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Language Log

Monday, Mar. 04, 2019 - 9:33 a.m.

Someone in the one FB group I love, which is populated mainly by younger folk, did a nice post offering to be a mom figure if anyone needs it. She’s my age.

I always imagined that would be the sort of person I’d be too, but no.

Another person, who is a bit older and in a different community, wrote a post complaining about younger people in their circle assuming they could tell them all their problems and get emotional labor at will. They said no. They have no energy left, their emotional labor is for their bio children only and knock it the fuck off. They didn’t want to be stuck in that role because of assumptions about age and gender.

So let’s just observe for a moment these internalized beliefs about the role of emotional labor, gender, and age. Now, it’s true that people don’t just expect it of me. I don’t give off the “tell me your problems” vibe. But I still believe that’s what I should be doing in order to be a good example of a woman of a certain age. I need to look to the second person as my example that it is ok not only to not offer it, but to refuse it, or at least to give oneself permission to not offer it.

The people on my life who dilled that role when I was younger were special to me. I valued that in them. So it’s kind of hard to say, yeah but. That’s not me and that has to be ok.

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