Mommy Bloggers and Douchebags

My name is Mary Tyler Mom and I am a mommy blogger.

It's true.  I am a mom and I blog.  It stands to reason that I am, therefore, a mommy blogger.  Except many folks do not think that is a good thing.  Many, many folks think being a mommy blogger is a bad thing, in fact.  And full disclosure, more than a few mommy bloggers hate the term and probably hate me for using it.

Par for the course.  I tick people off without even trying.  It is a special talent to tick people off when you're not even trying.  People either love me or hate me for that.  They stand around shaking their heads and saying, "That, Mary Tyler Mom!  Just look at the nonsense she's gotten herself into now."  Or, conversely, "That Mary Tyler Mom.  What a self-righteous bitch."  I know where I stand, and it's all good.  And full disclosure, it even happens within my own family, except they don't call me Mary Tyler Mom.  Ahem . . .

I took a completely unscientific poll on my Facebook page last night, asking my readers what comes to mind with the term "mommy blogger."  Here is a sampling of the negative connotations of the term offered by my readers.  Of my mommy blog.  Hold on, folks, this gets a little rough:

  • overdone
  • tired
  • ranting
  • self-absorbed
  • irritating
  • eye roll, please
  • depressing
  • messy
  • unnecessary
  • annoying/annoyed
  • marginalized
  • wannabe
  • angry
  • trouble
  • ick/ugh/blech
  • dumpy
  • bored/boring
  • nag
  • no real sense of the world
  • vulgar
  • pretentious
  • disconnected

Honestly, I am a bit confused as to why "mommy blogger" has become such a divisive term.  I mean, I get it, "mommy" is a diminutive word and certainly the work of moms is devalued in our culture, as is parenting in general.  What I don't get is why we moms not only allow that to continue, but buy into it hook, line, and sinker.  Think about it.  Is there anything MORE POWERFUL than a mom?  We are the bomb, my friends, and need to embrace that.  To diminish something so central to being a woman, motherhood, is nothing more that veiled misogyny.

Now that I'm up on my high horse ("Hello, down there!" she typed, waving frantically), I want to make another argument that proves my point.  Think about some of the worst things you can call a man.  Sissy, bitch and douchebag come to mind, don't they?  Those are all things associated with being a woman, right?  "You run like a girl/You throw like a girl/You (insert verb of your choice here) like a girl."  These are taunts our boys hear frequently, some probably from the adults who surround them.  That shit ain't cool.

And let's talk about douchebag for a moment, shall we?  I am having a fond flashback to a Facebook argument I got caught up in a few months ago.  Basically, I made the point, to a virtual room full of men, that I refused to use that word as an insult, as who it was truly insulting was women.  A literal douchebag is a device most commonly associated with rinsing out and cleaning the vagina.  THE VAGINA, my friends.  And please, don't even get me started on the premise that our vaginas are dirty and require cleansing in the first place.  That is a whole 'nother post.

I don't choose to insult the men in my life by referring to them as a device used to clean out a vagina, as if anything associated with the vagina would be the worst possible thing imaginable you could call a man.  Nope.  I'm not gonna do it.  Especially when asshole works so well and is positively democratic.

The point, my friends, is straight out of one of my women's studies courses from 1990.  Feminism 101, if you will, and why yes, I am a feminist.  Our culture universally and systematically devalues the contributions women make.  I could go on a litany of ways in which women are devalued and persecuted, but I don't feel like it.  Instead, I will make one more point that I was first introduced to as a young woman of 20.

The things that are most closely associated with womanhood, and mind you, I do not mean to start a gender war here, as I know not all women are the same, but those things most closely associated with womanhood -- empathy, caring, nurturing, compassion, understanding, connection -- these are the things that are devalued in our culture.  The helping professions for one, capitalize on these traits.  I am trained as a clinical social worker.  I figured that I was already all of those things and people seemed to seek me out for those things, so I may as well make a profession of it.  And I did.  Just didn't make any scratch.  Emotions are seen as weak; vulnerability is not an asset, it is a detriment in many cases.

