cover image Fed Up: Emotional Labor, Women, and the Way Forward

Fed Up: Emotional Labor, Women, and the Way Forward

Gemma Hartley. HarperOne, $26.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-06-285598-5

Journalist Hartley serves up a passionate and personal assessment of the nature and costs to women of “emotion management and life management combined... the unpaid, invisible work we do to keep those around us comfortable and happy” and households running. Hartley’s 2017 Harper’s Bazaar article on the topic, “Women Aren’t Nags—We’re Just Fed Up,” was shared nearly a million times; and here, Hartley expands her argument that men must become more “engaged” in their domestic lives, women let go of perfectionism and feel “more free,” and everyone value domestic labor more highly. She buttresses her case—that women, even straight women with enlightened male partners, are unfairly expected to perform the overwhelming majority of emotional labor in American society—with sociological, psychological, and anthropological studies; magazine articles; her own marital experience; and the experiences of other women, varied in class and financial status, ethnicity and location, profession and trade. There is much here likely to engage, comfort, and possibly help women who share Hartley’s fed-up feelings. (Nov.)