adrian_turtle: (Default)
[personal profile] adrian_turtle
Last week, I saw something on The Toast about how emotional labor should be valued more, and how the people who do it (mostly women) ought to get paid for it.
http://the-toast.net/2015/07/13/emotional-labor/
It's a nice idea.

Anytime we try to monetize something, people who value it will try to buy it, and people who don't value it with often do without. It all gets more complicated as people bid up the price, and some run into questions like "Is it more valuable to me than air conditioning?"

Jess is frustrated with being taken for granted (as well she should be), and wants some kind of recompense for the time and energy she puts into soothing wounded egos, teaching feminism 101, and gently convincing men not to pursue women after being dumped. She says:
"Whatever your opinion of capitalism, we’re soaking in it, and by its own rules we should get some kind of remuneration for work that’s highly sought."
But the work is NOT highly sought. An awful lot of people don't especially want to be taught Feminism 101. If we start charging money for Feminism 050 (Remedial Feminism), or seminars in Respecting Boundaries, men who feel they have been wronged by women are unlikely to study these subjects at all. I'd expect them to go running to MRA support groups, and assure one another their anger and possessiveness are right.

(I run into a somewhat similar problem in my own work. I used to have a career in engineering research. I sometimes did a little bit of tutoring on the side, because I was good at it, and I didn't like the idea of people going into the world frightened of math and clueless about chemistry. Now tutoring is the only work I can do for money (for a variety of distracting reasons, mostly related to disability.) I keep running into students who can't afford to pay me. But I want to teach them, because the world would be a better place if they understood just a little more...But I can't work more than a very few hours/week, and I have my own electric bill to pay.)

Date: 2015-07-22 02:19 pm (UTC)
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)
From: [personal profile] silveradept
I think you're right in that most people won't consciously seek someone out to be taught various 101s and their antecedents, but they will behave in bad ways in social and work settings and will then hide behind social conventions that say the person offended is the person required to speak up and do education as to why that's offensive, or otherwise their silence is consent to further poor behavior.

So it would be nice if any woman (or other minority) could charge someone a financial penalty for the time that is being spent educating then on something they should either know or be able to seek out. Especially in work settings, as this emotional work and diversity work is often taking away time from what someone was hired to do, impacting their career prospects and evaluations as well.

Date: 2015-07-23 08:13 pm (UTC)
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)
From: [personal profile] silveradept
In work situations, I think the best entity to be charged the penalty is the company itself, and preferably at a higher rate than the wage of the person having to do the instructing. It would hopefully bring to attention the need for the training, which could be done on a high level so as to avoid singling people out. It wouldn't necessarily help the person who needs fractions, but it might also help interested companies figure out where their problem employees and managers are and work toward better solutions.

Outside of work, such bills would at least be a way of trying to make more visible the kinds of work that gets done that is an assumed part of someone's nature or their relationship contract.

Date: 2015-07-22 03:34 pm (UTC)
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea (Default)
From: [personal profile] redbird
I suspect there are at least two things going on here: the "you ought to be prepared to teach me feminism 101" people half the time want not to know it, and the endless asking questions is a way of saying "but I don't know this yet, you can't hold me to its expectations." Many of them are the same (mostly male) people who will expect women to do most if not all of the emotional labor in a relationship, but they do want that work to be done. They don't want to have to give credit for it, but they do want women to think about and take care of their emotional needs, without reciprocating.

It probably doesn't help that there are men who at least claim to believe that a bouquet of flowers is adequate payment for all of a woman's emotional work. They're setting the price absurdly low, but "what do you mean, I don't value what you're doing? I brought you roses, didn't I?"

a tangential point

Date: 2015-07-23 03:35 pm (UTC)
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea (Default)
From: [personal profile] redbird
Well, has or had reason to love: my mother tells me that my cousin has broken up with him. But the larger point of not getting to choose everyone we deal with stands.

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