What Do You Think of the Term "Mommyblogger"?
The term "mommyblogger" has been deconstructed at length in the parenting blogosphere and beyond. Some think the term fits, and others don't. Either way, it seems to be a loaded word likely to generate more discussion.
Author, speaker and blogger Meagan Francis has written a compelling article on the subject. She recounts a recent press trip she took, in which the title on her press pass read "mommyblogger".
I cringed, then felt indignant. Mommy blogger? That’s what I am? Not a published writer, not a blogger who happens to cover motherhood in addition to other topics. Just…mommy blogger. For one thing, I don’t even LIKE the word “mommy”…it’s always felt kind of smarmy and whiny to me, and it’s more of an affectionate title used by young children than a descriptive term. Used in conjunction with “blogger”–and written on the line that would usually indicate my credentials–it felt almost like an insult.
Many women bloggers share Meagan's frustration. Speaking personally, I don't mind being aligned with a certain genre of blogging (if I were writing about celebrities, I'd expect to be classified as an entertainment blogger). Most of what I write, after all, centers around parenting and home management. But I prefer "parenting blogger" or "family blogger" or even "mom blogger" as the title. I wonder if "mommy" blogger, in addition to a tone that some interpret as dismissive, simply leaves out moms of children too old to use the term "mommy". (And I should point out, in the interest of full disclosure, that I make that statement writing as a BlogHer contributing editor in the Mommy/Family category).
But what about the women bloggers who aren't blogging mostly about parenting? JoAnne of PunditMom (who writes primarily about politics) wrote:
So many women who write blogs get labeled in a dismissive way as "mommy bloggers." And while it sure would be nice for some more of us to make a few dollars from this writing, as the major sites do, that's not why we're out here.
Sunshine at The Pursuit of Happiness shared a similar frustration:
I've never thought of myself as a "mommyblogger" since the kids comprise a smaller rather than larger percentage of my post topics. I'm more a "mom who blogs" and I deplore the term mommyblogger anyway because I think it is largely used in a condescending and judgmental way by mainstream media. Yeah, I have kids and I have a blog. So what? You got a problem with that, you can click your little self right on outta here.
Karoli of Odd Time Signatures took a different perspective:
The value of a term like mommyblogger is this: It identifies a very powerful and vocal demographic — a group of thinking, tech-savvy, engaged women. Women committed today to raising their kids, but also raising their kids in the context of what it means to live in today’s world. Working moms, stay at home moms, self-employed moms, writer moms, political moms, religious moms, moms coping with autism, moms knitting, military moms, moms coping with their own illness while raising their kids — the gamut. Moms committed to community, both virtual and ‘real-life’, to others, and to service. That’s who you are, that’s who mommybloggers are.
I suspect that some might dismiss this discussion as an over-analysis of semantics, though it would be fair to remember that bloggers--whose very business is, after all, the written word--are geared toward examining semantics. Consider, in closing, this thought by Meagan Francis:
I’m not generally one to get my knickers in a knot over terminology. Though I can see why it might bother some, I really don’t care if somebody calls me “hon” or “girl”. But “mommyblogger” gets me fired up, maybe partly because it just seems to be used so unquestioningly. I wonder why we accept this term so readily and why there doesn’t seem to be more debate over it (maybe there already was and I missed it?)