The blogging double standard (with addendum)
Okay. Now that that's outta the way, lets talk about the huge blogging double standard within the so-called "community" of MommyBloggers. Here's a topic guaranteed to get some people royally pissed off, but I think the majority of women bloggers who happen to be mothers are going to find what I have to say not only compelling, but true. It's been said recently on other blogs. It's not original thinking, per se, just my take on it. Again...red X at right hand top of page if you need to go pee or something.
There are two levels of acceptance within the mommyblogging community. There are the established, we're too cool for school bloggers. They can do no wrong. Even when they only have one or two topics that they post about for months at a time, they have thousands of commenters right behind them with lots of (((((((hugs))))))))). It's enough to make me vomit. These are the bloggers that do not allow dissent. If you disagree with them, you are a troll. You are a bad person. You need to be swept from the blogging community. These bloggers are often highly insecure about themselves, and so they need the constant acceptance and cheers of their commenters. They live for other people telling them how nice they are, how smart they are, etc. In other words, sycophants are their best buddies. When someone tells them to buck up, or disagrees, they call in their reinforcements, the other sycophant heavy bloggers, who attack. We've seen this when that bitch Violent Acres first came out with her photoshopped pics of Sweetney's kid. We've seen this at the former Trainwrecks site. We've seen this a lot on Surburban (alcoholic) Bliss. And at Vodkarella (hmm, alcohol...isn't that a grand way to present yourself as a mother).
So where's the double standard? These posters whine and complain more than the average Josephine. How many "nobody will buy my house" posts have you read lately? On two specific sites. How many "TV misrepresented me and I'm really not an inarticulate boob, boo hoo hoo" posts did we see on a certain heavy drinker's site? When THEY whine and complain, it's allowed. They can go on and on ad nauseum, and the sycophants rise to the occasion. Why is that different than someone with a passion talking about a political issue? Because it's the "special" bloggers.
Note that these "special" bloggers constantly promote each other. They employ each other on their lame parenting blogs. They fire people whose 'voices don't fit' because they're the voices of sanity, experience, and rational thinking. They self-promote constantly. Read me HERE! I'm HERE today. And they promote each other. They invent little prizes and give them to each other. Squeeeee.... I had lunch with XXX today! I'm flying off on an alcoholic weekend with YYY today. Look at our pictures on flickr. It's just so.... pathetic. It's this whole cult of building each other up to make yourself feel better. The thinking is, if I'm friendly with ZZZ, then she'll promote me and I'll get more hits. So I'm going to comment about how wonderful she is, and send her emails, and then she'll be my friend and maybe I'll get a job at her lame-o aggregator site. You just have to look at the list of bloggers at the aggregated sites to see I'm being truthful. Babble? Could it BE more of an in-crowd? Could it BE more high school cheerleadery? I think not. Besides the fact that the site sucks for a huge majority of the blogging world who don't need to keep pretending to be 'hip and cool' when they're approaching (or have already hit) 40. What the fuck is the point of being 'hip and cool' when it's total conformity? You got me.
What you don't see from these particular sites is a promotion of unknown bloggers. Because they're so uncool. You don't see them promoting charities UNLESS it's one of their friends running a race, or collecting for something. You don't ever read about them doing good works, volunteering to help other people, working for their communities. Because that wouldn't be cool.
The double standard goes right to the top, the infamous BlogHer. Who keeps getting the editor jobs? Yeah, right. Who gets the speaking jobs. Again...right. It's pervasive and it's elitist and stupid. Personally, I'm sick of it.
The blogs that I love best have never been the popular bloggers. Oh, I like Dooce well enough, but she doesn't participate much in this whole 'we're cooler than you are' crap. Plus, she actually writes well, something we can't say for some of the other popular bloggers. The blogs I love are uplifting, funny, and that rarest of rare, raw. They don't have 90 commenters telling them how wonderful they are because they don't ask or want that. They have content that speaks for itself, so there is no need for sycophants.
The analogy I keep drawing about this double standard is that of a gated community. Inside the gates are those few bloggers that look down their collective schnoozes at everyone else. Because they honestly think that they're better people. Outside the gates are two groups. The jealous onlookers (commenters) who believe that by licking the feet of the gated community residents, maybe someday they'll be given the code to the gate. They're going to be waiting a long long time, because there really isn't a code. And if they get inside, they'll be kicked back outside if they utter a word of disagreement from the gated groupspeak clones. The second group is the rest of us. The people who look at this insane makeup and say "what the fuck is this all about?" Who died and made this small group of gated jackasses God?
Most of us go on our merry way, talking about what we want to. But sometimes, just sometimes, we start coaching our words. We start blogging about crap that isn't even interesting in the hopes that we'll be considered nice and sweet and maybe cool enough to be hanging at the gate. We stop blogging about what's really going on inside, because we don't want to ruffle the feathers of the mighty powerful insiders.
Until the insiders attack. Which they do with stunning regularity. And then the outsiders switch places. Some move back a tier, others move forward. Depends on your opinion on the attack.
Me, I've moved way back in the crowd. I've decided I'm going to say what I want, when I want, how I want on my blog. I've decided that I'm not going to pretend that there isn't a double standard, one perpetuated by a small cadre of bitches who need to constantly have their backs rubbed in order to build themselves up. I'm tired of the mentally unfit being told that they're good moms when in fact they teach their children how to be judgemental meanies, just like them. Or the teach their children that the only way they can be happy is when they're drinking way too much alcohol. These are the parents who are going to wonder where they went wrong when their kids get caught dead drunk at 2:30 AM at the age of 13.
I'm going to talk about it. All of it. A lot. Because it needs to be said. It needs to be exposed. It isn't being judgemental. It's being dead honest. I looked in the mirror and saw a woman that had closed off her passion for fairness and honesty in order to be a hanger-on. I don't like that part of myself. I've never been one of the 'in crowd' because I think the people who are always seem to be the most mentally fragile. That's so not me. I'm incredibly secure in who I am. Always have been. I'm a very strong person. Very creative. Very smart. And very very opinionated. I'm never going to stop voicing my opinions. And I'm never going to pretend again that it's OK to support people who are obviously unfit to be parents. Not for one cold second.
Addendum: I'm not the only one that came up with the gatekeeper analogy. Interesting that Seth wrote about it in 2004 and it's only gotten worse! Stumble It! JBlog Me