Curated content to foster new masculinities

Emotional Labor: What It Is & How To Do It

Men’s labor is often defined by work that occurs outside the home, that can be easily quantified and monetized. Domestic labor, or the work that happens in this home, as a part of daily life, is often framed as less valuable, and often unpaid (ignoring monetized domestic labor provided in other people’s homes by women of color). It should be no surprise that in our patriarchal society, domestic labor has and is most often carried out by women. Similarly, emotional labor, or the emotional burden that is carried in order to maintain, sustain, and support a relationship has also typically fallen on women.

Emotional labor is the work of asking how someone’s day was, asking if they are ok, listening to someone complain about their boss despite having had a terrible day with their boss, it is supporting the decisions someone makes, it is taking time to make plans with or phone calls to people we care about, it is taking care of ourselves so that we don’t put the burden of care on others. While reading this post, I saw myself as both the carrier and cause of an emotional burden: I have not always been the most thoughtful roommate, or empathic friend. At times in my intimate relationships, I have been the one carrying the weight, acting as caretaker or homemaker, while putting my needs on the back-burner to prioritize my partner. Relationships require give and take, but without an understanding of emotional labor, the imbalance can becoming damaging. This post–from Miri on Brute Reason, her blog focusing on mental health and social justice–continues a discussion around emotional labor that utilizes tangible examples to define the concept while providing specific techniques we can use to create emotional equity in our relationships.

[Both Miri and The Bridges We Burn do not subscribe to concepts of gender essentialism, and reject any notions that anyone based on gender, sex, or race are naturally more inclined to care-taking or are more emotionally in-tuned. It is important to recognize, however, normalized gender roles, the ways we socialize emotions, and the ways in which we perpetuate negative behaviors in our relationships. Regardless of our gender identity, all of our relationships will strengthen by an increased awareness of emotional labor.]

– Brett Goldberg

Read the full post via Brute Reason.


Be A Man – Joe Ehrmann TED Talk

Former NFL defensive lineman turned motivational speaker and life-skills coach, Joe Ehrmann, provides a succinct, powerful, and informative presentation on hegemonic (or toxic) masculinity. Ehrmann explains that the phrase “be a man” makes up the three most harmful words every man/boy hears throughout their lifetime. He outlines the traditional view of masculinity as harmful, by requiring… Keep Reading


Violence Against Women: It’s a Men’s Issue

Men’s violence against women has become such an ingrained dynamic of our culture, we often fail to see the ways in which it has become normalized and invisiblized. Everything from pop culture to the way language is constructed about domestic violence and sexual assault serves to hide men as perpetrators, placing the onus of responsibility… Keep Reading


Why Won’t We Talk About Violence and Masculinity in America?

In the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012, Soraya Chemaly works to connect the dots between white male socialization–entitlement, power, control–and mass shootings that occur as a result of “aggrieved entitlement” when reality does not meet expectation. Elements of sexual and domestic violence can be seen in the histories of mass shooters. Without… Keep Reading


Why Most Mass Murderers Are Privileged White Men

In the United States, power-based interpersonal violence, including domestic and sexual violence, occurs in every community, among every demographic of people. However, there are unique manifestations of violence perpetrated by white men. While it often begins intimately–targeting a partner or family member–it may carry over into the public sphere. With few notable exceptions, acts of… Keep Reading


Rape Culture 101

Having become so normalized that we fail to see it, fail to recognize the ways we are complicit in its perpetuation, fail to acknowledge the ways–both subtle and overt–that we uphold it, rape culture requires direct and explicit naming. Shakesville provides an essential, and brutally direct, explanation defining rape culture. – Brett Goldberg Read the… Keep Reading


The Do’s and Don’ts of Being a Good Ally

The first step in working to undo systems of oppression is to recognize the ways in which we benefit from the system, or are given a place of unearned privilege based on our race, gender identity, sexual orientation, etc. White straight men are dealt a pretty hefty stack of cards upon their birth. Societal norms… Keep Reading

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