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The Mental Load: A Feminist Comic
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The Mental Load: A Feminist Comic

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  792 ratings  ·  135 reviews
A new voice in comics is incisive, funny, and fiercely feminist.

"The mental load. It's incessant, gnawing, exhausting, and disproportionately falls to women. You know the scene--you're making dinner, calling the plumber/doctor/mechanic, checking homework and answering work emails--at the same time. All the while, you are being peppered with questions by your nearest and de
Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 23rd 2018 by Seven Stories Press
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4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  792 ratings  ·  135 reviews

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Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I accidentally caused a mini shitstorm on Facebook by posting what I thought was a fairly innocuous comic from this book, so I felt very fortunate to read the rest of the comics in book form, at home, where there were no whining man babies trying to argue that just because they do the washing up, the chores in their house are done absolutely evenly.
Weronika Zimna
Honestly? I'm torn.

This comic tackles the issues of so many women so well! It even made me come to some new conclusions - and I work in a feminist ngo... The writing's good, the arguments are good. So why am I torn?

Well, it's a comic book, right? So it should be somewhat visually appealing and maybe easy to read? Yes? No?

The font (is it handwritten?) is tragic, I struggled to decipher it. The drawings are, well, very basic and I wouldn't dare to call it a "style" in this case. There is also A
Rod Brown
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A French blogger effectively and humorously lays out progressive and feminist hot topics of the day in a dozen essays in comic book format.

I was a stay-at-home dad when my daughter was young, so I can relate to the first entry, "You Should've Asked," about the mental load that can be felt by the homemaker in a couple when it comes to doing household chores and taking care of children. And as a liberal, I found myself agreeing with her points about sexism, sexual harassment, childbirth, universal
Jun 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Several of the comics are really useful primers on feminism, while others gave me a glimpse into the minds of French & European feminists.
I was somewhat puzzled over the comic about topless women, I'm pretty sure it was a parable in response to the burqua bans and other crackdowns on headscarves in Europe.
I liked the comic on universal income but had to laugh when Emma complained about having to rush eating lunch during an hour-long break! Really? As a part time worker, I get 15 minute brea
Stewart Tame
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
I actually read the “You Should’ve Asked” story on Facebook within the last year or so, but didn't even recognize Emma’s name or her style until I was reading it again in this book. It's not that it's unmemorable or anything, more a comment on my aging brain and the sheer volume of comics I’ve read over the years. It apparently never occurred to me that I’d ever encounter it in physical media …

Anyway, the book is wonderful! Emma is strongly, positively feminist. Her comics will make you smile, o
Nancy Meservier
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
The mental load is an intersectional feminist comic that uses simple illustrations to convey current issues. While the content goes beyond this, the main focus here is on the domestic. We already know about the imbalance in hours spent on activities such as cooking, cleaning, and child care, and how that negatively impacts women (especially those who work full time), but what about the impact of the mental load? The strain that comes from mentally balancing the dozens of seemingly small tasks in ...more
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
I'm in two minds about this one - it touches on a lot of really important issues and gets across some important points. The titular 'mental load' was something that had never occurred to me and is so interesting!

However, for a graphic novel (does it count as a novel if it's non-fiction?), this wasn't a particularly a strong one for me. The illustrations seemed relatively basic (recognising I definitely couldn't do better!) and didn't tell a story or convey the humour I see in a lot of graphic n
Tamsien West (Babbling Books)
An engaging, and reflective series of comic/visual essays on Feminist topics. Some of the chapters were more compelling than others, more insightful or unusual in their take.
Rachael Hobson
Jun 22, 2019 rated it liked it
The main focus was on the mental load cis women carry in heterosexual relationships and in their workplace. Covers important topics but could have been more inclusive. Also, the design and the layout of the book leaves a lot to be desired.
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads
Great conversation starter honestly. The book not only gives i sight into how women (and men!) benefit from feminism, but it also taps into issues of islamaphobia and police brutality. A great graphic novel that presents complex issues in a way that can be easily understood and empathised with
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re bound to have seen the titular comic circulating the internet in recent months, explaining the relatively invisible complexity of the mental load carried most commonly by mothers. I’ve read it, shared it and now thrilled to support the artist by buying her work. And then, as a bonus I am now able enjoy more of her clever, but disconcertingly close to home graphic work. I particularly enjoyed her hijab / bra analogy.
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think everyone can be enlightened by this book, and if not enlightened- at least feel wonderfully validated in their thinking. This book explains countless social injustices and the insidious ways in which they are accepted and normalised, garnished with a wonderful sense of humour. Emma highlights and grapples with the atrocities in our warped world, but offers ideas for combatting these infuriating problems. I felt incensed while reading, but I finished the book feeling hopeful. This is a MU ...more
Jun 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: library
The first story here helped me understand a lot more about my wife and how she doesn't want to ask me for help because she feels like it is implied that help is always necessary. Which only sorta describes the situation, but I certainly learned a lot from it.

