This episode of the Lean to the Left podcast features Dr. Regina Lark, author of the new book, Emotional Labor: Why a Woman’s Work Is Never Done and What to Do About It.
In the interview, conducted by Lean to the Left host Bob Gatty and Mark M. Bello, host of the Justice Counts podcast, Dr. Lark traces developments over the years that were intended to close the male-female work equity gap, and explains why inequality still exists and what can be done about it.
She also blasts efforts by Republicans to interfere with women's reproductive health, ban books, and attack the LGBTQ+ community. Their stacking of the U.S. Supreme Court with three conservative justices during the Trump administration while refusing to even consider President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland was "despicable," she contends.
In 2008, before founding her 7-figure company, Dr. Regina Lark excelled in a career in higher education. When budget cuts eliminated her position at UCLA at age 50, Regina started over and created A Clear Path from scratch. Today, Lark and her ninja organizers provide professional physical, emotional, and psychological support to people who wish to clear clutter and chaos from their lives.
Dr. Lark holds a Ph. D. in Women’s History from the University of Southern California. She helps women rid their lives of emotional labor by offering concrete ways to identify and mitigate the costs of women’s unseen, unnoticed and unwaged work at home, and to unleash women into the full potential in the paid workplace.
She delivers keynote addresses, retreats and corporate speaking engagements on women’s leadership, emotional labor, time management, productivity, hoarding and ADHD.
Dr. Lark also is the author of Psychic Debris, Crowded Closets: The Relationship Between the Stuff in Your Head, and What’s Under Your Bed.
Here some questions we discussed with Dr. Lark:
Mark: Quite the resume. Bob and I are proud to have you on our show. This is 2023 and this is a show about justice and injustice. Historically, women have not been treated equally in the workplace. However, here we are, almost a quarter into the 21st Century. Women have finally achieved equality in the workplace, right?
Bob: You’ve often used the term “household management.” What is it and why is it considered “women’s work?” And, if you can, please give our audience some historical context.
Mark: You also use the term “emotional labor,” especially in your Ted Talk. Please define the term in the context of the inherent inequities women still face in the workplace.
Bob: How is emotional labor performed at home? What does it look like?
Mark: The saying goes “a woman’s work is never done.” Is that still true? And, if so, what can society do about it?
Bob: What are some reasons for the unequal distribution of work in the home? Are men inherently better at certain things and women better at others?
Mark: If you could wave a magic wand, how would you create equity in your own household and in society’s unequal, unjust workplace?
Bob: If couples and their children thought of their home as a business, would the structure and delegation of the work inside the home change? If so, how?
Mark: A person out there is what society still calls a “stay at home Mom.” She’s frustrated by the burdens of Emotional Labor. What can she do to stop the never-ending cycle?
Bob: Why is delegating and outsourcing so integral to lifting the burden of emotional labor? Mark: How do we become better delegators?
Mark: I believe that men have had since the beginning of time their chance to rule the world and they’ve screwed it up. It is high time for woman to ascend to the throne—I...
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Dr. Regina Lark: The Injustice of Women’s Work
[00:00:00] Bob Gatty: In 2008, before founding her seven-figure company, Dr. Regina Lark excelled in a career in higher education. When budget cuts eliminated her position at UCLA at age 50, Regina started over and created a clear path from scratch. Today, Lark and her ninja organizers provide professional, physical, emotional, and psychological support to people who wish to clear clutter and chaos from their lives.
[00:00:32] Dr. Lark holds a Ph. D. in Women's History from the University of Southern California. Her work in that field informs her third and most recent book, Emotional Labor, why a woman's work is never done and what to do about it. Dr. Lark is with Mark Bellow and me today, so stay with us.
[00:00:53] Dr. Lark helps women rid their lives of emotional labor by offering concrete ways to identify and mitigate the costs of women's unseen, unnoticed, and unwaged work at home and to unleash women into the full potential in the paid workplace.
[00:01:12] She delivers keynote addresses, retreats, and corporate speaking engagements on women's leadership, emotional labor, time management, productivity, hoarding, and ADHD. She's the author of Psychic Debris, Crowded Closets, The Relationship Between the Stuff in Your Head and What's Under Your Bed. I love that title.
[00:01:37] Regina Lark, thanks for joining Mark Bello and myself today on our podcast.
[00:01:41] Dr. Regina Lark: Hi, you're welcome. I appreciate being here with you both.
[00:01:45] Mark M. Bello: Regina. One thing that Bob didn't mention is your Ted talk, which I watched and I thought was terrific. Can you tell our listeners where to find the Ted talk?
