Fine, call me a mommy blogger: I’m proud to be a woman writing online.

women writing onlineIn late April, the Wall Street Journal ran a piece called “The Mommy Business Trip: Conferences Appeal to Women With a Guilt-Free, Child-Free Reason to Leave Home,” in which the reporter mocked with undisguised glee the idea that grown-up ladies with children occasionally go on business trips to industry conferences and stay in hotels and everything. Run fer yer lives! Womenfolk are travelin’ by their lonesome with no male chaperone! They’re drinkin’ cocktails ‘n’ gettin’ all dolled up fer nighttime festivities!

But mostly, the article mocked so-called mommy bloggers because, I guess, we have children. And sometimes we go to blogging conferences. HAHAHAHAHAHA. Ha. My laugh-o-meter is off the charts.

There are so many choice offensive comments in the article but I think they are all summed up best by the accompanying  infographic:

momtrip042413

Man, I want to go to a blogging conference like that one – blowing my IRA on $7 Snickers and Cokes in my western-style shirt, sleepin’ in until almost nine fucking o’clock in the morning in my turquoise and red ribbed tank top, raisin’ the roof like it’s 1989, and laughing my fucking ass off at re-runs of “Friends” in my super-comfy, super-stylish jean leggings.

Fuck you, Wall Street Journal.

Call me a mommy blogger, a parenting blogger, a humor writer, or just a blogger – I don’t fucking care. I’m proud to be in the company of the many amazing women living their lives out loud and online, changing the world one post at a time.

These women inspire me every day with their stories and, without blogging conferences, I would never have met them and learned from them how to hone my writing, marketing, web development, and social media skills. I’m honored to be their friend and colleague.

Women like Greta Funk of G-Funkified, a young widow, now remarried, and raising her four children on the prairies of Kansas. If you want to read a post that will punch you in the gut, read “Shedding the Weight” about the death of her first husband.  Greta supports women who blog with her series “Great Expectations”, which features stories about transitional moments in the writers’ lives. In her spare time? Greta started walking, then running, and is on her way to 500 miles this year.

Greta introduced me to women like Erica Mullenix, a marketing professional and kickass writer who is the managing editor of the yeah write weekly blogging challenge, which showcases bloggers who dedicate themselves to perfecting the craft of writing. I’m honored to be a Contributing Editor for yeah write and I bow down at Erica’s feet, especially after reading posts from her like this one on her personal blog free fringes, about her daughter: “acceptance gone wrong: retardation and its profound loneliness and isolation.”

Yeah Write has introduced me not only to some of the best friends I’ve made in blogging, but also to some of the best writers. Women like Michelle Longo at The Journey, whose post “Happy Drunk,” about her alcoholic father, is one of the best I’ve read in a year of blogging challenges. Women like Christie O. Tate of Outlaw Mama, who blows me away with near-daily posts of a sustained quality she manages by sheer talent and dedication, all while raising two kids and working part-time as an attorney. Christie can write serious shit or humor with equal skill.

I can’t remember how I “met” women like Erin Margolin at The Road to my Writer Roots. I know I wanted to introduce myself to her at the Blissdom blogging conference, but I was insecure because she was a “big blogger.” I may have tweeted that at her and we became friends. Erin not only writes fiction and posts on her personal blog; she co-founded The Gay Dad Project to support kids whose parents come out, inspired by her own story of her dad coming out when she was in her teens.

I’ve been fortunate to have the support of so-called “Big Bloggers,” who have been so generous to me, someone who blogs at the molecular level. See, I’ve got a whopping 133 followers here at The Reedster Speaks. Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess? She gets millions of page views each month. She’s a bestselling author of the funniest book I read last year, and she’s been open about her struggles with mental illness, starting The Traveling Red Dress project to celebrate women who need to take a moment to wear a beautiful garment and shine their light back on themselves for once. I dedicated my post about being bipolar on Twitter “To Jenny, who gave me the courage to blog about being bipolar with humor” and she stopped by my blog, read, and commented. That’s class.

Liz Gumbinner, whose blog Mom 101 was chosen “Best All-Around Mom Blog” by Parents Magazine in 2011, was the keynote speaker at the Type-A Parent Conference in 2010, my first blogging conference. Liz is a big reason why I decided to toss my thoughts out onto the internet. She’s a straight-talking New Yorker who is unafraid of the words “liberal” and “feminist,” as well as a prominent advertising and marketing professional and mother of two girls. Sometimes she shares my posts and I squee. I adore her.

