Her Bad Mother

Saturday, September 16, 2006

In Which I Break My Promises Yet Again (or, Hey! It's My Blog and I'll Write What I Want To!)

I said that I would do my round-up of the call-to-action posts this weekend. Well, I can't. I've gotten completely distracted by other issues and cannot summon the emotional energy to plug my own cause (supporting the organization that's looking for a way to save my nephew's life) or to plug-by-link the wonderful posts about all the other ways and means of acting to make the world a better place (because those posts get me all teary. Which is why I've been so bad about commenting on them. I get all overwhelmed and can't think of what to say. Because I am a SUCK.)

And, because of these other issues, I don't feel that I can make one more reference to Gloria Steinem without a) apologizing for maybe sounding like I'm brandishing my supah-dupah exciting adventures as the Blogger Who Met Gloria Steinem and Shared a Sofa-Bed With Mom-101's Dog, and b) making some statement about why I keep talking about Gloria Steinem.

So, what of these other issues?

There's been some skirmishing 'round the momosphere about blog politics. Yes, AGAIN. Whatever. It's an old topic and one that, frankly, frustrates me or bores me, depending upon how bad a day I'm having. I'm not going to revisit it here; I've said enough about it in the past, and in any case, I vented at urbanmoms.ca (and received a comment smack, and then vented some more), if you're interested.

So "these other issues" don't really have much to do with that debate. The thing is, in some of the discussion swirling around that debate, there has been occasional reference to Greenstone Media and the possibility that there has been some 'selling out' by those involved with Greenstone projects. Some of this has to do with sour grapes about some bloggers getting more attention than others. Others, however, have raised it as a matter of debate (which is always good): is the fact that Greenstone Media is using advertising and thereby selling women as a market as a means of supporting itself undermine, or entirely destroy, its bona fides as a 'feminist' project?

(The related question that has been popping up: do bloggers who host advertisers - or profit in any way from blogging - undermine or destroy their blogger bona fides? Does even the merest hint of commercial enterprise undermine the openness and honesty of a blog? I'll address this later, which is to say, in another post, which is to say, when I feel like it, which I hope will be soon.)

TOMama wrote a provocative piece about the possibility of there being a dark underbelly to Greenstone's enterprise over at Literary Mama, in which she stated that the fact that Greenstone was treating women, in part, like a market, made her very uncomfortable. Uncomfortable enough to make her doubt that the emergence of Greenstone could really be viewed as a victory for women and/or feminists. Her discomfort was heartily seconded by one commenter, who noted that Gloria Steinem isn't an appropriate spokesperson for feminism or women's interests anyways, because she is white and privileged and so it really isn't surprising, is it, that she'd front a project that is only relevant to privileged white consumers. Right?

Wrong. This is what I said in response:

I think that it's a stretch to claim that the main purpose of Greenstone is to deliver women to advertisers. As you yourself say, advertising is more or less key to ensuring survival in 21st century media. Women simply won't have a place to be heard as women (what Greenstone is trying to offer) if we cling to antiquated Marxist notions of what constitutes a 'pure' revolution. Media is what it is: it's largely driven by economic interest, sustained by advertising and/or sales. We might prefer that cultural discourse weren't so circumscribed by that fact, but that's the way it is.

And I, for one, don't see much wrong with it. I live in a capitalist, consumer society, and I accept, even embrace, the terms of that society. If we have a problem with being 'sold' to advertisers and/or used as pawns by the capitalist system, that's another revolution altogether (one that, I should note, has been attempted, and not altogether successfully.) I don't expect the feminist movement, or any corner of that movement, to take on capitalism full-stop as a condition of its feminism (nor, as a liberal capitalist, would I want it to.)

(After-the-fact edit: Economic inequality, yes. Capitalism as a system, no.)

I simply don't take it as read that commitment to the feminist movement or efforts toward gender equality require a commitment to anti-capitalist ideals. Capitalism and commerce don't preclude the free exchange of ideas and promotion of change any more than does the established intelligentsia of a socialist movement (quite the contrary, I'd say). How, exactly, does the presence of advertisers or market researchers in the background of cultural or political discourse fatally impair that discourse? That's our world, people - all of the messages we receive are mediated (even in personal conversation; we're products of what social scientists call a knowledge system, and we can never entirely escape that system.) So long as we're aware of that - and, better, constructively critical of it - what's the problem?

One of the biggest obstacles to the success of the feminist movement in its many and varied forms is the incidence of in-fighting and unproductive criticism from the very women who claim to support it. So Gloria Steinem is white and able-bodied and privileged and interested in working with advertisers. So what? Does calling her - or her projects - down help the broader feminist cause? To my mind, anything that gets women heard is a good thing. Anything that mainstreams women's voices is a good thing. Anything that makes women's voices a discernible part of the din of our culture is a good thing. If we sit around waiting for the perfect utopian solution or for the perfect spokespeople (only disabled lesbian women of colour need apply?) before supporting efforts that promote women, our cause is doomed.

I'm not saying that we must refrain from critical analysis of our actions, but to make any suggestion that some projects might not be worthy because they don't fit a perfect vision of a transformative movement is, to this feminist, foolhardy. It's really not all that different from Hirshman saying that only women who remain in the workforce can call themselves feminists, or Flanagan saying that only women who stay at home can call themselves good mothers. Only certain kinds of feminists and feminist projects - those that reject quote-unquote privilege and capitalism and what have you - are good feminists and good feminist projects? Bullshit. This only hurts us, and our cause.

For the sake of full disclosure, I'm one of the those 'privileged' bloggers who has been invited to participate in Greenstone. About which I'll say this: any suggestion (I'm not saying that you've done so here; this is emerging elsewhere in the blogosphere) that I've sold out for supporting a project that promotes the voices of women offends me deeply as a feminist, and strikes me as evidence of what I've said above. We're calling down women for supporting Gloria fucking Steinem? We're doomed.

Thus spake Her Bad Mother.

I know, it's kind of lame to make an entire post out of a comment that you've left somewhere else, but the recurring beat of what the fuck what the fuck pounding in my brain is hurting my head and I needed to vent.

And it's my blog, even if I am some shameless Gloria Steinem-promoting whore. So I'll write what I want to.

Shocked, shocked to discover that her mother shamelessly whores herself out to aging feminists. Shocked.


As I said, I'll have more to say about how I think this pertains to the so-called commercialization of blogging later, although you've probably guessed how I feel about that. And I'll be flogging this particular dead feminist horse as a Guest Bytch over at SheBytches on Monday. If the screeching of my ranty voice doesn't put you off entirely, you might check it out.

Or you could just head to the Basement for a drink or some tea and a chat...


Blogger Melissa said...

HBM, I think you may be my new hero. You go girl.

Sorry, I've tried 3 times to be more eloquent. But it got lost in the nyquil and Mikes hard lemonade part of my brain this evening. But....yeah, you rock.

Oh and I love the picture of WB. She rocks too. ;)

2:25 AM  
Blogger Redneck Mommy said...

Oh, the lovely Wonderbaby. She rocks. I've missed her.

And I'm so glad I've popped back in, because you, my blogging friend, have rocked this post.

Good on you. Gloria would be proud.

2:32 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

You have articulated my feelings on the "commercialization" issue so well, especially here:

"I simply don't take it as read that commitment to the feminist movement or efforts toward gender equality require a commitment to anti-capitalist ideals. Capitalism and commerce don't preclude the free exchange of ideas and promotion of change..."

I think the issue of white privelege in the (mom)-blogosphere is worthy of much further discussion - not as related to Gloria or commercialization necessarily, but in terms of the notion that some moms perceive themselves as being the voice of Moms Everywhere, when, in fact they represent only a segment of moms in our society.

7:55 AM  
Blogger Laural Dawn said...

Good post. In all honesty, I don't understand the concept that a cause (be it feminism or anything else) becomes less worthy or less "real" when advertisers throw money behind it.
I see where people are coming from with it, but if an advertiser is willing to throw money into something that I am involved in bring it on.
I don't think it's selling out.

8:03 AM  
Blogger motherbumper said...

I think my opinion can be summed up in a quote from your "rant":
"One of the biggest obstacles to the success of the feminist movement in its many and varied forms is the incidence of in-fighting and unproductive criticism from the very women who claim to support it."

