hesitant to ask for.

    To me, I consider that help when someone cheers me on… sorry you were offended. Then when you didn’t know how to get your picture I spoke up for you too. I just did to help and am still amazed how when we tweet Dr. Phil and his family and staff we hear back like you and I have. Below is tweet from Dr. Phil Producer when I was helping you get your picture with Dr. Phil in Brisbane. So glad you got pic. All the best to you and yours. SEA

    QUOTED TWEET: From Carla Pennington, Dr. Phil Show Producer

    http://twitter.com/penninca

    “penninca

    @SEAangels14 let me know if @paradoxi6 has not received her Brisbane pics. Sometimes it takes awhile. If not, I can help”

  20. Susan says:

    I definitely agree with Kathi Grace’s statement about rampant sexism which is still prevalent, especially in religious conservative communities. Those who are religious extremists support this sexism, and don’t seem to encourage women to have as much education as they can, because the men in those communities view it as a serious threat to their authority. Which they gave to themselves, by the way.

    The way I see it, women can be a lot happier when more of us start ignoring the beliefs of hard-line religions, and make our own rules to live by, assuming they don’t break the laws of our cities, states and countries, of course. For example, many religions tell women they “should” have children, and they don’t take into account the simple fact that not all women are suited for motherhood. So many women have kids because they were told they’re “supposed to” and all too often, we hear absolute horror stories about women who have severely neglected, or worse, abused or even killed their children. These are terrible tragedies and even crimes which could have been avoided if some women had just ignored the guilt peddlers instead of listening to them and accept their beliefs as facts.

    Personally, I am much happier living in a modern age where women can make her own choices about things, like whether she will be a mother or not, and if she wants to be a mom, how many children SHE wants instead of being told how many she “should” have. We are free to ignore the “shoulds” and “ought to’s” and I’m very grateful we HAVE that freedom. It wasn’t always the case.

  21. Paradoxis says:

    Thanks for clarifying, Ms Stephenson. I’m sorry for the misunderstanding. It’s true, you and others have been very supportive of me and helpful to me, and it’s made a huge difference to me. Thankyou. :)

  22. daizyMae says:

    Women in the workforce want to be paid the same as their male counterparts for doing the same job. But, is that equality the key to being happy — not necessarily. To me, happiness is having coworkers who will DO their job, care about the success of the company, and will “go the extra mile” once in a while because it matters!!! Some people ONLY care about receiving a paycheck. Poor work ethic is growing throughout this nation and it really is sad to see that people don’t care. Parents aren’t teaching their children to work hard, to be responsible citizens, and to show respect for others.

  23. Mitzy Roberts says:

    Susan

    The percentage of religious conservatives that are sexist is a very low percentage. My mother in law is a pastor at a Assembly og God church. I know many conservative Christians that are not sexist and not just at my church either. I have been and lived in many states in the US and have gone to many different churches. Also religion has nothing to do with why some women neglect or kill their children. Quite the contrary. That is most likely from an unplanned pregnacy and post pardom depression. Sorry but your generalizing severly offends me. Out of all the Christians I know which is a large number only 2 men are sexist. Not all Christians are like the morman extremist that live in compounds.

    I personally think that is because like many women have already said on here it is because they work and do most of the household chores and take care of the kids. I do admit that that a lot of them take it upon themselves to do it all trying to be supermom or because they think the man can’t do it good enough. That is just about the married women. Most other women are unhappy because of divorces. Divorce rate keeps going up and its usually the women who end up alone. Single prefesional women are unhappy because its hard to get a man that isn’t intimidated by them. Last point is statistcly more women are democrats and statistcly Republicans are happier than Dems. Also statistics say that Republicans have more sex than Democrats do. Oh and statistcly religious people are happier than athiest. So I sugest you get your facts right.

