Emotional Work: How Women Are Trained for the “Second Shift”

Emotional work, something many women know all too well but maybe have never had a specific term for. Many women, even in America, are expected, because of gender roles, to do a type of labor that the phrase “emotional work” has been coined for. This type of labor is also known under the terms “second shift” or “third shift.” Emotional work refers to a type of responsibility that is both found at home. Emotional work is a multifaceted issue, but one explanation of emotional work is “women are expected to do the majority of emotional care for their family, on top of their job and housework; the so-called ‘triple shift’” (Bryant).

There are two terms which sometimes are used interchangeably for this phenomenon and another similar phenomenon. The first, the correct term for this paper, is emotional work. This refers to the emotional care at home. The second term that is sometimes used for this phenomenon is very similar, emotional labor. Emotional labor however, refers to emotional regulation in the workplace (Hochschild). Arlie Hochschild coined both of these terms. The term emotional work was coined in 1979 (Hochschild). While emotional labor was coined in 1983 in her book The Managed Heart (Hackman). In the easiest explanation, emotional labor refers to when a person is getting paid for their regulation of emotions, in contrast, emotional work refers to emotional management that is not compensated and involves personal relationships. Women are most often the people who do the most emotional work and it is expected of them. It’s expected that when a couple has a child, the woman stays home and watches it. It’s naturally assumed that women are better caretakers, are more emotionally adept, and remember important things for relationships, such as birthdays, concerts, and information about individuals. In addition women are expected to do housework which also falls into emotional work.

This mentality of men being the breadwinners and women doing the housework most likely originated from how women were historically discouraged from working outside of the home. While there is still some discouragement, there are far more openings for women to be in the workplace. What then when both partners work full-time jobs? Often the women are still pushed to work a “second” or “third” shift when they return home. This isn’t to mean that these jobs aren’t important or that some women don’t dislike doing it. However there is an inequality in the work done at home, especially with things such as childcare. Because of this many researchers believe that women wouldn’t receive equal opportunity in the workplace until these inequalities are rectified (Yapp).

Emotional work in an average household can take various forms and be recognized by several factors. For example an easy way to spot emotional work is to see who takes care of the majority of household duties, especially if both partners work full-time. Which parent drives the kids to and from school the most? Which parent spends the most time talking to the children? Which partner inquires about the other’s health and well-being? Which partner keeps the household running? Which partner does the planning for holidays and vacations? Which partner alters their sexual desires for that of their partner’s? This person is most likely the one who does the emotional work. More often than not in heterosexual relationships this person is the woman.

Women in heterosexual relationships will often alter their own sexual desires for that of their partners to reduce marital conflict and enhance intimacy. Several studies about emotional work have been done on heterosexual relationships, the findings of which all pointed to women taking on more emotional work in these relationships in all aspects (Umberson, Thomeer, and Lodge). Although in heterosexual relationships the person doing the emotional work is most often a woman, this does change when the couple is of the same-sex. In lesbian couples, the couple is actually more likely to have an equal share of the emotional workload than that of a heterosexual couple (Umberson, Thomeer, and Lodge).

Emotional work has been pushed upon women under the premise that women are just naturally better at this sort of thing. However, while women might be better at these sort things in the majority of instances, that’s not necessarily true because of biological factors. In fact the reasons that this might be true is because of sociological factors. Women are often socialized to be emotionally aware and it is expected of them to be in charge of emotional care. In contrast men are often socialized to suppress their emotions. The mentality is that men should be the breadwinners while women take care of the house and children, and be emotionally adept.

Emotional work is an interesting concept that is intricately tied with movements such as feminism. This is because the expectancy of women to do emotional work is so prevalent. Often times emotional work is overlooked or denied. Sometimes it is said that this is just how women are based on biology. However, it is a result of socialization and is a concept that many women can relate to.

Works Cited

Bryant, Lee. “Feminism.” History Learning Site. N.p., 16 Aug. 2016. Web. 12 Dec. 2016.

Duncombe, Jean, and Dennis Marsden. “LOVE AND INTIMACY: THE GENDER DIVISION OF EMOTION AND ‘EMOTION WORK’: A Neglected Aspect of Sociological Discussion of Heterosexual Relationships.” Sociology, vol. 27, no. 2, 1993, pp. 221–241.