Yes we must debate, we must discuss, we must talk and state (shout) our opinions BUT with respect and support. Don't like a blog (if only for the reason that ads are there)? Then don't freakin' read it and move on. Don't attack just because someone is trying to get a buck while they do something they hopefully love to do, just move the hell on.

Why can't we do what we love and be successful in terms of self-satisfaction and capitlistic pursuits? If the blogger "sells out" just to get ad money, that's their perogative. As I've said before, you don't have to visit or read them. I'm the first to suggest we should burn down the local Walmart, but not because I hate their employees or shoppers, because I hate what they do to neighbourhoods. When a blog becomes one big ad, I don't visit anymore. But when someone wants to flog their own books or knitting or jewelery or organic baby stuff or causes, I'm not going to stop visiting and in fact I might even check out what they are proud to show in their sidelines.

OK - so I'm getting far to chatty about this but it's not black and white (what is anymore?). This is getting to be a grrrrr issue but I'm glad WE are TALKING about it. Let's get over it together.

8:03 AM  
Blogger motherbumper said...

I guess I didn't sum it up from that quote, eh?

8:03 AM  
Blogger Bea said...

Sigh. Sorry that your experience lately is demonstrating so amply what I was groping to say last week - that becoming a big-time popular blogger isn't always a pure and unadulterated blessing.

But I do enjoy it when you get all rant-y, HBM!

Maybe it will be time soon for that motherhood-is-a-secret-club-and-it's-not-a-bad-thing-but-a-good-thing post? (You see what a long memory I have - and how eagerly I anticipate your posts!)

8:23 AM  
Blogger Sandra said...

I take issue with the proposition that commercialism/capitalism and feminism are mutually exclusive.

Good for Greenstone Media for providing this interesting voice for women. Double good for them for making a viable business venture out of it at the same time. If it was a men's group that did this - no one would even notice. In fact, they'd be critical if they didn't agressively market themselves. It boils my blood that women are criticized for being saavy marketers.

There is one critical thing that people keep ignoring about the blogosphere ... choice. If you don't like a blog or their "sell out" factor - don't read it. If you are opposed to Gloria Steinam (WTF?) and her new project, then don't visit it.

Between this and your post on urbanmoms, you have me all fired up today.

8:42 AM  
Blogger crazymumma said...

Whew. This is the week everyone is getting stuff off of their chests. Think I'll just head on over to the basement for a cuppa, it may seem light by comparison;)

8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to apologize, because I saw that picture of WonderBaby and then... well... I ate her. I couldn't help it.

If it's any consolation, she was delicious.

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My blog is posted on the Houston Chronicle and so obviously there is advertising on it. It used to bother me when I first started. I was convinced that I'd soon be kicked off the blog...especially since I've bashed some of the advertisers before. (By the way, I don't get any of the advertising dollars.)

I finally sat down with my editor and told him that I'm going to write what I want to write regardless of who the sponsor is and he was like "Um...well yeah. Why the hell wouldn't you? We're a major newspaper. Do you think we wouldn't go after a juicy story just because we'd lose an advertiser? Bash away!"

I think as long as bloggers write like no one's watching (or similarly, like you have no advertisers to cater to) I don't care if there are a few ads here and there.

9:11 AM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

I can se two points that people might be validly making:

- Gloria started Ms. with the premise and promise of no advertising because she wanted a magazine that wasn't whoring out it's own editorials to the further promotion of products by those advertisers, standard practice in "women's" (mostly fashion) mags.

- Advertisers being the main support for media have at times flexed their muscle to protest or squash content that they felt inappropriate to their markets or the image they put forth.

I think these are something to watch for, but are avoidable if the media folks are committed to finding advertisers who either emrace the same ideas that they want to put forth or are willing to stay out of the content area. And if the media people are willing to drop advertisers who start butting in so that they can preserve their integrity, rather than the other way around. It doesn't necessarily have to get in the way, but people are (and jusitifably so) suspicious of these partnerships.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, it's hard to keep up with you HBM.

I started to read many of the links you linked to, who linked to other people, and I had to stop. It started to suck me in.

