emotional labor is physical labor

emotions are feelings. i’m not totally sure how the word “feelings” has become connoted to mean “thoughts” but emotions are actual sensations we feel in our bodies. i feel anger in my skin, i feel sadness behind my eyes, i feel grief in my upper and mid-back. the work/labor that is associated with being present to our feelings is physical labor.

this insight came through in the post-patriarchy futures: patriarchy in the family group (s/o milan, reed, michael, and chris!). i was talking about avoiding a conversation with my dad and realized that the resistance was in my body, aka my emotions. i was avoiding the convo because of my feare that i wouldn’t be able to hold the emotions that came up in the conversation.

this insight feels powerful for many reasons but one big one in particular. i think the conversation on emotional labor has mostly been framed around emotions as internal. the dialogue is unintentionally and implicitly positioned as conceptual, ideological, and/or individual.

but that’s all wrong. emotional labor is learning how to be with our bodies which are physical things.

i feel like this is already opening up all sorts of metaphors that might be helpful in my/our work to dismantle patriarchy. what if crying was seen as a muscle that you could do reps to strengthen? ok so maybe that wasn’t a great one but i am just beginning to feel out the possibilities here…

words / writing / post-processing
210w / 10min / 5min