Fed Up: Emotional Labor, Women, and the Way Forward Gemma Hartley


I liked that the author created a new word for a feeling that she and a lot of women share. Creating a word is powerful by itself. And there are many questions that this book brought up that forces me to think more systematically about them. 


If two people have different standards, should the lower standard person raise their standard? Why not the other way around?

If someone was treated unfairly (from their POV), should they bear the burden to raise that point? 

Whose job is it to understand another person’s needs? To what extent is it fair to expect that people with different levels of closeness (strangers from the same culture, acquaintances, friends, close friends, partners) should know your needs?

Who should take on the burden to educate themselves about a different standard?

It is very helpful to see those explicitly spelled out, because a lot of times they are ignored and not treated as real work, because most of that is internal or falls under communication.

Nevertheless, as a man, I have to learn to suppress the feeling of being personally attacked when the book generalizes, such as “Are men hopeless?”. There you go, emotional labor. It’s worth a read if you are new to the concept, but it’s not the best and it could’ve been much shorter.