My wish is that mommy bloggers would turn that mother out.  Re-claim the term "mommy blogger" as an asset -- a powerful attribute that suggests great strength.  As women, we have sought to do this with the term "bitch," right?  It is common now to use that as a term of respect.  Do the same for mom, mommy, mother.  Own your power, whatever that may be.  Be proud of who you are in the world and what you contribute.

Just as I shared a list of negative connotations for mommy blogger, let me share a list of the positive connotations that both surprised and gave me hope:

  • honest
  • connection
  • humorous/funny/hilarious/hi-fucking-larious
  • passionate
  • sassy
  • informative
  • enlightening
  • intelligent/smart/brilliant
  • comrade
  • wise
  • lucky
  • ambitious
  • helpful
  • clever
  • articulate
  • truth tellers
  • inspirational
  • organized
  • confident
  • courageous
  • proud
  • free
  • invested
  • supportive
  • hard worker
  • fan-freaking-tastic
  • daring
  • thinkers
  • writers
  • badassmotherfuckers

See now?  I recognize myself much more in this second list, as well as the cadre of mommy bloggers I read.  We are, so many of us, badassmotherfuckers.  We are courageous, and daring, and inspirational and honest and ambitious, and writers and thinkers.  We are all those things.

So, yeah, my name is Mary Tyler Mom and I am a badassmotherfucking mommy blogger.  What of it?

Oh, and for the love of God, if you like what I write, throw me a bone and vote for me to be a recognized Top 25 Mommy Blogger with Circle of Moms.  

Comments

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  • fb_avatar

    What I do not understand is that when a "mommy blogger" blogs about something unrelated to motherhood, such as a movie/restaurant/book review, she is still so often dismissed as "just a mommy blogger", as if her opinion is completely irrelevant because she is a mother as well. Do we go check out the familial statuses of journalists and dismiss tham if they are moms? Katie Couric has daughters. Would we assume she has less journalistic qualifications because she is a mother? Perhaps Diane Sawyer gets more respect because she is "merely" a stepmother. The whole thing just blows me away. I am not a blogger, though I have typed a few short blogs about my life for friends and family that they have thoroughly enjoyed. Yes, those things were about parenting, home ownership, married life, my crazy neighbor, etc. These are not heavy journalistic pieces, but they were not meant to be. They were for entertainment, to share with people who have an interest in my life and maybe need to find something to relate to in my crazy world. I find the "mommy bloggers" to be the wittiest, the most sarcastic, the most down to earth and NORMAL blogs out there. They make me laugh. they make me recognize myself in them. They make me look around and say, "well, this may be a shitstorm I am in, but my shitstorm is easier to deal with than their shitstorm." Or I think, "Been there, done that. Should've handled it the way she did." Or sometimes even, "THANK GOD my kid never did that." (Nevermind that they have done equally bad or worse.) Why do Mommy bloggers seemingly (according to society)deserve less respect because they have children? How come we never point out the "Cat lady" bloggers? Or the "Holding down 3 part time jobs, but still find time to blog" bloggers? Yeesh.

  • In reply to Helena:

    Here here. But for things to change, we ourselves need to see the value in what it is we are doing. I said a few days ago, our mom's generation had valium; we have the internet. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts, Helena. MTM.

  • Oh for the love of God I did vote for you Sugarbritches. xoxo You done good here my friend. P.S. I hope you told your dad not to read the bad words.

  • In reply to Nicole Knepper:

    Bah! This mommy blogger is going to be in serious trouble. Imma take one for the team this time. This post was important to me. I love you, Lady. MTM.

  • fb_avatar

    Ahhhhhhh-le-lu-ia!!!!!!!

  • From one "mommy blogger" to another, well said sister! If shallow-minded people insisting on keeping us in a pretty little box with a pretty little bow, be damn sure it's going to be a Tiffany box! I say we pin on our mommy badges with pride and start a Fight Club.

  • fb_avatar

    Oooh, I get to be the first negative poster! My issues with "mommy bloggers" is that, generally speaking, they belittle and demean those of us mothers that do not stay at home and dote on every word, smile, turd, what have you that our children have every day. I work full time and I am raising (single handedly I might add) three of the most badassmotherfucking women this world will ever see.

