Ceci N’est Pas Une Mommy Blogger

November 18, 2010

20100910-PMN-Proudfoot-Vanier0020.JPGOh, hi! Can I tell you something about myself? I am not a mommy blogger.

Yeah, I know. There’s a baby in my header. There are lots of pictures of my children here, including that one, right there, on the left. (Aren’t they cute? I let them call me Mommy.) But still. I am not a mommy blogger.

I am mother, yes. I blog about my children, sometimes, and about motherhood, frequently, and about other things here and there (including but not limited to: religion and spirituality, grief, social causes, my nephew, cupcakes, social media, feminism, and zombies), and I do have the word ‘mother’ in the title of my blog. But I am not a mommy blogger. You can call me one, if you want, and I won’t, like, have to restrain myself from punching you. But I’d prefer that you didn’t.

And it makes me sad to say that, because you know what? I’m proud of being my children’s Mommy. And I’m proud of being a blogger – a writer – who has made a career out of reflecting upon the condition of her ‘mommy-ness’ and who has contributed to the tremendous and – yes – revolutionary movement that is mothers seizing the opportunity to own their stories and to create discursive space with those stories. I’m proud to be part of a community of women who work to lift the veil on the lifeworld that is motherhood, the lifeworld that has for the entirety of human history been kept hidden behind the walls of privacy and modesty and decorum, the lifeworld that has so long been kept at a remove from the public sphere and from public discourse. And if that’s what we’re talking about when we talk about mommy-blogging – if by mommy-blogging we refer to what the very wise Alice once, and rightly, called a radical act – then yes, I really do want to claim the mantle mommy blogger and own it and wave it proudly. But that’s not what most people are thinking of when they use the term mommy blogger. That’s not what they’re thinking of at all.

They’re thinking, vapid diaries about shit and binkies. They’re thinking, mindless prattle about playdates and sippy cups. They’re thinking, glorified scrapbooks and virtual coffee klatches and dear GOD won’t someone shut them up already? They use the term condescendingly, as shorthand for women you probably shouldn’t bother listening to, because, you know: MOMMY = SILLY. MOMMY = RIDICULOUS. MOMMY = WOMAN WHO IS DISEMPOWERED AND ALSO MINDLESSLY OBSESSED WITH DIAPER BAGS.

A mommy, in the estimation of those who look down their noses at ‘mommies’, is a woman who couldn’t possibly have anything serious or interesting to say. And a mommy blogger? Is a woman who makes a daily practice of forcing her unseriousness and uninterestingness upon the world. That, at least, seems to be the view of commentators on stories like this one, at Jezebel, which took a serious and unsettling issue – sexual harassment – and framed it condescendingly as an oh look what those silly mommy bloggers are up to NOW story (“there is DRAMA in the world of mommy bloggers! More so than usual!”). That story prompted responses like “Oh, more reasons to roll our eyes at mommy/daddy bloggers? I’m in” and “Wait, wait, wait… Mommy bloggers? …I missed out on so much while I was BUSY PARENTING.” Because, of course: what’s more ridiculous than a mommy blogger? NOTHING. Mommy bloggers are so ridiculous that even a feminist website feels totally justified in rolling its eyes at them. Mommy bloggers are so ridiculous that we can’t even talk about one woman’s experience of sexual harassment without prefacing it with a sarcastic OH EM GEE, just because she happens to be a mom who blogs.

Which, god. Why? Even the person who is most clueless about how diverse and complicated is the mad, mad world of the Internets should know that a) the community (broadly speaking) of women who are mothers and who blog is vast and heterogeneous, and it is reductive and misleading to collapse them all into one category, and b) even if someone does identify themselves as a ‘mommy blogger,’ that identity isn’t necessarily relevant to everything that they do or say, online or off. (The woman at the center of the sexual harassment story, a woman that I know and like, wasn’t harassed as a mommy blogger. She was harassed as a woman. WORTH NOTING.) But even setting those things aside, why on earth should it be a matter of ridicule or condescension if a woman blogs about her motherhood and/or children, qua mommy blogger or not qua mommy blogger (however one understands the term)? What the fuck does everyone have against mommies and moms and mothers, anyway? Unless you sprung fully formed from the forehead of your father, you probably have one yourself.