Katherine Stone had the misfortune to be featured in the Wall Street Journal hit piece, which made it look like she goes to blogging conferences so she can leave behind a world of reading US magazine and watching Kardashian marathons between drop-off and pick-up. In reality, via her nationally renowned blog Postpartum Progress, Katherine works tirelessly to support women with postpartum depression and has appeared numerous times on national television to speak on the topic. I count myself lucky to have attended a small session on blogging for causes that she led at the Type A Parent Conference.

I’ve been blown away by women like the late Susan Niebur of Toddler Planet, a mommy who also happened to be an astrophysicist and philanthropist and whose work to support women with metastatic breast cancer earned her the 2011 Bloganthropy Award – awarded at, you guessed it, a frivolous mommy business trip known as the Type A Parent Conference. Read her final post here, written as hospice arrived for palliative care, “How did we get here?

**************************************

So go ahead. Mock us. Make fun of our conferences. Call us mommy bloggers if you think that demeans our power. Whatever. I don’t fucking care.

We are women writing online.

We are the keepers of the stories of our time.

We are the voices of our families.

We are the voices of our communities.

We are – post by post – changing the world by the power of our words.

About Cindy Reed

I hate pants.
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79 Responses to Fine, call me a mommy blogger: I’m proud to be a woman writing online.

  1. Nichole says:

    Yes, yes, yes.

  2. Omg I have chills and it’s hotter than the fucking hinges of hell in my house right now. First I am honored to be in this post. Second oh hell yes to that condescending piece in the ridiculous rag of a newspaper. The creativity, heart and courage among us is a fucking life force. I don’t need the damn mini bar snickers, I can just stay home and eat my kids’ left over piñata candy. We are changing the works through connection and imagination. Yes indeed fuck the WSJ. And also? Omg the bloggess commented on your blog? Swoon.

  3. Standing Ovation. You are definitely in the best of company – all those women are kick-ass writers and bloggers. Suck on that, Wall Street Journal.

  4. Cris says:

    Hell yes!

    I need to get back to my blog. You’ve inspired me.

  5. I like in that picture she couldn’t even wait to sit in a chair or on the bed and just resorts to wallowing on the floor to eat her chips. Oh, and great post!

  6. lorithiel says:

    Holy shit, you rock!

  7. lorithiel says:

    Oh, and I believe those things are called “jeggings.”

  8. Greta says:

    YES. Standing ovation. I love you, too, Reedster, and I’m honored to be here, and in your company.

  9. Erica M says:

    I don’t know what to say about that article except to remind people the WSJ frequently and with no shame condescends to any group but straight white wealthy American males. Any time it can showcase its perceived idiocy of The Others’ pursuits, it’s game on.

    Having said that, thank you for including me in your circle of influence. It is within my current group of writing women I’m feeling more relevant as a writer, woman and mother than ever before. That’s an absolute. No need to qualify it or couch it in terms of whatever the WSJ or any other outside interest thinks of us. We harness our own power.

    My anxiety disorder would not allow me to place my face on a hotel room floor (where myriad feet and bodily fluids have rested) and eat my snacks. The graphic’s illustrator, obviously, is a heroin addict with no qualms similar to mine or any normal adult’s.

  10. Robbie says:

    Go get em!! In addition to going all Momma Bear Blogger on them the best line..We are the keepers of the stories of our time.

  11. Nancy says:

    First, as always, amazing post. Your writing always makes me stop what I’m doing and squint at my iphone or run to a computer!

    And may I second your “fuck you” WSJ? This drivel, like that of so many people/entities of WSJ’s ilk, is borne out of the fear of their own increasing irrelevance. Cowards.

    Third… keep up the amazing work Cindy & all the amazing bloggers mentioned here!

  12. I’m so glad I was pointed to this by one of my readers.
    I had been working on a post in this train of though on Monday, and it just wasn’t shaping up. Now I don’t have to: this is PERFECT.
    If I hadn’t gone to my 1st blogging conference, I wouldn’t have been put on the right, streamlined path toward what I really wanted to do – build my skills, build an audience, start the journey to becoming a professional writer.
    If I hadn’t gone to my 2nd blogging conference over a year later, I wouldn’t have made the connections that resulted in my being published in a humor anthology – my 1st print work! I wouldn’t have learned the business skills, writing skills, blogging skills to get myself into the place I am today, which is steadily still on that path of getting paid to write.
    I’ve made connections with other bloggers, writers, authors, women online, but solidifying them in person makes them all the more fulfilling.
    I, too, have been blown away by Christie, Erin, Jennie, Liz…and so many others. I had the chance to run into Christie in a conference session, and still hold the business card she wrote a note on when she realized who I was (sitting right behind her, having just come out of being anonymous). I had the chance to eat at a dinner with Erin, who has such a special air about her in person that matches what you imagine online.
    Blogging conferences are what you make of them. For me, they are work and opportunity to grow my business, my writing, my experience, my skill set. And the fact that I get to make new friends with brilliant, creative, interesting, inspiring women all weekend long, too? Is icing on the awesome cake.