  • In reply to Bethany Mellon:

    Thanks for reading and commenting, Bethany. And kudos to you, my mother friend, for raising three daughters on your own. That is absolutely a hard task. May you maintain your strength and humor.

    I fear, though, that you are proving my point. I am a mommy blogger, and yet do not write about what you speak of. I write about parenting and pediatric cancer and a bit of politics and this and that. I write about life, in short. I also fear that while you complain of being belittled and demeaned by SAHMs, you have done the same to them by devaluing what it is that they do. We are all trying the best we can. No doubt, some of us have it easier than others. Some of us have it harder.

    Thank you for stopping by. MTM.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mary Tyler Mom:

    I did qualify what I said with "generally speaking." I value all moms. Raising and loving kids is hard work. In one day, I have dealings with moms that take pictures of their babies at the precise time of their birth on day of their birth every month, moms that only get to parent (however horribly) their kids one hour a week in a crappy visitation room and every other kind of mom in between. Us moms are freaking snowflakes, no two are ever the same, and unless we are causing real harm to our chirruns, we all deserve kudos and the support of our fellow moms for doing what we do. And hell, if the heathen see that there is dissension among the moms, they may very well figure out how to take over the world.

  • In reply to Bethany Mellon:

    Ha! "Us moms are freaking snowflakes, no two are ever the same . . ." Beautiful and SO true! Thanks, Bethany! I might have to quote you on that. MTM.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mary Tyler Mom:

    HAHAHA! You should have seen me frantically searching for the "like" button for this :)

  • fb_avatar

    Love it - from one badassmotherfucker to another - write on bitch - write on.

    positivelymomstreet.blogspot.com

  • Amen, sistah! I actually mentioned you and the Mommy Wars in my own blog post today. I'd slap myself silly with excitement (wow, that came out kind of weird) if you gave it a little look-see. I think (hope!) you'll relate!

    http://www.lovebutblog.com/three-moms-i-could-live-without/

  • fb_avatar

    Thank you for the rant on the term douchebag...My sons started using this term in high school and we had to have a serious discussion because I find the term offensive. Sadly in the last few years the term has become even more popular. I don't like it. On the subject of words...I'm really not ok with the f-bomb being thrown around so freely, especially the mother f-bomb. I find that equally offensive. (sigh) and I freely admit to having a bit of a potty mouth. As far as Mommyblogger - I love the term! Some of the deepest, most hilarious and real writings come from Moms and Dads writing about being a parent. When I see someone described as a Mommyblogger, I know I'm probably going to find something I can relate to. I'm a new fan. I look forward to reading more!

  • fb_avatar

    I just look at you like a comedy, life, children, hardship and love type blogger since my kids are grown - I can certainly relate mind you, but mommy blogger isn’t what I think of you as.

    I probably won’t stop saying douchebag but I will make an effort to say asshole instead. :D

    Thanks for being one of my favorite bloggers! I loves ya!

  • fb_avatar

    I'm not a mommy blogger. But I am a mommy. And I don't think you can say that the term mommy is a diminutive word at all. We wait for days, weeks, months after we have our children to hear them say "mama", "mommy" and "mom" and all of the various derivitives on the word. Every time my son calls me mommy it is music to my ears. After 3 years of infertility treatments and reaching a point where I and my husband gave up because we just weren't going to go the more invasive route...I got pregnant with him. And the best part of my day is when I feel that little hand slip into mine and that voice goes, "Come on mommy." I embrace my mommyness full bore. I think to be called mommy is the biggest, bestest gift in the entire world.

  • In reply to Kathie M:

    Can I be, like, badassmotherfucker Jr.? Can we form a posse?

  • Oh. That wasn't supposed to be in response to Kathie. I got distracted by Barney cause unless he's on, I can't read your blog. Cause I'm a mommy, yo.

  • I agree with all you are saying. I'm going to be honest, I'm still getting used to telling people I am a Mom... let alone a mom who blogs. I'm not saying I'm not proud, but for whatever reason this country is so effed up when it comes to recognizing moms. If you are a stay at home mom... forget about it.

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