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Toggle navigation Welcome Guest. While the song will fit nicely in an '80s music time capsule, it sounded nothing like the other hits of the era. There are no synthesizers on the song, but there is banjo, accordion, fiddle and saxophone. In our interview with Kevin Rowland , he explained how the song came together: Lots of records we liked had that rhythm: Lots of records we liked had that 'Bomp ba bomp, bomp ba bomp.

We came up with the chord sequence ourselves and just started singing melodies over it. I remember thinking, 'We're really onto something here. And in the end it kind of finished itself. This song is based on a true story. Eileen was a girl that Kevin Rowland grew up with. Their relationship became romantic when the pair were 13, and according to Rowland, it turned sexual a year or two later.

Rowland was raised Catholic and served as an altar boy in church. Sex was a taboo subject, and considered "dirty" - something that fascinated him. When he wrote this song, Rowland was expressing the feelings of that adolescent enjoying his first sexual relationship and dreaming of being free from the strictures of a buttoned-down society: You in that dress My thoughts I confess Verge on dirty The song describes the thin line between love and lust.

Dexys Midnight Runners had no American distribution for their first album, which did very well in the UK and contained a 1 hit called " Geno. Much of the US success for "Eileen" can be attributed to its video, which got constant airplay on MTV and remains one of the most memorable and beloved clips of the era.

Most videos at the time were slick productions featuring impossibly pretty people in unexpected locations, but Dexys' video was delightfully different, with the overall-clad band acting out the love story on a gritty street. Kevin Rowland doing an earnest jig became a defining image of the early MTV era. When we asked him about shooting it, he told us: We started at 6 in the morning, we finished very late at night.

It just kind of worked. It contained the 1 UK hit " Geno " and earned the band lots of acclaim in their home country of England. For their second album Too-Rye-Ay , the group added fiddles and switched to more of an Irish folk sound.

Kevin Rowland changed out every member except for Jim Paterson and also updated their image, going from a stylish, rustic Italian look to a ragged, unkempt appearance. This hillbilly theme was a great complement to their new sound and made for a striking visual. Rowland sold the look by appearing in patched-up denim offstage and insisting that it was not an act. It's very important to me to be an individual. I don't care if people laugh. That's what Dexys Midnight Runners is all about: The song leaves an impression with a group vocal breakdown at the end which is followed by an uptempo fiddle part.

This fast section was modeled on the Hebrew wedding song " Hava Nagila. Kevin Rowland had become fed up with the British music press, so in lieu of interview, Dexys took out full-page ads in music magazines explaining their new album and why they refused to talk about it.

Determined to send "Eileen" up the charts, Rowland called off the media blackout and granted some interviews for the purpose of promoting the song. These talks were often contentious, with Rowland sometimes abasing journalists and dismissing any questions he didn't deem worthy of an answer. The press served its purpose, as the song was brought to the attention of the public and rocketed up the charts.

He left the group after their first album. Archer explained why to Mojo magazine July After shows we'd be in a room on our own, it became 'hate Kevin Rowland time. Kevin got me to help form a new group, rehearsing in a freezing industrial unit in Birmingham. He was irritable, treating everyone like they were nobody.

I did the single "Plan B" demo, Kevin wasn't happy with it. It got too much. We met in the little Nibble caff in Bearwood and I said I was leaving. He never showed any emotion. He got me to go round to Billy Adams the new guitarist's house to teach him the new chords. Rowland later admitted that the sound of Too-Rye-Aye did indeed come from Archer and paid him royalties from the album. The band's name was inspired by the amphetamine drug Dexedrine, which is commonly known as "Dexys" Contrary to popular belief, the band's name does not have an apostrophe.

The band itself steered away from drinking and drugs, saying nothing should interfere with their dedication to music. Beau - Phoenix, AZ. After this album, group leader Kevin Rowland kept the band going, releasing Don't Stand Me Down in with a new set of musicians.

He started a solo career, but didn't re-form Dexys until the early '00s. The girl representing Eileen in the video was played by Maire Fahey. The band was building quite a legend at their live shows when this song took off. Rowland would often slow songs down and do vocal improvisations. When he did it during "Eileen," the crowd would sometimes simply sing over him, preferring a bawdy sing-a-long to a quiescent monologue.

It should be noted that these interludes were offset by rousing performances, and that reviews of the shows reveal a good time had by all. Producer Clive Langer recalled to Uncut magazine August That was the original chorus, singing about people who influenced him to write the song - like he mentions Johnny Ray.

And then he came in one day and said I want to change the lyric completely, it's a working lyric. And we actually liked James, Van and Me! Because we'd been working with it and got used to it.

Clive didn't think it would be a hit! He told me that! He said it wasn't as good as Celtic Soul Brothers. And my manager didn't think it would be a hit. He said he thought it was trying too hard. The record company wanted to release ' Jackie Wilson. Please sign in or register to post comments. Monthly Newsletter A monthly update on our latest interviews, stories and added songs.

