The H Spot
The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness
By Jill Filipovic
Everything we've heard from the "new" feminist wave is dead wrong: achieving success in life is not about leaning in, working harder, or "having it all" - it's about a woman's right to pursue happiness
What do women want? The same thing men were promised in the Declaration of Independence: happiness, or at least the freedom to pursue it.
For women, though, pursuing happiness is a complicated endeavor, and if you head out into America and talk to women one-on-one, as Jill Filipovic has done, you'll see that happiness is indelibly shaped by the constraints of gender, the expectations of feminine sacrifice, and the myriad ways that womanhood itself differs along lines of race, class, location, and identity.
In The H-Spot, Filipovic argues that the main obstacle standing in-between women and happiness is a rigged system. In this world of unfinished feminism, men have long been able to "have it all" because of free female labor, while the bar of achievement for women has only gotten higher. Never before have women at every economic level had to work so much (whether it's to be an accomplished white-collar employee or just make ends meet). Never before have the standards of feminine perfection been so high. And never before have the requirements for being a "good mother" been so extreme. If our laws and policies made women's happiness and fulfillment a goal in and of itself, Filipovic contends, many of our country's most contentious political issues - from reproductive rights to equal pay to welfare spending - would swiftly be resolved.
Filipovic argues that it is more important than ever to prioritize women's happiness-and that doing so will make men's lives better, too. Here, she provides an outline for a feminist movement we all need and a blueprint for how policy, laws, and society can deliver on the promise of the pursuit of happiness for all.
Jill Filipovic is a journalist based in Nairobi and New York City. Formerly a columnist at the Guardian and Cosmopolitan.com's senior political writer, she is also an attorney. Her work on law, politics, gender and foreign affairs has appeared in Al Jazeera America, the Nation, Foreign Policy, GOOD Magazine, Marie Claire, and others. She was an editor at NYU Law's Journal of Law and Social Change, and a contributor to the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism and the anthology Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape, named one of the best books of the year by Publisher's Weekly. A winner of a 2014 Newswomen's Club of New York Front Page Award for her global health reporting, and of a Society for Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi award for political commentary, she was also a 2013 UN Foundation Fellow in Malawi and Indonesia and a 2014 International Reporting Project fellow in Brazil and India.
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- Publication date:
31 May 2018
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