Tomato, tomahto. Potato, potahto. Mommy blogger, mummy blogger.
Earlier this year, I was contacted by a writer who was working on a piece for Reader's Digest on Canada's Top 10 Mommy Bloggers. While I was flattered to be included, I told her that I didn't really identify as a mommy blogger. After a brief exchange of direct messages on twitter, and me sharing my piece on the Typology of the Mommy Blogger, she asked me if I could provide a quote explaining my reasons for not wanting to be called a mommy blogger.
Personally, I dislike the term "mommy blogger" because of the assumptions and baggage associated with it.
First, it is diminutive, attempting to cutesy the writing that women do on their blogs. I write about politics, feminism, health, nutrition, social change, and more. I write about it from a parenting and mothering perspective, but a man doing the same would not likely be called a "daddy blogger". He would be called a writer or a columnist or even an expert.
Second, I find it is loaded with assumptions. When people think of a mommy blogger, they usually imagine a white, middle-class, stay-at-home or work-at-home mother with children under the age of five, a love of consumer products and a white picket fence. They aren't imagining women of colour, low income women, single mothers, white collar professionals, activists, lesbian moms, teenage moms, or mothers of teens. I find the term to be concurrently exclusionary and oppressive.
I'd prefer not to have my work and my writing labelled.
That was me trying to be brief...I could have gone on and on and on. In the end, the quote didn't make it into the piece (which was disappointing, but I also understand how editors can be).
The list, despite including a number of very impressive women, stayed mostly true to what I wrote above -- a lot of white, middle class, married women (as with other lists before). A bit of variety in terms of the topics covered, but not enough variety from a socioeconomic diversity perspective.
Today Eden Riley from Edenland wrote a post called I Am Mummyblogger. She wrote about why she is a mummy blogger and included a photo that you really must see. Really, go, now.
I stand behind Eden (ha!) and her choice to label herself however she wishes and to wear that label with pride. But at the same time, I recognize that not everyone necessarily has the luxury to be able to do what she did without consequence and that not everyone is deemed worthy of the mommy blogger label, with all of its positive and negative connotations, whether they identify that way themselves or not.
So for now, I'll just continue being ME. Not a mommy blogger, just ME. Evolving, ever changing, label-less, ME.