Come On Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners - Songfacts

Aliens in a Box. Amelies Cafe - Holiday Spirit. American Tank Zombie Invasion. An Agent of Change. Ana Jones and the Skull Gold. Another Box of Hot Corn. Mission to the Moon. Are You Smarter than a 7th Grader? Arm Wrestle My Ego. Around the World in 80 Days. Art of War 2. Athlete Balls n Walls. Attack of the Influenza Birds.

Baby Chute - Puke Edition. Ball In The Hole. Balloon in a Wasteland. Barry Lost His Marbles. Bat and Mouse 2.

Battle for the Galaxy. Battle of the Bob. Battle of the Giants: Beanstalk Race iFrame test. Bear in Super Action Adventure. Bear in Super Action Adventure 2. Ben 10 Ultramix Unleashed. Best Friends Forever 3. Bieber Tower of Hair Defense. Billy and the Shootgun. Billy and the Shotgun 2. Blob Bob Lost Levels. Blood Car Delux. Bloons Players Pack 1. Bloons Players Pack 2. Bloons Players Pack 3. Bloons Players Pack 4. Bloons Players Pack 5. Bloons Tower Defense 2. Bloons Tower Defense 3.

Bloons Tower Defense 4. Bob the Guard of Earth. Bobby Nutcase Moto Jumping. Bowel Physics Tower Defense. Bowja the Ninja 2. Boxhead - The Zombie Wars. Break in the Road. Brink of Alienation III. Bubble Master High Scores. Bubble Tanks Tower Defense. Build a Lot 4: Build a Robot 2.

Build A Robot 3. Bunny Invasion Easter Special. Bush on the Rocks. Busy Beas Halftime Hustle. Cake Mania 2 the Max. Call Me Young Kaleido. Can I Eat This? Capri Sun Promo Game. Car Eats Car 3: Carious Weltling 2 Regurgitated. Carmela Sutera Wedding Dress Up. Carrie the Caregiver 2: Castle Crashing the Beard. Cat with Bow Golf.

Catch Em If You Can. Catch the Rats 2. Catch the Star 2. Champions of Chaos 2. Revenge of the Yolk. City of Ember Pipeworks. Clash of the Dragons. Conor Martin's RV Mayhem. Cradle of Rome II. Crash n Smash Derby. Crazy Go Nuts 2. Crazy Kimono Doll Assault.

Crow in Hell 3. Crush the Castle 2. Crush the Castle Players Pack. Curse of the Amsterdam Diamond. Curse of the Opera. Cursed Treasure Level Pack. Cut the Cord - Piggy Bank. Cut the Rope Time Travel. Pirates of the Caribbean. Dangerous Flashy Lights Game. Dave Fearless is Stuntdriver. Dave Fearless is Stuntdriver 2.

Day D Tower Rush. Days 2 Die 2. Dead Frontier Night 3. Death Arena Reality Show. Death Unicorn of Death. Deaths Embrace Escape 2. Deep Blue Sea II. Defend the Village 2. Defend Your Nuts 2. Defenders of the Crown. Denim Rocks Dress Up. Derecho the Doom Bringer. Dibs Adventure to Mount Wafers. Digi Ninja Level 1. Diner Dash - Flo on the Go. Diner Town Detective Agency. Disaster Will Strike 2. Don't Save the Princess. Don't Shoot The Puppy. Don't Taze Me Bro! Don't Think To enTer. Don't Touch the Hooks.

Don't Touch the Lava. Don't Whack Your Teacher. Dont Drop The Puppy. Dr Lynch Grave Secrets. Drag Race Demon 2. Dragon Fist 3 - Age of the Warrior. Dress Me Up Clockwork Couture. Dress Paris in Jail. Dudes in a Room. Dum Dum and the Iron Golem. Earn to Die Earn to Die 2: Earn to Die Super Wheel. Echoes of the Past. Empress of the Deep. Epic Boss Fighter 2. Escape Camp Crystal Lake. Escape from Fairy World.

Escape from Frankensteins Castle. Escape From Ice Mountain. Escape from Lost Island. Escape From The Campground. Escape from the Catacombs. Escape From The Mall. Escape From the Oval Office.

Escape from Thunder Island. Escape From Wherever You Are. Escape from Wonderland Carnival. Escape the Bookstore 2. Escape the Chem Lab. Escape the Coffee House. Escape the Convenience Store. Escape the Crashing Plane. Escape the Cursed Island. Escape the Dark Office. Escape the Ecru Room. Escape the Emerald Star. Escape the Health Center. Escape the Ladies Room. Escape the Lion Cage. Escape the Lost Kingdom. Escape the Museum 2. Escape the Office Escape the Pear Room.

Escape the Phone Booth. Escape the Red Giant. Escape the Room 2. Escape the Room 3. Escape the Ship of Doom. Escape the Speeding Car. Escape the Toy Factory. Escape the Turquoise Room. Escape the Very Bad Planet. Escape the Working Room. Fancy Pants Adventure 2. Fancy Pants Adventure Sneak Peek. Fancy Pants Adventures World 3. Fantasy Monster Rescue Game. Farm Frenzy Pizza Party. Feed Our Doughnut Overlords. The Curse of Oz. Find Your Way Out. Finn and Jake's Epic Quest.