I can't read about it because I analyze the death out of everything else in my life, and I want to just keep blogging simple. When I get mired in posts like that, I find that I feel less compelled to write, more self conscious, and I start to wonder about popularity and all that, and really I just want to blog and keep connected the the small community of readers and writers I know and love.

I like blogging about things that are petty sometimes... and not worry about "ratings" or if my comment quotient is dropping.

I enjoyed deeply, reading your thoughts on the matter, but for my own blogging health, I have to resist diving into the discussion (but if I do and writ my own post about it, maybe I'lll get some new readers... AGGh it's happening azlready, must escape-

9:33 AM  
Blogger toyfoto said...

I work for a newspaper (granted, not a big one) but I see advertising as a problem when the two departments - advertising and editoral - are in each others' pockets. Which, unfortunately, I see happening way too much. It's not as much the stories get quashed as much as its about more mindless nonsense slips through under the guise of my hand washes yours.

I'm not sure how this fits into the bloggosphere, though, really. Most blogs are opinion, and as such you have to really take it as such. There may be facts in the opinion, but it's about ideas that could be wrong (who knows).
If commercialism creeps in, well, it's part of life. It's part of who we are as humans. We buy and sell things. To ignore that and say its unimportant, especially today as our society's economy is hinged on how much we spend, would be like putting your fingers in your ears and screaming lalalalalalala.

It's really a confusing prospect though. Do I want more consumerism in my life? No. Do I visit Mighty Goods, you bet. Sometimes I even buy.

But the thing is I really don't believe the big stories are going to get quashed by Big business. Especially out here, now that even the little guy has something to say. When sites like slate can scoop the NYT ... my thinking is blogs will end up keeping major networks on their toes. ... Or maybe we'll all be watching American Idol and not care who the fug's in office. Oh, I guess we're already there.

10:19 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

When I was in the workplace I found that women who came of age during the Gloria era were the first to step all over other women. One of my female bosses told me I needed to wear more makeup to work if I wanted to get a promotion, because I didn't look professional enough.

I think what you are doing is great, even if I might be a wee bit jealous. What it does is give me something interesting to read, provide food for though and something to which I can aspire.

I don't want to see like a suck up, but I think you are great. Honest.

10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh good gravy.

All of these stupid fucking boxes that people seem determined to stuff other people into are really pissing me off. HBM, thank you for having the patience to address this bullshit with careful thought and intelligence.

10:36 AM  
Blogger Radioactive Tori said...

I find it sad when people feel the need to get ahead by pulling others down and criticizing the choices others make. Why can't we all just get along???? And help each other out???? Seems like it would benefit everyone.

11:01 AM  
Blogger metro mama said...

Great post. Especially this: "to my mind, anything that gets women heard is a good thing." That's the crux of it.

Can't wait for your take on the advertising issue.

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally my eyes tend to glaze over with the Gloria and Greenstone stuff..but mainly because it doesn't speak to me.....no biggie.

And I am glad you and others were 'priviledged' to meet her.

I liken Greenstone Media to Oprah's Oxygen Network....a brand of 'girl power' that doesn't appeal to me, but have no problem with it generally....though I do get a bit itchy about any sort of gender based programs today...I don't think it really helps matters for women...sure..brings attention and all that.....but I worry about the 'true' impression things like this leave with men.

I think Gloria is a feminist icon...but had her day....we need to focus on the new young voices..the new young needs...focus on the future of feminism and not the past.

And on the sell out topic....I think there will always be a degree of envy and or skepticism about who get commerical acknowledgement for their blogs/web sites and who doesn't.

I think most bloggers dream of being recognized for their efforts and financially is a bonus to us all is it not?

But do guy bloggers go on about it as much as us ladies do?

And I don't know how you can get over the feeling of cliqueness that sometimes is there with who is on whose blogroll..who gets lots of traffic, who doesn't....who gets asked to guest write at different sites...who gets taken 'seriously' so to speak......isn't the blogosphere jsut like real life???

12:22 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

I keep meaning to jump back in here to ask questions and make responses, but the little smacks keep coming ovre at urbanmoms...

