I’m not a mommy (blogger that is ’cause I do actually have kids).I have accepted that labels are unavoidable. I accept that they are a part of life, that they are how people file you in their head. Some of the labels that are stuck to me include: Mom, daughter, sister, divorcee, geek, nerd, Ruler of All, and badass. Ok, the last two are wishful thinking, but you get the idea. But there is one label that vehemently, absolutely, reject: MommyBlogger.
Now, don’t worry. This isn’t an article to bash MommyBloggers, there are sites out there totally devoted to doing that and I think that’s just plain mean and uncalled for. No, this about women getting a pat on the head and stuck in a category that (for some) can feel like their contributions are cheapened. When I started my blog a couple of months ago, I was struck by how supportive and awesome other online (women) bloggers were. The other men bloggers out there could learn a lesson from this. But I started getting the feeling that it was assumed that because I was a mother and blogger- I was instantly a MommyBlogger. I disavowed everyone of that notion through a couple of controversial posts, posts that probably cost me quite a few followers, but I stand by every word.
Why does this label bother me?
One, I have very little in common with MommyBloggers. They tend to be white, conservative, upper-to-middle class, stay-at-home moms. Their children are their whole identity. That’s not who I am, how I live my life, or my philosophy to being a mother, so reading that their precious one year old is walking is not something I am interested in reading.
Two, MommyBloggers are all about the giveaways. Targeting MommyBloggers for promotions, giveaways, and advertising is BIG business. In my opinion, this takes away your credibility as blogger. I’m not saying that I won’t do giveaways or run contests, but I try to make sure that they are for the benefit of my readers only. What does that mean? That means that I pay for all items that are given away. I owe it to my readers not to post about a company. My writing is not for sale on my blog. Period.
Third, they crowd out the other bloggers voices. When was the last time you saw a blogger panel, and out of the 10 spots, 9 were men, and then there was the token women- and invariable they are MommyBlogger? Where are the humor bloggers? The techie bloggers? It’s degrading and infuriating. Last, I know that everyone has a unique writing voice, but just because you gave birth to the most beautiful progeny ever, doesn’t mean you’re a good blogger. It’s a hard truth, but one that must be said.
Even the best known female blogger, Heather Armstrong, is now in the MommyBlogger camp. Here’s the thing, Heather has been blogging for over 12 years, but has only been a mother for a little five, but, now she is invited to every MommyBlogger conference around. If I was Heather, I would be livid. She has written two bestselling books, is a talented web designer and blogger extraordinaire- but now has a label that makes her work’s success seem as if having kids is the reason she can write.
I don’t think I am asking much. All I ask, is that you recognize that there are lots of kinds of bloggers out there. And many women AREN’T MommyBlogger’s, and don’t want to be in that category. Make a place for them.
It is with great pleasure and respect that I know some great MommyBloggers. They are truly great writers, and are a pleasure to be read, and, again, are really nice women. And, yes, I may talk about kids in my blog, but that’s not the sum of who I am, and it shouldn’t be the sum of my blogging.
About Amy D P Phillips:
I call myself the Queen Of Inappropriate, Princess of Randomness, and the Duchess of the Non-Sequitur. And I am all that and more, baby! I can say the most inappropriate things and the most inopportune times, and have an opinion about everything. Then one day I realized that all this awesomeness needed to be shared, to be given to world, to give back to those who drive me NUTS. EVERY. DAMN. DAY. Do you not FEEL the love?
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