  13. Mom101 says:

    What a truly awesome post to wake up to, thank you. So honored to know I’ve touched you in some way. Also, delighted to know there may be a conference where I can sleep in until 8:45. Who knew?

  14. A-freaking-men! I haven’t had time to sit down and properly form my thoughts about why the WSJ article bugged me so much and you summed it up perfectly. This weekend Erin and Greta and I were practicing for Listen to Your Mother and we were met with the same sort of derision from a reporter who just didn’t get what we were doing. So well done, but I always love a good “fuck you” post. 🙂

    • The Reedster says:

      Jen – see? I’m in awe of you too! I could have gone on for another 100,000 words listing all the amazing women who inspire me with stories of their strength, who raise money for great causes, who teach me to be a better parent, and who make me laugh until I cry.

  15. Cheryl says:

    Amen. While I’ve been blogging since 2007, I’m only attending my first BlogHer this summer, and I was so sad to see the WSJ piece. This is the perfect response to it. Thank you.

  16. Leslie says:

    This is amazing! Fuck you Wall St Journal! ha ha ha… my favorite line by far. I know Erin and Greta and they are bad ass women who’s stories have changed my life!

  17. 50peach says:

    Amazing post by an amazing woman. Rock on, yo. 🙂

  18. cjmoy says:

    Their graphic bears an odd resemblance to my regular life. So I guess I can’t be a Mommy blogger. Bummer.

  19. Amazing piece of writing – strong and passionate and full of truth. Thank you for being the voice for so many. Standing ovation for you!

  20. Ashley Austrew says:

    Rock the fuck on. Seriously. I could not love this post any more than I do.

  21. Awesome. Thank you for voicing the truth so clearly! And for reading The Wall Street Journal, because I’ve been slacking trying to keep up with People magazines and keeping my children alive.

  22. anna says:

    I’d read your writing instead of the WSJ any day, and I think that’s true for a lot of other people, too.

  23. Now, I love you. “Fuck you, WSJ!”

  24. The Waiting says:

    A to the men. This is brilliant and perfect.

  25. LOVE it. You women lift me up and give me strength and humor. 2 necessary ingredients when you are otherwise living on Diet Pepsi and trying to hold down a career, a kid a marriage and all the other heavy lifting that comes with being a woman on the planet. Keep up the good work and yes, FU WSJ. You know your momma raised you better than that!

  26. Thank you! That post got under my skin and I couldn’t form the words. You did the work for me so I’ll share the shit out of it.

  27. You are awesome! I don’t think of myself as a ‘mommy blogger’ – I think of myself a blogger who writes about things – be they the small being I nurture, the crazy family that nurtured me or a million other things about people who used to be babies themselves. We are all of us and none of us ‘mommy bloggers’ – at one point or another we all write about stuff that is made up of people – and those people are all made up of the experiences of the people who nurtured them. So really, there’s no difference btwn a male blogger (who, is also a mommy blogger if he is writing about people) and me.

  28. Nailed it. And you’re so right — I’ve been spinning my wheels trying to get people to stop calling us “mommy bloggers,” when really, I should know better. We can’t stop them. All we can do is laugh it off and know in our hearts the power of what we do when we do it well…like you did today. PS – great taste in bloggers!

    • The Reedster says:

      Wow! The Bearded Iris stopped by! I posted this at almost midnight last night and woke up with a dozen more amazing women writing online who I should have featured. You can’t swing a dead cat at a blogging conference without hitting ten inspiring bloggers.

  29. Jessica says:

    Oh wow, you said it absolutely perfectly. I wrote through the loss of my daughter and honestly, I don’t know where I would be without the support I found during the darkest of days. There is nothing else like the blogging community for me. Thank you for sharing what so many of us feel so eloquently.

  30. I feel like standing up at my desk and applauding right now. I’ve learned more about ferocity, courage, love and creativity since I started blogging in the company of amazing women like you than I did in all my years before. Suck it, WSJ.

