You Can Thank the Feminists

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I've always wondered if the feminist movement did more harm than good to their fellow sisters. To some feminists I am a women-hating misogynist just for asking. To be sure, women have come a long way because of feminism. Now they can get abortions, work 9-5 jobs, and die on the battlefield as a member of the US. Military. And according to a new study, the more hours a woman works the more she suffers from a host of detrimental effects.

Whatever it takes to reach equality:

LONDON (Reuters) - Working long hours has a greater negative impact on women than men because it makes them more likely to smoke, drink coffee and eat unhealthy food.

Both sexes consume less alcohol if they spend more time working, researchers said on Wednesday, but toiling extra hours makes women crave unhealthy snacks.

"Women who work long hours eat more high-fat and high-sugar snacks, exercise less, drink more caffeine and, if smokers, smoke more than their male colleagues," said Dr. Daryl O'Connor, a researcher at Britain's Leeds University.

"For men, working longer hours has no negative impact on exercise, caffeine intake or smoking," O'Connor said in a statement released by the Economic and Social Research Council, which funded his study.

O'Connor's team of scientists were studying the impact of stress on eating habits. They looked at what causes stress at home and at work and how people react to it.

The results show that one or more stressful events such as making a presentation, a meeting with the boss or missing a deadline was linked to eating more between-meal snacks and fewer or smaller portions of fruits and vegetables.

"Stress disrupts people's normal eating habits," he said.

The people who were most vulnerable were so-called emotional eaters.

"These individuals have higher levels of vulnerability and tend to turn to food as an escape from self-awareness," O'Connor said.

"When they feel anxious or emotionally aroused or negative about themselves, they try to avoid these negative feelings by turning their attention to food."
The same stress also impacts the household when a working woman takes it home. It leads to unstable relationships. It leads to divorce. It leads to children spending more time in daycare when both parents are away from the home.

And as more women enter the workforce an increasing number enter the prison population - at a higher rate than any other demographic. More women are seeking employment opportunities than ever before, but more are also seeking criminal opportunities.

But it's worth it to feminists. They still have work to do, and probably won't rest until gender-segregated bathrooms are a thing of the past, every NFL team has at least one female linebacker, women are on the front lines in battle, and life-expectancy becomes indistinguishable between the genders.

I admit I'm not a woman, and I have no idea what it's like to desire an unrealistic level of "equality" between the sexes. But in light of everything that has happened as a result of the feminist movement, was it really such a bad thing being a housewife who spent more time running a family than working overtime in a stressful office?