Tuesday, 30 September 2014

a Mummy blogger: why put maternal status before your job?

Australian blogger, Em Rusciano, recently had this to say about being a Mummy blogger:
"I am not a Mummy Blogger, I am not a Mummy anything!"
And she's right. Too often, women are defined by their maternal status (or their marital status) before their work is considered. In the UK women's titles still tell you whether or not she's married (and the Ms option is often referred to sneeringly), while men's don't. Why not? Because marital status is not expected to have any impact on a man's work, whereas for women there are still expectations that she will put her family before work.

Let us hope she does. Let us hope that men do too.

Too often, when we hear about women politicians and businesswomen, we hear about the number of children they have, and the shoes they wear. It's as if they papers want to say, 'look, she's done well, even though she has children' (with a subtext of 'she's fobbing her children off on someone else to look after').

I could go on, and on, and on. Let us just say that women's work, women's interests, and girl's interests are still perceived as being lesser, which is evidenced in the way we talk about things, in the way girls are encouraged to play with 'boy's' toys, and yet, 'girl's' toys are seen as limiting. It is also evidenced in terms like 'Mummy blogger'.

I am a Mummy blogger. I am a Mummy, and I am a blogger. I expect that my experience of mothering impacts on the content, and indeed the tone of my posts. But that's not all that makes me different. I am a Yorkshire born woman living in Scotland. I am a sociologist and a goth. I am a sister. I have a lifetime of experiences which make me different to everyone else, but the easiest bracket to put me in is to call me a Mummy blogger, and that is fine, because people need to find things to read somehow, and I am a Mummy. I am not limited to that, but I should also not be limited by that.

I just don't believe that it is possible to achieve equality without raising our opinion on women's and girl's things; to believe that women can only be equal with men if we are the same, which always seems to mean like men, is a phallicy.

So, I'm a Mummy blogger, which is a fine kind of blogger to be.