Title: The Mental Load: A Feminist Comic
Publisher: Seven Stories Press 2018
Genre: Graphic Novel
Rating: 5/5 stars
Reading Challenges: Graphic Novel
In her first book of comic strips, Emma reflects on social and feminist issues by means of simple line drawings, dissecting the mental load, ie all that invisible and unpaid organizing, list-making and planning women do to manage their lives, and the lives of their family members. Most of us carry some form of mental load--about our work, household responsibilities, financial obligations and personal life; but what makes up that burden and how it's distributed within households and understood in offices is not always equal or fair. In her strips Emma deals with themes ranging from maternity leave (it is not a vacation!), domestic violence, the clitoris, the violence of the medical world on women during childbirth, and other feminist issues, and she does so in a straightforward way that is both hilarious and deadly serious.. If you're not laughing, you're probably crying in recognition. Emma's comics also address the everyday outrages and absurdities of immigrant rights, income equality, and police violence.
I previously caught a few of these comics online in various places, but finally got my hands on the entire translated volume. At first glance, this is a lighthearted collection of stories. But then you get into actually reading them and the topics are very serious. I had to take a few breaks to let myself recover from the big feelings that I had. These chapters really pack a punch. Very nuanced takes on modern issues.
Next up on the TBR pile: