I in no way represent all the women out there. I am cis, white, and straight (I think) so there’s no point of me trying to write something that is meant to relate to all women. That would be so superficial and dumb especially coming from the privileged position I have.
Emotional labour is a huge part of my role at VUWSA, especially as Equity Officer. I tend to deal with a lot of issues affecting people personally and in the more long-term. I see a lot of students struggling with their everyday lives. I’ve had some difficult conversations online and offline and sometimes it does not stop at the end of the day. I have been working with the Thursdays in Black campaign which involves the topic of sexual violence.
The responsibility of my role is not something that sits lightly on my shoulders, and I have to personally seek support about it a lot. In addition to this I believe the university has a long way to go supporting the diversity across campus.
On top of my role I have also been diagnosed with depression. It has been a really tough year for me and I have gone through a lot of personal issues, which has made some weeks really tough when it comes to ‘doing’ emotional labour through my role as Equity Officer.
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If anything, I want people to think more about how some jobs come with a lot of emotional labour—not only for women, but for different groups too. I find that especially working in an organisation that is striving for change, dealing with people, and engaging with difficult issues requires a lot of emotional labour.
I encourage you all to think more about emotional labour and the kinds of effects it can have on people and their everyday lives.