[00:01:55] Dr. Regina Lark: As far as I know, go to the YouTube, the Ted X or the Ted YouTube channel and just type my name and it'll come up.
[00:02:04] Bob Gatty: That's all you got to do is type her name and there it is.
[00:02:07] Dr. Regina Lark: There it is.
[00:02:08] Bob Gatty: Okay.
[00:02:09] Mark M. Bello: That was quite the resume. Bob and I are very proud to have you on our show.
[00:02:13] Dr. Regina Lark: Oh, thanks.
[00:02:14] Mark M. Bello: We're in 2023. This is a show about justice and injustice. Historically, I think it's an understatement.
[00:02:25] Women have not been treated equally in the workplace. However, here we are almost a quarter into the 21st century. I can't believe I'm as old as that, all that, but it is what it is. Women have finally achieved equality in the workplace, right?
[00:02:41] Dr. Regina Lark: No. What are you talking about? Defining quality.
[00:02:47] Bob Gatty: What's the problem then?
[00:02:48] Dr. Regina Lark: Oh what are the From where I sit, the feminist, so there's been several waves of feminist movements and in the 70s, we're familiar with. The work of Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique, 1964, The National Organization for Women, Ms. Magazine, Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling, Roe v. Wade. So much happened in the 70s and early 80s to provide access. to women in, in areas and industries and in education where women were never allowed. And so what does have that second wave movement did provide access? There was a recognition of what was called the glass ceiling. You can see the C-suite, but gosh, how do you break through that?
[00:03:47] How do you break through that glass ceiling so much had so much good had happened in that very formative decade and a half, two decades of women's activism, L G B T Q issues, reproductive rights. So access became available, but even though access was there, and now women can enter pretty much every occupation, except the priesthood. Women have access to credit cards, bank accounts, they can apply for loans under their own name, prior to the second wave of women's movements, none of that was available.
[00:04:32] So access became key. What didn't change was the workplace and what happened as we did an add and stir women, but the makeup of the workplace the expectations of the workplace, the hours of the workplace never really coincided with women's lives. Now, I can see the argument. Should women adapt to the paid workplace?
[00:05:03] Or should the paid workplace adapt to women and I would argue for the latter because the paid workplace was never designed for somebody who has the extracurricular responsibilities of caregiving, homemaking, household management. So what happens is women do enter these spaces. But the spaces did not accommodate their extracurricular roles.
[00:05:36] And I think you can't have it both ways, folks. If you want to have a strong employment, if you want to have strong and healthy employment in your country, in your business, then you've got to accommodate. And it was a funny anecdote is prior to World War One. The job, the profession of secretary was a decidedly male profession. In the corporate workspace, male bosses had male secretaries and the relationship, step back, broadly speaking, this is not every single situation, but broadly speaking, the relationship between the male boss and the male secretary was more of a father son relationship. I will show you how to get to the top. I will, I, I will mentor you.
[00:06:29] I will show you how I got here. And that's how corporate America grew, right? It was reaching down and helping the next person because we create succession strategies and all of that. When World War II happened and men left the workspace en masse to, to fight in this global war, women rushed in to take all those jobs because those jobs still needed to be filled.
[00:06:57] And what happens over the late 19 teens and through the 1920s is that work relationship shifted from a father son, I'll help you, to a husband and wife, I need help. And we see the creation of a white collar job turn into a pink collar job. And so the work that women were doing predominantly at home mirrored what they were expected to do predominantly at work.
[00:07:29] We have work wives, we have male bosses, not only giving dictation, but asking the new female secretary to pick out a gift for their wife's anniversary, pick up the dry cleaning, do the types of chores and tasks that would be given over to a paid a paid assistant which would, what she would be, or to a wife.
[00:07:54] The housework of paid employment just hasn't left us. So when I think about equality in the workplace, statistically, female employees are still doing the work of managing the workplace, so they'll take the meeting minutes. They'll set up the coffee. They'll send out the memos and the meeting notes.
[00:08:19] It says they'll pass around the greeting card for the coworker who's, mother just passed. These are lovely and nice and wonderful things to do. It's all unwaged. It's not in any job description, but women are seen as the ones who are just naturally going to take care of these things. So even though access was created, equity was not.
[00:08:46] Bob Gatty: That's clear. A minute ago, you used the term household management. What is that? And why is it considered women's work? And if you can you give us some historical context in that?
