Author Gemma Hartley sums it up in the introduction of her book Fed UP: Emotional Labor, Women, and the Way Forward as, “a special kind of invested effort encompassing the anticipation of needs, the weighing and balancing of competing priorities, and the empathy of putting oneself in someone else’s shoes, among other factors.”
Or, in everyday life it’s knowing about homework assignments and meal planning. It’s how holidays magically seem to happen. It’s remembering birthdays, anniversaries, and when to buy toilet paper. It’s a lot, but it is also invisible.
The invisible work that women have predominately been keepers of and responsible for passing on to generations is finally coming to the forefront and we’re wondering, there has got to be a better way.
Gemma admits this is still the beginning of the conversation, but it’s an exciting beginning. Fed Up is a book that explores how our culture got to this moment, how engrained emotional labor effects women in the home, workplace, and culturally at large, and starts to ask questions about why we need this work to be seen and valued.
We recommend taking advantage of the book group discussion questions available on Gemma's Site.