Mrs. Davis said above that white privilege is a real issue in the blogosphere, and I agree. I really want to do post on this, too. Because I don't see it as being a blogosphere problem - it's a societal problem that has an effect upon the blogosphere. Which isn't to say the we shouldn't discuss it - we should - but rather that we examine the context carefully. We also need to xamine what we mean when we talk about cliques and popularity and how that pertains to privilege.

It's messy, but if we're going to get worked up about it we need to strive for clarity.

And, yes, we need to discuss more ways of getting women voices out there, getting better representation - rather than pissing on the projects that aren't living up to our standards.

1:05 PM  
Blogger Sandra said...

Amen on discussing how to get women voices out there rather than waiting for the perfect project.

Looking forward to discussing privilege in the context of the blogosphere.

For me the hoo hah about popularity and all that is, as HBM says, more about feelings than politics. It's quite similar to any other social situation - for much of it (not all of course), you do get out what you put in. If I want more hits/comments I had better find the time to read and respond to other people's blogs.

I wonder too, if I (the proverbial "I") find myself not getting comments and not making connections through a blog, how much of that is a reflection of how I interact in real life - i.e. if I am always the outsider in the meat world, what do I do to contribute to that reality here in the ether? And if I jump straight to "it's because there are cliques", then what other alternate conclusions can I make? i.e. my writing is not that clear; I don't spend time cultivating an audience through comments and links; I don't write frequent enough posts; etc.

1:42 PM  
Blogger moplans said...

Yes Wonderbaby, an aging, white, middle-class feminist. Your mother is such a tool of the patriarchy. If she ever gives up her job there she could do well in PR. I don't think I could have been as nice if someone tried to bitch slap me in public.

1:46 PM  
Blogger Kelly Wolfe said...

Excellent issue. Good work. I love the idea of women getting heard.


1:57 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

What's the harm in feminists harnessing capitalism? Dude, only if one lives in a yurt that one built oneself out of flax fibers picked by hand can one not be considered a "market." Women are a market. Feminists are a market.

Women spent years fighting and were only half heard, so why not harness the power of existing and undeniably irresitable tools in order to continue being fully heard and spread the message to new generations?

I'm a WAHM who blogs (occasionally...), and I say kudos to all of you who CAN harness media and advertising dollars to do right by yourselves and your families. I sell stuff I make, why not sell stuff that you write? Why is it such a big deal? Why does a certain segment of the readership demand the absolute purity, and how does it corrupt the ideas? I don't think that it does.

This notion that we HAVE to read someone, we HAVE to buy what's advertised, we HAVE to internalize the messages we encounter is horseshit. Don't like the ads? Don't buy. Don't like the message? Don't live by it.

Isn't true feminism about making informed choices? And yes, as such feminism is a province of the privileged. But why not use that privilege when we can to disseminate the goods and the ideas?

4:16 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

I don't know what to say anymore that I haven't already, or that hasn't been said above by so many amazing thinkers. (Except that Mother Goosemouse who makes NO sense at all, same as always.)

I am intrigued however by Crunchy Carpet's line that she worries "about the 'true' impression things like [greenstone's network] leave with men."

How many men temper their needs, their interests, their community becuase of the impression women will have of it?

4:58 PM  
Blogger Girl con Queso said...

I love it. I initially wrote a ridiculously long comment about the advertising issue. However, in the end, I decided not to waste your space. Instead, I'll just say this.

I'm not as close to all of the hubub as you are. In fact, I've been completely (and blissfully) oblivious to it. But frankly, a lot of the sour grapes you mention sound quite like old-fashioned competitiveness. Not competition for advertising dollars disguised as a debate about whether they're bad or good or great or dumb or the end of the world as we know it. But rather, bloggers being overtly competitive with each other. And what's that all about? Because blogging is not a competition. (Like lumberjacking or curling. Now those are some dandy competitions. And us plucking away on our computers, well, we'll never be fun to watch like that.)

5:11 PM  
Blogger Ruth Dynamite said...

It's ALL GOOD, people! A forum for women! A place to connect, vent, discuss, and share. (Of course capitalism/commercialism plays a part - we live it in every other aspect of our lives!) The mosquito-types, the naysayers, will always be there, buzzing around and nipping without ever doing anything constructive.