Fire in the Hole 2. Fireboy and Watergirl 2. Fireboy and Watergirl 3. Fix It Up 2. Fix It Up Kate 80s. Flash Element TD 2. Flight For the Crown. Fly Me To The Moon. Food for Thought Word Puzzle. Footsteps of Simeon Meade. Fox X the Dawning. Frat Boy Beer Pong. Fratboy Blind Date Horror. Friendly Fire Blood and Gore. Fun in the Sun. Furfur and Nublo 2. Whatchya gonna do when they come for you A gang of hatin pigs What have they ever really done for you Ain't never done shit Stash what you got cuz they're comin through Best get rid of that quick Cuz when they get here you know what they're gonna do All they ever do is trip Minding my own business Try to hem me up like for life stuck in the klink haters in blue How they set me up should I test my luck, here they come they're in pursuit What did I do?

What haven't I done, you want to see my I. Well ok, where I'm coming from? Just on my way not on the run Whatchyou want me to say are you just bout done? Power trippin asshole lickin haters Notice how they strut Through the spot like anybody wants to see a cop, man everybody knows they suck I got to be somewhere man fuck!

B out on but no You're wrong as usual hell no it wasn't me Have the nerve to ask me if I'm drunk when I'm pissing in the middle of the street Looking over my shoulder By the way why they always acting Like they know how to size me up Ignorant bastards coming after me All the time on mine had enough.

Why they always wanna hassle me, pigs all up on my nuts Like they have to be, like I can't see em Trying to play shade tree in the cuts By robbing me of my dignity So in the end I never say much But ain't a time pass I don't wish I could flash On penelope like fuck! Shot this for everyone who's been there For my real ones who understand What it feels like to have your rights read to you by the I'm coming through, thought you knew, fuck if you didn't, fuck you Plutonium lore What this is, what this for Feel my fists push black holes Through your bitch ass decor Split it back like a whore And make you shit your fucking drawers Scared to ride, cowards fall Before my eyes, sound of my balls Dragging like cannon loaded wagons Drug by demons down your halls Can't imagine whats fit to happen When I get to flashing, see the small Shrink to a fraction of what their lacking And less than that in no time at all.

Can't believe they have the gaul To try and act like they're not trapped Between these walls Known for it Let it eat shit and die As I creep lit Off the deep hits wit a sick mind On the secrets I rely 'pon ta freak this You can tell me what you said - go ahead But no sooner than you said it, You can bet it was left for dead All you said in and out of my head in seconds Keep em guessin endlessly Never let em know where your headed King of the unknown cloaked in mystery How ta show em they don't mean shit ta me Never meant a thing to me Effortlessly dead to me Check the sign no vacancy Extremely selective memory Known for it, gotta stay deep in the zone Or it'll take everything you own, floor it Get it, get it I pay the price ta roll wit it Waste your life and you wont get it Played out wit nowhere ta go bet it Makes you feel like a ho don't it?

Known for it Let it eat shit and die As I creep lit Off the deep hits wit a sick mind On the secrets I rely 'pon ta freak this Known for it since way back, all about it Never been without it How ta ride it inside out of da clouded By the enemy surrounded Thoughts that make you feel lost don't doubt it You might just need it Already did that, Can't never go back Yeah fuck that Gets the bozack Laid on the gas, leaned back and blew it Twelve gauge blasted out abused it Left it for the next, hit eject done wit that You want it you can have it, no questions asked Left that shit on the side of the road in a ditch, don't trip If ya have one let a man so I could flip a bitch and kill it Head for the hills when it makes you feel Like you can't ever chill no more, fuck it Every time I get it ta wind, round my finger and recline Behave or be slayed cuz I will be damned if mine ever decays Forever on attack gut check the blind Game recognize game is tight Bow down or get banged for life Cuz I..

Been working way too much need to get out and get fucked up Whats going on, where's it at Make some calls to make it crack, lets see I need money, drugs, a ride And a spot with hot ones inside The mission: To get all of the above in a limited amount of time I can do this and it's done Like that we're on our way Be it acid on the tongue Cocaine in your brain Or some weed that hits your lungs Like a runaway train Hell yeah, from DMT to MDMA Got all that shit and more So 'til dawn we're okay Fuck a line, every time Get in, get a drink and lose our minds All eyes on the dime That makes your dick want to grind Know you got a godd buzz going Cuz everything is glowing Skirt so short her ass is showing And shes looking so you're knowing You could get it tonight But there's so much around Best take your time do it right As you keep getting higher Lights look like they're on fire Soon all that's left of you Is your most primal desires Ass clappin, dick suckin, lock the door to the bathroom?