[00:09:00] Dr. Regina Lark: Sure. Historically speaking the work of the household was integrated with the work of the farm, with the work of the of the shop. There was no separate spheres. Prior to the American Revolution, it was all integrated together and men helped each other in work and in play.
[00:09:23] And at home we didn't have this sort of bifurcation of spheres. A couple of things happen right after the American Revolution. First, it's the age of industry. So industrialization is going to make its mark, and we're going to need workers out of the home and into the paid workspace. Another thing that happened is the desire to create a republic.
[00:09:52] And After the hostilities ended, and the British gave up their right to colonize the U. S., the founders of this country are standing around, they're going we're going to build this great nation, and who's going to lead this great nation? How do we find the next leaders? Where do they come from?
[00:10:12] And I'm paraphrasing, but what this all boils down to is that our future leaders need to come from a well ordered home. They have to learn how to be thrifty and sober and responsible. They have to be able to manage their emotions. They have to be able to present well to their constituents. And how are we going to train them in this home to make them future leaders and what transpires is this concept of what's called Republican motherhood was designed to create the Republic on the shoulders of women.
[00:11:00] I know it's hysterical, but I don't know if anything's really changed. So this idea, so the way I thought about it, it's like the weight of the republic is now on her shoulders. Don't screw it up because you are now responsible for the future leaders of this country. Keep moving forward historically what we find is every time there's a cataclysmic or global change, the rhetoric shifts when it comes to women's roles. So we see this very clearly in World War II the concept, the avatar, the meme of Rosie the Riveter. Rosie the Riveter. She's no longer working at home. The home didn't need her. What needed her was the country. The country needed her to, to replace the men in the factories who are off to war.
[00:11:57] And so the idea of Republican motherhood morphed into women serving their countries in other ways. And so all the women's magazines at that time, and there are a plethora of women's magazines during the great depression, women's magazines are teaching women how to prepare meals in a thrifty and nutritious way.
[00:12:21] Keeping track of their kids. You don't want them to fall into juvenile delinquency and all that. During World War II, the magazine shifted. Don't worry about juvenile delinquency. You don't have to cook for eight hours. Just slap something together, put it on the stove, and away you go to the factory.
[00:12:36] After the war ended, all these men are coming back. They're shell shocked. They need jobs. And so the rhetoric changed yet again. She can't show her love for her family if she's working outside of the home. That's not showing love for the country. Come back to the home and all the women's magazines changed yet again on how to care for your family and taking as much time as you need to care for your family.
[00:13:04] You don't want to go earn wages in the workplace. Besides, that'll show that your husband's really not able to care for the family. So there's a really interesting dynamic between masculine and feminine, between paid work and unpaid work.
[00:13:20] But what we're talking about, the work that we're talking about, as far as I'm concerned, the work of household management, back up, as far as I'm concerned, the only time you actually need a woman to do the work of the household is giving birth and breastfeeding. Other than that, as far as I'm concerned, homemaking is up for grabs.
[00:13:47] It doesn't have a gender. There's nothing specific about vacuuming that is more innate to women than men. Cooking, laundry, all of it, school permission slips, all of it doesn't require a gender, but it appears. that because there's still this stereotype that the work of the household is women's work and it's just work.
[00:14:16] It's really, it's a lot of work. It's 24 seven. It's never ending. It never ever stops. Say the words, men's work. Nobody thinks vacuuming say the word women's work.
[00:14:30] Mark M. Bello: That's not true, by the way, in my house.
[00:14:32] Dr. Regina Lark: Okay, there are the outliers, and the outliers love to call themselves out. Y'all are not statistically relevant yet, okay?
[00:14:43] Bob Gatty: not relevant? Hey, Mark, we're not.
[00:14:46] Mark M. Bello: My wife's been telling me that for years.
[00:14:48] Bob Gatty: Oh, man. I'm taught that all the time, man.
[00:14:52] Mark M. Bello: I'm not statistically relevant. I love it.
[00:14:56] Dr. Regina Lark: So say the term, say women's work, and it's global understanding. Say men's work, and we think banker, accountant, lawyer, we think professions.
[00:15:11] We don't think household. Say women's work, we don't say Supreme Court justice.
[00:15:18] Mark M. Bello: No question.
[00:15:19] Dr. Regina Lark: So we don't think of women's work the same way that we think of men's work. It's the absolute definition of private versus public sphere, because as industrialization happens, and we see the bifurcation of society, the private sphere is the land of calm and order.
