Lisa Wade, professor of sociology at Occidental College, says there are natural corollaries for this in other kinds of workplaces. “Depending on what kind of workplace you’re in, I can imagine women being held responsible for a lot more of the emotion work that comes with mentoring,” she says.
“Or imagine if a client is irritated, that a team might send in a female worker to go in and soothe the person’s feelings because they think women are better at doing that than men.” Because this labor is “invisible,” it can be hard for women to shirk these responsibilities (Carpenters). Especially if you’re worried about who picks up the labor when you drop it. Men should be aware of the invisible labor and assist women wherever they can instead of waiting on them to carry out all duties. Many men see a clear tie between the emotional labor they carry and the worth they have in the workplace. So when women consider dropping the emotional labor draining their energy, they worry about foisting it onto someone else. “I do work with a lot with women on being able to build the capacity to make other people uncomfortable,” Julia says. The little efforts such as asking, about company-wide gender dynamic that needs to be fixed or how a colleague is doing goes a long way in boosting the development of women.
The central thesis of sociological accounts of gender relations is that these biological facts by themselves do not determine the specific form that social relations between men and women take. This does not imply, however, an even stronger view, that gender relations have nothing to do with biology. Gender relations are the result of the way social processes act on a specific biological categories and form social relations between them. One way of thinking about this is with a metaphor of production: biological differences rooted in sex constitute the raw materials which, through a specific process of social production, get transformed into the social relations we call “gender”.
Men have a great role of supporting their women towards development and attaining their goals in a number of ways. A way of thinking about sex and gender leaves entirely open the very difficult question of what range of variation in gender relations is stably possible. This is a critical question if one holds to a broadly egalitarian conception of social justice and fairness.
From an egalitarian point of view, gender relations are fair if, within those relations, males and females have equal power and equal autonomy. This is what could be termed “egalitarian gender relations.” This does not imply that all men and all women do exactly the same things, but it does mean that gender relations do not generate unequal opportunities and choices for men and women. In as much as women should lean in, men can help them to attain their goals in life.