The Grey Chrone? November 20, 2018 10:07 PM   Subscribe

Metafilter emotional labor thread in the NYT.
posted by k8t to MetaFilter-Related at 10:07 PM (28 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

It simultaneously makes a kind of economical sense and also completely throws me when people link to "this thread on MetaFilter" but then link to the PDF instead of the thread.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:09 PM on November 20, 2018 [16 favorites]


I think I'd say sending a "kindly worded" note to the grey lady that linking to the original source would at least show some respect for the community that created it. A PDF is not the way to relate to the original thread. Talking about stealing someone else's labor.
posted by michswiss at 3:44 AM on November 21, 2018 [27 favorites]


And the advice of the final section of the article is to ‘seek validation.’

Methinks they did not read the entire pdf, much less the entire thread.

Call me a nag, by it’s worth repeating that the way out of the emotional labor imbalance is not for women to beg men to validate us. The way out is for men to educate themselves and each other, and Do The Emotional Labor, a huge portion of which is the noticing.

If I have to do all of the noticing, I’m not doing any less EL.

Another huge theme don’t hat thread was ‘hey dudes, believe us when we say this is a problem!’ And while this piece does a good job of presenting other links and appeals to authority, I think it didn’t dig enough (at all) into why this gets mansplained. There weren’t tips that I saw for men to believe women, do the work, and not ‘play devils advocate’ or otherwise antagonize women.

I get it, the scope of the article, the space allotted, etc. But the tone was very much ‘ladies you’re doing too much EL, if you don’t cut back you’ll get a heart attack and your doctors aren’t prepared to notice or care because that research focuses on men. Take care of yourselves so you don’t drop dead.’ I wanted this to be a note to doctors ‘Notice your patients symptoms. When you dismiss and/or don’t notice, your patients die.’ I wanted this to be a note to our partners ‘when you argue with her, you make her life harder. When you tell her the cards and dust bunnies don’t matter, you invalidate her lived experience of the social and physical consequences of not keeping up with this stuff.’
posted by bilabial at 4:33 AM on November 21, 2018 [49 favorites]


A PDF is not the way to relate to the original thread. Talking about stealing someone else's labor.

It case it's unclear, the NYT did not create the PDF.
posted by exogenous at 4:44 AM on November 21, 2018 [3 favorites]


I remember the original thread and the intense discussion around the creation of the PDF by an outside party. I just think the least the NYT could have done is to link to Metafilter, if not the thread itself.
posted by michswiss at 4:57 AM on November 21, 2018 [12 favorites]


Another huge theme don’t hat thread was ‘hey dudes, believe us when we say this is a problem!’

I keep coming back to Expert Judgment On Markers To Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion Into The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
This place is a message ... and part of a
system of messages ... pay attention to it!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:40 AM on November 21, 2018 [5 favorites]




Ugh. Where's MeFi's cut, NYT?
posted by tonycpsu at 8:29 AM on November 21, 2018 [4 favorites]


An NYT blog post from 2015 on linking

Like fairly shared EL, "routine linking is not quite there yet."
posted by MonkeyToes at 9:42 AM on November 21, 2018 [2 favorites]


Ugh. Where's MeFi's cut, NYT?

Yeah, let's make sure we get some of that online newspaper money.
posted by ODiV at 10:04 AM on November 21, 2018 [14 favorites]


> Yeah, let's make sure we get some of that online newspaper money.

My wife is a newspaper reporter, so thanks, but we're acutely aware of the economics of the industry in our household. It's not a theoretical concern for us.

Still, as grim as things are for newspapers, it seems pretty self-evident that the trickle of income that may result from properly linking in this case would make more of a difference to a small operation like MeFi than it would to some other mainstream outlet. A post like the EL thread that can cross over into something quasi-mainstream may not singlehandedly stave off the MeFipocalypse, but maybe it eases the burden on the community fundraising that's changed the course lately -- perhaps not directly, but indirectly by actually driving a few more users to become $5 noobs and maybe even chip in with their own contributions beyond that.

