Women are hard wired to wonder if they aren’t missing out on something. Could they find a better man? Do they have enough money, the right clothes and shoes? Are they being treated well enough by their husbands, and at their job?A Dalrock post linked by Instapundit links in turn to another, previous Dalrock post entitled The Whispers, which is worth quoting on its own.
I think this pretty neatly fits with the concept of hypergamy, and it does serve a biological purpose. Women need to make sure they choose the best mate possible, and that they have the status and means to care for the child.Read the whole thing™ and check out quotes from Stephen Baskerville's Taken Into Custody (The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family).
But constantly wondering if what you have is enough isn’t always a virtue; in the wrong context (most of modern life) it is a prescription for unhappiness. Not just their unhappiness, but that of their family, especially their children. A sane culture would curb the dangerous part of this tendency. It would caution women of the danger of never being happy, as the Brothers Grimm tale The Fisherman’s Wife does (post pending).
But then again we don’t live in a sane culture, we live in a feminist culture. Feminism’s founding motto is “I never get to have any fun!” Instead of curbing the worst instincts of women, our culture instead amplifies them.
Here’s an experiment you can try on your own. Find a five year old, and ask them why did all of your friends get ice cream today and you didn’t? or why are all of their toys better than yours? Find a bunch of toys they don’t have which look like they would be really great to play with. Then ask them why their parents don’t love them enough to buy them for them. For best results, taunt them relentlessly every day. Wake them up in the middle of the night and ask why their classmates get to sleep in a more comfortable bed than they do. At breakfast ask them if they think their classmates are eating better food right now. Find new and interesting things they should feel slighted about. Try this for say, 30 years.
Now test and see if they are happy.
As for Instapundit readers, also check out what has to say:
Thing is, I think women in general have *always* been status-conscious when it comes to their relationships with men. Women (again, in general) are obsessed with relationships, period. The never-ending comparisons, check lists, gossip, the microscopic parsing of every conversation, every nuance of every syllable in a conversation with That Man ... this is as old as the hills & hasn't really changed since wimmins were wearing bearskins & grinding meal with stone. This is what wimmins do.
What has changed are the cultural & technological contexts.
Too many to list, but we are aware of the biggies: material affluence, labor-saving machines in the home, mass media, huge changes in law & labor force participation, artificial contraception, feminization of the culture at large, radical moral autonomy & sexual license in place of traditional Judeo-Christian concepts of marriage & family, etc etc.
The combination of all these is a toxic brew exacerbating what have always been women's unfortunate tendencies towards relationship nit-picking, status-checking & insecurity. The physical harshness of life, the lack of a mass media echo chamber, the prominence of traditional religion, social taboos against and legal obstacles to divorce, used to act as strong restraints on excessive dwelling on discontent & fantasies of ditching one's familial & marital obligations ISO the elusive "carefree" life.
Those restraints for the most part have faded & been dismantled, but the less-than-admirable psychological, emotional & behavioral tendencies they held in check did not go away. So we now have the dismal portrait of what a society looks like when unrealistic expectations in relationships and marriage are a dime a dozen, selfishness is hyped and rewarded, neurosis is coddled, promiscuity romanticized & celebrated, and happiness is the ever-elusive mechanical rabbit that keeps the dogs racing around and around the track.