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Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Friday, August 04, 2006

Mommies, women, infertility, daddies,
and just people


That's quite the weird title, huh?

I've been reading all those Blogher recaps. Many many many Blogher recaps. Some are just joyous bunches of links, some have some dispiriting controversy attached, most are a combination of questioning just what their blogs are about, and a few have comments for and against the term mommyblogging. Does the term bother me? Not so much. I don't really consider myself a mommyblogger because, to me, it connotes blogging about diapers, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, and other baby/toddler stuff. I'm so far beyond all that, I sort of think of myself as a neglectant mommy blogger. In that my kids don't NEED me to blog their every move. Most of what they do is remarkably uninteresting, in fact. How many times can I mention the XBox, for heavens sake?

Anyhow, a couple of days ago it dawned on me that my Bloglines index was ridiculously disorganized, making it hard to find blogs quickly. I had a couple of topic folders, but as I added new blogs I often forgot to put them in the right place, so it became a hodgepodge of blogs. Over 300 blogs, in fact, not that I read them all because believe me, I don't. At least not every day, or even weekly.

So I started cleaning up the mess, which coincided with all those Blogher posts about how to define yourself, or categorize yourself, or whatever. And it got me to thinking about how many blogs I have on my blogroll as well as my bloglines that really straddle several categories. We have infertility blogs that have gone on to have a baby, but now are encountering secondary infertility. Are they infertility blogs or mommy blogs? We have mommy blogs that are persuing adoption. Do they go under adoption or mommy blogs? We have women bloggers that happen to be moms, but really aren't mommy bloggers per se. We have men that ARE mommybloggers, or at least parentbloggers. And men that aren't daddybloggers. What category do I use for them?

What about the bloggers that blog about their children, who happen to be grown up mommies that blog, too? Do we categorize them as mommies or grandmommies?

All of a sudden I realized that I need Framemaker to make a decent index of my Blogroll. Because bloglines isn't really working for me. There are no subcategories, and that makes things difficult. One mommyblogger I love is local. Do I put her in mommybloggers, or in Boston bloggers? This is driving me nuts!

Once I started on this project I realized that this might be why so many Blogher wrapups were stuck on this very issue. I read a lot of mommy blogs, but I read a lot more other blogs. My baseball blogs alone can take hours of my time on a good game day. I have several newspapers Bloglined. I have way too many tech blogs and way way way too many political blogs. And let's not even get started on the gossip and fashion blogs. I'm mortified to admit to the levels of depravity are on my Bloglines index. It's bad.

But, to come back to the question at hand, I'm not sure how to categorize people. There are personal blogs, there are parenting blogs, there are anti-parenting blogs (I don't read those, but I certainly acknowledge they exist and I'm not surprised at their content), and there are crossover blogs. Just like there are people that cross over in real life.

A blog I read admonished infertiles not to even think of attending Blogher. That really bothered me more than just about anything else I read that was negative about the convention. I thought to myself how much it would bother me, a recovering infertile (I don't believe that you can ever truly overcome infertility once you've suffered from it), to see such a baby focussed convention. I came to the conclusion that it would bother me. I could attend, but I'd be uncomfortable. I'd be upset if a company thought they were doing moms a favor passing out bibs. BIBS? Uh, that was a huge fuckup, MINTI. So I'm a crossover, evidentally.

Another blog I read had a comment about feeling out of the crowd because she was old. Now I looked at the photostreams on Flickr and there were some old fogies like me, but for the most part, this was a 20-30's crowd. That wouldn't have bothered me because I refuse to grow up and I don't look anywhere near my age if you forget the gray hair. But it's another crossover. Aging boomers. Any category for them?

I know how hard it is to be inclusive, and I also know that until the conference becomes less west coast centric it's going to be hard to make those changes. But they do need to be addressed. There are segments of bloggers that wouldn't be able to come on a Friday and Saturday, and that wasn't addressed, therefore negating the large and active Jewish blogging community. That kind of exclusivity bothers me tremendously. Just as forgetting that infertility bloggers would have such a hard time at Blogher, never mind that the infertile blogging community contains some of the most popular bloggers out there.

My suggestion is, instead of Blogher distributing surveys that ask about how much your family earns, ask what was missing, and what bothered individuals that attended, as well as what kept some folks away. I'd like to see the women who run Blogher think more about how categorizing women into categories will always leave people on the fringe. I think they know that, but maybe the advertisers don't get it. I'd like to ensure that everyone feels welcome, everyone feels that their needs are addressed, and that they're respected for their differences. In other words, to quote Rodney King, "Can't we all get along?"
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1 Comments:

Blogger Shane said...

there are quite an array of blog categories. I'm trying to think of the most unusual one i've seen.

5/8/06 11:21 PM  

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