Self Help Graphics "Queerida" Atelier
This print, titled “1-800-PAY-A-FEMME” is part of the 1st Queer Latina focused printmaking atelier at the long-standing printmaking studio Self-Help Graphics in East Los Angeles. Led by artist Dalila Mendez, the atelier seeks to uplift the voices and work of contemporary queer Chicana and Latinx artists. This print was made as a response to the increasing demand by women of color and queer femmes of valuing gendered labor such as emotional labor, and linking it to the ways in which patriarchal notions of work render the emotional labor in society invisible and unworthy of compensation. According to Leah Fessler, “the term emotional labor was originally coined by sociologist Arlie Hochschild in the 1983 book The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling, her description of the need for workers to regulate their emotions (so to satisfy their customers)” The labor of managing emotions falls disproportionately on women and femmes. I wanted to bring awareness to this, and in this piece imagined a hotline aptly titled “1-800-PAY-A-FEMME” where dialing the number leads the caller to be confronted with a way to pay the queer women of color who have done emotional labor for them. As Alicia Grandey explains, emotional labor “Is tied to your wages and outcomes, and if you don’t do it, there are consequences.” Often, the consequences for women and femmes of color when they refuse to do this labor in their workplace and public life, are negative and more severe than their male counterparts. This piece imagines, what would it look like, if we could 1-800-PAY-A-FEMME?