[00:15:41] And where we're raising our sons to be good citizens. The public sphere is the rough and tumble world of politics and commerce. And these will offend the genteel sensibilities of the women whose role is to raise the next generation of leaders. So public and private, I still, I think are still really a big part of our culture based on the types of work that happens in both places.
[00:16:12] Mark M. Bello: Does that also explain the difference between how a man treated his male secretary versus how he treated his female secretary when that transition was made?
[00:16:25] Dr. Regina Lark: It's a good observation because women in the paid workplace were not seen as serious as men in the paid workplace because we don't think of women having to raise having to support a household.
[00:16:38] And so it was incumbent upon the boss to help this young man learn how to support a family.
[00:16:45] Whether or not that was his desire, but that was the cultural expectation for him. The cultural expectation for her is she's going into the paid workplace to find a husband. That, that was why they were going to college, not to earn a degree to get them a job, let them go into a paid work. It was to find they joke, they would get their Mrs. degree. They would earn their MRS or their PHT putting hubby through. No shit! I came across, I was working with a client early on in my organizing life, and I was in her office, her home office, and there's a massive amount of paper, and I Picked up a piece of paper that looked like a certificate and it was presented to her when her husband was at UCLA law and all the wives had a luncheon and they earned their P. H. T. So again, college and the paid workplace were never designed for women.
[00:17:45] Mark M. Bello: That's how you became Dr. Larkin. I love
[00:17:49] Bob Gatty: PHT. I love that.
[00:17:51] Mark M. Bello: Aside from coining the phrase household management, or the term household management, you also use the term emotional labor quite often, especially in your TED talk. Can you define that term in the context of the inherent inequities women still face in the workplace?
[00:18:11] Dr. Regina Lark: I think so. I did not coin either term.
[00:18:15] Mark M. Bello: I know you didn't. Okay. I'm just giving you
[00:18:18] credit for it.
[00:18:19] Bob Gatty: She doesn't want to get sued for copyright infringement.
[00:18:22] Dr. Regina Lark: You're right, I don't. And in fact I'll represent you. In the second edition of my Psychic Debris book, I have a section in there called Songs in the Key of Regina, because I make up declutter songs to popular tunes.
[00:18:38] And I just stuck it in there because I self published when I was getting ready to publish the 3rd edition. I asked a copyright attorney. I said, can I put these in here? And she's better not so I didn't. I
[00:18:50] Mark M. Bello: want to hear one of the songs.
[00:18:52] Dr. Regina Lark: Pardon me?
[00:18:53] Mark M. Bello: I want to hear one of the songs.
[00:18:54] Dr. Regina Lark: Okay remind me.
[00:18:56] What is emotional labor? There are three components to household management. One is the physical work. The sort, wash, dry, fold, put away. Grocery shopping, groceries putting away. Meal planning. Meals, putting meals on the table, all of the very tangible physical work of the home. The second element is the mental load.
[00:19:23] The mental load is thinking about your meal plan for the week. What are you going to buy? What? What? What are you going to get at the grocery store? Checking the supplies in the pantry? Creating your grocery list. So it's the mental load and that's the physical part. The 3rd component of household management is what a lot of sociologists and others are calling emotional labor and emotional labor is the invisible.
[00:19:50] The unnoticed, the unseen, the anticipated, the the work of the household that no one is really privy to because it's coming out of the executive function of the brain, where you're thinking about what's coming up next, what needs to happen. In order for this to happen. So if one of the kids is going to have driving lessons, the emotional labor, the mental load of the emotional labor is polling your friends.
[00:20:22] Who what kids had, what kids recently had driving lessons? What school did you use? How did it go? What's the price point? It's getting ready To make a decision on doing something and the role of emotional labor, back up, because women are raised to notice everything as they're coming up.
[00:20:43] The mom is pointing out to the daughter. Look at that's a mess. Think of doing this. This is how we're going to have to get your little brother's backpack built, whatever that is, those messages are clearly being given over to the girls in the family, so that then when they're coming up, they automatically take on that role, regardless of if they're good at it or not.
[00:21:07] The functioning of the household in order to really have a well ordered home. I,
[00:21:14] I really believe that you need to have a well ordered brain and you need to have access to the parts of your brain that allow you to plan, prioritize, do things in a linear way to, to anticipate what's coming up. And so the executive function part of our brain got us to this call on time.
[00:21:37] So one of the challenges in the household when it comes to the all of that work. And it's so much work is how to make the invisible components of household management very visible. Glaring.
[00:22:00] What I see in households that we work in, folks who call us to declutter and organize, there's always 1 person who shoulders all of it falls on and it's usually the female of the household. If there's another adult in the household, it's usually the female and she's been arguing with the other adult in the household for years about this stuff.