This bothers me, in part, because it seems to be part of a broader and deeper social inclination to dismiss and disparage mothers and motherhood; to compartmentalize mothers, to set them apart and ignore their discourse and, basically, just shove them back behind the veil – the wall of the private sphere – where, it seems, some people think they probably belong. There’s a long and fascinating history to that whole social impulse. The ancient Romans, for example, codified it and wove into the very fabric of their understanding of morality. Public virtue was for men (hence the very meaning of the term virtue, which holds the root vir, or man, such that virtu, in Latin, means manly); the honor of women, on the other hand, was modesty (pudicitia), defined almost entirely by their ability and willingness to respect the barriers of their gilded cage, the domain of family, the private sphere. That was millenia ago, but still: every time someone makes fun of ‘moms’ for discussing the work of motherhood in public, or for simply daring to live and breathe and flaunt their motherhood publicly, they give us all a little shove back toward that cage. (oh god can’t you / keep it DOW-UNN / VOICES CARRY...) That women participate in this appalls me. That self-described feminists do it makes me want to punch something.

And that any of this makes me, even for a second, recoil at the term ‘mommy blogger’ makes me want to punch the very mirror that I’m looking in, because recoiling from the term ‘mommy blogger’ is part of the problem. It’s conceding the point; it’s a move backwards, an acknowledgment that okay, yeah, maybe I should be embarrassed by my own ‘mommy blogging’ impulses. Maybe I shouldn’t write so much about my kids! Maybe mommy blogging isn’t a radical act. Ceding that ground is ceding the argument that there is something unseemly about flaunting one’s motherhood in public. It’s letting the terrorists win.

So, fuck that. I’m loud, I’m proud, I’m a mommy and I BLOG.

I am a mommy blogger. Suck it up.

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    northTOmom November 19, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    [Warning: bluntish honesty to follow.]

    In answer to your twitter question: “Are you a mommy blogger”: no, I’m not. I find the term infantilizing (as I do the term “yummy mummy,” which I object to on many other grounds as well). The reason I don’t consider myself a mommy blogger is that when I started my blog, I wanted to get at the larger social implications of parenting—sometimes via the personal, sometimes not. (That is why I called it Parenting is Political.)

    I know mommy bloggers are not all alike, and their interests vary widely but . . . when I visit self-identified mommy bloggers’ blogs, I just don’t see a lot of posts I can relate to. Most—not all—of the writing I find there seems to be concerned with the minutiae of daily life with young children. I note a relative dearth of moms of older kids on the blogosphere as well, though it is possible I just haven’t found the right blogs.

    Another thing that has struck me since joining Twitter not too long ago, is that the mommy blogging crowd *appears* (to a relative newcomer, at least) to be somewhat cliquish. Well-known media types, journalists, and best selling authors appear to be willing to follow a relative unknown; the most “popular” of the mommy bloggers, not so much. This not sour grapes (I hope!), merely an honest observation. I haven’t been on Twitter long, and I know that what I write about on my blog is not likely to interest most mommy bloggers (especially those overwhelmed by the experience of parenting young children), but I’m nonetheless struck and somewhat intrigued by the unwritten and seemingly inscrutable “rules” governing who follows whom. During the Blissdom conference, the cliquishness of the mb’s was especially apparent to me. When the “top” mommy bloggers tweeted about their experiences at that event, their tweets tended to be about who was meeting up with whom for drinks or coffee; they conveyed very little information to “outsiders,” regarding what the conference was all about.

    All that said, I don’t understand why anyone would vilify or roll their eyes at so-called mommy bloggers. What they do is no more or less valid than what any other variety of blogger does. And I agree that the contempt expressed in some of the Jezebel comments is likely a vestige of long-standing cultural sexism and misogyny.

