* Jennifer Leggio is on vacation
Guest editorial by Joanne Bamberger
Things got a little heated in the blogosphere last week over a Motrin ad suggesting that babies were the new mommy accessory. I don't know what was going on the heads of the people at Johnson & Johnson, but it's really not rocket science that maybe that idea wouldn't go over too well with their target audience of moms.
I was going to stay away from this one. But there was a last straw that finally broke my back. The ad was the insult. The injury was the continued references to women online writing about and protesting the ad as a group of "mommybloggers."
Why do I think the term "mommyblogger" is an insult? Well, it depends on the context, but too often the term "mommy," unless it's used by one of our children, is meant to be an adjective to diminish the authority of the writer.
When the main stream media talks about "mommybloggers" it's often meant to refer to a group of stay-at-home mothers who, in their spare time, write about the trials of motherhood. Some of us fit into that category, but there's a lot of shortsightedness if people think that's all that "mommybloggers" are.
What if a network reporter had broken this story first, let's say a woman network reporter who just happens to be a mother? Then, other networks and cable shows pick up on it and, hey, the reporters covering it also happen to be mothers or fathers -- would we call them a bunch of "mommy journalists" or "daddy reporters?"
Would a male attorney dare to refer to me in open court as a "mommylawyer" if I decided to get back to practicing law? Would you refer to your internist as a "mommydoctor?" And why not? Because it would be a major insult, suggesting that their profession was somehow less important or that they were somehow less qualified because of their parental status.
Some may be curious about my pique because sometimes being a mom blogger is a brand, one that can be used to one's benefit. But when others try to flip the title to describe us as writers and, yes, sometimes activists, it ends up as shorthand for someone who is less deserving of respect or influence. It makes our opinions much easier to ignore.
We don't hear men described in the media in terms of a diminutive phrase about their fatherhood and there's a reason for that -- it would short-change what a man was saying. No one calls Markos Moulitsas a "daddyblogger."
Motherhood doesn't make our writing, our activism or our critiques any less worthy of place at the table. As a professional writer, who happens to be a mother, with a lengthy history in broadcast news and law, you can call me a lot of things, but don't call me a mommyblogger.
Joanne Bamberger is a writer and political analyst who lives outside Washington, D.C. She is the founder of the political blog, PunditMom, and writes about politics for BlogHer, The Huffington Post, and a variety of other blogs. Yes, her blog name has the word 'mom' in it, but that doesn't make her less of a pundit!