News roundup: Are modern women miserable?

Guilt is making us nuts, says the S.F. Chron. Plus: Why you should sleep late and the resurgence of female hermits.

By Sarah Hepola
Published March 14, 2008 10:49PM (EDT)

If you don't read this, you might feel guilty: The San Francisco Chronicle magazine asks, Are modern women miserable? Well, they may not be miserable, but they're not as happy as they used to be, according to two recent studies. What's the culprit? Guilt. Women are guiltier than ever. Step into the mind of one woman and see the ugly wheels of self-recrimination grinding against each other: " She feels guilty that it's the nanny who gets to spend so much fun time with her daughter. She feels guilty that she no longer has time for writing or any other artistic expression. She feels guilty when her mother, who she says uses the words 'you should' a lot, suggests they are too social, even though they usually take their daughter with them when they go out." To summarize? She feels guilty. There is one little spot of good news in the piece: "No one's certain why African American women report higher levels of happiness than they did in the '70s, but it's an intriguing aberration that merits follow-up." Get on that, somebody, would you?

Best reason to take a nap: Sleepless nights are more harmful for women than men. In addition to an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes, "Women who slept poorly were also much more likely to experience hostility, distress, depression and anger, according to the study."

A roomy sedan of one's own: Women's influence in the automotive market has hit an all-time high.

And when all else fails: Italian women are taking up the hermit's life. "Hermit tourism is also becoming a fad. A company called Spiritour offers 'hermit holidays' in the dunes of Morocco, while Ictus Voyages have a similar retreat in the Sinai desert."

Sarah Hepola

Sarah Hepola is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, "Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget."

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