    So I support all the self-identified mommy bloggers out there, though I don’t identify myself that way. And I continue to follow a lot of them (you) on Twitter, if only because the whole Twitter/blogging world is endlessly fascinating to me in its own right.

    (Shutting up now–hoping I didn’t offend…)
    .-= northTOmom´s last blog ..New Report Cards—Progress =-.

    Her Bad Mother November 19, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    I think that you make a lot of excellent points. I don’t publicly self-identify as a mommy blogger, unless pressed, for the reasons you state, although I do – as I write in this post – struggle with that and strive for some comfort with it, because I think that there is value in reclaiming the term and insisting that it not be dismissive.

    On the question of clique-ishness: I think that most newcomers feel that way initially. Some always feel that way. But – I’ve written extensively about this in the past – it isn’t, really. People just form relationships, and give closer relationships priority, in exactly the same way that they do in real life. I’ve formed some very close friendships online, and those friendships certainly look more intimate, for the simple reason that they are more intimate. There aren’t any rules about that – it’s just the organic nature of social life. Inasmuch as there ARE rules on, say, Twitter, they vary depending upon how/why someone is using it. Many authors and journalists are using it primarily to promote their work; they might follow more indiscriminately because Twitter is less of an intimately social space for them. For many of us who have been using Twitter for a long time, it started out as a way to communicate with friends, and that’s hard to shake. I personally don’t follow a lot of people because a) I get overwhelmed easily and the idea of a very busy tweet stream causes me anxiety, and b) I privilege communication over follows. If I end up talking to somebody a lot on Twitter, get to know them, I’ll probably end up following them. But filling up one’s follow list just for numbers is not something that I’m into.

    (There’s a similar dynamic at play with conferences, I think – people who have been doing this a long time see a conference as a social event, an opportunity to connect with beloved friends. They’re not trying to exclude others; they’ve just been to SO MANY CONFERENCES and MET SO MANY PEOPLE that when they’re somewhere where their friends are, they leap right into that.)

    But that’s just me. Everybody has their own way of doing things, and, really, there are no community or clique-approved rules. Everybody is just going along, getting along. Throw yourself in there and you’ll become part of it, and figure out your own way of doing things.

    And? Gosh, no offense taken! Such good issues to bring up!

    Her Bad Mother November 19, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    (Also? LOATHE the term yummy mummy, and MILF. I love what Erica Ehm has been doing to reclaim it – it’s not unlike me trying, here, to reclaim mommy blogger – but, ugh. I guess that I just dislike ‘mommy/mummy’ generally, unless my kids are saying it. BUT, that’s part of the whole problem, as I’ve been saying. I think that my disdain is part of this more disturbing social tendency to disdain mothers.)


    Scatteredmom November 19, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    @Her Bad Mother, I agree with about Blissdom-it was so overwhelming, and so many ppl tha t if I had actually known anyone in person I would’ve latched onto that. But the rarity is that nobody can judge the real goings on from tweets. All those “popular” bloggers were absolutely gracious, inclusive, friendly, and non clique-ish. But they are friends who see each other rarely so of course they will want time together.
    .-= Scatteredmom´s last blog ..Home =-.

    northTOmom November 19, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    @Her Bad Mother, Thanks for your gracious response. I do understand why busy bloggers might not want to follow a lot of people. (I only follow a hundred or so, and I feel overwhelmed sometimes!) I also understand the dynamic of conferences. It’s just that with Blissdom, I was actually trying to figure out what it was all about, but as Scatteredmom says, you can’t really expect tweets to deliver that kind of information.

    Anyway, I’m so pleased that open discussion of these issues is possible here. I was really worried that I might have offended you or some of your followers, and that was definitely not my intention.
    .-= northTOmom´s last blog ..New Report Cards—Progress =-.

    tigtog November 23, 2010 at 8:57 pm


    I note a relative dearth of moms of older kids on the blogosphere as well, though it is possible I just haven’t found the right blogs.