[00:22:28] What I find so interesting, and it really started me thinking about my work as a historian of women's history, my work as a professional organizer, my understanding, I did a lot of coursework and training on learning more about the executive function part of the brain, and how it relates to household management.
[00:22:54] One of the things that I was so struck with was the folks with clutter who call somebody like me. The reason why they have clutter is because they have weak executive functioning skills. So here you are, a woman raised to notice everything. The expectation is that this is your role at home. And if you've got weak executive functioning skills, You're screwed.
[00:23:25] Your house is a mess. And even if the other adult has very good executive functioning skills. Chances are very good that the other adult is like, but that's your job. How come you're not good at it? I have once or twice a year, I will get a call from a husband saying, our house is out of control. She's just can't do this.
[00:23:54] And I said how do you contribute to the mess? I keep my area really neat and tidy, and I'm like, how is it the rest of the house is her responsibility? How come you're not using those skills of neat and tidy to, to create it all throughout the household? Those are the things that I don't understand.
[00:24:17] Bob Gatty: Yeah, I was going to ask you, what do what happens when it's the guy who is neat and tidy and it's the woman who is the problem with the clutter?
[00:24:28] Dr. Regina Lark: Sure. First I suggest a really good mental health professional.
[00:24:32] Because they've been arguing about it for years. You just know that. And he has, chances are really good, he's either put her down or cajoled or brought lovely gifts. Whatever he has done over years to get her to step up, and nothing's changed. Find a good therapist. Organizer
[00:25:00] Mark M. Bello: .To push back though, is this changing at all?
[00:25:02] Because I have to tell you that in, in my. sphere in my life experience. Other than cooking, which I can't do. I'm just not a cook. Although you would argue, I guess that I could have learned.
[00:25:19] Bob Gatty: You could. You could.
[00:25:19] Mark M. Bello: I know. I understand. But I didn't. But I didn't. Other than that, though household management is a shared experience here.
[00:25:26] That is true. That is true of all four of my Children as well. And I'm wondering If it's at least to some degree changing,
[00:25:35] Dr. Regina Lark: sure. We evolve as a as a humanity. Sure. We sure there are changes, but 30 somethings are still calling me for these very these. They are. This is what I tell families who say who comments similarly.
[00:25:54] I suggest that they tell their partner about these conversations and then both adults go into separate rooms and just write down everything they do for the house, no filters, just write it all down. And my experience has been that one list is way longer than the other list. So it, it engenders conversation and how do we make, how do we create equity in our household?
[00:26:32] Because We have access to all the jobs and the bank accounts a woman just as well as a man can pick up the phone and have groceries delivered. There's a lot of equal access to things, but I want us more to focus on equity and equity has a lot to do with being aware of your surroundings.
[00:26:58] And. We're so so you have a married hetero couple and both are working on paper 40 hours a week. Ostensibly, their time at the job at paid employment is no different than the other person. But what some couples, a lot of couples do is they take the next tier down and they'll look at the the wages.
[00:27:24] Who's earning more? The person earning more tends to feel as though they're earning more, and so their responsibilities at home ought to be less. This is statistically being played out in huge surveys, family study surveys.
[00:27:44] Mark M. Bello: Hence the concept of a woman's work is never done.
[00:27:47] Dr. Regina Lark: It begs the question, what the hell is women's work?
[00:27:50] Because it's work. It's just work. And yet we've gendered it for some reason. Because gendering the work takes the onus of responsibility off one of the parties.
[00:28:06] Bob Gatty: What are some of the reasons for this unequal distribution of work in the home?
[00:28:11] Mark M. Bello: She just mentioned one. The the fact that the husband thinks he is more important financially.
[00:28:18] Dr. Regina Lark: What is statistically proven over and over again, even if she is earning a much higher wage, she's actually doing more of the household management.
[00:28:30] I I find these conversations fascinating. So what causes it? Lack of conversation and understanding not really anticipating what's coming up for the family being dug in. My mom did all of this. My mom, my mom worked and took care of the household. Was that great for her?
[00:28:53] I was at a meeting this morning and the guy, one of the, they were doing an interview with a member of the meeting and he was talking about his dad. And how his dad raised five, five children and put five kids through college. And my dad did this and this. And I looked at the woman next to me.
[00:29:12] I said, I wonder what his wife was doing all that time. She was running the show. So again it's who's giving credit. Who's getting credit. What the work of the household. Each task is if you've got good executive functioning skills. Sorting, washing, drying, folding, putting away. Easy peasy.
