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Adèle Cassigneul
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They Call it Love

MAI #10, March 2023

In her essay They Call It Love. The Politics of Emotional Life, Alva Gotby makes clear our emotional lives are inherently political. Her analysis of the politics of reproductive labour is a cogent criticism of the bourgeois capitalist logics of feeling, of the free labour of intimacy and of normative femininity. Taking her cue from Marxist feminist theories of reproduction, especially the concepts and ideas conceived by the Wages for Housework movement since the early 1970s, Gotby sets out to understand the continuities of exploitation under current heteropatriarchal capitalism. Informed by Queer and Trans studies as well as by Black feminism, she calls for a ‘reproductive revolution’ (118), that is the abolition of the nuclear family as a ‘primary site of heterosexualised emotional reproduction’ (xix), and for collectivised forms of reproduction.

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