  24. Joni says:

    I have got to express my concern for the families and friends of the victims of the shooting at Ft. Hood. And the speculation that the JAG officer was making due to the shooters last name was very upsetting. Yes the man had to be ill, but just because he seems to have an islamic last name does not necessarily mean it was a terror attack. He was evidently upset, and distraught over the prospect of being deployed. But, in the same sense it does not make it excusable to what he has done. The families and the victims are in my prayers. Also one more thing that pissed me off was that when the JAG guy said that the shooter being a officer and his profession should have made it to where he would not have a mental or stressful reaction to the upcoming deployment. We will not know why he has done what he done until and unless he is willing to talk and when the information is gathered from his computer, family, friends and possibly things he had written down and has in his home.
    My heart goes out to the brave men and women who both were victims and who survived. I as well as my husband are ex military and know the stress that goes along with the deployment of a family member and how the family member feels as well.
    God Bless our Troops!

  25. Becky says:

    It is so ironic that just today, as I was winding down my busy “1950’s” style homemaker, day and I thought to myself with a sigh “So this is what fulfillment is”. The laundry was done. Grocery shopping was complete. A fresh and healthy meal was being prepared by yours truly, and I had healthy snacks ready for my 1st and 2nd grade girl and boy, as any minute they would be getting off of the bus.

    My kids get off of the bus at their home, at the end of the school day. There is no babysitter, no after school programs. They come home to me, begging to hear about their day and making sure they eat a nutritious snack and get their homework done. They come home to me, anxious for their hugs and stories of triumph and troubles. They come home to their mother, knowing that they are her full time job.

    My husband walks through the door usually to a clean house, but not always. One thing that he can count on for sure is that his wife is happy to see him, his kids can not wait to throw the ball around or have a dance with their dad, and dinner is made. Work is behind him, at least for a little while, and he can escape to a place where he is loved and where he can love back.

    All this after my workout in the morning, powerlifting and CrossFit style training, reading, bible study or maybe just a Dr. Phil book (couldn’t miss that one). After 2 years of separation from my husband, nearly divorced-very nearly divorced, a whole lot of havoc, chaos, empty pseudo-happiness, and nearly every kind of “stuffer” attempted, I finally “Get it”.

    When your priorities are straight, it ain’t so complicated. Our nation is falling to pieces because mom checked out a long time ago, in search of the corner office, leaving the kids…now, where did she leave those kids? Husband? Who needs him anyway, “I’m the primary bread-winner”. The most important person in the home is no longer “in the home” and even if she is, she is feeling this culture induced need to be the CEO of some bs company that really could care less about her or her friggin’ family.

    Work, if that’s what you choose. I personally have a lot of respect for moms who can swing it and do both exceedingly well. I couldn’t do both well, I wasn’t doing either well and now, I can say for certain that at least I am doing one job exceedingly well. I love my friends who work outside of the home in a “career” as much as I love my friends who are at home or working part time. I do hear their complaints and see their struggles more often than my “home girls”.

    Happiness is in relationships. Happy marriage, happy relationship with kids, happy friendships, happy life. Okay, biggest relationship to be happy in is the relationship you have with God. Key. Then, all else is decided.

  26. prefer anonymous says:

    The statistic of women earning 70 cents for every dollar earned by men is based on the premise that women and men hold the same jobs. That may be true at the etnry level, but for many highly educated women with advanced degrees, after about the 8th or 9th experience year the situation becomes dramatically different. Since about the year 2002 there has been a concerted effort to drive women out of high positions in industry in science and high technology. Women with advanced degrees can only get temporary jobs or substitute teaching or go into something else. The difference is men on their second promotion vs. women earning less than $40K or even being in poverty, and I am talking about advanced degree in everything from chemistry to architecture to engineering to economics. Our country is wasting the female talent it has educated. As for happiness in the marital sphere, I think this is dramatically different according to race and skin color. A highly educated women with white skin and blonde hair will have an excellent chance at a happy marriage, but African American women and dark skinned ethnic women have the cards stacked against them. Most successful, handsome men feel that having a blonde is the status symbol of the success in a career. I think the corporate world has become very stacked against women unless the women is in a support role such as HR rather than R&D, and when I talk to young women, I advise them that they have a better chance for happiness going to medical school rather than pursuing a corporate career.