[00:29:34] But if you have weak executive functioning skills, or if it's not only the laundry, but the cooking and the cleaning and the household and making sure the backpack is emptied of disgusting sandwiches that didn't get eaten, all of that work. Being attuned and in tune to the heartbeat of your family, that's not a gendered position.
[00:29:59] Mark M. Bello: So you have a magic wand.
[00:30:01] Dr. Regina Lark: I do.
[00:30:02] Mark M. Bello: Or, you're the president creates a cabinet position director of household management. And you become the director. How would you create equity in your own household, and in society's unequal, unjust workplace? What's your solution?
[00:30:21] Dr. Regina Lark: Conversation, kindness, and love. Start with those things. And then, understanding, help folks understand what it really takes to manage a household. And really focus on the executive functioning part of understanding our brain and understanding how we tick. Understanding why we have dissatisfaction at home if the burden of work is only being shouldered by one person.
[00:30:50] So we've got to talk about that and then come up with some understandings like my emotional labor book has a section called the emotional labor life cycle and what I've seen is that couples they're in love. They talk about everything. They decide that this is a good, this is a good match and they get married and they may talk about when they're going to start their family and all of that.
[00:31:17] But as one woman in my focus group said, our conversation stopped too soon. So The emotional labor life cycle is looking ahead. What's coming up? How do we both anticipate everything that's about to befall us over our life cycle and then start preemptively delegating those tasks? Another component of that, and this is a phrase that was coined by my my book collaborator, Judith Kohlberg.
[00:31:52] She came up with the term radical delegation and delegating, as we know it is the person best suited to the task. As is hired for that job. I think of it. I think in the paid workplace the folks that I delegate to were hired because specifically that's what they do. That's what they were hired to do because women are raised to notice the work of the household, regardless of if they're good at it or not.
[00:32:25] The work of the household is more often than not delegated to them. They either take it on because of the cultural expectations or they have a spouse that says my mom did all the laundry, whatever it is. The work of the household has been delegated to the female. Radical delegation is delegating the work to anyone regardless of if they're good at it or not.
[00:32:50] It's just get it done. If the dishes aren't done correctly, no one's gonna die of botulism, just rewash the damn dish. But getting the dish, getting the dishes done, cleaning the kitchen, doing the laundry, regardless of who's good at it, do it radically delegate. And radical delegation, I think, can go a long way into getting most of the work of the household done.
[00:33:19] If nobody wants to delegate it. Then don't do it or outsource it, whatever, if it's not important enough for one person to step up and say, Oh, I don't know how to do it. Like you said, Mark, I will I can learn how to cook. I can learn how to do this. So anticipating the emotional labor life cycle, understanding cognitively what it means to get the work done and then engage in the practice of radical delegation, I think it a lot of households can be transformed.
[00:33:57] And if none of that is working, you really need to find a good therapist.
[00:34:01] Bob Gatty: You know what if couples in their children thought of their home as a business. Would the structure of the delegation of the work inside the home change?
[00:34:11] Dr. Regina Lark: I don't know. If you're going to delegate things in a traditional manner, then probably no.
[00:34:16] Bob Gatty: The way you've been talking there should be a new title for the for the woman in the home.
[00:34:25] Dr. Regina Lark: What CEO? She wants to be the CEO. I think she wants to have a shared workplace.
[00:34:31] Bob Gatty: Yeah.
[00:34:33] Mark M. Bello: Instead, she's called a stay at home mom. She's frustrated by the burdens of emotional labor. What does she do to stop the never ending cycle?
[00:34:42] Dr. Regina Lark: Radical delegation. Talk to a good therapist. It's so the TEDx talk, I'm starting to encourage my friends who are couples to invite other couples over, do a screening of the TED Talk, and then have a conversation about what's really going on in their household. I find these conversations fascinating.
[00:35:09] And enlightening and but they need to happen. They just need to happen. What does happen is that the conversations just stop and then resentment will build and then it'll go down and then resentment will build and then it'll go away. And I heard another statistic on what's called gray divorce, a lot of older adults are getting divorced. And a family law attorney spoke about this morning. Couples in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. And I started thinking, oh it's probably that the kids are gone and she's just tired of picking up. And the conversation with the spouse just isn't happening anymore. So I can see, I can easily see the case for gray divorce, because if you're spending 20, 30 years being the caregiver to everybody and not yourself, women tend to put their needs, wants and desires on the back burner. It'll take everything for her to arrange childcare so she can train for a marathon because she's doing the arranging of childcare. We were doing a viewing of this at somebody's house and it was all women at that time.
