Blogging

MummyBlogger, Mumpreneurs, CyberMummy

I was reading the article in the Independent about Cybermummy and it brought back to me how much I dislike the clumping together women bloggers who happen to have children in a “Mummy” package. I blogged about my dislike of the MummyTummy tag last year.

Now, I have nothing against those who organised and attended the Cybermummy conference, it sounds like it was great fun and very informative and there are a few of my online “friends” who attended. I do object to the “mummyfying” of women.

When did you ever hear of a man described as a DaddyBlogger or a Dadpreneur? Why is it just women who are defined by their status as a mother.

These women are successful business professionals, writers, artists. They may have children, but does that define them? The online business world is especially suitable for mothers as it solves the problem of juggling childcare and household tasks with the demands of a career. It would be equally suitable for men who were the main carers for the children, or for couples who share childcare and online business.

It got me thinking as well, about the comment about MummyBloggers taking over the internet from Mumsnet. I wasn’t aware that there was a competition going on, but perhaps that is just in the journalist’s imagination. Comparing blogging with Mumsnet is like comparing apples with pears. They are similarities, in that they are both online activities but that is where the comparison ends. I note that the journalist took the quote from the co-founder of Cybermummy and ran away with the comparison – reducing Mumsnet to a “virtual coffee morning which debates boring biscuits and hopeless husbands”.

Bloggers, whether mothers or not, are responsible for their own content, they can blather on about recipes and baking or campaign for a political cause, or even do both on their blogs. Yes, they can be influential but there are very few bloggers who are truly able to make such a big splash. We have to be honest about this, there are millions of blogs out there and many are read by a just a few hundred followers. Which is fine, not everyone aims to have thousands of followers (although most of us would love it).

Mumsnet is a community, it is an online village. There are the feminists, the dog lovers, the green lentil-weavery types, the home-schoolers, gardeners, the bakers, the geeks, the teachers and yes, even a few judgy or dare I say it, bitchy posters. Just like in real life.

I am both a blogger and a Mumsnetter and I cannot say that one is better than the other. A blog is unlikely to bring together so many different people from different walks of life – we tend to read and follow blogs that pretty much sum up our own opinion. Which sometimes gives bloggers a sense of being in the right, as their readers often agree with their posts. On Mumsnet you are more likely to hear a dissenting voice.

My blog is for me, it is something that I make, that I do. There is no one moderating my blog, no one telling me what I can or cannot say. Mumsnet is a place to share and support, a place where there is an actual conversation, not a monologue. Where there are differing opinions and the occasional bunfight. Both blogging and Mumsnet have been massively helpful to me since moving to Switzlerland, along with Twitter in the past year or so.

It would be good if bloggers and online parenting communities were not set up as adversaries by journalists looking for more hits on their articles.

21 Comments

  • Egg dip dip

    Here here! Why do they have to be in competition? And also agree with you on the mummyfying thing – I am so much more than just a mummy. I am proud to be a mother and I adore my children to the moon and back, but I am also a copywriter, a professional person, a person that exists beyond children. I love mumsnet because I can be all those things there. I love my blog because I can be who I want to be there.

    • Anonymous

      Good point – we can be who we want to be. Which means I may have a slightly different persona on a parenting website as I do on my blog, or indeed in RL.

  • Melanie Hancox

    Particularly agree with your point about the ‘mummyfication’ of women. It is narrowing & belittling. Women are, as you put it, so many other things too. Just like men are. Some people aren’t even parents. And their contribution is just as valid too.

  • Fromtheeastendtothefareast

    Agree with you 100% – I hate referring to my friends as ‘mums’ although I find myself doing it a lot. It’s so defining when we are all so different. I’m not sure that the mummyfication of women will ever go away now that it’s linked to so many successful products, and is a perceived lifestyle choice.

    • Anonymous

      Oh, I am glad that some of the “Cybermummy” bloggers are thinking along similar lines – I was a bit worried about my blog post being taken as anti-mummyblogger, when it really isn’t.

      Sorry about mummyfication. Or mummification as my spellcheck prefers. (I know it is actually correct but prefer to have the word “mummy” in there. You could do mommyfication, I suppose.

  • The Coffee Lady

    God, this is a good post. I don’t like ‘Mummy’ either, though I am surprised by how many people incorporate it into their blog name. Amazingly, there ARE blokes calling themselves daddybloggers.

    As for the Mumsnet comparison – you’re right – I’m sure it’s entirely in the journalist’s imagination.

  • Catherine Newell

    So true! Attaching the prefix “Mummy” to anything is enough to turn me off, even though I am a a mum and a blogger (and an academic, but belittling that line of work by calling it mum-ademic hasn’t happened – yet).

    I am going to make it my mission today to rebrand all the men I read online “daddy-blogger/politician/singer/blogger….” and realise how ridiculous it is.

    • Anonymous

      Ha! I laughed at mum-ademic – please don’t say that too loud. We don’t want to give the media ideas.

      So many newspaper stories start with, “MmeLindor, 25 years old*, mother of two… ” as if my age and childbearing habits have anything to do with the topic at hand.

      *Oh, ok. I fudged about my age. A little.

  • Ellen Arnison

    Excellent post. I’m a mother, a blogger, a mumsnet member and a journalist.
    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head when you say it’s in the imagination of journalists. It’s all about lazy shorthand ways of describing groups of people that don’t really exist as such.

    • MmeLindor

      Thank you for your comment. I guess it is in the nature of humans to wish to categorise and “pigeonhole” people, but sometimes it is forgotten that we are not one-dimensional people – we are many things, not all at the same time.

  • Dillytante

    Really good post. It’s almost as if women can’t be anything more than a mother. Yes mothering informs who you are, but so do a lot of things. It’s almost like a pat on the head, yes well done, you’ve become a blogger, writer, entrepreneur in spite of having children, good for you old bird.

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