  27. Becky says:

    Anonymous,
    So you are saying that blonde white women are more likely to have happier marriages…because they are blonde? How simple. They sell blonde hair dye everywhere. What about blondes in the corporate world? Are they less likely to achieve because men don’t take them seriously?
    Your argument has many holes in it. Women are taking this “equality” issue to the enth degree. Our nation is paying for it. Women should be encouraged to do whichever career they dream to be involved in.
    I truly hope that you never reach my daughter to advise her. You’re just passing out the Kool-Aid with the rest of them and encouraging sexism. No glass ceiling…isn’t that the motto? If the women’s movement is about freedom to choose, they should be free to choose high level corporate positions, if they wish.

  28. M Simpson says:

    This is my comment about Alezandra the young girl at 15 who had a baby, and you keep on doing shows with and about thher family. There is no diught that she needs to straighten her life out to get her kids back, and have a peaceful relationship with the father of the kids. My quams are with the mother. I know she may love her mother. But, if I was her I would finish what I needed to do with the courts, and get 50 50 custody and when she has her custody move out of the state away from her mother. That is why I moved out of the state I lived in. I could not bear to have my mother critizize me when she did was deplorable. At times I never felt that she cared and she show it to at times. But this mother I feel has gone too far with sticking her nose in and turning on her daughter like that. Blood is thicker than water and no matter what the mom says she does not even have a clue.

  29. stacey says:

    How can anyone say that woman are equals in all work forces? All woman say that they want to be treated equally and to be paid to do the same job. Ok, Im all for that, but you have to do the same job. I worked at a previous job where some heavy lifting was required. Everytime that a woman was to lift it, she just pouted to one of the guys and would say it was too heavy for her and that he had to get it. How is that doing the same job? If the guy refused he was reprimanded by the boss for not being part of the team. So, if you can’t and won’t do the same work as a man, why should you get paid the same salary? You shouldn’t. Now dont get me wrong, I am not saying that women shouldnt be in the work force but if you want the same pay, be able to do the same job!

  30. JJ-Sydney, Australia says:

    Dr Phil,

    Women have not achieved equality. We are a long way off from achieving that, if we ever will.

    Me, I regret being a woman in a patriarchal society. I don’t want to be a man but I don’t want to be a woman in a patriarchal society and have to continually face the challenges, difficulties, disadvantage and double-standards of being a woman in a patriarchal society. Unforunately, those are the only two choices – be a man or be a woman in a patriarchal society. There is no escape/respite.

    I resent everything that is expected of me as a woman in a patriarchal society. I resent the way patriarchy has shaped my life and limited my life opportunities.

    I wake up in the morning and hate being a woman. It negatively colours my day. How can anyone be happy when they hate who/what they are and the society that they live and when there is no escape/respite/relief from that?

  31. david says:

    I agree with deborah botnen about us being so divided. Just the fact that were trying to analyze this means there are too many psychological walls that have been set in place by our society since birth, and it will be a long time in coming until we stop seeing eachother in the ways that were different from ourselves.

