Posted in blogging, blogging angels, BlogHer11, events, podcasts, tagged blogging angels, blogher, feminism, lisa belkin, momblogging, new york times, parenting, podcast on September 13, 2011 |
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There are certain women journalists who have inspired me as an essayist and writer waaaay before the word blogging was invented. Anna Quindlen was one and Lisa Belkin the other. Aside from writing for The New York Times both women had a voice that spoke to me as a young woman starting out in the world – in college and afterwards – as they wrote frankly about work/life balance, feminism and in varying degrees, motherhood. As a Film major and American Studies major in college I was steeped in the cannon of feminist literary, social and film criticism. But few mainstream journalists were talking about the real issues on the ground in a way that made “women’s” issues a normal, worthy part of the public discussion.
I always looked forward to Lisa Belkin’s New York Times Magazine stories and later her Life’s Work columns. When she launched The Motherlode blog on the nytimes.com site I was thrilled. Not only is it an enormously vibrant community but it gives further discussion to so many of ideas and stories in the paper that normally would be a “lifestyle” piece and nothing more. It also has a way of really tapping into the current ethos (and neuroses) of our current state of parenting like nowhere else. Last year I was such a fangirl that Amy Oztan took pity on me and swung me an invite to a lunch Lisa Belkin held for parenting bloggers at the New York Times cafeteria. We’ve been trying to get her on the Blogging Angels podcast ever since, but coordinating schedules is never easy. Then, last month at BlogHer, Nancy Friedman luckily attended the same session as Lisa Belkin and jumped a the chance to have her record with us right there in the hotel in San Diego. Unfortunately Heidi had an outrageously fabulous event to attend at the same time and couldn’t make this podcast, but we did our best and Lisa Belkin was a guest angel extraordinaire!
Listen in and hear all the scoop on the New York Times and bloggers, the future of journalism and all sorts of dishy stuff on parenting, mom blogging and what it all means. Really, all that in a mere 40 minutes. She’s that good.
Lisa Belkin Podcast or listen on iTunes!
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Posted in blogging, parenting, politics, rant, technology, tagged blogging, blogher, feminism, momblogger, momblogging, mysogeny, politics, rant, technology, women in politics on August 17, 2010 |
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I admit I’ve cringed when someone has introduced me at an event as a “mom-blogger.” I purposefully didn’t pick a blog name with mom in it because I was hoping it would encompass more than just my mom life. You know, that child-centered, boring life filled with nothing but grocery shopping, meal preparation, cleaning and playground politics? Who would want to be that? I wanted to talk about politics, travel, culture – you know all of those things that made my life and me interesting before I had kids? Before I was a mom. Or worse - a mommy. But of course that’s just stupid. Because the one thing I realized as I’ve gotten over the insecurity of being a Stay-at-Home-Mom and embraced being a Blogger-at-Home-Mom is that being a mom colors everything I do and write, just as all of my other interests color who I am as a mom.
Over the last year the title of mom-blogger has taken on a particularly nasty and dirty connotation. You’re a brand whore, a swag hag. You will write for free for anyone who asks because you’re just soooo excited that someone actually asked. Aw shucks, you’re just happy to have the honor of hosting a giveaway and being a brand ambassador because you are gullible. You are a little Sally Field running around declaring, “They like me they really like me!” And then someone (usually a woman who was once a “momblogger” but is now leading the charge to declare mombloggers an immoral, insipid bunch) will pop up on twitter and declare that you dear momblogger are actually a sucker. You are a cog in the PR machine and you don’t even know it. You have brought shame upon womankind because you are a…MomBlogger.
This is ridiculous. You can be whatever the hell you want to be online. It’s also insulting to every mom who happens to be a blogger and every blogger who happens to be a mom. I guess if you called yourself a parenting blogger that would be acceptable. I just wrote about the power of women bloggers and the incredible experience I had at The White House Project day at BlogHer. There is strength in numbers and the online reach of moms who blog is exponential and real. Sarah Palin isn’t making viral videos aimed at online moms for nothing. Deride her if you will, but it will be a scary day if she is more successful at coalescing moms’ online power before the more liberal among us do. I don’t want to hear another blogger putting down mombloggers in the name of feminism when it’s really just good old-fashioned misogynistic self-serving BS.
