About the Book:
Gemma Hartley wrote an article in Harper’s Bazaar in September 2017 called ‘Women Aren’t Nags – We’re Just Fed Up’, which instantly went viral. The piece, and this book, is about ’emotional labour’, i.e. the unpaid, often unnoticed work, done by women, that goes into keeping everyone comfortable and happy.
FED UP tackles the hard-hitting issues surrounding emotional labour: the historical underpinnings and roots in feminism, the benefits and burdens of this kind of effort, and the specific contexts where emotional labour, otherwise known as the ‘mental load’, plays a major but undervalued role, including relationships, work, sex, parenting, politics and self-care.
Dubbed as the next feminist frontier, emotional labour couldn’t be more relevant to these times we’re living in. Fed Up is a must-read for those who want to harness the power of emotional labour and create a more connected, equal world.
“We may think that our micromanagement is an act of love, and it often is, but it also robs those we love of the opportunity to step fully into responsibility for their own lives. They need to create their own systems, their own connections, their own priorities instead of wandering through a life that has been created around them.”
I will freely admit that I shoulder the majority of the emotional labour within our household. However, it needs to be pointed out that I also spend a great deal many more hours within our household than my husband, so it probably stands to reason that I might know more about where things are, what needs to be done, and who needs to be at what place at what time. I get tired of carrying the load, for sure, but he probably gets tired being at work for 13 hours a day as well. I suffer from migraines reasonably often, so at times I have to check out and just lay in a dark room to recover. Nobody dies while I’m doing this. And they don’t even need reminding to make sure they stay alive. I could still do with loosening the reigns though, particularly as my kids get closer to adulthood. The last thing this world needs is more useless adults. I think a lot of women martyr themselves though. A couple in particular are in my mind as I write this. Good women, who are also good friends, but they shoulder all of the emotional labour within their own households and they’re not going to let anybody forget it. That’s why I included that particular quote I started with. You can’t be angry at men who don’t shoulder your burdens if you’re unwilling to give those burdens up. But I didn’t need a whole book to tell me that.
This book is pretty much stating the obvious and it’s more memoir than research analysis – which, as you all know, I hate, but I didn’t know that’s what this was going to be when I first went into it. I didn’t mind some parts of it, but it was far too long for its topic and purpose. There was a lot of repetition and its contents will only be applicable to a small representation of women.
Thanks is extended to Hachette Australia for providing me with a copy of Fed Up for review.
About the Author:
Gemma Hartley is a freelance journalist who received her BA in English Writing from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Her work has been published in Glamour, The Washington Post, Harper’s Bazaar, Women’s Health, and The Huffington Post among many others. She lives in Reno, Nevada with her husband and three children.
Published by Hachette Australia – Yellow Kite
Released November 2018