The rest of the book was good-ish, with the universal income one making the most sense. The others were ok, but I think there's something to be said for shared experiences and I am not French, nor did I live in France.
Joy Johnson
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I imagine so many women can relate, I sure can! Such a relevant topic/conversation, but unfortunately for women their “mental load” has been prevalent since the beginning of time. And while I notice progress toward change in relationships and employment for women it is still very much a struggle.

This was originally written in French but the English translation is spot on. The author’s illustrations are simple and in color, no frames are used, but convey the text and sentiment.
Sara Vickers
Mar 11, 2019 rated it liked it
So good, very true, and I'm going to get my husband to read it! It's sad to know that France has similar political turbulence to the US, and it's also nice to know we as women are not alone in the feelings of guilt and shame during certain situations throughout our lives.
Megan Rosol
A visual primer on feminism told via comics illustrating various aspects of misogyny, sexism, gender inequality, but also discussing the current French political and economic oppression. Perceptive, funny, modern and even more depressing when read by an American audience.
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Not just for women to read, but for all men too. Educational, shocking and funny.
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Knew I would love this

If you need a good primer to feminism, this is a great one. I love Emma. Excellent comic and very glad to have read this in full. I learned a lot.
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting collection of comics that range from discussions on race, xenophobia, maternity leave, universal wages, police brutality and of course, the mental load.
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Makes me feel not so alone.
Mar 30, 2019 rated it liked it
I quite liked this book. I loved the “you should have asked” comic. I think that one’s my favourite. Some of them I liked more than others, but overall it was an engaging read.
McKenzie Whitesides
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend! Made some complex issues easier to understand. Loved the comic style.
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a cool book that put many thoughts into words I wouldn't have been able to do myself.
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, comics
Super thoughtful conversations about women, the roles they are expected to play, and the possibilities of a new way to view those roles. Very eye-opening. Share with any relative or colleague who commented on your maternity leave as a "vacation" from your job.
Ryan Ebling
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
A concise, insightful (if a bit scattered) look at how the systems of society and the home reinforce sexism.
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked this book.
Dakota Morgan
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Mental Load is a superb primer on feminist issues, not to mention numerous other societal issues, such as wealth distribution and police brutality. Emma's art and writing style are easy to follow, making topics feel less like a lecture and more like a conversation. With the specifically feminist portions, even though the traditional male in me often raised his ugly head to moan, "but I'm not like that," I never felt like The Mental Load was leveling personal attacks on the male species. It's ...more
Y.S. Stephen
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Mental Load by Emma is like a box of assorted Danish biscuits – while some taste like semi-hardened butter, so sweet and soft in the way they crumble under on molars, some you just want to chuck in the bin. Still, within this work, you can feel Emma's passion, frustration, and pain (with a bit of disdain) about the themes surrounding this book. As a reader, sometimes that is all you can ask for.

The Mental Load takes a broad, yet intimate look at typical problems faced by women in the western
Kitty Jay
I originally read "The Mental Load" on the internet and was immediately taken by it. It smoothly explains the complex, invisible work expected by women in a way that is fresh and clear. I was so taken with it, in fact, that I bought her full book almost immediately.

Unfortunately, I don't think it quite lived up to expectations, through no fault of its author, Emma. Quite frankly, I think I was just the wrong audience for it.

The book touches upon feminism, universal wealth, and police violence. T
Kate Atherton
The Mental Load by EMMA has a lot of disparate elements. The main theme of these chapters is feminism and living in a world where less is expected of women on a daily basis, where they are free with their bodies and respected, treated like equals. The author uses a number of stories and almost fictional parables to get that point across including a futuristic story in which her future daughter lives in a world where women are always topless but wants to wear a bra, she tells the stories of her f ...more
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