I say swat 'em. Rise above. They know not what they do.

7:20 PM  
Blogger karengreeners said...

Wait, I'm confused. Does this mean bumblebee has to stop wearing clothes from baby gap?

How about feminism/capitalism penance? How about if, for every starbucks frappucino I consume, I read two issues of MS and give a homeless person a toonie?

8:04 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Girl Con Queso - no such thing as a waste of space! Comments are totally for hijacking!

Penelope, I love the idea of penance. I WILL give up lattes for one week for every privileged feminist that I whore myself out to. However, I will also reward myself with a week of lattes for every underprivileged feminist that I whore myself out to.

How does that sound?

8:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am truly awed. I LOVE this! How grateful I am to find a space, albeit virtual, to hang out with some of the smartest and profound thinkers of today? If only the world knew what was hiding behind that blissfully happy and oblivious image of MOM.

8:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



10:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is feminism always brought to the table when a woman advertises, blogs, writes, or sneezes??!?!?!

I do not always see the connection. Have people been to "men's" blogs, technology blogs or any others. Ads are always present.

Too many ads are a turn off for me personally but eh I am small potatoes!

11:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with you, sis, let's stop the in-fighting and start taking over the world. I love your blog!

11:52 PM  
Blogger Lady M said...

I think most people dream that their hobbies could become their profession. Someone who sings in a community choir or does karaoke might wish to be on Broadway. Someone who takes photographs might secretly want to be a fashion photographer. Another person who writes stories might dream of having a newspaper column. Someone who takes ballet classes might wish to be a professional dancer. In reality, they might not really want those "dream jobs."

I'd love to be a professional dancer, and could probably have made my living as a dance teacher. For a while, it was my part time job and I enjoyed it. However, when it came time to measure reality, I was quite happy with keeping my day job and just taking the dance gigs that were fun. However, I don't feel that taking paid gigs "sullies" my integrity as a dancer.

In regards to blogging (yes, I did work my way back to the topic), it's crossed the minds of a lot of bloggers that it'd be great to be paid to do what they do for fun. And why not?

Having an ad sponsor or a media sponsor that supplements your income is a great way to find out if you enjoy writing (or posting photographs, etc) enough. Some lucky folks may work their way into full time writing. The rest of us can enjoy the process and community, and let that be a pleasant dream.

11:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lady m...I think you are right...the internet created a lot of 'writers' and 'journalists'.

My dh is an online journalist...but the argument since HE started out on the web has been about the dif between legitimate journalism and just a guy or gal with a website/blog.

Blogging is the best example of how the world is changing...the transformation of news gathering, of news sources and so on.

Sadly, a lot of people think they can write and cannot and should not....and perhaps the art form or skill has lost some of its mystique because of email, blogging, and so on.

So maybe the war between paid blogging and unpaid is because we wonder if being paid to blog is enough to 'legitimize' or qualify it as professional writing.

12:12 AM  
Blogger GIRL'S GONE CHILD said...

When I first heard about Greenstone I thought it was some kind of real estate company. Bad name. Bad name. But I think it's a geniune and worthwhile project and I'm definatley curious to see what happens with it. I, like many have stated, am not the core audience and the site seems to skew older (The View, Oprah, but liberal?) Like I mentioned on my blog before, I am a bit apprehensive of the whole "feminist" thing as I have blogged about before but I have the utmost respect for my fellow women, paid, not paid, advertising, not advertising, etc.

And P.S., wonderbaby is really cute

1:49 AM  
Blogger L. said...

Welcome to the whorehouse.

I cashed my first check from my Google ads this month (and will donate the same sum to charity, as I pledged to do on my blog -- BUT STILL....) so I am a bona fide whore, and proud of it.

Why not do all I can to facilitate the flow of funds from Google`s bank account to my own?

2:48 AM  
Blogger Ali said...

you just made my day with all your spake-ing.


10:23 AM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

crunchy carpets: for discussion on media and specifically news media's "old form" vs. blogging, you must check out buzzmachine.com (but then I bet you knew that already).