    I stopped blogging about my kids when they asked me to (late primary school). Last week my younger offered me the chance to blog something she’d done complete with a photo as long as I blanked her face. That was the first time I’d blogged any kid stuff for about a year, probably – I’ve probably got less than a dozen of specifically kid posts from the last four years.

    I suspect I’m not the only one who used to blog more about kids but now doesn’t because they don’t want me to.
    .-= tigtog´s last blog ..2010 Andrew Olle Media Lecture – Alan Rusbridger =-.

    Nenette November 27, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    @tigtog, that’s me right now. I have to have my kids’ permission to include their picture or blog about them. It never used to be that way. :) And they’re only 6yo and 8yo.
    .-= Nenette´s last blog ..how he spends his day off =-.

    Rebekah C November 19, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    *applause* Thank you!

    JustMom420zaks November 19, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    I’m a mommy blogger and proud of it. I wave it like a flag is the same way I wave my motherhood in the face of people who ask, “Don’t you want to do something better than just being a mom?”
    Honestly, I find what I’m doing to have more worth and merit than sitting in a cubicle all day answering phones and editing reports.
    So from this mommy blogger to that voice of empowerment; kudos.
    .-= JustMom420zaks´s last blog ..Why I Drink Coffee =-.

    Major Bedhead November 19, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    @JustMom420zaks, Really? Someone asked if you wanted to do something better than being a mom?? Did you smack them? I remember someone saying “Oh, you’re just a mom.” I leapt down her throat so fast, I nearly turned her inside out.

    This was really well said, Catherine. Thank you.

    JustMom420zaks November 19, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    @Major Bedhead,
    Naw, trying to stifle my head-smacking urges these days. That’s so last year…lol.
    No, I just said how I felt… that it was the best, hardest and most meaningful job a person can have.
    .-= JustMom420zaks´s last blog ..Just a Mommy-Blogger =-.

    JustMom420zaks November 19, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    You inspired me to write today. I linked you in my post, and I didn’t know if that was bad manners not to tell you about it.
    So here I am, telling you.
    .-= JustMom420zaks´s last blog ..Just a Mommy-Blogger =-.

    Another Suburban Mom November 19, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    If you throw a shot of vodka in the kool-ade, I’ll happily have some.

    I personally loathe the term “mommy blogger” because it has a disrespectufl connotation of “Look at the cute ladies blogging with their diaper bag. Lets exploit them for coupons”

    However I feel that as the term ‘bitch’ has been neutered of its harshness, that the same can be done for the term ‘mommy blogger’.
    .-= Another Suburban Mom´s last blog ..Friday Foodie- Prepping for Thanksgiving Part III =-.

    Outside Observer November 20, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Personally, I enjoy reading mommy blogs, but I find one of the strangest and most off-putting aspects of them to be this combination of, on the one hand, “this is a radical act”/”changing the world” obvious attention-seeking (I use that term totally non-pejoratively) and, on the other hand, the absolute hyper-sensitivity towards anything that could be construed as criticism, and concomitant attempts at making mommy blogs places where anything like it is not discussed or acknowledged to the maximum degree possible and treated and to create what are obviously echo chambers as a consequence. Of all the radical acts or attempts to change the world there have been, I have yet to see anything that mommy bloggers suffer (just in terms of simple criticism, let alone anything else) which compares to the history of what has been directed at actual, revolutionary radicals. And, for that matter, most of what I see is very tame compared to a lot of what is posted on the internet (usually neither radical nor revolutionary). Maybe the resistance to the term mommy blogger is a small example of what I find so puzzling: I don’t like the term “mommy” either. But the post here suggests that you don’t even want your activity to be identified primarily as parental. But the fact is that most blogs are categorized in some such way: political blogs, entertainment blogs, sports blogs, gossip blogs, etc. Many of the people writing those blogs contain multitudes, no doubt. But they’re not referred to as such because what made them successful is their blogging about X, directed at people who care about X. Labeling always sucks in a way. But come on. What else could be reasonably expected in the case of blogs like this? Of course, you don’t like the implication behind it. But when anyone enters the public sphere, let alone as a radical/revolutionary, they have to expect that. Which is why I find the combination of radical/revolutionary rhetoric with defensiveness and sensitivity on these blogs, and the retreat into the echo chamber that results, to be so odd. On the whole, I think that blogging about motherhood does make the world a better place though.

