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Are we really happier in 2016?

(16 Posts)
von12 Mon 10-Oct-16 13:50:21

I've just read a very interesting article by the BBC which says that women are happier being women in 2016 than they were in 1947 - it's here if you'd like to have a look

The most surprising thing (to me at least) is that women are more positive about marriage now than they were then. I would have expected the opposite. I was born in 1934 so started to experience womanhood in the late 1940s, but I'm not sure I feel especially different. Of course things are better in terms of work etc, but happier...not so sure. What do others think?

And a very happy birthday to Woman's Hour!

MargaretX Mon 10-Oct-16 15:54:10

When I look at the life my mother lead in 1947 and the life I lead now I would say that I am happier. You can't generalise and my mother complained a lot and slogged a lot at her many household tasks without any sort of machine to help.
If those miserable women who are not happy in 2016 could go back a week to live in a 1947 situation house then they would not have enough energy at the end of the day to wonder if they were happy. And in winter its freezing cold.

Another superficial commentary by the BBC.

Charleygirl Mon 10-Oct-16 17:06:36

MargaretX- I agree with you. My mother had one day off a month, me to look after from the mid 40's and no machines or other family to help. Her life as I look back, was one long drudge until slowly my parents could afford a washing machine, fridge, TV etc. I definitely think I am happier surrounded by all mod cons to make life so much easier.

LullyDully Mon 10-Oct-16 17:18:26

I do sometimes wonder what it was like to do the washing in the 40s .Just Chuck it in and out it comes, well spun now. My granny could wring anything out nearly dry with her wringing hands, even in her 70s. Not me. When I was little in 50s/ 60s the twin tub was a revolution. .

Penstemmon Mon 10-Oct-16 20:01:53

There was little financial freedom, work was often not a choice for many woman who would have liked to do so. Housework was a real chore as not as many labour saving devices. I suspect the married relationships for some women may have been less 'equal' than they are for young women today.
Hard to judge when contexts are so different!

kittylester Mon 10-Oct-16 20:12:58

I'm not surprised that women are more positive about marriage as it is a much more equal situation that in the 1940s.

rosesarered Mon 10-Oct-16 20:15:15

Exactly kitty It's a whole lot better being a woman today than back then.

Deedaa Mon 10-Oct-16 20:50:13

Even as recently as the 1940s a lot of women would still have looked at marriage as the only way to leave home, whether it was happy or not. I had two aunts who never married but spent their lives looking after their mother as they had no hope of having their own homes,

My mother's life was revolutionised by the arrival of the Laundrette, but in the early 60's I remember a miserable couple of years when our water heater broke down and all our hot water had to be boiled on the stove. It takes a lot of kettles to fill a bath!

Christinefrance Mon 10-Oct-16 21:29:31

I think life was physically harder in the 40s 50s and even 60s but I have to say that stress is much more of a factor now. Technology has grown so much we are bombarded with information and the world moves on so quickly. Just read this through and not sure if it's an age thing which makes it hard to keep up sometimes.

dramatictessa Mon 10-Oct-16 21:57:21

Stress has always existed, just had different causes in the past. And it was seen as a weakness so not talked about. My mum was not stressed by much as she was a very practical woman, but my dad suffered from anxiety all his life. Sorry, I've digressed a bit, but I would agree that most women would be more positive about marriage now. When the law changed to allow divorce when one partner had abandoned the other and could not be found, there were thousands of women petitioning for it, including the mother of a close friend.

daphnedill Mon 10-Oct-16 22:22:55

Quite a few women 'had to get married' too.

NanKate Mon 10-Oct-16 22:49:33

I think my mum was happy in the mid to late 1940s. She was happily married, my sister was born in 42 and me 46. We had a lovely little semi in Birmingham with a small back garden, which mum looked after and it was full of heavily scented red roses and had a pretty rockery.

My dad helped out when he was at home. We didn't have much money but in the summer mum would do housework in the morning, whilst my sister and I amused ourselves and then each afternoon she walked us to the Park where we played for an hour or so before going home to a homemade tea.

She would have hated life in 2016, particularly the swearing on the telly. shock

Sheilasue Tue 11-Oct-16 15:04:54

i was born after the war in 1945 but I know my mum went to work in other parts of the country before I was born taking my older sister but she was always working I don't think she and my dad had an easy life even though they worked hard it may have got easier after we all married and left home.

MargaretX Tue 11-Oct-16 15:48:13

For my Mother marriage was a way to leave home and she was already on the shelf at 28! My father was second choice but he offered marriage. Later in the middle war years she met the love of her life but divorce was not an option. She was his secretary and his wife was in a wheelchair. An impossible hurdle in those days.
Although working she had to ask for housekeeping money and the work! Washday was the most mmiserable day of the week followed by all the ironing.
She died a long time ago but writing this brings tears to my eyes. She just did not have a chance to be really happy.

daphnedill Tue 11-Oct-16 15:56:19

I remember my childhood years being organised round the washing!! My grandparents had given my parents one of the first twin tubs, but even that had to filled, watched over and emptied. My mother worked full time, so this was a job for us children after school. We would take the washing and fold it up, ready to hang outside the next day if the weather was fine. If it was rainy, the washing could take a few days to dry. And then the ironing! Arrrrgggghhh! No wonder crimplene dresses and non-iron nylon sheets became popular.

nigglynellie Tue 11-Oct-16 17:03:24

That's really sad MargaretX, in a different age things could have been so different for both of them. My mother married for the first time in 1941, 1 was born in 1943. I don't know much about their life together as it was only for 21 months, and six of those were spent apart. She did marry again in 1947, and my grandparents gave her a Hoover as a wedding present!! I remember in 1951 a Thor washing machine appearing, and my now widowed granny bringing her washing on the bus for my mother to do!! My stepfather was into amateur radio (a radio ham!!) which meant we had a TV early on as he made it. By the coronation all the wrinkles had been ironed out and we were able to ask neighbours round to watch! They were lovely parents but both have been dead for thirty years and I still miss them both. It's funny what you remember when it's all so long ago