Saturday was the Mumsnet blogfest. It was going so smoothly, there were fantastic speakers, great discussions, lots of through provoking content. True to Mumsnet there had to be something to ruffle tempers.
Here’s the “winning” formula: Let’s take a panel with very diverse views, have a chair person who didn’t quite read her brief, and try to pitch two, non-exclusive, terms, namely mummy blogging and feminism, against each other.
Are the two really diametrically opposed?
Of course not!
Unless you allow both to have a very narrow-minded definition:
Mummy bloggers are all stay at home mums who make jam.
Feminists are all hairy-legged, bad hair do women always wearing flat shoes.
As soon as these definitions were, by default, accepted the debate became pointless. The audience got more and more polarised. All decorum of the great day thus far was quickly evaporating. We were treated to a demeaning debate about jam making, wearing high heels, commercialising our family lives.
I had had enough of the narrow-minded debate that ensued. I voted with my feet. I walked out. (I’m surprised more people didn’t vote with their feet.)
I am fed up with the term mummy blogger being used as a demunitive definition, to tarnish us all with that brush. We are as different as flowers in a wildflower meadow. Stop using the term mummy blogger to capture headlines and emotions!
This was such a fantastic opportunity missed! We had intelligent women from all walks of life in the audience and in the panel.
How I imagined the debate:
Mummy bloggers (i.e. mothers who blog, who have a voice and use it to share their views, their experience on a chosen platform) and Feminists, (women, and possibly men, who believe that, aside from the obvious anatomical differences, men and women are equal) debate about women’s rights, women’s standing in society.
I would loved to have had the debate unfold about how women, mothers, who blog, work in or outside the home can use their voice to promote a healthy feminist view, equality in the workplace and in the home.
Instead of pursuing the wider debate though, I’d like to ask, what the panel possibly really wanted to address:
Can a stay at home mum be a feminist?
I reckon yes, with a caveat. I also asked Dadonthebrink, my eternal sounding board. He said yes.