  32. Tammy Burns says:

    I AM BEGGING BY THE GRACE OF GOD FOR YOUR HELP!! Want to talk about equality? If this was a man’s penis that was cut off, you can bet it would be all over the news!
    In June 2010 I went in for surgery for vin 111(Vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN) ) Vin is Not cancer! This is a pre cancer, I had a lesion on the top of my clitoris. I had 2 small holes in my left labia from a previous surgery.( Same thing 8 years ago) I told the doctor I was seeing that I wanted laser surgery( I did not know it was available in the first surgery) I asked him if he could repair the 2 holes in the labia, and he told me he could. It is in his records before my surgery that he will laser the surface of the clitoris, repair holes in labia. When I awoke in the hospital I was certain he had cut off my labia and clitoris! I told my husband, girlfriend and sister…I think he cut off my labia and my clitoris,they told me to let things heal, When I got home from the hospital I knew it was so! I went to see an obgyn who has patients with the same thing and she wrote a report stating that in her opinion at least 80% of the clitoris is gone and 50% percent of the labia, feels like more than that!! The only thing left of the labia is a piece he left hanging at the top?The doctor never mentioned what he did. I have filed a complaint against this doctor, we will have a hearing August 2011. He is in his 70’s now so if he loses his license…so what! If he doesn’t I will probably really lose it!
    I am completely devastated!! My husband and I enjoyed a beautiful intimate sexual life together, and now it is gone! I seen a woman counselor a few times and asked her to write a letter that I was seeing her per my possible retainment of an attorney. She called me a week later and asked me what it was he had cut off, the clitoris or cervex! Needless to say I never went back! I bet she might remember if it had been a man’s penis that was cut off! I am in a black hole! I was studying to be a nurse before this happened, I am having a problem finding an attorney to take my case, because they all say I have a case but they don’t have the time or money to take it. The one still working with me recently sent me a expert witness but they want me to pay the fees up to 2,000.00, then if the expert will testify they will take my case! I The expert they gave me to make out a 900.00 check that I can’t afford, turns out to be an expert in incontinence issues, pelvic floor etc. I called her nurse, they do not know anything about this! I contacted an attorney in New York who tried a similar case to mine and won a 60 million dollar suit and he referred me to an attorney here they said he will contact me, I got a letter from the N.Y. firm saying the attorney in AZ did not think he wanted to take my case and they were closing it! He had not even read my medical records yet when I called him he said” well send them and I will review them and let you know”? Never heard from him! He did not like my attitude I guess! I know I have a case, if there even was an argument that he removed my clitoris to save my life( Which would be BULL) there was no pre cancer on the labia AT ALL, says in the pathology report as well! If I did not care what the labia looked like I would not have asked him to repair. The other issue is that the Doctor who did this said that if the biopsy came back cancer her would not be able to do the surgery and would have to refer me to an OBGYN/ Oncologist, but it was not cancer, even if it were, don’t I have the choice to say I do not want anything cut off? I feel completely lost and alone. I need justice for this or I do not know how I can ever live in peace again. My husband and I attempted intimacy a few times but there is nothing left to feel, I can’t talk about this without crying, I have always been a strong woman, I lost my mother to breast cancer when I was 17, my father left when I was 11 after my mother found out he had been molesting my half sister for years(He got her pregnant and had to put the baby up for adoption) We met her over 20 years ago and in the past few years have been getting really close…WHOLE OTHER SHOW LOL. I have just a year left now by Arizona law to get an attorney who will take my case. I am begging for your help! I am begging for you to expose this kind of pre cancer that can eventually lead to cancer over years untreated, no one talks about this or even knows of such a thing unless they have had it themselves. There of course is more to my story, however I do not have enough room here to put in all the details. PLEASE HELP ME!! I HAVE NO WHERE ELSE TO TURN.
    Sincerely,
    Tammy Burns

  33. Sharon Miller says:

    Hi. I’ve been pondering the definition of happiness for some time. It’s not a ‘one size fits all’ kind of thing. Obviously different things make different people happy. For me, the definition of happiness is as simple as finding joy in everything I do, no matter what it is. It’s looking forward expectantly to good things and noticing the beauty in my surroundings. Since my favorite place to be is in the barn or in the yard, spending more time or having more responsibility at work wouldn’t ‘make’ me happy, although I could very well find alot of joy in it. I love my job and the people I work with. On the other hand; having enough money to stay home and play would definitely put a smile on my face; but it would’t ‘make’ me happy. I know this because I all ready am. :)

  34. Sally says:

    I think there aware several demands for both stay at home and women in the workforce. As a single mother and owner of a private practice, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and the need to be able to perform at a higher level can be stressful. I feel although women have made great strides in the work force, we still reach the glass ceiling when it comes to business. For me it is challenging and I do feel often that we are living in the mans work world and still striving for equality. I am so proud of the strides women have made today.

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