Hackman, Rose. “‘Women Are Just Better at This Stuff’: Is Emotional Labor Feminism’s Next Frontier?” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 08 Nov. 2015. Web. 12 Dec. 2016.

Hochschild, Arlie Russell. “Emotion Work, Feeling Rules, and Social Structure.”American Journal of Sociology, vol. 85, no. 3, 1979, pp. 551–575.

Umberson, Debra, Mieke Beth Thomeer, and Amy C. Lodge. “Intimacy and Emotion Work in Lesbian, Gay, and Heterosexual Relationships.” Journal of Marriage and the Family, 77.2 (2015): 542– 556. PMC. Web. 12 Dec. 2016.

Yapp, Robin. “Working Women ‘Still Do Housework'” Daily Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, Web. 12 Dec. 2016.

Let Us Be Heard

After reading conversations on facebook all day I’ve got a lot of thoughts.. so here goes.

Whether or not you believe Trump was the right choice – it needs to be known that people are crying. People are afraid. People feel devalued. People feel unheard.

I stayed up last night on a video chat with people. I watched them cry for hours as I and others there cried too. Sobbing at certain points. Looking at how many people voted for this man. My friends are terrified to go to school. Terrified to wear their Hijabs. Terrified to walk in public with their significant others. Do you know how many times I heard in the past day “I guess I’m staying in the closet for another 4 years.” Suicide notes have shown up online from several different communities, especially the LGBTQ+ community.

Because to many of us, it told us they didn’t care. They didn’t care about those of us who were sexually assaulted. They didn’t care about those of us who were women. They didn’t care about those of us who were in the LGBTQ+ community. They didn’t care for people of color. They didn’t care for anyone who wasn’t a Christian. This is how many of us see it. Whether or not that’s how it is, we can disagree, but it can’t be changed that many of us see it that way.

Because we said something. We spoke up and said hey, we are terrified for our LIVES.

People are afraid for their rights and for their lives. Trump holds the presidency while Republicans hold the rest of the government. So how much will he actually be stopped when he makes a stupid idea? After Brexit the hate crimes spiked over 41% as a result of that vote. People are terrified that will happen again here in the US. Sociology has told us that Trump’s mentality and the one he encourages in his supporters, is the mentality for race-based hate crimes.

So while we were worried that hate crimes would rise, that rights would be taken away, and the chance of putting more rapists behind bars would lower… We spoke up. And we weren’t heard. Because we said, hey, we’re scared for our lives, and everyone else said hey, that’s okay we care about other things more.

You can absolutely disagree and say we have no justified reason to fear for our lives – but know that right now, a large portion of people are fearing for their lives…and that alone is scary. People shouldn’t be afraid for their lives when a new president get’s elected. Maybe that’s naive, but I believe something here is wrong. What that is and why that is, we can have our opinions on. But something is wrong and we need to have empathy and understanding.

Please don’t write this off as people being bad sports.Please don’t ignore or write off people’s outrage and fear. We aren’t just upset – we’re scared. This country needs a lot of things right now. We need prayer, we need empathy, we need understanding, and we need unity.


Feminism 101: The Grammar and Rhetoric of “Not All Men”

I find this fantastic for the fact that I am both an English Major and a Feminist. I would encourage everyone to read this article, I really found it quite interesting and able to say what thoughts I haven’t been able to verbalize. (Note: It recently came to my attention that the link attached previously is no longer working and the post has been moved. To make sure I never again lose this beautiful piece of writing I am going to put the whole post below. The link should be updated now. 11/6/2016)

Feminism 101: The Grammar and Rhetoric of “Not All Men.” 

Derailing tactics abound. Using “not all men” is a cheap, and ultimately sexist, strategy. One of the most common experiences women have online is encountering “not all men” men – those who pop up any time a woman discusses an experience of sexism to remind her, with varying levels of ire, that “not all men” engage in the behavior she’s describing. Since Shafiqah Hudson’s iconic tweet about the “not all men” phenomenon in 2013, various articles and posts have been written about the issue. And yet it persists. Not because any of those articles failed (by that standard, this one certainly will too), but because the rhetorical strategy behind “not all men” is simply too useful for men to give up.