  31. werdyab says:

    Perfection. I loved everything about this post! Thanks for being the voice for “mommy bloggers” everywhere. P.S. The Wall Street Journal can suck a big one.

  32. WSJ so doesn’t get it. I’m a dad, and I know what this community means to us. Remember, WSJ only in recent years decided the whole “color images” stuff wasn’t a fad after all, and decided to join the party.

  33. Tahnie says:

    Thank you, thank you for this. Thank you for being courageous and putting your words out there.

    I write about my life with a chronic, incurable, rare condition, the beauty of motherhood, and the notion of celebrating every day. I’ve met so many incredible, inspiring women through blogging, women who are brave and unstoppable. We are so much more than what the WSJ article mocked.

    xoxo.

  34. i am honored and you make me cry. i am not a “big blogger,” and also? i may be bipolar. so there’s that, too. thank you for writing this kick-ass piece, and for mentioning me in it. i just adore you more than i can say! xoxoxox

  35. Nessy says:

    Wow, women with children actually like going on business trips/conferences as much as, well, everyone else who goes on business trips? Wait don’t tell me, they network on these business trips, just like any other business trip? They eat foods that they don’t normally eat at home, wow, this is amazing. Please tell me more, because in the history of business trips/conferences not once has anyone drank, played golf, rented a movie that wasn’t rated G, gambled, ate foods not on their doctor recommeded diet, not until now, when these out of control Mommy Bloggers have managed to sneak out of the house like a teenager meeting up with that guy her parents didn’t approve of and now they have just went and spoiled it for everyone.

  36. KeAnne says:

    Yes, yes, yes, Cindy. Standing up and slow clapping. Fuck you, WSJ. Yeah, I’ve been to “work” conferences, and let me say that they don’t tend to have them at second-rate hotels with piss-poor amenities and no restaurants around. They are usually resorts with a lot of activities, open bars and pricey restaurants. No one seems to bat an eye when we attend those conferences.

  37. I am all fired up over here!!! Freaking YES!! You rock!! This post rocks!! I’m ready to march on Wall Street (journal)!! F them!!

  38. Kim says:

    Even as a non-mom the term “mommy blogger” pisses me off. First off, it excludes those of us who are not moms ( even though we might have fur children). Secondly, it just sounds insulting to all women whether they’re moms (of actual human children) or not. We’re women who can write (and many who do so well) and influence people around us, not a fucking label. Lumping hard working, talented and all around awesome women into some silly “mommy blogger” title is just rude and pathetic.

    The WSJ can bite my ass. Women deserve to be taken seriously as writers/bloggers, not put up with such condescending, arrogant bullshit.

    • nikkiana says:

      I’ll second this… As someone who’s not a mom, it always feels so strange when I see someone get up on their high and might horse and try to distill women bloggers down to “just some mommy bloggers” because I don’t fit the bill of that AT ALL… I end up feeling this strange rage feeling of “What the hell? Not all women are somebody’s mom, douchecanoe.”

      This sort of ragging on bloggers thing has been happening for years though… the mainstream media is threatened by the fact that the populous has taken the media into their own hands. They used to have the stranglehold on editorial commentary. Now they don’t.

  39. So glad I read this and now have more amazing blogs to follow!

  40. Mari says:

    You know, WSJ & other traditional media are worried about losing their market share, but instead of dissing this movement of voices, mayhaps they should reconsider their stance. Well said, so well said. I am a blogger and I spoke at LTYM OKC this past weekend and I think it’s high time the powerful voice of honesty rises up to take it back–take it all back. People don’t want to be talked down to by rich, powerful white men (unless, you know, that’s your kink); they want to connect with the honest voices of their peers.

  41. Just perfect. Thank you for putting the feelings so many of us are having about The Three Stooges treatment women writers face from “traditional media” and putting it so eloquently and, with humor. A fine, fine piece of writing and a lovely tribute to the wonderful writers in this blogosphere we all painfully love.

  42. Damn straight, girl. YOU ROCKED THE FUCKING HOUSE. I have nothing clever to add except this simple math equation: jeans + leggings = jeggings. XO

  43. I also had a comment from Jenny once. It’s possible I did a screen capture so I could remember it forever. You, Erin, and Greta are on my list of awesome and inspiring women writers. Even if you’re just Mommy Bloggers. I heart you a lot.

