The new scribbling womenPosted: March 12, 2013
In a letter to his publisher in 1855 Nathaniel Hawthorne lamented, “America is now wholly given over to a damned mob of scribbling women, and I should have no chance of success while the public taste is occupied with their trash.”
If only dear Mr. Hawthorne were around today to comment on the publishing freedom the Internet provides, especially for women and our trash.
You already know how I feel about some women’s use of the Internet. And clearly I’m not above name-calling, but complaining about any woman’s scribbling I shall not do. Well, I’ll defend the act of scribbling. Content is fair game.
The new term for the women (with children) who scribble (on the Internet) is “mommybloggers.” Both it and “mommies” are often used – not always improperly – as derogatory terms. Though whom the term defines seems to thankfully be expanding, “mommybloggers” overwhelmingly applies to white, middle-class, heterosexual women. Because I am all of these things, I can easily join in the popular discourse on Motherhood and be given unearned authority, and I can easily find motherhood blogs that speak to my experience without the author once feeling the need to explain that she is white or heterosexual. Unlike women of color in the United States, we white women aren’t often expected to speak on behalf of all women of our race, nor are straight women called on to out themselves as heterosexuals.
I hope in my lifetime women of all statuses gain the same access and standard benefits I have. I know I don’t and probably can’t fully comprehend the privileges that come with being considered the “default setting,” the “norm,” and I know I am denied important voices because of this privilege. How I’m going to raise a white man in the United States to not take advantage of systems that benefit him at the expense of others is a topic for another (many other) days.
The point of this post is to share with you the blogs I’ve been reading. My recommendations are, as always, not full endorsements of every viewpoint shared therein but include blogs I like and have benefited from.
Brookye’s blog shares beautiful, practical projects you can create with your kids. This blog is not about crafting – it’s about encouraging your child’s creativity while nurturing your own gift for expression. I need people like Brookye in my life, for visual art is not my calling but something I want Henry to experience fully.
A friend of a friend writes this blog, and I read it a lot. It offers photos, confessions, recipes, DIY projects, and advice on motherhood, parenthood and good and Good living. Ashley is a work-from-home mom in upstate New York.
From the blog’s creator: This is done with open arms, a lot of love, and the deep belief that though we may come from separate places and have different backgrounds, we are ALL moms who want the same things for our families, and especially for our children. Read with an open mind and you just might see perspectives on family, motherhood, love and relationships that are fresh and different and interesting and eye opening.
From me: I’m enjoying the “Thoughts” section, and I especially like the Facebook page.
Joanna Goddard’s blog is what blogs want to be when they grow up. Ms. Goddard perpetuates the notion that New York women are stylish, practical, informed, interesting, and together. She’s also relatable, likeable, and open. I like her, even if she is moving to Brooklyn. And she watches The Bachelor.
Grace is a daughter of Taiwanese immigrants in the United States who writes about parenting, food, and Asian American issues and offers food and product reviews. I discovered her blog via one of her articles on BlogHer about the lack of non-white voices in the Mommy Wars, and I continue to visit. I don’t like cooking, but I will be trying (as in having my husband make) some her recipes, like pumpkin curry chicken pot pie.
One day I will wake up with a notion to overachieve in homemaking. Until then, I will read Modern Parents Messy Kids while Henry plays with a spoon. But I have at least started a Pinterest page.
I’ve talked about Ms. Armstrong. This is her blog.
What are some of your favorites?