    Chrissy November 21, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    @Outside Observer, I like this, I like this, I like this.
    .-= Chrissy´s last blog ..Here is what will happen =-.

    Ceri Marsh November 20, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    I think these these labels exist in the eye of the beholder. One person’s Mommy Blogger is another’s journalist. It reminds me of the “chick lit” debate (a category I found myself in before having kids!).

    Here’s what I think: once you write something and ship it off to your publisher or simply hit send, it’s sort of none of your business any more. Your part is done. And people will love it, malign it, call it names. It’s just one of the many agonizing things about writing. And there are many!

    I think Mommy Blogger has become – to some – a diss. But who cares? The women who are putting it out there in a compelling way are going to attract an audience that appreciates them.

    I take issue with “yummy mummy” and “mummy blogger” for other reasons. I hate the way it insists that the job of parenting rightly belongs to women alone and that makes me crazy. Crazy I tell you!

    Thanks for another smart piece. You’re such a good read!


    Jen Maier November 20, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Kinda like how Feminism became a dirty word. Another way to devalue women and keep us in our place. Worst part? Many of us follow right along with it.
    .-= Jen Maier´s last blog ..Friday Highs and Lows =-.

    Catherine November 20, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    @Jen Maier, “Worst part? Many of us follow right along with it.”

    EXACTLY. We are so, so hard on each other; we call each other out regularly about whether we’re doing this right or whether we’re ‘representing’ properly or whether we deserve to be taken seriously and how dare we follow a post about an important social cause with a post about swaddling? People – other women – actually took time in these comments to bitch about me taking myself too seriously and OBVIOUSLY being egomaniac for daring to intellectualize this issue and OH LOOK at the irony of the Mommy Blogger trying to be SMART!

    We’re our own worst enemies. It hurts my heart, and my brain.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Ceci N’est Pas Une Mommy Blogger =-.

    drhoctor2 November 20, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Wait. You self identify as a “mommy blogger ” via your title..Her Bad Mother. I don’t understand why people are commenting that you’re being heroic or radical. YOU re defining mommy bloggers as less than..you are objecting to a term you embraced ion the past. I read you..have read you for years..I LIKE parenting blogs. I did not become less of a feminist when I gave birth. Why do you feel you have ? Or are percieved to be less than other women who have or have not self identified as a parenting blog.
    I agree with other commenter s that you have managed to pull the focus off of Dad Gone Mads assaultive behaviors. That’s too bad really..because those issues NEED top be addressed. I gave up IM years ago because every time I opened it I was deluged with “sex talking ” people. As long as we argue about who called who what in terms of genre…NOBODY addresses the sex bullies behaviors.

    Catherine November 20, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    @drhoctor2, first of all, why is the presence of the word ‘mother’ in the title of my blog necessarily evidence of self-identifying as a ‘mommy blogger’? That said, if you read the post carefully, you should see that I go from stating that I don’t like the term ‘mommy blog’ to stating that I’ll take it if people call me that, if only to reclaim from those who use it as a term of condescension. It’s not me who’s defining ‘mommy blogger’ as ‘less than’ – I pointed to very specific examples of the term being used derogatorily in the culture, and responded to those. I abso-freaking-lutely DON’T feel like less of a feminist since giving birth – that’s my whole point here.

    And: I chose specifically to not address the sexual assault issue, simply because I was interested in talking about something else. I didn’t pull attention away from it any more than Dooce pulls attention away it from by hosting a Kinect giveaway; I simply decided to not talk about it, which is absolutely my prerogative as a blogger. Anybody else who wants to talk about is welcome to do so; it’s not my responsibility to keep the conversation going – nor should it be, seeing as I know nothing about what went on there. Am I not allowed to talk about the semiotics of the term ‘mommy blogger’ if that’s what I want to write about?
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Ceci N’est Pas Une Mommy Blogger =-.

