‘Emotional labour at Christmas’


Sir, – The assumption the article “Women’s emotional labour at Christmas” (Life, December 13th) makes is that women do not want to be doing any of these horrendous chores, like “wrapping presents”, “decorating a tree” “planning social engagements” and, my personal favourite, “praising kind teachers”.

The second assumption is that society has failed men by not equipping them emotionally to “navigate” periods like Christmas.

The disservice to women is that it positions women as the helpless and almost hapless victim when in fact in my experience as a 46-year-old married selfish male with three children under 10 is that both myself and most of my male friends are equal partners in preparation for this period – not because it is a chore but because it is enjoyable.

Furthermore, even when we take the tree down, we are all active combatants in the areas of cooking, hoovering, polishing, ironing, repairing things, painting, etc.

My goodness, we even share recipes on how to make the perfect pizza dough.

These are choices that families make; it has little if nothing to do with equipping men, as people adapt to their surroundings. If any woman believes she is doing the lion’s share, it is because she has chosen to take it on.

We all have choices in 2018. We just need to exercise them.

Now I’m off to make some eggnog. – Yours, etc,