[00:36:30] And one woman is having a text with her husband. He sent her a text saying, where's the milk? We're out of milk. And she said, did you check the second refrigerator? It's there. And he said, why didn't you tell me? She's you live there. She was just incredulous. How is it that the rhythm of our household is not in your sights?
[00:36:54] Who's problem is that hers? Because she didn't remind him or his, because he didn't bother to look in the second refrigerator. I don't get the dynamic, but I do know the dynamic is in play.
[00:37:07] Mark M. Bello: Don't you find it amazing that a man can do the things that a man could do in the workplace, but he's so incompetent at home.
[00:37:17] Dr. Regina Lark: If he's doing what he's doing in the workplace, he's got really good help.
[00:37:21] Mark M. Bello: That's true.
[00:37:22] Dr. Regina Lark: Yeah, he's not a freaking island. He's got a really good support team. So no, what surprises me is women who excel in the paid workplace and excel at home, because that is impressive. That is, is impressive.
[00:37:45] Bob Gatty: It also means that they've got to be really good delegators and outsourcers, correct?
[00:37:53] Dr. Regina Lark: Yep. Yep. Yep.
[00:37:55] Bob Gatty: Because I know my own case, I operated a small business for many years. And one of the hardest things for me was to delegate to other people, the tasks that I needed to complete for my clients.
[00:38:11] I had a hard time with that. And still do actually but in the home,
[00:38:17] Dr. Regina Lark: in what way
[00:38:19] Bob Gatty: just had a hard time people weren't doing it fast enough. People weren't doing it the way I would do it. Their writing required a lot more editing than I thought it should just on and on. And, I would go through one writer after another sometimes. To find
[00:38:37] Mark M. Bello: the argument wasn't worth it. You might as well do it yourself. that kind of
[00:38:41] Bob Gatty: thing. Yeah, pretty much. Pretty much. I still have that problem.
[00:38:45] Dr. Regina Lark: And again, that's what in the household. Yeah. Oh, I'll do it myself. Yeah. Clearly, you're not willing to sit in front of YouTube and know how to do laundry.
[00:38:55] Bob Gatty: Yeah what do you need to sit in front of YouTube to know how to do laundry? It's really not that hard.
[00:39:02] Dr. Regina Lark: It requires steps and it requires a good relationship with time. You want to make sure that, again, everything. Yeah, I see the world through the lens of executive functioning.
[00:39:15] I had a young woman in my pickleball team said, I said, Hey, did you get your paddle? Did you pick out your paddle? And she goes, I can't decide. And I thought the paddle. And then I thought.
[00:39:29] Mark M. Bello: Pickleball's a big deal. You gotta make, you gotta get the right paddle.
[00:39:33] Dr. Regina Lark: But if you pick the wrong paddle, nothing bad's going to happen.
[00:39:38] Mark M. Bello: You're going to lose.
[00:39:40] Bob Gatty: You know what? I learned to
[00:39:41] Dr. Regina Lark: play. What I thought is that she's got weak decision making skills, which comes out of the executive functions and she doesn't want to make the wrong decision. What if I spend too much money? And it's Oh my gosh, pick a track. You can't make a bad decision if it's under $50.
[00:39:59] I worked, I talked to her at length about decision making, cause she's going to now spend a lifetime of having poor decision making skills. So what comes easy to those of us with a healthy or fully operational executive functions. I'm a great manager of my time. I knew that it was going to take me about seven or nine minutes to peel and cut up the two mango right before this call.
[00:40:32] You know what I mean? I have great time management skills. I feel badly for the folks who do not.
[00:40:40] Mark M. Bello: I would argue That choosing a racket or a paddle rather than it's above $50 makes it an easier choice because you, cause you're buying a better paddle, at least theoretically, how do we become better delegators?
[00:40:56] What has to happen in our brains that make us willing to delegate? What has to happen in our brains that makes us willing or better at delegating?
[00:41:08] Dr. Regina Lark: An amazing amount of compassion for the self, because if we can be kind and compassionate toward ourself, we can open ourselves up to, we can open ourselves up to what's possible.
[00:41:26] I know. Who knew? Who knew it could be that simple.
[00:41:31] Mark M. Bello: Alright, so the world you've described the man's world the man is in the workplace, the woman's at home being a homemaker or whatever you wanna call that person a woman's work. That's been the case since the beginning of time.