A Short Grammar Lesson

Anyone who has talked to me in depth about grammar – and the number of people that applies to might actually surprise you – knows that I am firmly in the descriptivist camp. When it comes to theorizing about grammar, two of the biggest theoretical frameworks are called prescriptivism and descriptivism.

 Prescriptivism is a theory that assumes there is a “right” way to use language and grammar, and that dialects, vernacular, slang, and other forms of language use that deviate from the chosen “right” rules and structures are therefore “wrong,” lesser, and of lower aesthetic value. Prescriptivism is where jokes about the grammar police come from.

Descriptivism, on the other hand, is a theoretical mindset that focuses on describing how language is actually used in practice by communities of speakers and writers. It applies no value judgment to the forms of speech that are used, but seeks to understand the internal rules that speakers develop, which govern language use and grammatical structures, and which often change.

While these two theoretical mindsets often inform and affect one another, simply described, prescriptivism talks about how language should be, and descriptivism talks about how it is.

I offer this short lesson in grammar to contextualize my discussion of the grammar of “not all men” men, because their approach often takes on a prescriptivist flair. Rather than accepting how language is used by people to discuss common problems, they enter a discussion to tell us how women should discuss them.

The Grammar of “Not All Men”

The most surefire way to draw in a “not all men” man is to simply use the word “men” in a discussion of sexism. As many people have noted, men don’t typically rush into conversations where men are being praised to remind the speaker that “not all men” are deserving of such positive commentary. To further understand the grammar of “not all men,” I’ll use a couple of examples of my own tweets.

In the first, regarding responses to an article about a boy who assaulted a girl for rejecting his street harassment I said, “‘Polarizing’ the internet or demonstrating which men think they’re entitled to commit violence when women say no?” Now, any casual reader of this tweet should be able to follow the simple sentence construction – “which men think X” refers to the subset of all men who do anything. The sentence has already demarcated a specific group of men for discussion. However, within hours of posting the tweet, a man popped into my mentions to say, “You missed a ‘some’ in there somewhere…” “Why don’t you say some men, instead?” is a common response to hearing a woman talk about an issue experienced at the hands of men.

When I pointed out that the sentence was already qualified and that tossing in a “some” (making it “‘Polarizing the internet or demonstrating which some men think they’re entitled to commit violence when women say no?”) would be incorrect and nonsensical even with the most lenient descriptivist mindset, the response was, “Fuck you for generalizing.”

The grammar of “not all men” insists that any use of the word “men” is inherently referring to “all men.” Regardless of the specific qualifiers used, an accusation of generalizing will almost certainly follow in the wake of a “not all men” man’s arrival. The insistence that women say “some men” is part of the rhetorical strategy, which will be discussed in the next section. However, it is also important to note that women can be discussing a singular, individual man and still somehow receive a “not all men” comment.

Using another example from my own tweets, I was discussing an Idaho teen who threatened to kill his female classmates for not sending him nude photographs. During the discussion of entitlement, I mentioned that “If a man says the right words and performs the right actions, he expects to be rewarded with a compliant female prize.” And, within moments, someone tweeted, “Lol but not all males are like this stop generalizing pls.” The original tweet used the words “a man,” and yet a “not all men” man still felt the need to remind me that “not all men” engaged in the behavior being described. No amount of “some” will ever be enough to stave them off. I searched for a qualifier that would disarm the “not all men” men, up to and including focusing on the behavior of a single individual man, but after years of trying, realized that such a qualifier does not exist.

The reason it does not exist is that the grammar of “not all men” insists the use of the word in the plural can only and ever be interpreted as an unfair generalization or a universal accusation aimed at every man. Such insistence is far from accidental, and this is a standard rarely applied to the use of any other plural word (with the obvious exception of other privileged groups that get the “not all” treatment). Somehow, when it comes to discussing sexism, many refuse to accept the fact that “men” is an appropriate word to use if more than one man has ever engaged in the behavior described. And this is where the rhetoric of “not all men” comes into play.

