I’d like to paint you a picture. Imagine a kid walks into a room. And let’s say this room is a meeting place for some kind of activity they’re a part of (i.e. a club, debate team, sports team etc). And let’s say the kid is frustrated, and just over it, and wants to be done with said group, so they decide to quit. Ok, no problem…but what if they took it one step further?
Imagine that same kid, so frustrated (for whatever reason) that they not only quit, but as he/she is walking out the door, they turn around to tell everyone still involved, “HEY!! I’m outta here! And you all FUCKING SUCK and should quit too because you’re wasting your time!” I’m pretty confident in saying that as parents, we would be mortified. The parents of the kids still involved would be upset, and I’m pretty sure the parents of the kid leaving wouldn’t be happy either, stressing that’s not how they raised them to act.
But…what if we replace that kid with an adult, then replace that meeting place with any other adult setting (i.e. work place)? You’d probably think that person was a bit crazy, and feel glad they were leaving.
Well last week this very thing happened online. If you’re at all connected to the world of blogging (and I have to assume you are if you’re reading this), then you probably saw or heard about a blogger that posted an article called Dear Mommy Blogger. The author (Josi Denise) wrote, “a few thousand brutally honest words about why mommy blogging is a dying industry, and the women in it should find something better to do with their lives.”
No wait, that was from her follow up piece that came 2 days later (we’ll come back to this). What she actually said was, “Quit because your mommy blog fucking sucks.” Yeah, there it is.
Now, I don’t know Josi, apart from being in a Facebook group of over 900 other bloggers. So, I can honestly say, I don’t know her at all. I just want to make it clear, this is in no way a “she had it coming” post, or a take-down piece. This is simply my take as a fellow writer, and observer.
In all honesty, when Josi wrote her original piece, I wasn’t going to say anything. This was an argument between adult women, and while I certainly have many opinions on what she said, I really had no skin in this game. No matter what I said, it most likely would be seen more as a negative (i.e a man telling a woman how she should be acting), than anything else. Plus, we all know by now I know nothing about women. But I knew there would be a follow-up post…there always is when someone is craving attention.
And for the record, yes, that is where I file Josi’s original post…right under, “You could have had a great post, with valid criticisms of the blogging industry, but instead you shit all over the little guy (or gal I guess).”
But oh that follow up post tho! If the original post was hot fire, the follow up was purely hot garbage. The original was, while shitty and dripping with condescending statement after condescending statement, seemingly well thought-out with valid points against the blogging industry and how hard the grind can be. The follow up was, in my opinion, incoherent babble, and full of out-of-context screen grabs of people unhappy with her earlier post.
In the follow up Josi starts off by talking about her perfect life (you know, the thing she just got done “calling bullshit” on every other mom for doing”); weekends disconnected from the internet, relaxing on the lake without a care in the world, only to find her in the next paragraph in a crumpled heap of sobbing fits in the shower because the internet is mad at her. The thesis statement of her follow up was that she was the real victim, and every woman who disagreed with her was sexist, and if she was a man none of this would happen. Now I’m ready to weigh in.
Victim of Sexism:
Before I sat down to write this post I had serious question; can women be sexist against other women? I went to the best source I know on these kinds of topics – my Wife. She hit me with some hard truths, and it turns out the answer is yes. She explained that every time a women is hit with dismissive comments based around her hormones or emotions, that it doesn’t matter who it came from (man or woman), it’s still sexist.
So to that, I must agree with Josi; she faced some rather unpleasant remarks from other women, all surrounding her emotional state or her opinions being motivated by her hormones. As a progressive man I’m really bummed she received comments like those, and even more disappointed that several of the comments came from ladies I know personally, or am connected to within my online community.
However; I would like to offer a bit of perspective too. I realize, as a man, my opinion will most likely be discarded, or even labeled with the “mansplaining” tag, but I can’t worry about that, because I know my true intentions and hopefully many of you reading this do as well. While Josi definitely received some sexist reactions from other women, it was she who cast the first sexist stone in this argument, and her constant #SorryNotSorry just proves she is clueless to the damage she has caused.
It was Josi who first marginalized all mom bloggers as pathetic, and their efforts as useless. It was Josi who mocked other women for purchasing new outfits to look professional. It was Josi who claimed to be pulling back the curtain and exposing moms/women as liars and frauds. It was even Josi who solely focused criticism on moms. Josi, you do know there’s a whole dad blogging community out there doing the exact same sponsored work as moms, right? So which is it – do dads/men not count to you? Either way, it’s still sexist.
If I was a man this wouldn’t happen:
There’s some truth in what Josi says on this. It’s unfortunate that society still judges women based off their emotions. It’s even more sad that Josi only furthered that agenda for the sake of attention. Without breaking any confidence of other private groups I am part of, I would like to point out, Josi is not unique in her flame war against mom blogging; this happens with dads too. The only real difference I have seen is that most of the time the arguments between dads stay in-house, and rarely make their way onto an actual blog post.
I was just being bold and truthful:
Nope…you were the furthest thing from any of that. Josi, I’d actually have a small amount of respect for you if you were just honest with your motives. You treated the rest of us on the internet like we’re fools. You did this for you, and only you. You admit as much in your first post where you said you wrote a post about your ex not paying child support, and how it went massively viral, and how you wished any sponsored post would have received even half the attention that post received. You see…right there, you showed your hand. You had a taste of viral attention, and you wanted more. So what better way to get it, then by shitting on all the ladies still doing the thing you’re frustrated with?
Look Josi, I get it, trust me I do. Blogging is a grind, and even more so when you do sponsored work. It can feel soulless at times. And even though the way you handled things was so gross it made my stomach turn, I think your (creative) heart might kind of have been in the right place. It’s just too bad you had to try and destroy the beautiful people involved to make your point. You’re like Tyler Durden in Fight Club when he beat Angel Face into a pulp; you felt like destroying something beautiful.
What was accomplished:
Josi, I truly hope you got what you were looking for out of all of this, because it’s clear you gave little-to-no thought about the lasting effects of your words. You weren’t empowering women, and you certainly didn’t help anyone with your post. All you did was create a fracture in the mom blogging community, when you could have had a healthy dialogue on how you felt burnt out, or how you felt like you were losing some of your creative nature because of sponsored posts. You threw a grenade into a room and walked out, and then had the nerve to claim that you were the real victim in all of this.
There are many moms who blog for different reasons. Some like to talk about their families; some enjoy doing non-stop sponsored posts, and some do it as a form of therapy. And without so much as a thought, you lumped everyone together and set fire to the room.
You’ve been pretty adamant that you’re not the least bit sorry for how you treated people. I just hope you realize the damage you’ve caused. Whether it’s brands now being even more skeptical of hiring moms for work (damaging family incomes), or the mom who quits blogging about her experiences with depression because this lady on the internet said, “Nobody is reading your crap.”
While I am very sorry for the few sexist remarks you received, you had no right to treat every other woman the way you did, and that makes you just as guilty. You’re not a pioneer Josi, you’re nothing more than a hypocrite.
I know this post isn’t as sexy and salacious as Josi’s two posts, and I know I’m “just a guy” which means my message will fall on many deaf ears, but I don’t need to hurt people to get my point across. So to all the bloggers/writers/creators (however you see yourself), moms and dads alike, keep doing your thing, and keep writing, because people ARE reading your blogs. And even if one person says that your writing made a difference to them, that’s all that matters.