Steinglass makes a shrewd point:
However limiting and intellectually repressive parenthood may be in America, it's much more restrictive for mothers in traditionalist gender-segregated societies like Japan, Italy and Greece. That comes out in childbirth statistics: women in Japan, Italy and Greece have simply stopped having children. In other societies with gender-segregated traditional family roles, like Vietnam, higher birthrates result from intense Confucian pro-natalist social pressures that leave women extremely unhappy, and birthrates there are likely to drop rapidly as women achieve greater social independence. American women, meanwhile, are still choosing to have kids, and that's partly because they can continue to have careers, and their male partners share at least some of the child-rearing duties.
And this is a success for Western feminism, right? It's good for kids to have non-miserable mothers.
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