The Rhetoric of “Not All Men”

It is important to understand that “not all men” men are not merely the product of failed grammar lessons. Their reading of any use of the word “men” as implicitly incriminating “all men” is a deliberate rhetorical strategy employed for the purposes of disrupting a conversation and attempting to undermine an observation. The strategy is an attempt to stop women from making change or having productive discussions by keeping the speaker mired in semantic arguments about her word choice.

The disruption of “not all men” is obvious. By moving the discussion from the men who have engaged in the harmful or violent behavior to those who haven’t, the “not all men” man positions himself as one of the good ones and demands recognition. Whether or not a woman accedes to his demand for acknowledgment, a conversational spiral often begins. “Well, if not all men do it, is it really sexism? What about the men who don’t do it? How do you really know it was sexism? Isn’t that an unfair generalization?”

At that point, the strategy has moved from deliberately misunderstanding grammar to deliberately misunderstanding the entire concept of sexism. The goal is to move the conversation away from the problem and towards exceptions and loopholes that are attempts at a gotcha, assuming that if such an exception can be found, it necessarily disproves the original point. While sexism refers to the structures and systems that generate injustices based on gender and implicates men as a class for benefiting from those structures, the existence of sexism is not disproved by finding an individual man who did not engage in a specific example of it.

The insistence that women use “some men” instead of “men” as a plural word is not as simple as a semantic or grammatical quibble, however. It too is a deliberate rhetorical choice. Use of the word “some” provides readers with an opportunity to immediately disconnect from the criticism that’s being made. Seeing the word “some” tells men that they don’t need to consider the problem that’s being described or how it might relate to their own behavior or the behavior of men they know. “Some” creates a distance that, in terms of the feminist discourse occurring, is actually counter-productive. For “not all men” men, it is essential to avoid the feeling that they are somehow being attacked.


When discussing sexism, I often remind men that if the shoe I’m describing doesn’t fit, they shouldn’t put it on – that is, they shouldn’t feel the need to get defensive if what I’m saying doesn’t apply to them. However, I also refuse to use the word “some” because, while “not all men” engage in the sexist practice I might be describing, all men do, to varying degrees, benefit from the existence of sexist structures and systems.

It is important for men to be confronted with the reality of sexism for women, and to understand the role sexism plays in women’s lives. “Not all men” is fundamentally a cry of men’s discomfort when having to acknowledge that women experience painful and even fatal things as a result of sexism. “Not all men” is their attempt to distance themselves from acknowledging that they have any role in a system where such things occur, because they themselves do not engage in a specific behavior.

However, that same cry of discomfort is a demand that women cease discussing problems and focus on men’s feelings instead, which is a fundamentally sexist and privileged demand. Feeling entitled to place their own desire to be made comfortable over women’s need to address problems of inequity and injustice is only possible in a system that says women’s lives are less important than men’s feelings. Every time a “not all men” man appears, he undermines his own claim to goodness by centering his desires over women’s existence and refusing to acknowledge the problem at hand.

“Not all men” men are amusing in their consistency, and yet their consistency is an indication of the privilege they are able to wield. The attempt to be made exempt from the discussion merely implicates them further, and often suggests that they are in fact the type of men who were being described in the first place.

Source: Bailey Poland

Pro-Life/Pro-Choice Poll


A poll for people who are pro-life, pro-choice, and undecided on the matter. Just to see different people’s thoughts and opinions!

Hey guys! So I created a poll just because I wanted to see different people’s responses. I also wanted to know how many people switched from being pro-life to pro-choice and vice versa and their reasoning for doing so!

I have an idea for a paper to write on this.

Sooo you should check it out, it’s pretty quick! :)


So you’re thinking of voting for a pro-choice candidate…

I’m pro-life. 

Or, put another way, I believe the sacred personhood of an individual begins before birth and continues throughout life, and I believe that sacred personhood is worth protecting, whether it’s tucked inside a womb, waiting on death row, fleeing Syria in search of a home, or playing beneath the shadow of an American drone.

I’ve also voted for both pro-life and pro-choice candidates for political office, including Barack Obama in 2012 and 2008, and George W. Bush in 2004 and 2000.