Bitch Responsibility's cool, but there's more things in life Like getting your dick Rode all fucking night By the kind of girl that knows how to keep her shit tight Legs in the air, looking like they feel nice Volcano pussy melt your peter like ice And the drugs got you going back for more cuz you're like I just can't get enough of that cum clutch, well alright Its time to find one and take one Right now Its time to find one and make one say I'm down Think I just found one, bout to break one off Meanwhile Hallucinating crazy, getting lost for miles, May have gotten too fucked up cuz I forgot how to smile Gonna have to do this shit Jim Morrison style Will it work?

Probably not, but its worth a try First hot one I see with sex in her eyes Will be the hot one I need to take home with me tonight Wish me luck, give me dap And I'll talk to you later And when I do lets hope my story isn't all about haters Wheres it at, cuz I want it like man Got the drugs but need a hot one that'll make me go damn Was the most banging guts that I ever have smashed If you got it push it up on me cuz I'm feeling that ass, know what I mean?

I want it I, I need it, need it to make me feel heated Shake it, can't take it, must break it Break if off yea, what'd I say bitch.. Pass that shit Hold on man park the car I have no idea where we are Think we may have drove too far Yeah I can see they're right behind us But there's nothing we can do We can't get caught slipping get off that shit and just be cool Anyway when they try to ride On you thinking I'm gone I'll creep up on them from behind And break them off one by one And in the time it takes you to blink your eyes Shit'll already be done But just in case anything goes wrong Keep your right hand on your Yeah no problem Got that covered tramp, I brought 'em The artist escapes from his work.

Black Google is a collection of all instrument, drum, and vocal tracks from every song on Ex Military. Dilemma Jun 14 Directed by Death Grips. It's a substantial amount of overhead, having to care about everything. It ought to be a shared burden, but half the planet is socialized to trick other people into doing more of the work. I send a canned message of "I'm sorry, but I am unable to craft personal responses to assholes at this time.

More information [link to a page called "lol nope" that says that they will have to pay me if they want my attention]" to jackasses on Twitter who demand my time and it makes them REALLY MAD.

They keep replying, keep getting the canned response, and then threaten to report me to Twitter. I guess since they do their harassment for free, I shouldn't want any compensation for writing about its effects. I've gotten a lot of shit here, too, for refusing to respond to men's anti-feminist JAQing off with painstakingly patient explanations of their attempts to derail a conversation by telling them that doing so would be work that isn't actually worth it to me unless they pay me.

I see a lot of pushback every time anytime a woman does anything to suggest to men that they aren't entitled to her attention. It's a major part of what happened today in the echochamber.

Sometimes this is couched, as it was there, in the kind of "do this for your safety" thing that helps reinforce tired victim-blaming tropes that attempt to make women responsible for their own abuse; sometimes it's just treated as some kind of unspeakable cruelty to not allow men to shout at us wherever they wish.

This is, of course, exacerbated with people who unlike me have more than a dozen regular readers who aren't related to them. People with entire dedicated hate mobs are expected to spend more hours than they have in a day dealing with this abuse "for their own safety". I'm just talking the aspects of this that expect us to deal with abuse and harassment online without going into the meatspace details of it, so this is really just a tiny portion of the emotional labor women are expected to perform all the time, but it's a good jumping-off point to start pointing it out.

I love, love, love thinking about this concept. Radical feminist with some economics background. I see no benefit to pre-limiting this potential market to women entrants -- while it is obvious to anyone who's experienced this that women make up the HUGE MAJORITY of the "emotional laborers" or whatever you want to call this market , if we monetized it, the market would very quickly make clear that women were the ones doing this work. Although I wonder if explictly assigning financial value to this work would solve the Everybody Loves Raymond-style argument I hear some men spouting: And when a man performs such emotional labor, he is compensated as well.

Or he can barter. Another consideration - is the rise of services like "life coaching" the beginning of this market? What does it mean that in my sample of one, most of the people signing up for these priced emotional services are also women? Maybe my sample of one is an anomoly. What would happen if we started a group like task rabbit or the like, advertising "a ear to listen to your emotional problems," priced at minimum wage?

This leads back to the question I continue to puzzle over: For example, why don't parents receive a wage per child that they can either pass on to an outside childcare worker, or keep themselves as a wage for stay at home work? It is such bullshit to me that things like "welfare to work" programs exist for mothers who are constantly working to care for their children, and not being paid for it.

If I retired from the work force to care for a child, I would be foregoing a large wage in favor of…what? An esoteric emotional benefit I am supposed to prize. Why don't stay at home parents unionize? In the US, if stay at home parents formed a union, couldn't they purchase a huge group health insurance policy, saving a huge sum on whatever individual insurance some of them are currently purchasing?

Jumping back to "emotional labor," think of how this would be valued in terms of morality even more so in past centuries -- in doing this work, you are being "good" or "virtuous," which supposedly pays its own dividends down the road in the great beyond or the next life.

To me and acknowledged in the article this also strongly connects to the horribly inequitable assumption that people of color are not only required to bear the brunt of discrimination and to fight it, but also to shine a light on it and explain it to often hostile white people. I am single and have never sent christmas cards. Does this hypothetical husband - I don't think we should restrict this to any particular spouse not care because for his entire life, he's been used to women relatives keeping family and friend relationships strong through work exactly like this, though?

