Posts in Femme Labor
Taking Time Off: A Harm Reduction Approach to Femme Labor

For many femmes, though, quitting as an emotional laborer is daunting, scary, and feels nearly impossible. You don’t know any other way of functioning. Even if it’s causing harm, perhaps through a loss of sense of self or disconnection from your needs or autonomy over your time and energy, the thought of changing how you relate to others causes tension in your body and jumbles your mind. Femmes’ conditioning as emotional laborers often starts from a very young age, after all. You’re stressed and tired and sometimes you feel so upset because it seems like you’re doing everything and it’s unfair, yes, but how do you do differently?

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Month 2: Femme Labor

I recently laid in my apartment catching up on the quarterly print magazine Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture from Bitch Media when I came across a citation for the origin of the term “emotional labor.” It struck me. As someone who thinks and talks about emotional labor frequently I’d never thought about where the concept came from…

The citation was The Managed Heart by sociologist and academic Arlie Russell Hochschild (University of California Press, Berkeley, 1983). Fast forward a few weeks and an interlibrary loan later, and I was back to laying in my apartment, this time reading The Managed Heart to see what I could learn about emotional labor from an academic and historical perspective.

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