[00:41:47] Dr. Regina Lark: No, since about the era of industrialization.
[00:41:51] Mark M. Bello: Since the beginning of my time anyway. Okay. We've had our chance to rule the world and we screwed it up, we men, and I believe it's high time for women to ascend to the throne. Ah, okay. And I also believe that you guys would do a far better job. Do you see that, do you see that happening anytime in the near future?
[00:42:12] Dr. Regina Lark: Not if we're gonna have, not if women's reproductive rights are being taken away, no.
[00:42:17] Bob Gatty: There you go.
[00:42:19] Dr. Regina Lark: no. If we're gonna remove women from access to their reproductive health, That's happening in so many states in this country. No, we will not see that because that doesn't even have to be explained.
[00:42:38] Bob Gatty: Why is it that so many women side with those who would take away reproductive rights?
[00:42:48] Dr. Regina Lark: I can't speak for them. I do not know.
[00:42:51] Bob Gatty: I find it amazing to see that.
[00:42:54] Mark M. Bello: The argument would be, Bob, that they're not single issue voters. But I agree with you. It blows my mind that that's not an important enough issue for them to vote against for them to vote for rather than against their interests. But the argument is that there are other issues that are important to them. Religion for instance that prevent them from voting in their own best interest.
[00:43:24] At least that, that's theoretically, the argument, I don't get it. Yeah. And I agree with you, Regina. I just, it blows my mind.
[00:43:34] Dr. Regina Lark: It's just very troubling, here in Los Angeles County, there's a lot of parents that don't want their kids to, to have access to information about LGBT life, LGBT, it's if their parents aren't going to talk about it at home, the kids are exposed to everything all the time. I don't understand, but it's it's, I can't, I, it upsets me a lot. Seeing what's happening, women's healthcare, LGBTQ, transgender folks, erasing if information about slavery from the textbooks, it's wow,
[00:44:16] Mark M. Bello: Any social justice issue all of a sudden, all of a sudden, wealthy white people are terribly afraid of people who are different than they are. I don't get it.
[00:44:28] Dr. Regina Lark: They've always been afraid, but they have never had the the mouthpiece that they have today. But
[00:44:37] Mark M. Bello: like abortion, we're stepping backward, not forward. It just doesn't, it, the mouthpiece being DeSantis and Trump. I understand and agree with you. I just, were these people in hiding? What, where did this come from?
[00:44:52] Dr. Regina Lark: They've been working very hard to see this happen since Roe in 1972. They haven't been idle. Look at the stealth by which they were able to attack Roe. And the stealth by which other states just fell into place. When, women's access to reproductive health care after Roe, that's when we start them see, breaking the glass ceilings.
[00:45:25] I I, one precluded the other.
[00:45:30] Mark M. Bello: There was a small element of luck. One, one Republican, one, one, one term Republican president gets to appoint three Supreme Court justices. That's an unusual situation.
[00:45:43] Dr. Regina Lark: It was despicable.
[00:45:45] Mark M. Bello: Tell me about it.
[00:45:47] Dr. Regina Lark: The way that went down. So it's, luck and unusual.
[00:45:51] It was despicable. It was disgusting. The way in which That happened all from the beginning to the end. Disgusting. And I think that out of everything I know about everything, when Obama was not allowed, when they put off his appointment for a year and a half. Yep. Yep. To me, that was the most egregious that I had ever seen. The most pol
[00:46:28] Mark M. Bello: politically. Yes, I agree
[00:46:30] Bob Gatty: politically. Yeah now we've got we've got all these cases against Trump that
[00:46:35] Dr. Regina Lark: He's even more popular.
[00:46:38] Bob Gatty: It's incredible.
[00:46:39] Dr. Regina Lark: It is incredible.
[00:46:40] Bob Gatty: He's got A hundred charges against him in four different cases including violating the Espionage Act and Some very serious charges. And yet I saw last night on the news that some 60 plus percent of Republicans believe Trump when he speaks more than they even believe their pastor in church.
[00:47:12] That is incredible to me.
[00:47:14] Dr. Regina Lark: It is.
[00:47:15] Bob Gatty: You know what, our time is pretty much up. Have you got anything else we need to cover?
[00:47:19] Anything you'd
[00:47:20] Mark M. Bello: like to add? Me? No. You're good? You're
[00:47:25] Bob Gatty: good?
[00:47:25] Mark M. Bello: By the way, incredible is not the right term. It's disgusting, Regina's term. Absolutely. I like disgusting a lot better.
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