Fed Up

Emotional Labor, Women, and the Way Forward
Narrated by: Therese Plummer
Length: 8 hrs and 22 mins
4 out of 5 stars (106 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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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

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

  • 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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    4 out of 5 stars
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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.

1 person 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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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

  • 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
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interesting idea, repetitive, needs a new narrator

This book starts off well (though the narrator is grating almost immediately). As it continues, though, it never seems to go anywhere...the author just continues to talk about her relationship and then quotes other authors who have also written about emotional labor. It is in these quotes that the narrator becomes the most annoying - changing her voice to try to sound like the people she's quoting, including accents, which comes across as odd, if not offensive. This feels like an essay that didn't really have enough material to turn into a book.

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Fantastic book - for all to read!!!

Everyone should listen to this. It is in point and balanced. The title is a bit polarizing

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Incredible book!

I loved this book and would wish all women an# men would read this. Emotional labor is one sided mostly and that needs to change.

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Okay, not what I thought it would be

Struggled to listen although there were moments of interest. Some areas didn't not resonate for me