    Islamama November 20, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    some days after reading the online news i prefer the term mother fucking polar bear who eats mama grizzlies for breakfast. or other mornings i wake up and think i’m more the spoonful of sugar mama blogger. that usually devolves into ma out in the laundry pile blogger though by midafternoon. also IMHO, feminist movement needs need slide up the couch and make room for my big fat postpartum mommy blogging ass!

    EarnestGirl November 21, 2010 at 2:17 am

    @Islamama, i love your last line.
    .-= EarnestGirl´s last blog ..Napless Ever After =-.

    drhoctor2 November 20, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    “first of all, why is the presence of the word ‘mother’ in the title of my blog necessarily evidence of self-identifying as a ‘mommy blogger’? ” Really ? It seems absurd to me that you are asking that. Cecilky Kellog blog titled used to refer to infertility…she changed that title to widen her brand.
    Out of your last 9 posts…7 of them featured your kids.
    I’d call that self identifying as a parenting blog.
    Pulling the issue off topic on Jezebel created a sucking vortex of mommy vs parenting versus mother ..vs whatever. The topic WAS about the sexual assaults NOT what genre the writers of the two posts featured in the article self identify or are identified. I wish that hadn’t happened because I really want to see the sex bully syndrome addressed.
    Please let’s not go into “I didn’t read carefully enough”, that’s just silly. I’m a hella good reader and that kind of response is a cop-out. I commented on SOME statements you made in this post and on Jezebel. Let’s not get shirty.

    Catherine November 20, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    @drhoctor2, I’m not being shirty – I’m just drawing your attention to points that I actually made in the post, specifically, 1) that I DO acknowledge – proudly – that I blog about motherhood, 2) that not all parent bloggers identify as ‘mommy bloggers’ because the term is controversial (because it is often used condescendingly) and that I have at times rejected the term for that reason, and 3) that (however) if calling myself a ‘mommy blogger’ can be my own statement of solidarity with the term as something to be proud of, then I will *choose* do so. It seemed to me that you had misunderstood those points.

    And again, on the second point: just because the Jezebel was about the sexual assault controversy does not, I do not think, oblige me to comment upon it. This post wasn’t about the Jezebel post, it was about the term ‘mommy blogger’ and the problematics of how that term is often used; I cited the Jezebel post’s use of the term in that post to demonstrate my point. Again, I don’t see why I was obliged to address the controversy *when that was not what I was writing about.* My comment on Jezebel (repeated partially here) was that I felt that they undermined the sexual assault by framing it as a ‘mommy blogger’ issue, and this post addresses that issue more broadly – the problem of the term ‘mommy blogger’ being used to marginalize how we talk about serious things *like* sexual assualt (not *just* sexual assault). Maybe I’m confused about what your complaint is – is that I simply shouldn’t have addressed this topic at all? That I shouldn’t have referred to the Jezebel post at all? That I should have written a post about sexual bullying instead?

    Arguably, any time that I write about any given thing, I’m neglecting the opportunity to write about and start discussion on something else. But anybody else is free to take up those topics and start those discussions themselves – I’m not *preventing* discussion on any topic by not addressing it here. Again, I guess I just don’t understand the complaint here
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Ceci N’est Pas Une Mommy Blogger =-.

    drhoctor2 November 20, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    I’m not complaining. I’m commenting. I don’t agree with about 90% of what you’ve stated in this post. Does that make either of us less than ? No.
    The title of the article on Jezebel included Daddy blogger and Mommy Blogger ..One commenter immediately blew off the mommy blogging genre..Your comment began the whole who r u calling a mommyblogger? !! debate..and I reiterate ….

