The War on Women and the rise of the mommy bloggers

standard November 2, 2012 Leave a response

I started blogging long before it was mainstream. Back then, as far as I could tell, the women blogging were either crafters sharing their projects with each other or women struggling to create families.

I was lonely on my couch while M worked his way through law school and I latched on to both communities, drinking in their words, knowing I didn’t really belong in either community, but unable to tear myself away from this amazing group of women who had an amazing gift.

They shared, openly, without fear, their hopes, their struggles, their dreams.

Vulnerability, taking its rightful place at the center of innovation and change.

These women had a gift. They had the uncanny ability to draw in readers with their words, to weave stories gilded with emotion and truth. These women put raw honesty on display and it was impossible to not be seduced by that pure level of real.

It was a first. Right? Unedited, unfiltered articles, shared with the world without having to bypass the scrutiny of a head editor’s red pen? No one had ever had that before. For the first time words didn’t have to be censored to please advertisers. Emotions could be put on display. Fears. Truths. Raw honesty. All laid out for the world to drink in.

It is my opinion that these early women bloggers, by opening themselves up to the world, paved the road for a female revolution. They gave a platform to people who never knew they were craving one. They allowed muffled voices to sing out. They allowed people who had always stood alone to suddenly discover that they were far from alone in their daily struggles.

The power behind that notion  is strongly contradicted by the terms used to refer to our online community. Could it be possible that the intentional belittlement of women bloggers through the use of seemingly derogatory terms like “mommy blogger” come from fear of the raw power wielded by women not afraid to share the truth? It’s a simple term. It shouldn’t come with a negative connotation. You should no more ever say I’m “just” a mommy blogger than you should say I’m “just” a mom. If there is no harder job than raising children, what can we say about the act of sharing your parenting stories with the world?

At first there were 800 “mommy bloggers.” Today there are 10 000. With so many true stories being shared daily it is no longer possible for anyone to pretend that motherhood resembles in any way the happy, sunny, sterile life portrayed in 50’s sitcoms.

Day after day the unrelenting strength of the average woman being put on display for all to see. Day after day, blog post after blog post, story after story. The joys, the fears, the hardships, the raw emotions, all are put on display and echoed in comments, tweets, retweets, shares, likes, and emails.

“Read this!” “Me too!” ” How did you put into words what I’ve always felt?”

Women who used to feel alone now know that they aren’t. Women who always felt like misfits because of how they felt now know they are not broken or different.

There is power in that unity. There is power in sisterhood. There is power in having your fears, your hopes, your inner thoughts validated and echoed.

Is this uprising and strengthening the reason for the so-called “war on women?” Is this why certain politicians, certain men, are fighting to keep us down, to keep us voiceless? The unrelenting efforts to strip us of our rights to appropriate medical care, our rights to making our own reproductive decisions, our right to equal pay, our right be to the strong people we really are?

Does it all stem from the fear of seeing what women can accomplish by simply standing tall, shoulder to shoulder, and speaking the truth as we see it, as we experience it?

There was a time when women lived in community, working together to make everyone’s burden’s easier to bear. Civilization as we know it has separated us from our sisters, forcing us to parent behind closed doors leaving us to face our worries and challenges on our own.

That time is over. The Internet has broken down the walls.

We are not afraid to show things as they are. WE are not afraid to shine the spotlight on things that are hard to face. And we are not afraid to stand up for what we believe in, for ourselves, and for our sisters.

Through blogs and everything else the Internet has to offer, we will not be silenced and isolated again. We will stand strong and take our rightful place in the world. Anyone who doubts that this might be true just needs to spend some time in our blogosphere to see how the world has changed for the better.

I’m not going to tell you how to vote on Tuesday. You’re smart and you can make your own decisions, but, just, please, look beyond the taxes and the other things that usually clutter political agendas. Consider how far women have come in recent years and how far we still have  to go. Do we want to go back to being voiceless, powerless? Can we make sure that Women as a whole aren’t getting hurt in the process?

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