This blog has been sat empty for a while, I keep meaning to post, but then I never know what to start with. So the blank page sits and taunts me, like a blank piece of paper when you’re about to start drawing. Ominous and daunting, making you worry that the first mark you make will be the wrong one.
However I’ve been following the furore over the Mumsnet Blogfest, in particular the panel about whether you could be a feminist and a “mummy blogger” and it spurred me on to actually get this blog started.
Obviously the subheading on my site suggests that I might just talk about being a parent, and that’s not surprising really. I have a child (soon to be two) and that is an important part of my life, as it should be. It isn’t the be all and end all of course, I am more than “just a mum”. In the same way that my husband is more than “just a dad”. But here’s the interesting thing, I don’t think that for the most part men feel the need to say they are more than “just a dad”, it’s accepted that they are.
What is also interesting is that it gets phrased as “just a mum”, it’s very dismissive of what being a mum entails and means. Put it this way, how many other roles is life are prefixed by “just a”? And when that prefix is used, what message are we trying to convey? Would people be likely to say, “just a brain surgeon”? Probably not, because it sounds like they are diminishing what a brain surgeon does. So why does being a mum need diminishing?
I’m uncomfortable with the phrase “mummy blogger”, to me it seems a way of dismissing what women bloggers have to say as just fluff. Just the word “mummy”, when out of the mouths of adults, sounds patronising. It’s also interesting that there doesn’t seem to be an equivalent for male bloggers, even if they occasionally write blogs about their children and home life. Then they are still labelled “bloggers” without any need to reference their gender. Suggests that the default state is male, and that being a female blogger is unusual. Would be interesting to see whether statistics back this up.
So here’s the question, do I think of myself as a mummy blogger? And should I think of myself as a mummy blogger?
I’m torn on the word, on the one hand I know that being called “mummy” annoys me – when used by adults. But on the other, the first time my son says “mummy” I know it’s going to make me feel like I’m walking on air. So do I let the negative connotations override the positive? Should I refuse to be labelled based on nothing more than which genitals I own? Or take pride in one of the most important roles in my life?
I guess whether I like it or not I am a mummy blogger, as I will be writing about being a parent. How could I not? I can hardly deny a large chunk of my life exists, nor should I have to.
But by that token, I am also going to be a geek blogger, a disabled blogger, a mentally ill blogger, a goth blogger, a gaming blogger, a pagan blogger, and so on.