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Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts

13 August 2014

The Tragedy and Beauty of Mom Blogging

I've been blogging forever, well before Ella was a reality, when she was still just a glimmer in my eye. Before I became a "mom blogger," I was just a feminist blogger ranting about the world and George W. Bush's occupation of the White House. But as any woman who starts making friends in her mid-twenties quickly realizes, people start to have babies. And soon enough I did too.

The beauty of mom blogging is that it is a way for us to connect with other new moms, to share our joys and fears. When we find a mom blogger who has kids just a big older than our newborns, she becomes our big sister or super cool cousin, who can talk us down from our daily "I AM THE WORST MOM EVER!" ledge. That is who Dawn Friedman became to me. We met online when she was just embarking on the journey to add her daughter to her family. The fact she had a son who was maybe 6 or 7 at the time meant she knew how to survive the early days of the mamahood. And boy, did she ever come in handy.

Around the time Ella entered our lives, Madison entered Dawn's. I was nervous for the very open adoption the family was participating in. Last week Dawn shared a video of Madison rocking out on the drums. That tiny baby Dawn had brought home was dancing to her own beat. I then looked at Ella and realized she was too.

Then a few days ago, Noemi Martinez, aka Hermana Resist, someone I have known online about the same length of time I've known Dawn, posted that her youngest, Winter, wouldn't wake up. Shaking, calling her name, cold compresses...nothing was waking this beautiful creative girl. Today Noemi is holding vigil at Winter's bedside, still awaiting word on what happened to her girl. During this scary time, medical bills are piling up and there is a GoFundMe page to help the family out.

Mom blogging gets a lot of shit dumped on it. Here we are, moms who should be playing with our kids or making dinner, writing about the ups and downs of raising a small human being. But what I have consistently said is that we are creating our own communities. And with that, for some of us, extended families. Because this shit is hard and we need to vent sometimes! And yes, sometimes boast.

I cried with joy watching Madison on the drums. I've watched from afar as she has been growing up, read Dawn's writing on the challenges that open adoption does present, remembering that our girls both enjoy our squishy bellies, and being stunned that Dawn's son, Noah, is old enough to have a job.

Today my heart breaks at the pain that Noemi is going through awaiting her baby girl to wake up and life to go back to normal. I have enjoyed reading her Facebook updates on how Winter and her big brother, River, have been testing out the limits of teenage independence, how they have debates about Star Trek and Star Wars, and create zines together.

And there you have it. Blogging is not just a platform or a way to get your ideas out into the world, it is a means of connecting with people. With that connecting is the joy of births, marriages, new jobs, and simple happy days. But it also comes with the pain of deaths, divorces, depression (ours or our kids), failed journeys, and sickness.

At the end of the day, I do not see all the people who I have connected with my network, but parts of my family. Some more than others. And with that, their kids feel like nieces and nephews to me. So yes, my dear Noemi, she is our Winter. May she come home soon.

REMINDER: Noemi has a a GoFundMe page to help with the growing medical bills. Please give what you can.

12 June 2011

The Final Stretch!

While you are voting for Viva la Feminista, take a moment to also vote for the other feminist moms on the list such as my bloggy BFFs PunditMom, Gloria Feldt and Write like She Talks. There are also other fab feminists on the list too. Thanks for your support!

30 January 2011

Discovering feminisms through blogs

A few weeks ago a new blog popped up in my referral logs and on my Google alert:

WS 299: Body Politics and Motherhood

It's a class at Oregon State University that has the students blogging about the feminisms they are discovering and encountering through blogs and feminist websites. Which, obviously, I think is freaking awesome.

While I know that there are some great text books on feminism and the different aspects/foci of feminists, it's hard to argue that the internet gives a great example of the diversity of thought within feminism. There are the academic labels - liberal feminism - but then there are the living and breathing labels that blogging feminists use on a daily basis.

I also love this blog because it gave me an insight into how a couple of college students think of Viva la Feminista:
I am actually pretty stoked on her reviews section where she suggests books for her readers. I hardly have time to read, but I'm always on the look out for new stuff that might be worth-while, especially about parenting (which she also has some suggested reads on). She is highly supportive of women's reproductive rights, and even asks that "in In lieu of cake, please donate to: Chicago Abortion Fund" for her birthday post. [link]
----
First of all, I love the name of this blog! 

After reading many reviews that she has done in the past I realized that Veronica is the type of person that we need more of in society. She is not afraid to state what she believes, speak the truth, and fight.

I love reading blogs, in fact I have a list of about five that I read everyday. I intend to add Viva La Feminista to my list. I can't wait to keep up with Veronica's busy life and see what her next post has to offer.[link]

And I'm not afraid to admit that since this class blog came into my life, I have revisited them just to read those words. Hey, I'm human and there have been some days where I think, "What am I doing?" I just go read those words and think, "Oh, yeah...That's what I'm doing!" Thanks to their professor for thinking of this idea! Thanks to the students who are discovering my kind of feminism. I hope I live up to your expectations! And if I don't, you'll let me know.

Others should check out the blog, even just to get a real glimpse into what college students think of feminism and feminism online. Especially students just discovering what feminism means to them. And remember, they are in class, let their blog be a safe space, so be nice.

02 May 2010

Product reviewers have a responsiblity to the public. Think before you publish.

When I first entering the mom blogging world back in 2003, I did it for the community. A lot of moms say the same thing. Community. The ability to talk to other moms about the things that moms need to talk to each other about. Mommy guilt. Potty training. Home schooling. I use to tell people that instead of talking to your neighbor over the fence, you blogged or today, Tweet. In tech speak, moms are expert crowd sources of information about the best diaper and breast pump to use. And that's where we started to find our power as community. Then finally, finally! Corporate America acknowledged our purchasing power and came a knocking. 

No one thought much of taking a product sample of Cheesy Poofs and writing about how awesome your kids thought of it. Heck, some bloggers review things that they can't possible have used! But there's a world of difference AND responsibility to the community when it comes to reviewing vegan soda pop and medical products.

Latest example is Momspective Reviews.

She received a douche and reviewed it. Graphically. And apparently a lot of women out there thought it was just sooo funny! Not me. It's not that I'm not a funny gal. In fact I'm laughing thinking of what Wanda Sykes would do with this post. But douching is something that we just should not be doing ladies.

DO NOT DOUCHE!

First, douching has been sold to women as a way to keep ourselves clean. Yes, "that not so fresh feeling" is a freaking myth. Our lady parts smell for a reason. There are a ton of microbes living in our vaginas. This is a good thing. Microbes are essential to human life. We have microbes in our guts, vaginas, everywhere. Without microbes, life couldn't exist. We aren't even close to understanding what all those microbes do, but we know for sure that they are there for a purpose. But you say that your lady parts are really smelly lately? Well, don't douche. Period.
"[The douche] pops right on in and cleans out whatever it is you think you need to get rid of." 
There isn't anything in there that you need to get rid of...And if there is, say an infection? You are going to make it worse.
"Since I had a hysterectomy a while back, I wanted to see if my reproductive cavern of darkness had any excess uterus left behind it wanted to get rid of but all appeared clear."
If you have any doubt that you have excess uterus, you should really see a medical professional not squirt water up into your vagina. Plus, if you have recently had any surgery to your lady parts (abortion, hysterectomy, removal of fibroids) your medical provider will most likely tell you to NOT DOUCHE. If you have enough time removed from the surgery and you haven't died from infection, you're in the clear.

"Hookers would love it."
I'm assuming that Momspective means that since hookers are filled with icky semen, they would want to rinse themselves clean. Oh, so funny. Not.
"[Douch brand name] is the first and only patented and FDA-cleared douching alternative"
Now let's get into this FDA stuff. Please note that this is FDA-cleared. NOT approved. Cleared. This pretty much means that the FDA says, "This won't kill you." It doesn't mean that we should use it or that it's safe to use either.It doesn't even guarantee that the douche will make your smelly lady parts fresh and clean as a spring day. And even if the FDA did approve this device, the FDA's seal of approval isn't as strong as most of us think it is. In the April 2008 Reader's Digest, Alexis Jetter outlined a litany of issues that the FDA is dealing with including a flat-lined budget despite a huge increase in work load, especially post-9/11.
"It’s a bidet you shove up your parts.  Go for it."
 DO NOT GO FOR IT!

So why am I calling out mom bloggers? Because I believe we are a community built on trust. We want to exchange information, thus we have a responsibility to each other to do the best we can to pass on good information.

Before I post something here, I try my best to research it. This is one reason why I'm a slow blogger. I'm not going to break a news story or be the first to rip off an opinion piece. I like to fill my posts with facts and citations.

I get pitches for diet supplements, medical devices, medical groups and medical advice websites. I don't do them, even if the issues if near and dear to me, because I am not going to use my reputation with all of you to sell you something that doesn't work or might hurt you.Especially if someone is making money off of you.

This is why I plead with all reviewers, especially mom bloggers, to do your homework before you review a product, especially one that impacts our health or inserted into our bodies. Do not rely just on the information the manufacturer gives you. That's why the goddess gave us the web search!

All that said. Medical research is still firming up this question of douching. One study I stumbled upon claims that douching MAY protect African-American women from pre-term birth. But I highly suggest that you talk to your doctor or midwife before doing it!

By far the articles I've read, the people I've spoken to (I've worked closely with women's health researchers and providers for over a decade) all recommend to NOT DOUCHE.

Let's be careful out there. And let's watch out for each other.

14 January 2010

15,000th Tweet Giveaway & Donations

You know that have been trying to be a better marketing person, meaning that I'm not going to allow my blog, twitter or other space to be used to shill for any old product. When I realized I was coming up on my 15,000th tweet (yeah, I tweet a lot) I was hurting to come up with a good giveaway to celebrate.

For you my dear readers and followers, simply leave a comment here and I'll randomly choose one person to receive a Steaz gift pack. EXTENDED>> Deadline is 11:59 PM, Saturday, January 16th. 


What's Steaz? I didn't know either until Wednesday night when I attended a blogger PR dinner event hosted by Kim. There's a long description of what the company does and why, but bottomline they make soft drinks, ice teas and energy drinks. BUT they are certified organic. AND vegan. Vegan? How can a drink be vegan? At least compared to big name soda companies? It's the sugar. Regular old sugar is processed with charcoal and . Yes, some the sugar we normally eat is processed using animal bones. I also met Eric one of the owners. I'm a jaded mom blogger, so I was waiting for the big glitzy show. Instead I got to meet a guy who was raised by hippies, who installed solar panels with his dad and whose sister is a real estate agent who specializes in green homes. Um, ok...

That got me thinking...Are hippy kids allowed to maintain their hippy roots AND make a buck? Well, yes, yes, they are. Should I do marketing and PR for them for free? Um, why not? This one time.

One other aspect of their story that moved me is that they are an example of the Power of Moms - They were asked by Target to be one of the first organic products after moms demanded that Target start carrying organic products. You know that part of my motive for blogging is to help moms see their power and then wield it. It wasn't an organized movement, but enough moms spoke out to Target, sent emails, talked to managers, whatever, but they used their voice and pressured Target to carry organics.

I've only tasted two of their products - peach ice tea, which wasn't my cuppa tea. Althou I should try it again well chilled. I'm uberpicky when it comes to teas. I forget which flavor of soda I tried and it was ok. Again, I should try again with a glass of ice. Ya know sometimes that's all a drink needs. But I was sold on this company by their story. Because of that, I'm willing to try some more product (thanks to my gift bag) and giveaway one gift pack.

And in the spirit of Viva la Feminista, for every comment left, I will donate $1 to CARE for Haiti relief. If you don't want to be entered into the Steaz giveaway, just note it. I already donated $50, so this is a new batch of money. I will limit the donation to $100. I know my pocket book limits! Another way to support CARE's work in Haiti is to shop at where she will donate $20 for every purse sold. 

So what are you waiting for?

Thanks for reading, following and connecting with me. I know I'm a chatty chica, but I hope I'm worth it.

16 October 2009

FTC, Bloggers & Publicists oh my!

Yesterday I attended the Publicity Club of Chicago's monthly lunch discussion. I never thought I'd say that because it was a room full of PR execs and while I do my fair share of publicity for feministy things, I just don't see myself as  PR person. That said, I had the luncheon info sent to me by one of the husband's coworkers and the AWJ-Chicago listserv. OK, I'll go!

And I'm really glad that I went. I totally felt like a mole because the topic was "Are Bloggers Journalists? Dealing with the Legal Implications of Today’s Media." Dum, de, dum! To top off the mole feeling was the fact that they start off the lunches with a few minutes of speed networking. "Hi, I'm Veronica a blogger." ha!

The panel was moderated by Paul Rand and had Esther J. Cepeda, Toure Muhammad and Daliah Saper as the experts. First props to the organizers for having such a diverse panel and an excellent moderator. They kept the conversation going, even if Daliah could have just given a lecture because she was the lawyer on the panel.

Considering the timing of the FTC guidelines release of last week, the conversation was heavily focused on that. Over at the Guardian, I got a lot of smack for calling myself a mommy blogger and asked why being a mommy blogger was relevant to the conversation. Well, even at this fab panel, mommy bloggers were still the main character in the conversation. I think that the media that mommy bloggers have received makes us an easy frame of reference. But it wasn't a bad thing either.

So what did I learn?

* Toure made a great point to remind us that blogging took off because so many of us were leary of corporate media. Many bloggers started off, including myself, as critiquing news segments. Now that we are seen as influential, whether we have 40 followers or Twitter or are an A+ list blogger, we have to remember that our credibility is connected to our transparency.

* Daliah talked a lot about how the guidelines may lead to a chilling effect in terms of publicity. The FTC guidelines not only spell out that bloggers are responsible for being transparent, but the publicists and marketers are responsible for screening us and making sure we are transparent. I immediately recalled the pic I snapped at Blogalicious of a sign reminding us that we need to be transparent. But she ended up saying that publicists shouldn't change their practices, other than screening us, and to just be honest.

* Esther stressed the fact that publicists should know the bloggers they are dealing with. "Read their blog, is that the person/outlet you want representing your brand?" And really, aren't we all saying that we're tired of getting pitches that say, "Dear blogger..." Now that the FTC will hold publicists to a higher standard, we might get less pitches, but more meaningful pitches.

* Toure took us on a history lesson by connecting this current moment with multiple other moments when the line between advertising and editorial content were debated in media. We need to see bloggers are tiny media outlets. Instead of having Jane in advertising and Veronica in editorial working here, we have just Veronica accepting the advertising pitches and the editorial. I know that I won't be asked to join ABC campaign because I blog about how sexist ABC is as a company.

* Now Esther took on the "what about the TV, newspapers and magazines" question. I believe her answer was as simple as they have editors who watch out for liable AND that those journalists aren't relying on free products for income. If I got that wrong, I'm sure she'll let me know. But is that true? Is anyone really milking this for real income? I think a few elite ones are. I hear that some of the original Wal-Mart Moms have made a living out of being faces for brands. But I'd love to hear from y'all.

* The only jaw-dropping moment for me was that Daliah said that Google bombing could be seen as trademark infringement. Perhaps this is old news to some of ya, but not for me. So blogging about product X and then linking to their competitor is clearly trademark infringement. But remember back when bloggers linked pro-choice orgs to George W. Bush? I wonder what the courts would say about that if we linked say Planned Parenthood to a named crisis pregnancy clinic?

* Daliah was mad smart. I'd love to organize a discussion night with her and a few bloggers, especially some of us activist bloggers who might be skirting legal issues. We may still skirt them, but at least we'll know what we're up to.

* Daliah also said that the legal ramifications are piling up quickly with social media and employment. Can you prove discrimination because your Facebook profile is public and outs you as a minority or lesbian and you don't get hired? Who owns your LinkedIn contact list if you use it for work purposes? At that point my mind was spinning.

* But Esther had a great message for the publicists. You can't control your message anymore. You can control who you work with, but not the message.
     It was a lot of fun and hopefully you also learned a bit of what is going on in the minds of publicists.

    07 October 2009

    My take on the FTC guidelines for bloggers

    is over at the Guardian's Comment is Free section:


    I'm a mommy blogger. For the past six months or so that was akin to saying I was a used car saleswoman. No, it had nothing to do with the stereotype that all I write about is my daughter, how cute she is and what we did that day. It had to do with the pile of freebies that I apparently live under and the idea that I lie about them.

    They call it blogola – payola for bloggers – the term for free stuff that bloggers get to review on their site and even the cash that some accept for those reviews. Those "offers" can also take place on micro-blogging sites such as Twitter, as exemplified by the recent controversy surrounding the #nestlefamily event – in which bloggers have agreed to take part in a promotional event organised by the multinational company. After months of warning us, the US Federal Trade Commission addressed the situation.

    Read the rest over at Comment is Free.

    Gotta say that it's crazy and interesting how the conversation is so focused on me calling myself a mommy blogger. Hmmm...I feel like when I do that it's always an experiment to see how fast the respect level drops and how quickly the shit flies. I wonder how the comments would be if I had called myself a book blogger instead? Or a feminist blogger? But since the media is focusing on mommy bloggers when discussing the FTC, I wanted to put that label in first. Aw, language, how I love you. 

    29 September 2009

    Carnival of Feminists

    The 5th Carnival of Feminists is now up!

    Go check out the awesome posts...I'm sure you're already read mine. *wink*

    Chally had this visualization of the carnival made...awesome eh?


    31 August 2009

    woo-wee! Is this journalism or what!?

    Dear Goddess has life been a whirlwind lately!

    I need a better strategy on posting my Awearness posts over here. I think I'm going to try...try to post them on the same day over here instead of a list of posts. But until then, here's a list of posts!

    Saturday I went to a community blogging meeting and it was, well, interesting. I say that not to say I didn't like it. I did. It made me think..a lot.

    For one a lot of the conversation was about how to make money off our blogs. Which was a great thread for people who run more news-worthy blogs not personal blogs like mine. But at the Association for Women Journalist panel I spoke on last month, many in the crowd thought this blog was news worthy for my opinion pieces. So yes, I found myself smack dab in the middle of a "Big J" versus blogging versus just a website debate. And honestly I'm done with that conversation.

    I'm done because I know that there are sites out there like Gapers Block which is about news. You don't come here to find out what's up in my neighborhood. But sometimes my opinion is framed by living in Chicago, by the news that happens around me and whether or not that is journalism or news isn't up to me. I say it's up to you.

    It's funny that I feel like there are two forces pushing me to even consider making money off this blog - the phenomena of mommy blogging & all the free trips to Disney and journalists/community blogging. That said, I know that big mouthed feminists aren't the target audience for advertisers.

    So here I am, giving you my opinion for free...well at least here. And for now. If you see me in real life, feel free to toss $10 in my pocket. ;-)

    And yes, I know this was quite a rambly post! It's past midnight peeps! I need to get to bed. Night. xoxo

    21 August 2009

    Vote for these SXSW panels

    First the two panels I'm on:

    Now some awesome proposals from my friends:
    edited to add:
    From El Blog:

    Below the sessions related to the Hispanic market. Vote early and vote often!
    TWO MORE from Kety at the National Council of La Raza::
    And one more I saw on Twitter:
    So what are you waiting for? Start clicking thru this list (I hope to add more proposals of awesome women & allies) and click the thumbs up! Also leave a comment, if you have time, about why you think that panel should be on the agenda next year. I have seen on Twitter people say that comments almost count more than votes. So please take a moment to comment on your fave panel ideas. Thank you!!

    Think I should have you on this list? Leave a comment with your info. Feminists, women of color and BFFs are welcome. Others, tell me why I should lobby for your vote.

    Voting ends September 4, 2009.

    Want to know more about the voting and how much your vote matters? Click here!

    10 August 2009

    Welcome Diego Mulligan listeners!

    It was a pleasure to be on Diego Mulligan's show, The Journey Home, this evening.

    Diego & I spent a lot of time chatting about health care reform and mom blogs, so I thought that I'd pull up a few recent posts on health care on a few of my favorite mom blogs:


    Thanks for visiting!

    05 August 2009

    Where I am this week...

    Feministe! And here is my post that isn't the intro part:

    ***********
    You might have read or heard stories coming out of Blogher 2009 about the amount of free shit that was given out. Companies have set their targets on mom bloggers (ok, certain demographically appropriate ones) for this free stuff in the hopes that we are so grateful we’ll write about it and you all will run out and buy it. One of my dear friends, Self-Made Mom, came home and decided to auction her swag pile on eBay:

    so in a moment of materialistic Zen, I decided to do something a little rash (for me at least.) I’m auctioning it all off on eBay for charity (The Chicago Abortion Fund.) If you’re pissed you didn’t get Crocs (which aren’t in the bag, btw because I knew I wouldn’t wear them although they looked comfy), or you really want that Little Giraffe neck pillow, or you’re yearning for some more zip drives, PLEASE BID.

    The auction is over and the winning bid was $182.50. Isn’t that awesome? A small bag of freebies will have a new home and CAF will have a nice new donation. I hear that someone might be rounding up that check to $300, which is CAF’s average sized grant.

    ***********
    I'll be there for the next two weeks, so please tip your waiter!

    26 July 2009

    Blogher 2009 is history...

    and I'm pooped!

    But as is par for the course, life's roller coaster keeps chugging up that hill.

    I was lucky enough to get a small number of Ms. magazine copies to pass out at Blogher and I've already gotten word that some stores are selling it despite an August 4th news stand date. This means that I need to brace myself for a small uptick in traffic.

    I have to laugh at this because I spoke this morning at the National Council for La Raza (ya know, !) on social media and one of the last questions was about rankings. I told the man (damn, what was his blog again? This is what happens when I'm on stage without a pen!) that I gave up on my stats and rankings a long time ago. I gave up because I know I'm listed on some pretty big blogs exclusive blogrolls. I know that I go to places like La Raza & Blogher and get "I love your blog!" comments from people who I have no idea who they are. Thus, stats can suck it. Feedburner, Google stats, Google rank and especially Technorati seem to be unable to explain why I seem to be fairly popular. I'm not A-list, but I'm not totally D-list anymore. But that's not why I missed the D-List lunch - I swear I thought we were having breakfast! haha...

    But I'll be back at the La Raza conference for a short event on Monday and part of Tuesday burning up my press pass.

    And if you read my blog on my blog instead of a RSS reader (it's ok, that's how I read your blog too.) you might notice that my Blogher button has been replaced by a
    Blogalicious button! Oh yes, I'll be traveling to Atlanta to hang with fellow women of color bloggers & some of our super kewl white girlfriends.

    BUT...that will be after I get back from Tampa for the Florida Consortium for Women's Studies. I submitted a proposal to look at how the increase in women in general on campuses might be helping the increase of women in STEM. A total, total preliminary study, but I'm hoping that it will give me some direction for some research projects.

    Whew!

    Like I said, the roller coaster keeps chugging along. Some days I feel like I'm being run over or dragged, but more often than not, I'm enjoying the ride.

    And to all my coworkers who read Ms and now have found my blog, Hi!

    12 July 2009

    Blogging moms make the cover of Ms!

    Take a look at that cover!

    Yes indeed, some of us mamas are blogging, tweeting & rising to the occasion. Inside the upcoming issue of Ms. (hitting news stands August 4th) is a featured article by Kara Jesella on mom blogs! The article features quotes from PunditMom, Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner of Moms Rising and me. I'm excited and scared to hear the feedback from everyone, especially after the last time I stuck my head out on feminism & motherhood.

    As I am sure that people will end up here at this blog after the issue is read, I am going to be more diligent in posting here when I post elsewhere. Yes, this blog has evolved more and more into a portal of sorts, pointing you to other places where I write and dole out my two cents on life.

    In that vein, I present you this week's edition of where I've been:

    Over at the Bitch magazine blog:

    And over at AWEARNESS:

    29 June 2009

    Viva Las Vegas!

    13 June 2009

    Where I've been...

    I really need to write up some of the amazing things I learned at the National Council for Research on Women's conference. I sat thru 3 hours of feminist economics!

    Until then, I'll leave ya with links to where I actually have been blogging:

    Girl w/Pen:
    Science Grrl: Why Does Progress for Women in Science & Engineering Sound So Threatening?

    Bitch Magazine:
    * Carlos Zambrano: Stay at home dad?
    * Congratulations, it's a girl and you're a liberal!
    * Anti-abortion Mommy Blog Hoax Exposed

    AWEARNESS blog:
    * Can We Call It Terrorism Now?
    * The Loss for Abortion Protesters
    * NASCAR on the Basketball Court

    What the hell happened to blogs? To my blogging?

    Despite being in demand for blogs and other things, I'm feeling a bit worn out. And it's not just the work. I love the work.

    I'm lucky because most of the time when I sit down to write, I can. It's like my brain knows that I have a limited amount of time to write and purges when I sit down to the laptop. I feel bad when I hear my professional writing friends who have all day to write and get writer's block. But I'm thankful that the Goddess gifted me with my purging brain.

    But I'm also overwhelmed with trying to keep up with reading all the fabu blogs out there. I seriously need to purge my Bloglines subs. I keep hitting clear on the same blogs - sadly some that I've read for years! That's the downfall for being online for so damn long! I have a lot of "old" favorites.

    I also just emailed a friend today about being wistful for the days when we just wrote, vented & ranted to each other rather than pitched each other. The days when getting together in person was a cause of celebration and not another date on our monthly calendars. I dunno, I guess I'm becoming a grumpy old blogger who is overwhelmed with all the niche conferences and corporate sponsorship. Again, it's not that I want to be asked...It's just weird.

    Example, someone tweeted the other day that some bloggers will be getting help from a certain women's clothing store for us plus-sized gals for Blogher. A store where I'm sometimes too small for, but I still peek in on. I'm freaking speaking at Blogher and I didn't get an offer. But it's not like I want to be a walking billboard either. *sigh* See how that mental gymnastics just went?

    Also, when I see people I know who are corporate bloggers/tweeters (aka BigBoxMom or CartoonWorldMom) tweeting about a certain item, I can't help but wonder if they really like it or if they are shilling.

    We're at a turning point for blogging and I fear we are losing our soul. Even those of us who aren't shilling all day! It's hard to build a community when we have to wonder if this blogger is trying to make money off of us. It's easy in real life when you know that Gaby is your home cosmetic sales friend. But she isn't also trying to get you to buy a new videogame and at a certain store.

    And because I do occassionally do review products here, it's not like I'm totally against it. I just think that we're losing something as a community, blogging not just mom blogging, when we start putting products first.

    08 June 2009

    And you're in charge of my mail...

    It's travel season again folks!

    On Wednesday I head out to NYC to attend the National Council for Research on Women meeting. Then I whip back home on Friday to speak at the Mujeres Del Cambio: Women of Change panel.

    Until then, I'll leave you with my most recent AWEARNESS blog posts as well as news that I'm guest blogging over at Bitch Magazine for the next two months. WOO!! Yes, that does mean that this neglected blog will be even moreso. But do come and visit me over at Bitch.

    30 May 2009

    Catching up!

    I dunno why my blog broke this week. Sorry for being unreadable for a few days...well design-wise anyway. But it looks like things are back to normal. Leave a comment, tweet or email if you ever see the blog all wonky. Honestly I don't check the blog every day. Especially this past week when I was out with a migraine for two days. That's what happens when I plan to write like a mofo on Thursday night...migraine.

    It's been awhile since I posted my AWEARNESS posts, so here they are:


    I have another Sotomayor post ready for next week, I'm sure I'll be writing about her more. Sadly the sexist and racist attacks are keeping me too busy to actually read about her mad judge skills. Thankfully there are others out there working on this issues.

    14 May 2009

    About that Nation article on moms, feminism & blogging....

    Nona & I talked over the phone for a good 45 minutes about this article. I knew immediately that she got the issue as I was communicating it. Her prompt was simple - why aren't young feminists connected to mother issues and vice versa?

    As someone who has been a feminist activist in some form or another since high school, was a member of NOW and vice-president of a local chapter when I had my daughter, she knew I had keen insight. I was 28, so I was still considered a young feminist. My first National NOW board meeting had me towing my newborn along with me. I breastfed the kid as I sat next to Ellie Smeal.

    But I've also been in conversations with fellow feminists before & after I became a mom about the flip side of hospital mergers: birthing choice and reproductive technology. But those issues fell flat. When I tried to explain that CHOICE is more than choosing NOT to be a mom, but to choose to BE a mom, it didn't register as well as I wanted. Ditto for adoption. And this is why I told Nona that I think the pressure to BE a mom is so great on some young women that they don't want to work on mothering issues.

    As I have said at Fem2.0 and WAM! I still believe that the popular/mainstream/big mommy blogging sites are apolitical. My sisters over at MOMocrats are taking offense to the article. I can see why. But I want to say that I think that Nona was speaking to the mom blogs we see in the corporate media. The Oprah Show moms & the like. I haven't read through all of them. I had my fill of them on Oprah.

    But even if all of them were political uberfeminists, corporate media isn't showcasing them as such. Forbes.com showcased mom blogs for Mother's Day and not one blog they chose was described as a political blog.

    Nielsen listed the top 50 power mom blogs [pdf link!] and categorized them and guess which category was missing? Political/activist. Their piece on connection with power moms does actually use the word "political" in a graphic of what moms are talking about. And feminism was either not heard or was looked for in the mom blogosphere conversation.

    Are there political/feminist moms blogging? Hell yes! Is corporate media paying attention? Nope.

    We're still riding the fumes of Mother's Day coupled with the concern over swine flu, so mothering issues like paid sick days were hot in the past few weeks. But without a public health crisis, paid sick days wouldn't have made more than a blip in media. In a few weeks mothering issues will be forgotten.

    Does that mean I think that orgs like Moms Rising aren't doing a good job? Oh hell no.

    Do I think that orgs like NOW aren't doing a good job with mothering issues? Considering that I'm the co-chair of the Mothers & Caregivers Economic Rights committee, oh hell no! What I do think is that given sending a TV crew to film a NOW rally on abortion versus a NOW discussion on post-partum depression, corporate media will always go with abortion. I've been in both situations.

    And the media is what is pushing what issues are deemed "feminist" issues. Young women get their info from blogs and TV. What is discussed more often than not? Abortion, birth control and maybe lesbian rights. Those are hot button issues. They get play. BTW, I truly believe that if the media actually highlighted feminists working FOR mothers, that we'll win it all.

    I've read the web letters and I take part of the "blame" for exclusions in Nona's piece. But as I said at the beginning, I focused on young feminism and what I felt were "typical" mommy blogs. We did talk about my work with NOW and my own blogging. I can't recall if we touched on all the concerns people have brought up, but we covered a lot. I did enjoy remembering the early days of Feministe, pre-and-early-Jill, when it was run by a single mom who entered motherhood as a teenager. Lauren rocked my socks off with her feminist take on single teenage motherhood.

    That said, I still stand by the premise that there is a disconnect between the more popular feminist blogs and the more popular mom blogs. Every now and then there is a connection. And those blogs like PunditMom, who is a dear friend, are not getting the play they deserve. If anyone deserved to be listed in a Top 50 feminist or mom blog list, she does. And that is just my point.

    If the connections are to be made, we need to reach out both ways. Young feminist blogs need to link to mom blogs more often and vice versa. As Nona writes over at Feministing's community site:

    I know that young women and feminists care about these issues. My article (and Feministing) proves that. I also know that there are feminist/political moms out there. Still, parenting organizations who are under the media’s feminist radar but instituting real change need to align themselves with younger feminist blogs and organizations that get more face time. And vice versa. They should be linking each other, Twittering each other, and inviting each other to conferences. There needs to be groups like the MOMocrats that includes and speaks to non-moms, too. Young women need to not only comment on, but be engaged with these issues—and connect them to issues of abortion and birth control. It’s always hard to take action on issues that don’t directly affect you, but childless young feminists need to secure their futures.

    I hope that this controversy ignites the connections I've been hoping for since I started blogging. The Dawns and PunditMoms of the blogosphere need to be recognized alongside the Jessicas and Jills. None are more awesome than the other. Each have their audience. But together? OMFG, together we would totally have world domination...with PunditMom in charge, of course.

    This post is cross-posted at and Fem2.0.

    Disclaimer

    This blog is my personal blog and is not reflective of my employer or what I do for them.
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