Fed Up: Emotional Labor, Women, and the Way Forward
By Gemma Hartley
HarperOne, 2018. 264 pages. Nonfiction
Journalist Gemma Hartley continues the conversation about emotional labor that she started in her viral article, “Women Aren’t Nags—We’re Just Fed Up.” Every day women are often expected to anticipate the needs of others, keep their households running, and conduct themselves in a way that puts others at ease. It’s exhausting work, and Hartley discusses how the social conditioning of emotional labor has focused almost solely on women for too long, and it doesn’t have to be that way. This is a call-to-arms for women who feel tired and fed up.
I really enjoyed this book. It was well written, and put to words things that I’ve felt but didn’t know how to express. Often I could see my own experiences reflected in what the author has experienced, and recognized things I’ve been doing at home and in my marriage to more evenly distribute the emotional labor I was bearing, before having the language to express it. For any woman who feels “fed up,” and for the men who want to understand why we got that way, I would highly recommend this book.