Understanding Essential Labor (Angela Garbes)

May 12, 2022
58 min
Download
Understanding Essential Labor (Angela Garbes)

Understanding Essential Labor (Angela Garbes)

May 12, 2022
58 min
Download
See all episodes
CATEGORY: Society & Culture
"This to me is basic, but it feels like we've drifted really far from it in our culture. That to be a human, the basic condition of being a human is being needful. You know, like we need air, we need housing, we need food, we need companionship. We need all of these things. And somehow in our culture, it feels like you're asking for too much, if you need things, right, you're supposed to be super self-sufficient. You're supposed to be able to like pull yourself up by your bootstraps. You're supposed to be able to like handle everything and it's just it's work. And it is it's too much for one person to do." So says author and journalist Angela Garbes, who in the first pages of her new book, ESSENTIAL LABOR, expands the concept of “mothering,” creating a tent for everyone, of any gender, who is engaged in the process of creation and care. This pretty much includes everyone. A first-generation Philipino-American, Angela makes the argument that the United States must re-orient the way we think about everything—the economy, in particular—to venerate the vital act of care, of tending to each other’s needs, and of prioritizing the collective…otherwise we are lost. In our conversation, we touch on what this means for all of our lives, including the ways that women like me must come out of our shame pockets to talk about all the people who care for us—labor that has become largely invisible behind the veneer of our projections of what it looks like to be a functioning family in America. As I explain to Angela, our family would cease to work without Vicky, who is effectively our third parent. I believe Angela is right, that we need to be having these collective conversations first, in order to push culture to reprioritize against a new axiom of what really matters in our lives. MORE FROM ANGELA GARBES: ESSENTIAL LABOR: MOTHERING AS SOCIAL CHANGE LIKE A MOTHER: A FEMINIST JOURNEY THROUGH THE SCIENCE AND CULTURE OF PREGNANCY FOLLOW ANGELA ON TWITTER ANGELA’S WEBSITE Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices