Emotional Labor and Female- On- Female Emotional Exploitation
I was thinking about possibly writing a post or two more about the concept of Emotional Labor in the future.
First, here is a primer from another site explaining a little bit about what this issue is about, with a few comments by me farther (way farther) below it:
Emotional labor is the exertion of energy for the purpose of addressing people’s feelings, making people comfortable, or living up to social expectations. It’s called “emotional labor” because it ends up using – and often draining – our emotional resources.
Now, don’t get me wrong: Asking friends for advice, reaching out to people in your line of work, and other actions I’m about to mention can be part of a healthy relationship. The issue arises when it’s not reciprocal.
Many marginalized people can tell you that people frequently make demands of them that cross the line from participation in a mutual relationship to work – and unpaid work, at that.
Because we’re assumed to be naturally emotionally intelligent and nurturing, people don’t always understand that this is work for us. And because we’re expected to put others before ourselves, a lot of people don’t even care.
Here are just a few of the many ways that women and femmes, in particular, are expected to perform emotional labor without compensation or acknowledgement throughout their lives:
2. Friends offload their problems – sometimes serious problems that we’re not equipped to handle – onto us before we have agreed to talk about them, often expecting an immediate response.
3. Casual acquaintances and sometimes complete strangers do the same, often over the Internet and often sharing triggering details
6. When we have relatives or friends with physical or mental illnesses, they and their loved ones are more likely to reach out to us than men to take care of them.