  44. This is excellent! There is nothing I despise more than when someone says to me “Oh you’re a MOM blogger?” in a condescending voice. I usually respond with “Oh you’re an uneducated asshole?” Thank you for putting it so much more eloquently than I did.

  45. katstone1 says:

    Thank you so much for your kind words and for including me in this kickass post! Proud to be in yours and everyone else’s company.

  46. Dana says:

    Rich and raw. You’re in good company. xoxo

  47. mannahattamamma says:

    you fucking rock. And whomever WSJ hires to create their “insultographic” (aka “infographic”) should be fired, immediately. Those pictures look like they came from the “personal health” textbook I had to read in like 8th grade (which was a long-ass time ago). The list of women you’ve referenced here are powerful, articulate, idiosyncratic, and talented…and history has taught us that societies don’t like women with that collection of attributes. Time was, they burned ’em at the stake. Now, I guess, WSJ runs an article.

    • The Reedster says:

      And then we mock it. Because seriously, WSJ? You’re going to mock a group of the most powerful women online? Who collectively have a much bigger audience to whom they can mock you?

  48. Karen says:

    I love this post, and I love the hilarious way you ripped apart that infographic! Thank you for this. You rule!

  49. What do expect from the WSJ?

  50. TriGirl says:

    Sounds like some magazines are a little out of touch. Who’s getting the last laugh now, hmmmm WSJ??

  51. I love this – it’s brilliant! The WSJ doesn’t care much about women. Unless, of course, you’re a conservative, white woman who is rearing conservative sons. And, obviously, she should be out shopping (“Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself”) and never, ever write.

    Your post inspired me to take my writing more seriously. And I LOVE discovering the community of brilliant, witty, talented, and generous women writers.

  52. iasoupmama says:

    So I’ve totally lost myself in this post because you are the shit. Seriously.

    I’m a mom who blogs and, yes, I write about poop every now and then. But I write about so much more than that. The fact is that as the parents of the next generation, we’re shaping the world. We’re using our voices to create the community in which our children will grow up.

    Do they call men who blog and who happen to have children daddy bloggers? Fuck no.

    This pisses me off almost as much as the people who cal men who are nurses “male nurses” and women who are doctors “female doctors.” I hear male nurse and think that the nurse can only take care of males and I hear female doctor and assume you mean an OB or GYN or OB/GYN.

  53. Sasha says:

    Pure Awesomeness….Hey, I’m up to 137 followers, so Yeah me, right? I so want to go to a mommy/female/women’s/call it whatever the hell you want/conference and meet really cool people that will help me see the light. But for now I’ll just continue to blog about my life, my world and what I see ~ because that one person that says, “Hey, I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about” makes all the difference.

    LOVE, Love, Love your article!

    • The Reedster says:

      Sasha, EXACTLY. When I wrote my post “14 Years Sober” I received several personal emails that it touched readers. You can beat that. And to be in a room with the energy of amazing women all dedicated to reaching out and sharing stories? Sublime.

  54. Patti B says:

    Good for you, not letting them beat you down! If the writer of that article doesn’t like “mommy blogs” then why are they reading them? More to the point – why are they devoting that much time and effort to slamming them? How about, and here’s a novel idea, just not reading them. There are thousands and thousands of blogs on the internet that I have no interest in. I confess that I’ve stumbled on a few that I wish didn’t exist at all. But I don’t feel the need to shout to the country ‘HEY! Look at this thing I hate! Let’s all poke and make fun of it!!’ Instead I just move on to find something that does interest me. While my interests tend to run more towards craft blogs, there are some “mom blogs” in there. And a “dad blog” too. Not because I am a parent (not yet, maybe someday) but because there are some incredibly good stories to be heard. Plus some moms make kick ass crafts 🙂

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  56. That article pissed me off so much. I love your response!!

  57. Amen to every word. Suck it WSJ. I haven’t been on a business trip or to a conference in a couple years, but somehow I remember them much differently than the WSJ article described. If they’ve become such a party, sign me up! Your piece should be required reading at every J-school. Well done.

  58. mamarific says:

    Damn, you nailed it!!! Thanks for this!

  59. Cindy, I love you, and not just because you mentioned me. Thank you for that, by the way. As I’ve said a zillion times now, you inspire me. You seriously put it out there, no holds barred, and your courage is amazing. You became a friend to me at a time when I really needed a friend. Yes, we met through blogging. Yes, I’ve only seen you one time in person (not a conference, I might add) but we have a connection that grew because of our writing.

    This post is just a shining example of what makes you so great. Keep it up. We need people like you.

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