So I propose taking back the name MomBlogger and wearing it with pride. Names have a way of losing their derogatory power when they’re embraced by the very people at whom they are aimed. This is true whether its women taking over “chick” and “babe”, Bitch Magazine or the Jewish magazine Hebe. Turning a dirty word on its head tends to disarm the people hurling the insult in the first place. So yeah, I’m not going to shy away the next time someone calls me a momblogger, I’m going to smile and say yes I am. They can read my blog and see who I am and where my interests lie, but I’ll be damned if I’ll let somebody else make me feel bad about the mom part of me.
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Posted in blogging, food, life in nyc, politics, tagged blog conferences, blog her, brand marketing, food revolution, lisa belkin, momblogging, nyc, nytimes, politics, slow food, women in politics on August 12, 2010 |
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I spent a good part of last week with 2400 women from all walks of life, from coupon moms to political activists. Women bloggers descended on The Hilton in NYC for the BlogHer ‘10 Conference. This was my first BlogHer and I didn’t know what to expect. Would it be cliquey? Would it be overwhelming? Would it be inspiring? Well, guess what? It was all those things, and much more.
What did I learn at BlogHer ’10?
- Women bloggers have serious reach and influence, but they’re not using them to their fullest power. Forget brands and coupons and all that “stuff” what women need to do is take their voices on the web and turn them into political reality. I spent a day at The White House Project, a series of lectures and hands on learning about getting women to run for office and get where the real power lies. I don’t know if I will ever run for office, but I walked out of there thinking I could. And so should you. Want to know how and why? Check out The White House Project - it will change the way you think about politics and female politicians. I’m still thinking about how I can implement this at a young level for my 8 year old daughters.
- The Food Revolution Ain’t Happening. I’m sorry but the amount of processed food crap at BlogHer was really appalling to me. Entire brand suites filled with chemical, corn syrup and hydrogenated oil laden products that were being packaged and pushed on moms so they can go home and serve this junk to their kids. It was really disappointing and disheartening. And yes, I know these companies are big sponsors of these events but shouldn’t bloggers be using their power to influence these brands instead of the other way around?
- There are so many funny, interesting, smart and witty women writers in the world. The Voices of the Year celebration highlighted many of these amazing women, and you should read all of them. But I feel like my faith is restored in the blogging world just by going to BlogHer and being exposed to so many new bloggers.
- My friend and fellow blogger, Amy Oztan, might be a “SelfishMom“ (yes that is her blog in case you don’t read her – and why aren’t you reading her?) but she is a kick-ass friend. Amy actually wrangled me an unofficial invite to lunch at The New York Times with Lisa Belkin because I basically told her I was a crazy weird Lisa Belkin fan. And luckily Lisa said I could come rather than seek a restraining order! It was a BlogHer highlight hanging out with The Motherlode mistress and a few incredibly funny bloggers in the gorgeous New York Times Building.
- I actually like meeting new people. This is shocking to me because really I hate group things. I would never go on a cruise or even a tour. I detest bed and breakfasts. I dread small talk. But BlogHer was different. When you’re a writer you lead a solitary work life. When you’re a blogger you lead a solitary yet virtually connected work life. And so to meet women in real life whose faces I usually see in a teeny tiny square on my twitter feed or read in the ether was thrilling.
So even though there were too many people I never got to meet, and not enough time to get to the panels and parties and brand meetings all happening at once, it was worth it just for the experience of being a part of something big and just in its toddler stage. And it inspired a whole new project for me and three other fab women bloggers -FromHip2Housewife, Coast2CoastMom and SelfishMom – that will launch shortly, stay tuned…
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