Posted by: mountainmomma18 | August 5, 2009

The post that goes on forever but I think is pretty good, but you can feel free to disagree and if you make it to the end I will give you a cookie

So I have been listening to a lot of Dar Williams recently since I found her again on itunes and was all “Dar  Williams? I LOVE me some Dar Williams” and then promptly downloaded a bunch of stuff and then felt bad about it because I know that I have the CD’s somewhere but that somewhere is a box in the basement most likely under a bunch of other crap because when is the last time you listened to a CD? Yeah. Anyhow, if you do not know Dar Williams go right now to itunes and download some music. It is some awesome folky music, not in any way whiny but dealing a lot with gender and self awareness, trust me it is cool and if you do not like it, well then you suck (just kidding, kind of). Anyway one of the songs you must get is called “I won’t be your Yoko Ono,” which I have been playing non-stop because it really has me thinking lately about women, specifically, and how their attempts to at creation – artistically, creatively and other ways- are always seen in light of their positions as significant others and/or mothers. Virginia Wolf was not kidding when she talked about women needing a room of their own (and if you blog and have not read that essay I demand that you stop and go do so, it’s ok, I’ll wait), because women who are wives/girlfriends/mothers do not always have that space of their own, even if they try very hard to maintain it. For women there is always a choice between love and creativity, you simply cannot have both because you cannot devote yourself fully to anything if your choices are tied to another. Look I am not trying to be a bummer here, just trying to work through some stuff. I know all the commercials and books say that you can have it all, but the real hard truth is no, you can’t and anyone who tries will just drive themselves into an early grave. I am also not bitching about my lost opportunities because I made a choice with eyes wide open. I would rather have the bug and the husband then other things like a bigger salary, an administrative position, a bigger school, more publications (in my professorial field), fellowships and international travel. That all sounds super cool, but I would be lonely and unhappy, I would rather have buggy’s laughs and my husband’s home cooking. The point is that it is always a choice for women, but doesn’t have to be for men. And this is not a diatribe about how men suck, it is just an observation on our current society and the judgment implied for women, specifically moms. Surely there is a lot of pursed lips and raised eyebrows when a mom goes to work, and enjoys work because hey- shouldn’t she be home with her kids. But make that mom someone who blogs, someone who makes money off of her blog and the claws really come out.  I stumbled upon some so called “hate blogs” the other day and I have to say I was shocked, although I shouldn’t be. If you put yourself out there, someone somewhere will not like you. And being the internet, being anonymous and going after someone else is oh so easy. And I could rant on about how simply silly it is to create a site just to hate on someone you do not know because really, who cares? Now I am not talking about one blogger in specific, if you look you can find people who can’t stand any number of popular bloggers and let it be know from here to…well really just here cause this is just a very small part of the internet, I mean people looking for porn or browsing Amazon do not know nor care about some supposed scandal from a mommy blogger. But I won’t because that is not the point of this post, the point is that often this viciousness about other mommy bloggers comes from judgment about them as mothers and what they say and how they present themselves in the mommy role.

The biggest complaint I see in this critiques is the conjecture that these women spend so much time blogging, how do they spend any time with their children. Look this not a new judgment for women who work, but why do the same rules not apply to women who work from home and/or work through blogging. I imagine many people have childcare help. So what? Why is that so horrible? Lots of women get help when they work, why is being a blogger so different. If you can make money from your blog and it is something that you enjoy, good for you. If you need some childcare so you can devote some time to that money making venture, or hell even just so you can get a break to explore your creativity, go for it. Even bloggers need a room of their own, even if they blog simply for their own enjoyment. Why can women not have the space to let loose of their creative endeavors, because they are mothers? Pretty much, because it seems like if you blog about being a mom, most especially if you make money, then somehow you are “fake” if you employ some help so you can do so. You are somehow not a “real” mommy, whatever that means. These things would never happen to a daddy blogger. Of course I will not get into the irony of hate bloggers spending just as much time bitching about other women spending time with their children you wonder how they have time for their own offspring. The second argument seems to be split between the ideas that these women (gasp) say things about their children that are not motherly or conversely that they do not disclose every person detail about their lives. This has got to be the most ridiculous of all critiques and I wonder how the hell we became a society in which we think we have the right to know everything about everyone. What happened to privacy? Listen if you are Brittany Spears yes you should expect have your picture taken when you’re grocery shopping, but should she also expect people to go through her trash and break into her medical records? Is her marriage, sex life and c-section scar not private? Obviously not. If you want to blog do you have to disclose everything? Would you disclose everything in everyday life? Do you have the right to know everything about your boss? Maybe her husband is a recovering alcoholic, maybe she suffered a miscarriage- but unless she tells you these things you have no right to know them. So in this office job would you then spend hours searching for dirt on your boss? For what purpose? Why is it different when women blog? What is it about blogging that makes a person an open book for criticism? Why do we feel like women should be “more real” on a blog and then bash them when they are not. A blog, I would argue, is a metaphorical room of your own for women and mothers. You can present yourself anyway that you want. You can strive to be the kind of person you really want to be, or you can let lose a wicked sense of humor that you keep in check at kindermusic. So what is wrong with that? Doesn’t everyone present themselves to the world  the way they want to be? Don’t you? Are there not things you want to keep private even if you strive to keep it real on your blog? Now I may write about being a mom, but I am not going to let the internet know when I have a fight with my husband, that’s something I would like to keep to myself, and I think I’m allowed that. Bloggers do not owe their readers anything, except maybe some entertainment. If you think someone is “fake” or “holding out” then for the love of god use the little red x at the top of your browser. Delete them from your google reader, do not follow them on twitter. Because starting hate sites and using your time to cyber stalk someone and then write with relish about it just makes you look jealous and very, very sad. Just my opinion.

Sorry this rant has gone on so long; if you made it this far I owe you a cookie.



  1. Where’s my cookie?

    We only know about Brittney’s c-section scar because she showed it to everyone.

    I don’t think women will ever learn how not to judge, though. It’s their form of competitive behavior. I don’t have time for that kind of crap. I might disagree with how people raise their children, but it’s more in a “hmm, I don’t understand why they would do it that way” mode rather than a “oh those people are stupid for doing it that way” mode.

    A girl I work with was talking about her PTO meeting once. Another mother had been talking about doing some kind of project and opined that the “full-time moms” should take most of the responsibility, because the others wouldn’t have the right amount of time to devote to the project. My coworker was so offended by the implied “part time mom” label that she’s still talking about it 5 years later.

  2. *sighs*

    I know. I know. I know. And it sucks.

  3. You know, I agree with almost all of what you said there. Except for the bit where men CAN have it all. I don’t think they can. Or just as much as women can. The men that really go for their careers, in spite of having children at home, do miss out on seeing their children grow up, so surely they aren’t having it all?

  4. Ok, I made sugar cookies last night, they are being transported by light beams to you right now …justn kidding I don’t have a transporter, or sugar cookies.
    I would agree with you Mwa that men do miss out, but they are not judged for that in the same way that women are. Men are never, to society at large, daddy first.

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