Jul. 21st, 2015

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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.
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.)


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March 2016


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