So I speak as someone who has struggled with, and in some cases regretted, her decisions at the ballot box, and who recognizes no single political party boasts a consistent pro-life ethic, just as no single political party embodies the teachings of Jesus or the values of his Kingdom. (If you think this is the first year your vote fails to reflect Christian principles, I’ve got some bad news.) I speak too as someone acutely aware of the inconsistencies and uncertainties in my own pro-life convictions, which continue to be challenged and changed in the midst of lived experience.

While I’ve written in the past about feeling caught between the pro-life and pro-choice camps, I’ve never used my platform to endorse a presidential candidate. But as so many others have said, this year is different.Knowing many of my pro-life friends feel torn between voting for an unpopular but highly qualified pro-choice candidate in Hillary Clinton and an incompetent narcissist who poses a unique threat to our American democracy in Donald Trump, I’d like to make a proposal:

You should vote for Hillary Clinton. 

And I’d like to suggest that voting for a pro-choice candidate in this election, or any election, need not overburden your conscience.

Here’s why:

In the eight years since we’ve had a pro-choice president, the abortion rate in the U.S. has dropped to its lowest since 1973. I believe the best way to keep this trend going is not to simply make it harder for women to terminate unwanted pregnancies but to create a culture with fewer unwanted pregnancies to begin with.  Data suggests progressive social policies that make healthcare and childcare more affordable, make contraception more accessible, alleviate poverty, and support a living wage do the most to create such a culture, while countries where abortion is simply illegal see no change in the abortion rate.

By focusing exclusively on the legal components of abortion while simultaneously opposing these family-friendly social policies, the Republican Party has managed to hold pro-life voters hostage with the promise of outlawing abortion, (which has yet to happen under any Republican administrations since Roe v. Wade), while actively working against the very policies that would lead to a significant reduction in unwanted pregnancies.

So even though I think abortion is morally wrong in most cases, and support more legal restrictions around it, I often vote for pro-choice candidates when I think their policies will do the most to address the health and economic concerns that drive women to get abortions in the first place. For me, it’s not just about being pro-birth; it’s about being pro-life. Every child deserves to live in a home and in a culture that welcomes them and can meet their basic needs. Every mother deserves the chance to thrive. Forcing millions of women to have children they can’t support, or driving them to Gosnell-style black market clinics, will not do. We have to work together—pro-life and pro-choice, Democrat and Republican, conservative Christian and progressive Christian—to create a culture of life that celebrates families and makes it easier to have and raise kids. This is the only way to make our efforts at rarifying abortion truly sustainable.

This year, Hillary Clinton has better policy proposals to help improve the lives of women, children, and families than Donald Trump, whose pro-life convictions are lukewarm at best, and whose mass deportation plan would rip hundreds of thousands of families apart, whose contempt for Latinos, Muslims, refugees and people with disabilities would further marginalized the “least of these” among us, and whose support for torture and targeting civilians in war call into question whether Christians who support him are truly pro-life or simply anti-abortion.

Source: So you’re thinking of voting for a pro-choice candidate…


*Please note, this is not my article, nor do I consider myself pro-life. However I do think it’s an interesting take and something valuable.

I’m pro-life. And I’m voting for Hillary. Here’s why. — Shannon Dingle

Why not Trump/Pence? Donald doesn’t have a pro-life track record, even a little bit. On Meet the Press in 1999, Trump said, “Well, I’m very pro-choice” in response to a question about partial birth abortion. Later that year, he stated, “I believe it is a personal decision that should be left to the women and their doctors,” to the Associated Press. “I support a woman’s right to choose, but I am uncomfortable with the procedures,” he wrote in his book The America We Deserve in 2000. Even more concerning, a few years later during an interview with shockjock Howard Stern, Trump talked about how his first response to Marla Maples’ surprise pregnancy with one of his children was “what are we going to do about this?” In other words, he felt like he should have the right to consider abortion, so why believe now that he thinks other Americans shouldn’t?