    “Pulling the issue off topic on Jezebel created a sucking vortex of mommy vs parenting versus mother ..vs whatever. The topic WAS about the sexual assaults NOT what genre the writers of the two posts featured in the article self identify or are identified. I wish that hadn’t happened because I really want to see the sex bully syndrome addressed.”

    You titled this I am not a MommyBlogger…you haven’t cited any actual derogatory remarks about “Mommy blogging” you are using ..”they” statements. Please understand, I believe those remarks are made I just don’t care for paragraphs full of …THEY said..if we are trying to establish actual facts.
    Mommy blogging is a label for a genre…much as Romance novels name a genre.. I can understand your p.o.v. but it puzzles me that you are this worked up over it. All of your spin off blogs have a mom reference, I think. Most of your material references being a mom and or parenting and certainly a lot of your ads, and sponsored/paid/giveaway posts are directed at Mommy bloggers and readers. How else would you market these if not to the specific Mommies ?

    Catherine November 20, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    @drhoctor2, there were a handful of comments rolling their eyes at mommy bloggers – as there always are on such posts (so much that it would have been belaboring the point – not to mention required a PDF attachment – to cite them extensively) and again, I felt that the overall tone of the ‘DRAMA AMONG THE MOMMY BLOGGERS’ thrust of the post undermined the seriousness of what was at stake, and I chose to address what I saw as the larger problem there – people not taking ‘mommies’ seriously. I’m still not clear on what I should have done differently – not raised this issue at all? If you don’t agree that mommies and mommy bloggers are condescended to, you’re free to disregard the post, or articulate that disagreement. But what I hear you saying is, ‘you shouldn’t have written about this at all,’ and I don’t see how silencing people or telling them what they should or should not write about facilitates discourse.

    The title is actually a reference to Magritte’s painting, The Treachery Of Images (on which is the line, ceci n’est pas une pipe, underneath a pipe) and Foucault’s ‘This Is Not A Pipe,’ which considers that artwork as a critique of language. ‘Ceci n’est pas une mommy blogger’ wasn’t an assertion that I am not a mommy blogger, it was (and this should have been made clear by the fact that I state, at the end of the post, that I am a mommy blogger), it was a flag that I was problematizing the statement ‘I am not a mommy blogger.’ All of which is me farting intellectualism out of my ass – it should have been clear enough from the arc of my argument and my closing assertion that I embrace, fiercely, my status as a parent blogger, regardless of the language used to name it.

    And yeah, I’ve been feeling moved about that lately. If you believe that those feelings are not worth writing about, fine – but it’s kind of pointless to debate what is or is not deserving of my emotional response.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Ceci N’est Pas Une Mommy Blogger =-.

    drhoctor2 November 20, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    I didn’t feel the tone of the article to be “drama amongst the mommybloggers. I said one commenter immediately..not ONLY one commenter…and I do think your reaction to that pulled the comments off the sexual assault and onto a don’t call me Mommy deal. I was disappointed by that change..not YOU, per se.
    I’m aware that you are taking this all very personally and I don’t know why. Mommyblogging as a name for the genre came from the original Mommy Blog..by Melinda ?..whatsherface, right ? As I said..it classifys a genre. I think the “mommybloggers are irrelevent because they are moms/women” argument was won long ago. Marketers are falling all over themselves trying to place products, get reviews , offer opportunities etc..specifically TO mommybloggers. Repeating insults attributed to “they”..seems to ME to just be rehashing a dead issue.
    I wanted the comment section to focus on the predatory nature of Dad gone Mad’s trolling for …moms..who were vulnerable. He accessed those women thru the genre of mommyblogging,I believe. The guy has been very active in mommyblogging circles and the clubbiness and social life of that genre allowed him to pursue his perversions, apparently unidentified for some years (?) now. I wish the focus has stayed there and not been pulled off to defend mommies, blogging, you or your writing. I want the spotlight ON that problem. “I want” does not equal “you HAVE to”..I don’t understand why you focused on the dismissive comment and not the actual article.
    I got all your literary references. I’m not sure why you feel so fiercely moved to defend your genre against not much of an attack…I NEVER said anything about controlling what you could or should write about. I’m expressing my opinion on what you HAVE written..here and there. I think the larger issue WAS the actions of DGM and Karens’ semi revealing post NOT what genre the writers self identify with…I’m not attacking YOU. I disagree with you. I wish the comments hadn’t gotten pulled off the real topic by your comment and subsequent defenders.

