Until a few moments ago, I couldn’t think of anything much that I wanted to blog about. And now, here I am, all fired up by some comments (of the looking down your nose type) about mothers.
My first instinct is to reply with lots of foul language and a smack upside the head, but as is always the case, that is never helpful.
This all began at BlogHer 05 with the "just a mommyblogger" attitude that some women had. They believed that women who write about raising their children are writing fluff and aren’t really bloggers. I remember hearing someone say that blogs are powerful tools and that if you were going to use that tool it should be to write about real things that matter, like current events, politics, war, famine and (insert your important cause here). I didn’t have a problem with that until I realized that she was saying that writing about your life wasn’t important enough to make the list. That, specifically, writing about raising children wasn’t important enough. About then, Alice stood up and set everyone straight and became the undisputed Mama Blogger Heroine when she said what so many of us were thinking, that blogging honestly about being a mother is a radical act.
It is radical to say that being a mother can have incredibly dark moments. That it can bring you to a place where you are contemplating suicide or fantasizing about just walking away and disappearing. That sometimes your children make you so angry you want to kick them. Mothers are supposed to be 100% love and light and good. Which, I think, is what society expects only because they know that it isn’t true, but they want it to be anyway, so maybe expecting that from mothers will magically make it so. If that makes sense.
What really got me going this morning was when I read a comment on the BlogHer site from a woman who said she didn’t attend the conference because it was OBVIOUSLY going to be all about the mommybloggers and, you know, SINCE SHE’S A GOOD FEMINIST AND ALL (I’m going to address that in just a second) she just couldn’t participate.
Now, here’s where I’d REALLY like to cuss her out. But, it isn’t productive. What I will say is that no matter what she did or didn’t read in the media, the schedule for BlogHer was posted on the site. If she had taken the time to actually look at it she would have seen that ONE panel was about mommyblogging. ONE. Out of nearly thirty. I think that leaves us in the minority. She also said, well, here is a direct copy and pasted quote:
Yeah, well, I didn’t go this year because the conference was pitched
as being for "mommy bloggers", and I didn’t want to be party to
conflating feminism with obligatory parenting.
If anything, I was really offended – it seemed like a bunch of
mommies were cheapening my and other women’s efforts as serious
bloggers by reducing blogging by women to the mommy track, with a side
of fashion and diet.
Cheapening her efforts? No. As a mother, AND A FEMINIST, I completely support every woman’s effort in any endeavor (you know what I mean; I support women who use their inherent superpowers for good, not evil). I have no gripe with women who are childless by choice. I admire them and I wish that more women would feel able to make that choice rather than having children because they think they "ought" to. That rarely turns out good for anyone involved.
Lots of female bloggers write about fashion and diet exclusively. It isn’t my thing, so much (well, maybe the fashion. . . ), but whether they are moms or not, I don’t have a problem with that. Feminists can also like fashion. It’s totally okay! Or motor-cross racing or needlepoint or whatever. But, they cannot slam other women for choosing to have children. And, remember, those women are raising future feminists. She should be thanking us.
I do find it interesting that just the mommybloggers have been singled out as being fluff writers. I have not seen women who write about entertainment or gardening being picked on. I don’t want to see that, but my point is that while society expects certain things from mothers, society also loves to treat us like dirt. Any feminist worth her salt wouldn’t fall into that silly trap.