Naming Invisible Labor

Naming Invisible Labor

This is Part 3 of a 4-part series on “You’re a Woman, Making History” with Shaleen Kendrick.

In this third part of the 4-part series, we’ll explore:

  • defining invisible and emotional labor
  • what it looks like in real life

Here’s a clip from this powerful interview with Shaleen…

Watch full interview here*

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Emotional or invisible labor as described by Dr. Kimberly George from the Feminism School and in “Writing Feminist Life Together” (5): 
Invisible labor is

everything women do that is not seen or recognized as labor because it is expected of us as women.

This includes:

  • Caring for the hearts and minds of our children
  • Being the primary caregiver of physical needs – doctor appointments, dentists, clothes, and shoes
  • Primary caretaker of children’s emotional needs
  • Primary caretaker of a partner’s emotional needs
  • Primary caretaker of relationships in the workplace
  • Primary “hostess” of events in workspace

Invisible labor also shows up when we have to invest ourselves in teaching others about feminism and how it affects us.

It’s exhausting. 

We never get paid or acknowledged for educating men and even other women on feminism. Women of Color know this better than anyone.

Ezer, please listen closely: Your time is valuable. We are not getting paid for this labor, and therefore it is invisible.

I would also like to acknowledge that there are many men that split responsibilities and duties and I love this and it is a great first step.

I would also challenge those men to ask themselves do they feel the responsibility to identify when there is a need or wait until the female says something needs to get done, and then responds with action.

Because the very act of staying on top of what is needed at all times is a helluva lot of invisible labor!!

In the final part of this series, Shaleen unpacks why this matters and the future of power.


The question is not about POWER ITSELF, but what is the highest form of power?!

Read the whole series here:


additional sources linked throughout the article

1 Emotional and Invisible Labor