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What is the “mental load” ? What is Emotional Labor?

First, read this thought-provoking comic, “You Should’ve Asked”:

https://english.emmaclit.com/2017/05/20/you-shouldve-asked/ 

Then, read this longer piece, a condensed thread about Emotional Labor:

Emotional Labor – The MetaFilter Thread Condensed.pdfPreview the document

Then answer these questions :

  1. What is the “mental load” ?
  2. What is Emotional Labor?
  3. In man-woman relationships where they are sharing the same household (and especially when they are parents), women typically take on a much larger share of “managerial” duties than the men. What are some examples, from the comic (“You Should’ve Asked”), of these things that women (and mothers) typically have to keep track of (“manage”)? List at least 6 examples.
  4. Can you think of more examples of things that women (far more often than men) typically keep track of (or “manage”)? Try to think of at least 5 new examples. Look at things from your own life or from the lives of women around you (like your mom, perhaps).
  5. Why do you think men tend to take on fewer managerial duties in the household (and in parenting)?
  6. Suppose you have a son and you want him to grow up being an equal parent and an equal manager of the household. What should you do?
  7. What do you think a woman should do if she’s in a relationship with a guy and she realizes that she is taking on the lion’s share (or perhaps all) of the emotional labor? (Suppose she doesn’t just want to dump him!)
  8. Any other thoughts about these two pieces?  (If you’re a guy: do they make you feel uncomfortable or defensive? Do you find yourself wanting to say, “Hey! But I’m not like those other guys! I’d be an equal parent / householder!”? Feel free to talk about that if you want to.)

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