crossposted to Snapshot Chronicles
I’m sure it will be a surprise to the mainstream media, but women are more than mommies.
Many women aren’t mommies at all, for a variety of reasons that are their business, not ours. Those of us that are parents don’t define ourselves solely by that role, even if we write a mom blog. And definitely when we do not write a blog about our parenting experiences. When our blogs are about other things important to us — our jobs, our hobbies, our causes, our politics, our opinions, our rants and our raves.
Our lives. Ourselves.
We find our identity beyond our motherhood. It may encompass it, but women are not simply wombs who walk.
But in the minds of the media and many marketers, women bloggers are mom bloggers. The consumer products companies reach out to moms. The media companies create opportunities for moms. Moms moms moms.
It’s a perennial frustration for women’s blogging community BlogHer, which works overtime to focus attention on the full spectrum of women’s blogging, but regularly sees the media hone in on the one segment. Mom.
Some — myself included — see this repeated reduction of women to our reproductive status as a form of sexism. Moms are about kids. Men are about the world. Moms aren’t serious.
It’s part of a cultural mentality in which a company can argue that lactation is not a condition of pregnancy, and dismiss an employee for taking unauthorized breaks to pump while allowing smoke and pee breaks. Isotoner/Totes, if you are wondering. That Danielle has a nice summary with links to other posts.
But, you know, we are more than our reproductive organs. Media, marketers should pay attention. We’ve got disposable income. Even if we are moms, we do not spend every cent on floor wax, juice boxes and school supplies. If we aren’t supporting the Disney and LEGO franchises, we’ve got even more money to spend on stuff.
So, why aren’t companies reaching out to us in greater numbers? Why isn’t the media telling the stories about women entrepreneurs, women bloggers, women philanthropists? Grandmas and grad students. Women doing all sorts of things to make a difference in the world beyond just the genetic material we created or might create.
It’s been a refrain for years at the BlogHer conference. This year, the indomitable Grace Davis decided to do something about it. Something to call attention to More Women (than just moms.)
Why is this important?
If you are a woman blogger, with or without offspring, check it out. We need to make our voices heard as women, not just as mothers.
If you are a marketer, pay attention. We will be heard, and you might want to be among the first to catch our ear.
Laugh if you will. I know the song is a bit hokey and outdated. But for many of us in Generation Jones, it was large part of our development as women and feminists. More than 30 years later, I Am Woman still says we won’t give up.
I am woman, hear me roar. In numbers too big to ignore…