Monday, July 20, 2015

Is the word Mummy Blogger offensive?

The Mummy blogger debate is up and running again. It may seem that everywhere you turn you run the risk of offending the perpetually offended yes? Wording that pitch or writing that article seems fraught with danger, is it OK to use the word busy mum? Mummy blogger? Mum who blogs?
Is the word mummy blogger offensive?
Short answer yes with an if, Long answer no, with a but...

I am going to weigh in to help explain, because I am a commentator of things that both DO and don’t concern me. This one happens to concern me and it concerns me more than it probably should.

The truth is that women who blog or write on the internet are honestly not offended by this word. 
Not everyone minds being called a mummy blogger. Some people I know rock it, own it, are immensely proud of it and they are superstars. Others like me loathe it, full stop. Spew. The title of mummy should really only be used by my children as far as I am concerned.

 I can tell you though, that even those who own it, and don’t mind in the slightest being called a mummy blogger will take exception if you are using the phrase to somehow de-value what it is that they do.

I am looking disapprovingly, accusingly, somewhat condescendingly while pointing in your general direction Mark Latham.

I have personally been called a mummy blogger both to my face, in PR lists and in the media. I can tell you that at no time was I actually offended, because despite the fact that I really dislike the label, the term was used to genuinely describe a collective group of women who happen to be mothers and who write. Also the word was simply just ‘all the rage’ at the time and I could tell that no offence was genuinely intended.

Having said that; I have also been lumped in the mummy blogger basket, mainly within a small group of threatened media, and been collectively identified as a mummy blogger by those who have used the word for the sole purpose of devaluing the contribution women in independent and creative media make. More often than not, the word Mummy Blogger is used as somewhat of a slur against women who write and are parents.

That is when it becomes offensive.

The word ‘Mummy blogger’ has been used like a dirty word to dismiss the contribution of these women, as though the fact that they are parents results in their benefaction to anything of relevance as laughable, and should be dismissed as merely the hormonally challenged rantings of a bored and unfulfilled housewife with far too much time on her hands and a slight social media addiction.

The notion that women who are parents diminish in value, much like a new car leaving the car yard. The suggestion that these women are mothers now, therefore they should busy themselves exclusively in the nourishment of their children. That as a consequence of becoming a parent, somehow women are no longer entitled to have their own experiences, opinions and stories.

The sad truth is that women, whether parents or not are STILL continuously fighting for their value in society. To be paid the same sum as their male contributors, doing the same position with an equal level of experience and skill. Women fight for their value as a person when it comes to their safety on a daily basis. Whether it be the disgusting statistics on familial violence or simply walking through a darkened car park. If you question this, ask the nearest male to you when the last time was that he texted his friends after a night out to let them know he arrived home safely? Ask the nearest women to you that same question.

Every time the word mother, a word sacredly used by our children and earned by our hard work love and sacrifice for them is used to cheapen this battle, is where the offence comes in.

Does the fact that someone is a father ever weigh in to their ability to do their job? If you are unhappy with the service of a Doctor, accountant or lawyer are the words Daddy Doctor, Daddy lawyer, Daddy accountant used to cheapen them?

Collectively fighting for the most basic of human rights is what women do. Together they are powerful. You need only to turn on your television and see this, count how many times an ad is directed to busy mums. COUNT HOW MANY TIMES THE WORD BUSY MUM IS USED!!!

These same women, in the face of funding cuts to the mental health of women, the leviathan in gender inequalities and the constant ridicule of their contribution have become the mothers of invention. Carving out spaces in independent and creative media to share their value, their experience and their stories.

They challenge the notion that women exist fundamentally for the nourishment of the people that depend on them.

Together they are a wealth of experiences and opinions. They are the support for those who are doing it tough, they aid charities and give words to those who are fighting battles within themselves in regard to mental health. They have created fashion empires and communities of women who may have really needed to know their best is good enough. They offer encouragement and advice to other parents. They have stories and a valid contribution to those who may be struggling with social isolation and friendships within geographical convenience. They share talents, passions and their lives.

They are simply people with value who were gifted with ability to word that value in a way that it resonates with others. There was a gap in this market and they filled it.

Most writers I know are not offended when the words Mummy blogger are used offhandedly as an empowering word for that assembly of contributors. However, when the word Mummy is used to devalue this contribution then we are going to have a problem.

To be safe, unless invited otherwise, try simply calling us writers, bloggers or our given names will be sufficient enough... & Please... Don't even get me started on the word Mum-trepreneur.

This post was inspired by a brilliant opinion piece written over at BIGWORDSBLOG in response to an article written by an Adelaide Columnist. You can read it HERE & a conversation started over at DIGITAL PARENTS COMMUNITY

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