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oooh Kitten..no I don't. Thanks.....
I have been basing things on my dh's experiences as a news editor online and the issues he has faced with that 'stigma' on him vs the print media or 'real' media.

Thanks..will go check it out.

11:22 AM  
Blogger MM said...

The Wonder Baby pic especially made the point. I'm not sure what I think of all this, but, you did make me laugh. And though,for purposes of a captialist society I appear, for all the world, to bea proletariat, I still believe in capitalism as opposed to Marxism and I suppose I will run right out and get me some ads to put on my blog. (NOT. I don't get enough traffic for that.) But it was fun to fantasize about it.

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only is the pictured child shocked, she's all in a lather! Write whatever you want. I'll still read.

5:53 PM  
Blogger Mocha said...

I'm neither priveleged nor white (not all the way, anyhow) so I'm wondering: shouldn't you, like, sponsor a sistah? Can't you help a sistah out?

You are SOOO smart and SOOOOOOO wonderful for writing this. I want to be you. Only as a sistah.

Ok, fine. Half a sistah. But whatever.

6:33 PM  
Blogger MM said...

I've done a little research and I found this post:

which I thought was THE most thoughtful, provacative without being cheap post on the topic.

And I'm sorry my spacebar keeps sticking. Must be the PB&J from the kids.

Really, read it with an open mind. There is much food for thought.

7:21 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Merry Mama - I've always got an open mind. So open that shit keeps falling out.

Seriously, though, it's an excellent post. One that I two-thirds disagree with, but one that is thoughtful and comprehensive. Left a looong comment there, that I'll probably resuscitate here...

8:00 PM  
Blogger MM said...

That's what I love about you...I really love your wonderful spirit and open mind...it is an inspiration to a fool like me!! I'm glad you read and commented. It makes my day. I'll go read it.(stalker that I am)

10:10 PM  
Blogger MM said...

Okay, you're comment raised very valid points. Points that, as a proletariat, I cannot disagree with...being poor does make it difficult for me to blog...difficult to justify the time... the expense for a 35 buck silly page design...and when I have to get a job this winter, I may not be able to blog at all. SO. Great discussion and not a simplistic answer. (as per usual) But, I have to admit that she blew me out of the water with her argument and evidence.
Ack!! Sociology beckons (but this IS sociology, isn't it?)???

10:18 PM  
Blogger MM said...

Oops. I meant your ((SMACK))

10:19 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

I think that people just constantly need something to freaking complain about. Blogging is supposed to be fun and theraputic. It's the people who are so freaking ridgid and put off by every little thing are what makes it political. I ignore them and go about my business. You don't like it....don't read.

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whew, HBM, you amaze me!

Grrrrreat post.

And as someone who was there with you and Gloria, I have to crack up at the "Gloria is irrelevant" comments.

I flash back to 1972 when I was 6 and my Dad left my Mom with 3 kids, no job and a lot of panic. Gloria and her contemporaries did so much to get my Mom through that excrutiating phase... reminding her that she had power, worth, and didn't need a man to have an identity. That shaped so much of who I am as a woman, and for that I am very thankful.

So now that Gloria is a) 72 and b) still working and being creative and c) still white, she is irrelevant? I don't think that ANY of us could have stood the intense criticism, degradation and threats that she faced to speak out on all our behalf.

Thank god we have young, diverse, strong, fresh female voices today. But to hear them, do we need to forget who paved the way?

Seems to me like a "Sorry granny, I know you gave birth to Mom and everything and kind of raised me and your other grandkids, but we have different views now and I don't agree with your cookie baking and stories of the 'way it was with grandpa' back in the day. Why don't you just scoot along to a nursing home and stop bothering us?"

In most non-Anglo societies, elders and women are honored for their lives and contributions.

I, for one, am happy to see Gloria still alive, kicking and fighting in the way she sees fit. Lord knows she deserves to choose how to spend her time and resources now.

As for the advertising question? Even Karl Marx fought for control of the "means of production." Aren't many of the feminist platforms about equal pay, access to job markets and economic opportunity? Why the hell shouldn't women finally make some money off what men have been pimping for years?

OK, end of my rant.


2:28 AM  
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7:53 AM  

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