Best of PunditMom — “Mommy” Bloggers in the Wall Street Journal’s Face

Wed, August 26, 2009

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A while back, The Wall Street Journal ran an article about the famed dooce entitled, The Blogger Mom, In Your Face.

Sue Shellenbarger, who writes about work and family for the WSJ, wrote:

“Mommy blogs in general tend to be everyday diaries of details one might share over coffee — baby’s first step or the perils of finding a preschool. Most are blander than Dooce, less humorous and significantly less profane.”

I really like Shellenbarger’s writing and I think she picks great topics to focus on, but having been newly schooled about the art of contacting journalists and writing letters to the editor, I thought, ‘Hey, I don’t agree with that and I should let her know!’

That’s how I learned the rough lessons of how editing can change the tone and flavor of one’s original intent.

The day the story ran, I sent off the following E-mail:

Dear Ms. Shellenbarger,

I was interested to read your article today entitled “The Blogger Mom, In Your Face.” You wrote:

“Mommy blogs in general tend to be everyday diaries of details one might share over coffee — baby’s first step or the perils of finding a preschool.”

I am afraid I have to disagree with that characterization. I am a mother and a blogger and have been lumped in the category of “mommy bloggers” for some time. But my blog, PunditMom, focuses on political topics. I focus on politics at a variety of other outlets, as well, including MOMocrats, MomsRising and BlogHer. Yesterday, I wrote a post for The Huffington Post entitled Blogging is the New Feminist Act.

My blog is featured as an Alltop poltical blog, as are others including MOMocrats.

To characterize mothers who blog as people who just want to write about baby’s first step or finding a preschool is incorrect. A multitude of women blog about many other things about their lives, their thoughts and their beliefs. A short tour of the blogosphere will produce many examples.

I would love to talk with you about this aspect of mothers and blogging, which has received very little attention in the media, if you are ever writing on this topic in the future.

To my surprise, a few days later, I received a very nice response from Shellenbarger, saying she’d like to submit my letter to her as a possible letter to the editor to run in response to her article! Pay dirt! Of course, my letter wasn’t short enough, so she asked, and I agreed to, have my letter submitted as follows:

Sue Shellenbarger characterized mommy blogs as “everyday diaries of details one might share over coffee — baby’s first step or the perils of finding a preschool.” As a mother and a blogger, I disagree. My blog, PunditMom, focuses on political topics. To characterize mothers who blog as people who just want to write about baby’s first step or finding a preschool is incorrect. A multitude of women blog about many other topics arising from their lives, their thoughts and their beliefs. This aspect of mothers and blogging has received very little attention in the media.

She did tell me it might get cut some more. But I was surprised when I saw it this morning like this:

To characterize mothers who blog as people who just want to write about baby’s first step or finding a preschool is incorrect. A multitude of women blog about many other topics in their lives, including their thoughts and their beliefs. This aspect of mothers and blogging has received very little attention in the media.

Still not bad, but not exactly what I was trying to convey.

So a lesson to all of us — don’t beat around the bush and be more succinct if you want your meaning to come through for others to read!

But, hey, it’s one more step toward “mommy blogger” world domination! ;)

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2 Responses to “Best of PunditMom — “Mommy” Bloggers in the Wall Street Journal’s Face”

  1. Genevieve Says:

    Great advice. As a blogger myself, I can be quite wordy. Whatever a woman wants to blog about, sure wish there were more of us. No advertising agendas, corporate missions to follow. Just raw opinions. Third party validation is so refreshing in a world full of less than authentic views.


Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] And I think of it now and then specifically around an essay that was in (I think) the Guardian, which I can’t find anymore and it points out that all the books about motherhood are written by writers, which means that writing mothers dominate the cultural discussion about motherhood, kinda the way the blog world thinks every mommy blogger is writing blithely at home between loads of sparkling laundry. (Watch Punditmom — only partially successfully — try to make this point to the Wall Street Journal.) [...]

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