Sorry if my nuanced view on this didn't come across in my attempt to riff off of the title of the EL thread.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:04 AM on November 21, 2018 [15 favorites]


To be fair it did sound like you wanted MetaFilter to get a check for linking, which sounded pretty ridiculous given what we do here, so I assumed you were being sarcastic and responded in kind. Wanting them to link to the proper page is entirely reasonable, so we're in agreement there, I just didn't get that at all from "where's MeFi's cut?".
posted by ODiV at 11:53 AM on November 21, 2018 [2 favorites]


QUICK!

Everyone hide the topics and comments calling NYT a hack news org before they come visit!
posted by FJT at 12:37 PM on November 21, 2018 [6 favorites]


All I can tell you is that getting divorced was like inheriting an entire new acre of my brain. I loved my ex dearly but did a shit-ton of emotional labor in that relationship. And he was not trying to make me do it, or yelling when I didn't, but the minute I stopped trying, our relationship went kaput.

Anyway, nowadays I spend all the time I used to spend worrying about him deciding what my own life will be and it's pretty fucking awesome.

I would like to believe there is a way to be in a relationship with a man again that didn't mean replicating my last experience when it comes to EL but...I don't know. I'm feeling pretty doubtful. Lots of otherwise nice men are completely blind to this whole deal and I'm way too tired to do any more teaching. Maybe future generations of couples will figure this out.
posted by emjaybee at 12:48 PM on November 21, 2018 [53 favorites]


The original thread is probably, what? 10 megs? So having 10,000 hits at once might not be the best idea in the first place?

Or maybe I am locked in 1999 serverworld.
posted by Rumple at 1:51 PM on November 21, 2018


Everyone hide the topics and comments calling NYT a hack news org before they come visit!

sed 's/Haberman/fnord/g'
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:34 PM on November 21, 2018 [2 favorites]


I love the NY Times, except for the part where my daughter thinks Melissa Clark is all that and won't hear a word I say about cooking. Still I love The Times. I love Mefi too, but not ennough to leave it. I am enough of a kid at heart to fell coolness about recognition for our excellent, and well managed site.
posted by Oyéah at 4:56 PM on November 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


This Meta made me realize I haven't visited the NYT website for almost two months.

I feel their relentless Trump-coddling has eroded their standing almost completely, and that they won't realize their significance to the culture of the US is in free fall until they hit bedrock. Soon.
posted by jamjam at 6:25 PM on November 21, 2018 [3 favorites]


That thread — and every other relationship AskMe, frankly — makes me incredibly grateful for my relatively healthy partnership.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 9:38 PM on November 21, 2018 [6 favorites]


I think I'd say sending a "kindly worded" note to the grey lady that linking to the original source would at least show some respect for the community that created it. A PDF is not the way to relate to the original thread. Talking about stealing someone else's labor.

Their link to the PDF instead of the thread itself shows that they are also aware of the discussion about the thread and the concerns users expressed within it. I know we adore reading malicious intent into NYT actions, but this looks like an attempt to be sensitive to the site.
posted by Miko at 5:52 AM on November 22, 2018 [10 favorites]


Paradoxically enough, the effort falls on women to convince their loved ones that emotional labor exists, then to campaign for equal help.

Sigh.

I’m doing ok, but the look on my doctor’s face when I listed all the stuff going on in my life was very validating.
posted by bq at 9:38 PM on November 22, 2018 [2 favorites]


It’s jarring to me that the NYT, who does so much to buff the image of Trump — gaslighter extraordiaire, shouter, compulsive liar — is also talking about emotional labor.

Did they even skim the thread?!
posted by wenestvedt at 5:41 AM on November 24, 2018


Did they even skim the thread?!

Do you even read the NYT? The paper has been covering emotional labor for a very long time, far longer than MetaFilter has been familiar with the term, and in fact, far longer than MetaFilter has been in existence. The scholar who originated the concept, Arlie Russell Hochschild, has been in their pages as source, op-ed author, and book reviewer for decades. The Times introduced the phrase "emotional labor" to its readers when they named Hochschild's The Managed Heart one of the notable books of 1983. They regularly review her publications, and have done reporting and analysis on related labor issues for a very long time. The Times has a gender editor "working to expand global coverage of women, gender and society across platforms" and has for decades been a solid source on emerging thinking on women's roles in all domains of their lives.