Has he ever fully experienced a world in which women stop doing this kind of work? Sending Christmas cards, get well cards, birthday presents for family and friends, telephone calls just to check up, etc. My father would almost never speak to his brother, whom he loves dearly, if my mother didn't do a huge amount of leg-pulling to keep them in touch and get them in the same room.

But would that change if he didn't live in a world in which their wives were expected to build and maintain this connection? It's impossible to say because this is the world we live in now. So as a man who gave up even trying to keep up with birthday cards ages ago, this has always struck me as a women's activity at least in my small sliver of the world.

I mean, men I know just don't care. I agree with most of this article FWIW, but on this one item They don't even see this as a thing to do. It is kind of bullshit for your MIL to assume that you're going to take care of it, but it's probably because she's internalized that no man is going to ever send her a birthday card.

I send my mom flowers every year although my wife reminds me weeks ahead of time most years. But nieces and nephews and cousins etc? But it's impossible to know whether they would care if they did not live in a world which widely considered this to be "women's work.

This is one of the reasons I love being a therapist. I am really good at emotional labor, and doing it in a setting where I'm respected as a professional and paid for my expertise is such a vastly more rewarding experience than being expected to do it in romantic relationships where it's simultaneously expected and devalued. I've never run into the resentment-causing lopsided arrangements with friends, male or female; those relationships have always felt balanced to me.

It's just romantic partners that I seem to choose poorly. On the other hand, therapy work is also often devalued by society as a whole, and payments have been going down as more women than men enter the profession.

Where "this" can be sending cards, calls on significant dates, keeping the kitchen floor reasonably clean, keeping a house healthy and comfortable to live in, arranging play dates for children, and on and on.

All of this has been offloaded on women because men don't even see these as necessary, valuable, or pay-worthy things to do. But just for the super-specific point of birthday cards, I actually don't understand why women care either.

Maybe I'm just old and cranky and maybe other people like birthday cards a lot. I dunno, I get it, I guess. But, do I ask to paid to go check the loud noise my wife hears downstairs? Or if a female friend asks me to help them move a piece furniture Sure but does 'fix my car, male' sting when you hear it? Because I'm told, "make me a sandwich" does for a lot of people. So I have to admit when I first read something like this essay not this exact essay I thought "well okay, but I'm pretty sure I've spent more time listening to women's problems than the other way around.

But here's the thing - among guys it's totally acceptable and expected to say that being treated as an "unpaid therapist" is a hassle. In fact if you admit to spending "too much" time listening to women versus I dunno, fucking them, or watching TV by yourself some guys will call you a sucker.

I don't think it's nearly as acceptable for women to even acknowledge that they don't always enjoy spending their time like that. I personally do not buy into a lot of the silliness that "the world" insists we do.. My mother does not call me on my birthday or send me an email.

Neither does my father. We are a happy loving family and have no issues with each other. I understand that others grow up differently, and a person who doesn't want to do the work but still thinks the work should be done - fuck them, fully agreed. We're both in our 30s. Ask anyone about my "work" that I do in the house, and I'm just an idiot and a pushover for continuing to do the work.. Such a good point. The whole "friendzone" idea is based on the idea that men shouldn't have to listen to women talking unless they're getting paid in sex.

Bob's mother thus expects Bob to, in some way, acknowledge her birthday. If you ask Bob, he loves his mother dearly, but he doesn't care that much about birthday cards. The first year, Bob, in line with his belief that he doesn't value birthday cards, decides not to pay. Bob's wife gets to save the time on the card issue and Bob pays what he thinks this labor is worth nada.

If Bob's mom doesn't give a shit either, everything is rosy. But if Bob's mom is sad about not getting an acknowledgment of her birthday and lets Bob know that, won't Bob decide he does indeed value the emotional labor of sending his mom a birthday card?

One more comment on cards, and I'll leave that super-specific point. I am a woman. I do not give a damn about cards. But because others do, and because "remembering to buy, write, and send cards" has been coded feminine, my husband and various card-recipients assume that I will take care of it. No one expects a card from my husband. The cards aren't the point; it's the assumption about who does that work. I have been really fortunate in this area, or else my laziness when it comes to assuming obligations has made others give up on me in despair.

But the husband has other friends besides me, and is also willing to go to therapy when needed. His family does not expect me to just know what to do for family stuff or keep track of birthdays, because I never have.

They just text me to bring a bag of ice and a fruit salad, which I happily will do. I get none, I send none. Birthday cards are not a huge thing in our family sometimes yes, sometimes no so it's more of a personal preference.

But again; I am lucky not to have one of those families that are big on Drama and unstated but mandatory obligations of that sort. I do know what's being discussed here. I've had male acquaintances frequently corner me to tell me about their often horrifying and traumatic! Usually they're older guys, middle-aged, bitter, and completely unaware of how alarming and discomfiting their traumatic stories and obvious pent-up rage is to everyone around them.

