First of all I had a blast at BlogHer this year!
Now here’s the rant. I kept hearing people say they were “just a mommyblogger” or “not just a mommyblogger”. Come on, people! To the women who say they’re “not like those mommybloggers”, think what you’re saying. Why do you have to distance yourself so carefully from that? Do you think it devalues what a person has to say, because they have a child and write from that as part of their identity?
This Military Mama and her baby
Mommybloggers are diverse. Moms write about politics, activism, technology, business, health, and everything you can think of, along with their work as parents.
It’s like saying “just a worker”. “Just a steelworker.” Would you dismiss a whole class of men that way, because they were talking or writing?
It’s a job. We write about it.
One of my favorite moments at the conference came during the session on national security, blogging, and the war, “Talking about War and Peace: How Women Are Changing the Security Debate” moderated by Lorelei Kelly. During the course of the session, everyone in the room described their interest in the topic, ranging from professional interest, having family in the military or having a military background, being political journalists, or anti-war activists. A young mom sat against the wall in the back of the room during the entire discussion, soothing and breastfeeding her tiny baby, listening with great interest. When it was her turn to speak, she said, “My husband’s on a submarine right now. I’m a Navy Wife. And the other navy wives I’m around all day on the base don’t understand why I’d be critical of this war even for a second, or have any doubts.” That’s why she blogs. It gives me chills to think of it.
And my mom told me after the conference that she usually doesn’t notice people much, but that now, post-BlogHer, she never could look at another woman she passes on the street without thinking, she has her own individual experience and perception, and is a uniquely interesting person.
Those two statements combine for me into one thought. As women we have rarely had moments of public interaction without being mediated and filtered by editors. Part of the power of our storytelling and unmediated position of having access to the means of cultural production, now, is that our voices are heard — for example, Military Mama’s descriptions of her own life — and we also see each other as people with voices — as my mom described her epiphany of others’ subjective position.