🌹Socialist Feminism Reading Group: Emotional Labor

February 17, 2019 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

The Festival Center | 1640 Columbia Rd., NW | Washington, DC 20009

Event Page: https://www.meetup.com/mdcdsa/events/256481092/

Reading group Participation Guide: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1L6bDa9rxgCCr5O0QT5dZdKvcSSk8Nwi0B6II5vAvVCQ/edit

This month, our readings focus on emotional labor.

Feminism 101: What is Emotional Labor? Anya Bayerle, Fem Magazine, 02-11-18: “This type of labor takes a mental toll on employees. Emotional labor in the service industry is an expectation, not a suggestion.” https://femmagazine.com/feminism-101-what-is-emotional-labor/

At Trader Joe’s, Good Cheer May Hide Complaints. Noam Scheiber, New York Times, 11-03-16: “The environment in this job is toxic, but they’re trying to create this whole false idea that everything is cheery and bubbly.” https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/04/business/at-trader-joes-good-cheer-may-hide-complaints.html

Working in Retail as a Marginalized Person is a Constant Exercise of Emotional Labor. Crissonna Tennison, Wear Your Voice, 01-06-18: “People who don’t receive cultural, political or personal support have to affirm and validate their own internal realities as a matter of survival.” https://wearyourvoicemag.com/culture/working-retail-marginalized-person

A Modest Proposal for a Fair Trade Emotional Labor Economy. Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Bitch Media, 07-13-17: “Our organizing skills in these departments are incredible, and often not respected as much as masculine leaders’, or indeed seen as skills. Far too often, the emotional labor we do isn’t seen as labor.” https://www.bitchmedia.org/article/modest-proposal-fair-trade-emotional-labor-economy/centered-disabled-femme-color-working

You Are Not Entitled To My Emotional Labor. Carrie Saum, Ravishly, 11-22-17: “And it is always a man who needs something. A confidant. A pal. A woman to flatter him and make him feel, well, like A MAN.” https://ravishly.com/you-are-not-entitled-my-emotional-labor

Men Telling Women To Smile = Unpaid Emotional Labor. Charlie Glickman, The Good Men Project, 12-23-13: “This is a perfect example of a man asking or expecting women to coddle his emotional issues because he sees his comfort as more valuable than their labor.” https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/megasahd-unpaid-emotional-labor/

Why Women Are Tired: The Price of Unpaid Emotional Labor. Christine Hutchison, Huffington Post, 04-06-16: “As the obvious disparity in emotional intelligence has come into societal focus, gender essentialism has re-entered our lexicon, medieval Calvinist theology wearing a lab coat.” https://www.huffingtonpost.com/psyched-in-san-francisco/why-women-are-tired-the-p_b_9619732.html

In Gemma Hartley’s Fed Up, Emotional Labor Is Everything and Nothing. Kim Bosch, Jezebel, 12-05-18: “Hartley continues in the tradition of white feminism by failing to ask the same question of emotional labor: Once ‘we’ are freed from doing emotional labor for men, who exactly will pick up the shift?” https://jezebel.com/in-gemma-hartleys-fed-up-emotional-labor-is-everything-1830847238

Is love necessary? Laurie Penny in conversation with Moira Weigel, New Statesman, 05-31-16: “The emphasis placed on monogamous romantic relationships in our culture is destructive to happiness…. I like to think that all human interactions put us into relations with one another.” https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/feminism/2016/05/love-necessary-laurie-penny-conversation-moira-weigel

On Emotional Labor, Part 1: Seizing the Means, Michael Kinnucan, Hypocrite Reader, May 2016: “We need to specify that emotional labor is (not all emotional work but) emotional work devoted to reproducing the conditions of your exploitation.” http://hypocritereader.com/64/seizing

Life Within and Against Work. Kathi Weeks, Ephemera 7(1), 2007: “What if feminist political analyses and projects were not limited to claims about who we are as women or as men…but rather put the accent on collectively imagined visions of what we want to be or to do?” https://libcom.org/library/life-within-against-work-affective-labor-feminist-critique-post-fordist-politics-kathi-w