I've seen lots of women get worn out by husbands who clearly do need help of some kind but instead prefer to be miserable and make everyone tiptoe around them and follow special rules not to set them off. I've seen it eat away at and destroy marriages. It's about pride, and laziness and entitlement, and it's shit and I want women everywhere to stop putting up with it.

Younger guys tend to corner me about relationship problems, but will usually stop if they don't like my suggestions or answers. I have had to have Come to Jesus meetings about housework. It's still not as balanced as it should be. But I will not hesitate to take dirty dishes and other things and dump them in the husband office or son's room somewhere they can't ignore them and tell them it's their problem now. In my marriage, I'm the one who doesn't care. My husband reminds me to send my parents cards for their birthdays and Mother's Day and so on.

I manage to actually do that about half of the time; he doesn't do it for me, but he cares if it happens and he thinks it's terrible that I don't care. He sends out Christmas cards or they don't happen I categorically refuse to have anything to do with planning that because it was my "job" in a previous relationship and I hate everything about it. He sends the cards for his own family and keeps track of the dates himself or he probably has calendar reminders set up, because that's how he does everything.

So, in the absence of a woman willing to do this work, there do exist men who care. Maddeningly, I do sometimes still get blamed if he forgets to send out cards, but so far everybody has accepted me saying it's not my job, so at least their assumptions are just passively sexist and not actively trying to force me to fill this role through social pressure.

We don't fucking care about your mom's birthday or little sally the 14th cousin 37 times removed's fucking piano recital. But we're the ones who have to deal with the emotional and social fallout of no one caring, always.

Receive a wage from whom? No one is telling Bob anything. What poffin boffin said. Repeated daily, over the course of a lifetime. If human beings start being paid for emotional labor and related tasks, who values the work of child-rearing? I would say the larger society in the U. Will that ever happen? I doubt in my lifetime. Is it even possible? Would you rather call Bob directly? A New Feminist Economics This is a revolutionary and powerfully argued feminist analysis of modern economics, revealing how woman's housework, caring of the young, sick and the old is automatically excluded from value in economic theory.

An example of this pervasive and powerful process is the United Nation System of National Accounts which is used for wars and determining balance of payments and loan requirements. The author has also written "Women, Politics and Power" and is a formidable force in the politics of New Zealand, serving three terms in Parliament and helping bring down a Prime Minister.

She holds a doctorate in political economy and was a visiting Fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. And I take responsibility for whatever toll that takes on my relationships - it's my very small remaining family mostly, but I have multiple reasons for maintaining a certain distance.

But anyway, it's on me, and nobody else, and that's fine. I also don't manage my husband's relationship with his family, and if they care or blame me It affects me zero.

Those things don't affect me because we don't have children. Emotional labor, and how I knew that situation would shake out, is one of the reasons we don't have children. And count me in as coming from a family where gift giving and card giving just isn't something done at all. I'm the only one that gives gifts to my mom and younger brother.

But to my mom's credit, she does give me cash on New Year's and occasionally on birthday's. It's nothing but a wealth transfer from childless people to parents!

I'd support a basic wage paid to all Americans out of tax receipts regardless of parental status though. Parents could use that money to hire a nanny or whatever.

While I buy books. Why not in this case? Other than the systemic nature of it, sure.. But it's like someone in an abusive relationship. We don't blame the victim but we ask "why don't they leave".. If no woman dated a misogynist asshole, they'd figure out or simply self-select out of the gene-pool. I know plenty of feminist women who date assholes.. Or in sallybrown's example above: Would you like to talk to Bob?

It'd just be a stipend from the Government, in case it isn't clear. Sort of like a Basic Income scheme, and the kids would get theirs and their guardians would administer it. There'd be a lot of complexity in managing so many transactions, but probably you could do it with Square or PayPal.

Who will be the Uber of Emotional Labor? Isn't raising children it's own reward!?? Why are you looking at me like that? I'm not sure what to take from this thread but that everyone really, quietly, secretly despises everyone else. Women are culturally seen as caring and empathetic. Asking "why don't you just not care" is ignoring the fact that to society, a woman who doesn't care is defective.

The Man IS the government. That was a joke. This thread also dovetails interestingly with the one from a few days ago about women on the autism spectrum , wherein autistic women learn early in life that they're expected to perform emotional labor, pick up just enough cues from others to maintain the performance even if they don't understand the nuances, and then miss out on getting diagnosed because they present too "normally. If you admit that you have a problem picking up in the ins and outs of emotional labor, you get chastised in ways that more or less boil down to "you are bad at you gender.

This would all be so much easier if we were willing to admit that emotional care taking is a learned skill, and not something that people women are innately born with. They always blame the wife. No matter whose relative it is. Or, maybe if I were a dude, I could be like you and just say, "I don't understand why women are complaining about emotional labor expectations being unfairly assigned by society at large -- they could just stop dating assholes and the problem would solve itself!

I wish I was a dude so I could, like you, simply opt out of the emotional labor of caring about emotional labor. A while ago I decided I would never date anyone again where their friends and family were so happy that i was "so good" for so and so, not "you're so good together".

