The Mental Load: A Feminist Comic
A scorching collection of cartoons that is incisive, funny and fiercely feminist.
In her first book of comic strips, French artist 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. Emma has over 300,000 followers on Facebook, her comics have been shared 215,000 times, and have elicited comments from 21,000 internet users. An article about her in the French magazine L'Express drew 1.8 million views - a record since the site was created. She is now a regular contributor to The Guardian.
Many women will recognize themselves in The Mental Load, which is sure to stir a wide-ranging, important debate on what it really means to be a woman today.