Feminist Mantra Monday 20: Vocalize
This week's mantra stems from two things I've been struggling with lately: writer's block and unacknowledged labor.
On the first front, I've been working on the very last seminar paper of my PhD, and for some reason, it's been more of a struggle than ever to pull together coherent ideas and get them onto paper. This is probably the pressure of it being the "last one" combined with the impending dissertation writing anxiety. *no big deal*
On the second front, I've been taking on a number of new roles lately (all for projects that I love), but often in these new roles I find myself doing extra work to make up for the slack of others. I am the worst about noticing an issue with some else's work and just doing something about it myself so that it gets done faster/better/smoother instead of sending a polite (or curt) email reminding others of their responsibilities.
This week's mantra is vocalize to remind myself and others that sometimes (like when you have writer's block) you just have to say something, and other times (like when you're doing other people's work) you really need to say something.
This also resonates for me on a feminist front lately, because one important feminist effort is to make visible the forms of invisible labor that women do in their personal and professional lives. This year I've been trying particularly hard to keep track of my unnoticed emotional labor that is crucial to keep so many things running but often gets swept under the rug. Examples of this labor might include helping students through relationship issues because they feel like they can talk to me after I teach feminist theory or handling twice as many emails as a colleague because people feel like I'm more "approachable" and will help them with their questions. Alongside making my labor visible, I've also been working to make visible the male privilege that allows so many of my male colleagues to not do this sort extra work and trying to help them see why the fact that I'm a woman leads to this labor falling on me. It's hard to sort through and explain, but if I don't vocalize that this is happening and then hand off the work where I can, I'm helping perpetuate the cycle.
So what do you feel inspired to vocalize this week, babes? How can I help?