Because I realized it meant they were happy some woman was going to be taking care of him and not them anymore Fuck that shit. Single men generally don't send their friends birthday cards, even if they don't have a woman to do it for them, and it's very rarely taken personally.

Also, men generally don't take it personally when they don't receive cards from someone who does have a partner to help them with it. Mostly they just don't care, or at least don't take it personally if they aren't sent. You've never gotten the silent treatment, or the angry phone call from an aunt asking you why you are breaking your mother's heart. Or had in-laws act cold because you didn't remember someone's birthday. But plenty of women have. Here's what you need to say.

I'm sorry anyone is making you feel that way. I'll stand up for you to my folks if they give you any of that, and tell them to stop. I won't expect you to manage my relationships with my family; that's on me.

If I am having giant emotional issues, I won't expect you to solve them for me, though I will appreciate your help. Whether it's birthday cards or whatever, sometimes the reason those relationships get maintained is because of politics and sometimes it's because, you know, they desire a relationship. Or they want their kids to have the relationship. It isn't helpful to say "just don't care" because it's fine to care, there's nothing wrong with caring. But it does mean dealing with other people's expectations more than you have to if you don't care or are able to maintain a strong boundary, and the responsibility for that falls unfairly heavily on women.

In fact, in the classic "my MIL will flip her shit if I don't Emotional labour performed by men is paid better. Men get pats on the head and appreciation for acts of listening that would simply be expected from women. Truly, we have reached Peak Care. I'm sorry so many of you feel this way about your relationships with men. We need to do better. It's really weird that people are honing into the detail of birthday cards and dismissing it as unnecessary without realizing what they represent - the maintenance of social relationships.

Okay, yes, maybe you or your mom or your fourth cousin doesn't really care for birthdays. But even if you aren't sending birthday cards, you're phoning them or bringing over flowers for their big occasions or sharing recipes with them or shopping and sending them gifts for Christmas and sending them thank you notes for the gifts they sent you.

And then maybe you'll argue that the person in question doesn't care about any of THAT shit in isolation, and maybe it's true that you could drop one or two of these things and not see a big change in your relationship - but try dropping literally every token of social interaction and then seeing how far your relationship gets on radio silence. Like the whole point is that relationships are built upon hundreds of small interactions, none of them essential, but all of them important in cumulation.

Honing in on one aspect and going "pfft that's trivial" doesn't make sense. Yeah, you guys act like women can just opt out of emotional labor consequence free. If we opt out of doing the expected emotional labor, then we get to deal with the generalized opprobrium for opting out!

My husband and I have been together for 20 years and when I finally asked him "Why is your father's wife calling me to arrange for the two of you to go hiking together? Just tell her I'll call my dad directly. I could block her number, but that would probably have even greater consequences , not just for myself but for my husband and children. I've told this story here before, but the year our older child was entering first grade, I had a gig the night of the Parent Curriculum Night at the school, so my husband went instead.

When it asked for contact information, he gave only his email address and phone number, because he is used to thinking of himself as one person, not as a representative of the family. So it was his email address and his phone number that went out in the "get to know your classmates' parents" email, and he got every birthday invitation, every teacher email, every playdate invite, every Wacky Hair Day or Wear the Regalia of Your Favorite Sports Team Day email.

Suddenly, he was in charge of managing our daughter's social life and school interactions. And even though what he did most of the time was just throw it over to me, he found it absolutely exhausting. Some additional complications this market would present: What counts as emotional labor and what doesn't count?

Can a person contract around emotional labor payment? Couldn't a husband and wife agree in a prenuptial agreement that each will provide the other with emotional labor gratis? What of those who live alone? They clean their own houses free of charge because the value flows only to them? What if they are cleaning in order to host a party on behalf of another person? I supposed this could constitute a gift. What would this do to the childcare, eldercare, housekeeping, hospitality, etc industries.

It is interesting that this solution would just lock us into market capitalism even more. Or is this just recognizing a value that already exists a flaw in the market?

Adjustment problems are especially compounded by the los of his occupational role, which abruptly removes him from meaningful contact with friends and co-workers. Social isolation among aged widowers leads to a precarious condition which is reflected in unusually high rates of mental disorders, suicides, and mortality risk. Clearly, subtracting a wife greatly increases a man's risk of isolation. But a huuuuuuuuuuge proportion of men rely almost entirely on their wives for social connection and that is a a significant form of work for the wife or same-sex spouse who must manage not only her own social-emotional health but her husband's; and b really dangerous for men who then end up totally disconnected from social and emotionally supports through the loss of a wife by death or divorce.

Part of what creates that is the societal expectation that women are the "social arrangers" and that's what we're trying to talk about in this thread. And now that I've underlined WhatAboutTheMen and given evidence that a women do actually do the bulk of emotional labor and b it has negative effects on men, can we go back to talking about women and emotional labor?

Instead of men complaining that women are just doing things that nobody gives a shit about? And go send your college roommate a goddamned "thinking of you! You're totally right about it not being the woman's fault and how it should also fall onto the guy to do their own work. Yet aren't those above examples of like controlling behavior done by toxic and self-centered people that one should probably limit their encounters with though?