Yes, he chose Pence, which to some demonstrates that he’d choose pro-life judges too. But I think all it means is that he’ll pick someone who will help him win pro-life votes. I believe both candidates are opportunistic (who in politics isn’t?) but, in Donald’s case, I’m convinced this shows up in his newly minted pro-life stance. He knows it’s what’s necessary to win conservative votes. Because he has no political track record, we can only go by his words, which are inconsistent, unreliable, and highly subject to change based on what’s politically convenient for him.

Less than a year ago, in a remark that defies his supposed pro-life stances and also smacks of nepotism, he said he thought his sister would make a “phenomenal” Supreme Court justice. Nevermind that she, Maryanne Trump Barry, declared partial-birth abortion to be a constitutionally protected right in a decision she authored as an appellate court judge. Even more recently, this past April, on Face the Nation, he said the laws on abortion are set and should stay as they are. Does this sound like a pro-life candidate, even on the topic of abortion?

(Lest I sound as if I’m ignoring Hillary’s pro-choice record, I assure you I am not. I expect that anyone reading this is well-versed in her public statements over the years. I’m just pointing out, like this article does, that if you’re looking for a genuinely anti-abortion candidate, then Trump isn’t your guy any more than Hillary is your girl.)

But it’s on the other pro-life issues that I find Trump the most lacking and Hillary the far superior candidate. In other words, my stance isn’t a choice between the lesser of two evils. I’m not simply voting against Trump. If so, I’d be abstaining on principle (which is a valid choice, no matter what some may argue) or considering a third party candidate. I don’t consider it morally appropriate to vote against someone; in my personal convinctions, I must be able to vote for the person I choose on the ballot. So if I were a NeverTrumper and a NeverHillary, then I’d choose someone else or abstain. Those are viable options, even if someone tries to bully you into believing they aren’t. But I find enough I can affirm and identify with in the positions and record of Hillary Clinton, so my stance to be with her isn’t based in an opposition to Trump. Aside for abortion – which I do care about deeply – I see the Democrats as the party that champions other pro-life issues more effectively and consistently. This is why I changed my registration to unaffiliate with any party several years ago, after having been a Republican for years, based largely on my abortion stance.

What other pro-life issues? you ask. Well, if we call ourselves the pro-life movement, then we’re not just anti-abortion, right? I spoke at the Evangelicals for Life conference in DC back in January, and plenty of the speakers addressed issues beyond abortion. I was one of them, talking about the lives of people with disabilities. Starting with that group, here are 10 ways in which I find the Democratic nominee more pro-life than the Republicans…

Source: I’m pro-life. And I’m voting for Hillary. Here’s why. — Shannon Dingle


Least Favorite Picture on the Internet and Why

This is really one of my least favorite picture circling the web right now because it minimizes the real issues.
One problem with this is that surprise, we don’t do a good job of supporting women to go into the STEM careers… And yes, there are studies on this.
In addition to this there are also new studies coming out looking at how wages change based on if they are male or female dominated jobs. For example, women dominated the computer programming field originally but then when men began to overtake the field, the wages spiked. In comparison, camp administration, working in parks, designing, and housekeeping were originally male dominated, then when women overtook the wages dropped majorly (some by like 50%)
Now some of this could be totally unrelated to gender but its still a valuable thing to look into as well as how women and girls are not fully encouraged to go into STEM fields… (And those who are in there may not exactly be treated the same..like the studies that came out that showed biases in men against women.) Oh! and I think women hold a very high degree rate (high fifties) in STEM degrees but hold a low amount of jobs within STEM careers. Some of this can be attributed to the hiring process, where yes, there is a gender bias that has been found through study..
Is everything a gender bias and sexist? Naw. Is feminist dance therapy probably a bad career choice? Maybe. I mean unless there’s openings for that or something… Either way do what you love. BUT I still think we need to be looking at the facts. There IS a gender bias within the STEM fields and it’s been proven. Seriously, a lot of jobs are given to people who have names that are viewed as masculine over names that sound feminine – this is with the exact same resume. There IS a lack of encouragement for women/girls to join these majors even from a young age.. That’s been proven too.. So it’s a much bigger issue than what this tweet implies.

So yeah, I have an issue with this tweet and how people think it’s a simple solution.