Jess Zimmerman illuminates more problems in our deeply sexist society with her “Where’s My Cut?”: On Unpaid Emotional Labor:
The originators and adherents of #GiveYourMoneyToWomen didn’t just suggest that women should get paid for existing, although yeah that too if you’re buying. Rather, women should get paid for all the work they typically do for free – all the affirmation, forbearance, consultation, pacifying, guidance, tutorial, and weathering abuse that we spend energy on every single day. Imagine a menu of emotional labor: Acknowledge your thirsty posturing, $50. Pretend to find you fascinating, $100. Soothe your ego so you don’t get angry, $150. Smile hollowly while you make a worse version of their joke, $200. Explain 101-level feminism to you like you’re five years old, $300. Listen to your rant about “bitches,” $infinity.
It was beautiful to watch #GiveYourMoneyToWomen unfold. Men got angry, and then women explained to them that to have their anger acknowledged, they would have to pay. This made them angrier, of course, but without a donation, who was listening?
Following EverydaySexism has helped me begin to see the grinding, humiliating, oppressive, equality-crushing mill of our society; one that produces suffering women endure knowingly and unknowingly. Reading pieces like Zimmerman’s are my next step in jumping from seeing to understanding. That way lies empathy.