At least, this is what I was told after years of having to deal with similar actions. I'm probably missing something here, because I'm single, huh?

But that's par for the course in literally every single discussion here about gender issues, feminism, or sexism -- dudes rush in, find one very tiny aspect of the situation they can pick apart endlessly and point to and say, "see? All that is, guys who do that kind of thing, is a veiled way of telling us to shut the fuck up because you don't want to have to listen or be uncomfortable or ever change anything about your life that might mean you have to make some effort.

Just FYI, that means you're exactly the kind of crappy dude that you're telling us to not let into our lives.

This goes back to the fact that this work is considered a woman's job. A single man is man and is thus not penalized for failing to undertake this emotional labor. A man whose partner fails to send a birthday card is also not penalized, because a man is never expected to do this emotional work.

Or, here's another example. As I speak, my daughter is out playing kick the can with the other neighborhood kids in the street.

There's a treehouse in the tree in my front yard, built entirely by children ages When my daughter had a medical emergency and my four year old son ran out the front door that the paramedics left open, one of the neighborhood 12 year olds scooped him up and told me "Don't worry about it -- I've got him.

Attend to Lily, he is safe with me, if he has to spend the night at our house, that's fine. In the summers, one family has an outdoor movie projector and they show movies for all the neighborhood kids while the adults hang out drinking beer and jawing. You know who does the labor to keep all that together? The kids can all be out in the street playing because there are a lot of stay at home moms, and the older kids are OK being left home alone because there are moms on the street during the afternoon.

The women plan the block parties. The women rent the movies. The women arrange the dinners to people who just had a new baby, or whose spouse just died. The men show up, and they enjoy it, and they benefit hugely from the close-knit nature of our neighborhood -- but it's the women who make it happen.

Also, I personally have been dragged over the proverbial coals in very dramatic fashion by my single men friends whose birthdays I have forgotten to acknowledge. As the female friend I am expected to plug myself into the wife role for things like this, e. I don't mind doing it because I love my friends, but there would be real consequences if I failed to. Yeah, it's impossible to know. I understand this feeling because I have a visceral reaction against certain rhetoric about housework as a feminist issue, namely the idea that I "expect a woman to clean up after me.

The difference in expectations comes from gendered socialization but it's not a fact that all these things have to be done and I promise that I will never, ever be upset that they aren't. But your expectations and mine aren't the truth either - even if it's not your fault that the expectation exists, even if there is truly no external reason sometimes there really is that it's going to matter, you still gotta do what you can in a relationship to help the other person handle things that feel important to them.

Or that's what I try to remind myself when I get irritated about something like this. Which is exactly what some of us do. I've done it more and more over the years.

About 4 seconds after my mother's corpse was cold, I told my sister, "I am never ever attending another family Christmas. The thing is, most men not only don't have to deal with the fallout of "walking away" or opting out of various emotional chores, but they are very, very often never expected to have done The Thing in the first place. In US culture at least, there are certain people within a family or relationship who are going to be asked or automatically expected to step up in situations like an elderly relative needing in-home care or support or company, a niece or nephew needing a last-minute babysitter or someone other than a parent to attend a school play, hosting a holiday event or reunion, visiting someone in a hospital, providing goodies for a playdate, mending fences between arguing parties or keeping lines of communication open, etc.

And we know the general gender breakdown of those two groups. This thread also dovetails interestingly with the one from a few days ago about women on the autism spectrum, wherein autistic women learn early in life that they're expected to perform emotional labor, pick up just enough cues from others to maintain the performance even if they don't understand the nuances, and then miss out on getting diagnosed because they present too "normally.

Or large families that have just been like this and you marry into it. You can't fight this battle all the time. You set the boundaries you can but you are still expected to conform to some extent. You can't just walk away from centuries of this way of thinking. It's almost as much work to set and maintain boundaries and role expectations as it is to actively rebel against it all or just go with it. It's all a lot of work that is still on women: I remember the first time a salesman asked me if the lady of the house was in.

I truly had no idea what he was talking about and slammed the door and told mom there might be a lady in the house. I loved having a stay at home mom. Fresh bread and honey on the back porch? Roles reversed when I was 13 and then I did all the cooking and cleaning and got my sister through her homework because mom was working and dad was gone.

Her mom died early in her life and her dad expected her to keep house. He'd burn dinner and she'd clean the oven. I wound up doing everything because of the look on her face. You folks should learn how to look like that. You might never have to clean anything again. In a way you could say she was bartering the emotional labor of expressing "that look" I'm guessing a look of helplessness or deep longing for assistance, or maybe exhaustion?

Unless you would have done with work regardless of how she looked at you. It's hilarious when you realize that men actually do worry about emotional labor and consider it work—once you frame it in traditional male terms: Every goddamn career advice source ever is relentless in drumming how you need to network, network, network!

Get your name out there! It's all in who you know! Follow up on leads! Demonstrate what you bring to the company, not what you'll take!

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