• Fed Up

  • Emotional Labor, Women, and the Way Forward
  • By: Gemma Hartley
  • Narrated by: Therese Plummer
  • Length: 8 hrs and 22 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (158 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A rousing call to arms, packed with surprising insights, that explores how carrying "the mental load" - the thankless day-to-day anticipating of needs and solving of problems large and small - is adversely affecting women’s lives and feeding gender inequality, and shows the way forward for better balancing our lives.

Launching a heated national conversation with her viral article "Women Aren’t Nags; We’re Just Fed Up" - viewed more than two billion times - journalist Gemma Hartley gave voice to the frustration and anger of countless women putting in the hidden, underappreciated, and absolutely draining mental work that consists of keeping everyone in their lives comfortable and happy. Bringing long-overdue awareness to the daunting reality of emotional labor in our lives, Hartley defines the largely invisible but demanding, time-consuming, and exhausting "worry work" that falls disproportionately and unfairly on all women - no matter their economic class or level of education.

Synthesizing a wide variety of sources - history, sociology, economics, psychology, philosophy, and anthropology - Hartley makes the invisible visible, unveiling the surprising shapes emotional labor takes at work, at home, in relationships, and in parenting. With on-the-ground reporting, identifiable personal stories, and interviews from around the world, this feminist manifesto will empower women to transform their inner dialogue and give all women the emotional fortitude and courage to ask for what we most want - without shame, without guilt, and without the emotional baggage.

Beyond naming the problem, Fed Up offers practical advice and solutions for teaching both men and women how to wield emotional labor to live more full and satisfying lives. Hartley helps us to see emotional labor not as a problem to be overcome, but as a genderless virtue we can all learn to channel in our quest to make a better, more egalitarian world for ourselves and most importantly, our children. 

Insightful, surprising, deeply relatable, and filled with all-too-familiar moments, this provocative, intelligent, and empathetic guide is essential listening for every woman who has had enough with feeling fed up.

©2018 Gemma Hartley (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

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What listeners say about Fed Up

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

5% helpful content, 95% rant and repeat

The first chapter was helpful in defining the term emotional labor. It also validated a lot of women's burdens that often go unnoticed and minimized from society at large; however after that it became a constant rant on gender inequality with the same examples being repeated over and over again. The book literally should have been kept as the hapers bizarre article she kept referring too. Save your time by reading the article and skip the overindulgent negativity the rest of the book provides.

13 people found this helpful

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Tiring Rant

I was really hopeful that this book would help with how to deal with emotional labor. I kept trying to listen, but chapter after chapter was just another rant. I tried skipping around to see if there was content that was useful, but each chapter was the start of another rant. It felt like she wrote a book to unload her mental labor which felt like I'd picked up a bunch of mental labor. Disappointed in what this book could have been.

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Good information if you can get past the tone.

I work professionally with families and this title was recommended at a training. I have seen the emotional labor divide in many contexts, and this book explains it in an accessible way. However, the narrator was too dramatic and whiny for a non-fiction text, and I almost stopped listening because the first few chapters sounded like a frustrated, nagging wife complaining about her clueless husband. The substance of the book got better, but I sort of wish I had read it instead.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

couldn't stand to listen any longer

got about 3 hours into this extra long "do more" letter to her husband. the majority of the book is how he doesn't do enough, but he's great. and in case you are wondering she says "emotional labor" 18,726 times!!!! it was so often I heard nothing else.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Good discussion, but repetitive

I really wanted to enjoy this book more. The topics seemed fairly repetitive and no solution was brought up until the very end, at which point I wasn't convinced it was a solution at all.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Don't bother

I wanted to love this but didn't at all. First, the narrator was ridiculous. The cadence was awful and the voice she used made me feel that she was conveying an urgent secret - terrible. The story was completely disjointed and followed no logical sense, bounced back and forth between then and now. Add to all of this no real strategies for overcoming the emotional labor gap just made this not worth it. I did gather a few nuggets which was good, but overall I dont recommended the book.

1 person found this helpful

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Making visible shadow work

Loved it! Thank you for helping us draw a line in history and providing perspective

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A must read for Men!

If women read this book, they will feel understood, but if men read it THEY WILL UNDERSTAND. A good read on what emotional labor is, how women, in general, feel it, how it can be exhausting, and why it is essential to find a balance between women (the ones that usually do it) and men (the ones that get the "benefits" of not having to do it) in our society.
I think is a balanced lecture, recognizing both women's and men's flaws and giving some open advice on how to find a balance where we could build a more equal society, with both men and women emotionally capable.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

pretty sad it seems most women's needs are not met

omg the feelings and accurate accounts of womens needs being ignored and unmet. whether on purpose or not.

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I understand so much about both my life and wife

Loved it. Even though books with a strong thesis like this, especially in a laden sphere like feminism, can often get heavy-handed or preachy, I never felt that way here. Although my situation is fundamentally different from the author's, hearing both the forces at play that drive 90% of the arguments and fights with my wife as well as a thought through underpinning for my silent conviction that feminism is the only way men can get to a fuller, more fulfilling, more connected life as equal partners, felt like seeing a part of the world for the first time.

I both have a lot of things to think about and a lot of things to change. Luckily, I now have a framework for both noticing and contextualising those things.