Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bitch Please! In Response to "Mommy Blogging: a Step Back for Feminism?"

What does a feminist use as a contraceptive? Her personality. 

Ok, ok, I'm thinking of one feminist in particular.

I googled "Mommy Bloggers" because I like to read about other mothers and their struggles and triumphs and I find a sense of community among other mommy bloggers.

Among the top links for "Mommy Bloggers", I clicked on an incredibly offensive and uneducated article about the 'downfall' of mommies who blog. I dare you to read this 'essay'.

The writer is Amana Manori and she is a self-proclaimed feminist. And a mother. [GASP!] I know. I was shocked too. Ironically, the blog (The Purple Fig) that Ms Manori wrote for on Huffington Post, only one month ago, is no where to be found but this article remains as a controversial link on the HP Canada site.

Let's see what Ms. Manori has to say about us mommy bloggers, shall we?

"Mommy blogs that present neurotic, emotionally unstable, kid-crazed mothers, is a misuse of [...] opportunity. [...] You know, the blogs that give you the unsettling impression that the writer arrived in this world the same day their child was born"

Seriously? You're a mother? I honestly find that very hard to believe. When most mothers have been chasing around a toddler, scrubbing pee out of the carpet, cleaning up the legos for the 400th time today, and dying for a shower because it's been over three days since the last one, we are likely to be a bit of a mess. Unstable? No. Exhausted? Yes! Does it mean we can't handle it? Absolutely not.

Lady, being a mother is the hardest job in the world. If you were a good mother, you would understand this. Instead, I picture you choosing overtime at the office instead of quality time with your lovely daughter. Because that's what a good 'feminist' would do. A good mother, feels guilty for yelling at her son when he didn't listen to 'no'. A good mother, feels triumph when she hears the tinkle hit the potty. A good mother, never stops thinking about what's best for her children. A good mother who will always meet her childrens needs first does not equal kid-crazed.

"These women present their lives in a way that suggests that their lives gained meaning at the point of parenthood with nothing before..."

Yes, I would agree that my life and purpose became so much clearer the moment that I pulled the boy from my womb. My life before? I was a serial dater with very few meaningful relationships. I took silly, typical jobs where the norm was to be laid off. I was horrible with money - never saved a dime. I smoked cigarettes, dabbled with a few recreational narcotics, and danced in clubs until I was sweaty. Was my life meaningless? No! It was fun, disorganized, and spiritual. The life lessons wrapped up in those years are so important to the life I live now.

"They probably didn't set out to write a blog that depicts them as a crazy mother who is obsessed with canning baby food or the latest gizmo for their child's nursery. [...] These bloggers likely have the noble intentions to create a forum where women know that they are not alone in their experiences."

Umm ya. Anyone? No. I am going to suggest, Ms Manori, that you NEVER EVER write about motherhood or mommy bloggers again.

Canning baby food is a choice women make because we don't want our children to ingest pesticides, preservatives and other things we can't pronounce. Thanks to feminists, we were taught that natural is better. Breastfeeding is better. I was unable to breastfeed and was hesitant to give my son formula because women like you taught me that it was poison. Our "noble intention" is to write. We first choose to write, then we find community. I'm sure as a feminist, you bond with other feminists. I am a mother, I bond with other mothers - who tell the truth about their experiences.

Ms Manori, there are a few paragraphs in your blog that subliminally suggest that you would much rather be a mother who stays at home and cans organic baby food all day. Perhaps, you would much rather tell the truth about your life as a mother.

"Instead of implying that we need to become obsessive about our childcare duties, it would be inspiring if these women aspired to be domestic trailblazers and reframe the idea of women in the house."

Really? Did you even read a mommy blog? EVER? This is exactly what we are doing. Find me a blog that says 'This is how I cook dinner, clean up the kids, freshened up my make-up, and vacuumed the house all so my husband can come home from his tough day and relax'. You will, however, find blogs that read 'I pass my husband the kids as soon as he walks through the door. And then we argue about who's day was tougher.' That, my not-so-friend, is trailblazing.

Our children are small human beings who need to be guided through life, taught right from wrong, fed, clothed, washed, cleaned, hugged, kissed, loved. I will not let ANYONE tell me that blogging about this wonderful gift and important job is a setback to society. I'm calling Bullshit!

If anything, mommy bloggers are doing society a favour. We're telling the truth about how being a stay-at-home mother (because I feel like that's who you're really talking about here, Ms Manori) is way tougher than your important job in your cubicle office. These are our stories, our lives. On a daily basis, we conquer our own guilt, limitations, and fatigue. It's downright ugly and messy but it's unconditional love. The kind you put before your own needs, no matter what.


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