It will continue to be a deep frustration to me that in our click-through culture, many people know a news organization like the Times only for some of its coverage of the current administration, and not even comprehensive coverage at that, encountered mainly through the single articles or, even more often, op-eds that function as the callout outrage of the day. The Times is a complex organization and the material it puts out falls into a lot of genres and intersects with a lot of fields. It is probably the single most effective promulgator of social science research and thinking that exists in the popular press, and that's been true for, oh, about a century. Of course they have covered emotional labor, and they have done it well. This is not a concept that we own, and in fact, we owe any awareness we have of the concept in large part to outlets like the Times who, since longer than some of us have been alive, have liberated it from the circles of academe and rendered it available and accessible. The Times is a lot more than its US Politics desk and the op-ed page, and now is as good a time as any to give credit for that.

In a rather sour irony, I note that Hochschild, originator of the concept, is only mentioned twice in the original emotional labor thread, and only in a side-mention way as someone who has written about the concept, rather than its originator -- and she is mentioned not at all in the PDF. Hmmm.
posted by Miko at 6:22 AM on November 24, 2018 [32 favorites]


I grew up a thousand miles from its area of circulation, with two twice-daily papers, in a region that the Tines proudly disdains. No, I am not a Times subscriber. And for many Americans, its op-eds and syndicated news pieces are what we know of the paper: we are not regular readers.

I understand that it is a huuge organization that includes many fine writers as well as partisan hacks; I believe a colleague from my own college newspaper days featured in a scandal there, just a few years ago. I didn’t know the history of its role in promulgating this very idea.

And I have to say that it makes me grin guiltily that someone else had to step up and do the educational work of showing me what I didn’t know about this: thank you, Miko.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:48 AM on November 24, 2018 [2 favorites]


In this month’s Atlantic, Hochschild is interviewed about the overapplication of the term “emotional labor”:

if we talk about all the unpaid labor women do in the home as “emotional labor,” we’re insinuating that any kind of labor that falls most often to a woman is “emotional.”

Others here have voiced that the term’s becoming fuzzy. Some of women’s labor is just plain labor. I appreciate her efforts to clarify.
posted by Miko at 7:59 PM on November 26, 2018 [7 favorites]


Some of women’s labor is just plain labor.

I do agree with this, but one thing that has emerged in a lot of MF-specific discussions on this topic is that women performing normal domestic labor (or asking men to do a minimal amount of it within a shared household) is often inextricably bound up in regular emotional labor. Doing the laundry is just labor. Doing the laundry because your husband keeps intentionally shrinking delicates or mixing whites and darks or leaving wet clothes in the washer until they mold so that you'll stop asking him to pitch in is a more complicated hybrid. I think sometimes the concepts bleed together because in reality they are so often linked.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 7:32 AM on November 27, 2018 [4 favorites]


Doing the laundry because your husband keeps intentionally shrinking delicates or mixing whites and darks or leaving wet clothes in the washer until they mold so that you'll stop asking him to pitch in is a more complicated hybrid

Is yr husband an adult, because that’s fucked up.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 6:36 PM on November 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


I've sliced off men friends over "half peeled potatoes". It's part of "man lore" about how to get away with not doing housework by intentionally fucking it up.

The half peeled potatoes phrase comes from a FB picture of a pot with water in it and potatoes, each of which has a peeled half and an unpeeled half.

I'm trans but mostly masculine presenting. I pass if I don't say I am trans or don't talk about being non-binary or intersex so I have dude friends in casual contexts who don't know that I am violently averse to the shitty parts of man lore. I sometimes give a new guy one warning. If I'm feeling charitable.
posted by kalessin at 6:49 AM on December 8, 2018 [5 favorites]


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