    Aimee Giese | Greeblemonkey November 21, 2010 at 2:05 am

    Rock on sisterfreind.

    Aimee Giese | Greeblemonkey November 21, 2010 at 2:07 am

    HA. FREINDS are EXTRA special.

    EarnestGirl November 21, 2010 at 2:16 am

    Motherhood is a feminist issue. (On more levels than we have room to discuss here.) What troubles me is that both feminist and mother have become loaded terms. I continue to use both of them in reference to myself and to what I am doing online. I cringe at the term Yummy Mummy, yet write on a site with that very name. Why? Because we have to take back the terminology that is used against us. Until articulate women speak up as feminist/ mother/ blogger then those words will be used as stones in the hands of those who would prefer to wield the power, or as you neatly illustrate, to keep us behind the veil of domesticity. I, for one, dislike being shushed.

    Voices Carry. Raise them wisely.
    .-= EarnestGirl´s last blog ..Napless Ever After =-.

    kelly @kellynaturally November 21, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Women will be and have been called many names over the years. Mommy blogger is just another. But what’s in a name, really? What you are is what you do, not what someone else calls you. Live up to your own standards, and people will see you for what you are – not for what names those who don’t *really* matter choose to call you (or any women).
    .-= kelly @kellynaturally´s last blog ..The Santa Dilemma =-.

    Doodlemum November 21, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Mummy blogger would imply I have nothing to say of value. Oh I have plenty to say! There is nothing of more value and importance than my family and the children I love, they may infuriate me, make me wretchedly tired, but they are an infinite source of inspiration.

    I pity those who don’t have that.

    Emily November 21, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Bravo! Motherhood is most definitely a feminist issue, and the condescension toward ‘mommy bloggers’ just shows that there’s still work to be done in creating an equal society for all genders and life choices.

    It baffles and angers me that motherhood continues to be so denigrated; surely it’s one of the most vital roles a person can perform, and should be supported and valued accordingly.

    Well done for speaking up and pushing back.
    .-= Emily´s last blog ..The Catch 22 of female sexuality =-.

    lil sis November 22, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    i am not a mother but i love this post and i love reading feminist ‘mummy bloggers’, i agree motherhood is a feminist issue and whether i become one or not i certain care a lot about mothers and see the radical value in your blogging. so from a young and childless feminist; thankyou!

    lorrie @ clueless in carolina November 23, 2010 at 1:56 am

    Reminds me of when Patricia Schroeder was asked how she could possibly combine motherhood with serving in the House, (The House of Representatives) and she famously replied,

    “I have a brain and a uterus, and I use them both.”


    of course in my case, I have a brain and two boxes of adoption paperwork. But still.
    .-= lorrie @ clueless in carolina´s last blog ..John Fitzgerald Kennedy In Loving Memory =-.

    Lana | RaisedbyPoker November 24, 2010 at 2:18 am

    I am less concerned by the title than by the evidence that society still doesn’t value what I do. I write about my kids, because that is the job I am intensely involved in every day.

    But motherhood offers no degree along with it’s no pay and without those factors, I am not deemed worthy of having a serious voice. If I was a Childhood Development expert or Child Psychologist then perhaps what I wrote about would carry more weight and cause fewer eyes to roll while they think “Oh look, poor thing is trying to make her dull, repetitive days at the park handing out sippy cups seem important…”

    I wish it actually was just assumed that what I do is important and valuable enough to have discourse on. I think it is.
    .-= Lana | RaisedbyPoker´s last blog ..I am Melvin Udall… =-.

    Cindy November 26, 2010 at 12:07 am

    Love you. That is all.

    Comments on this entry are closed.

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