Gemma Hartley, journalist and author, joined us at Rotman on December 03 to discuss her latest book, “Fed Up: Emotional Labor, Women, and the Way Forward.” In her book, Hartley aims to make “the invisible visible” by highlighting the emotional labour women carry out at work, home, in relationships, and in parenting.
In “Fed Up,” Hartley expands the definition of “emotional labour” developed by sociologist Arlie Hochschild in her 1983 book, “The Managed Heart,” to include “emotion management and life management.” Hartley writes, “[emotional labour] is the unpaid, invisible work we do to keep those around us comfortable and happy. It envelops many other terms associated with the type of care-based labour I described in my article: emotion work, the mental load, mental burden, domestic management, clerical labour, invisible labour.” Hartley believes that it’s important to expand this definition because emotional labour has real implications on women’s careers. During the talk, she explained:
“We’re sort of on-call all the time. So, we can be at the office, but we’re not 100% there because we’re waiting [for something]…”
She continued, “Maybe we’re going to get a text asking where this child’s teddy bear is for the night…it really inhibits our work when we’re tied to the home in that way.”