Do we need a Sisterhood?

Bitchfight

Lisa over at The Mummy Whisperer has blogged recently about a campaign to persuade women to ditch the bitch, and stick together.

I want to love this idea. Certainly, I love the sentiment of it. I think anything that celebrates people being respectful and truthful and decent is unquestionably a good thing.

But I don’t love the campaign. Not completely.

For starters, I tend to think most women are pretty supportive and non-judgmental. I think most people are that way. And I definitely think most parent bloggers are that way. Maybe I’m mixing in all the wrong circles, but I can’t remember the last time I read a post on a parent blog that was "slagging off" another parent.

Like Rosie, I question the need for a campaign of this kind. Because if I was getting slagged off, I'm fairly confident that other parent bloggers would be helping pick me up and dust me off. 

I also don’t love something that perpetuates an outdated myth that women are somehow wired differently to men, which makes them more bitchy, more judgemental, more ruthless. I find it a bit sad that women are perpetuating the idea that there's an epidemic of bitching and sniping in parenting, or blogging. Because – honestly – I don't see it. I don't think it's there. 

That's not to say it never happens. I've dealt with women who have taken my breath away with their capacity for ruthlessness and bitching and sniping. But I've had the same sort of experiences with men. There will always be people treating each other badly – because they're hurt, or upset, or defensive, or they're just not Good People. But they're probably not behaving badly because they have breasts. 

Ultimately, a campaign that presents judgement and bitching as somehow a "women's problem" seems counterproductive to me. I think something more inclusive, about blogging with respect, would be a better idea. 

I believe in being decent to people, and treating them as you’d like to be treated.

I believe in forming your own opinions of people, not basing them on gossip.

I believe in trying to respect other points of view even when you don’t agree with them.

I just don't believe those ideals only apply to women.

What do you think? 

 

About 

Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

64 Comments

  1. 17th January 2012 / 1:04 pm

    I’ve met mothers who are critical of other mothers (single parents and the issue of underage drinking comes to mind), but equally I’ve met some incredibly supportive mothers and in fact they are in the majority. I think online there will be so many different voices and so many different personalities that we can never be ‘as one’ – people just need to respect people regardless of whether they are mothers, fathers, or whatever. They does seem to be a lack of that in society at times. As for this current campaign, I support it of course but I was unaware that there was a need for it. As I said in my post, perhaps I have missed something. I get so much positivity from the blogosphere, perhaps I’ve missed the negative, or perhaps I just spend slightly less time there these days.

  2. 17th January 2012 / 1:04 pm

    I’m not one for labelling bahviour as belonging to one gender or another. It is human behaviour and influenced by our experiences.

  3. 17th January 2012 / 4:27 pm

    I think the sentiment behind the campaign is lovely, however I am not entirely convinced that the tiny (and it is really minuscule)percentage of nastiness warrants such a campaign. I have come across 2 instances of things being commented where I have thought ‘now that’s just plain inconsiderate’ in my 6 months.
    Both men and women are not always going to get on or agree. My husband is being bullied by some men at this work at the moment so I know all too well that it’s not a woman thing!
    I believe encouraging people to be more open communicating the way forward, sometimes a simple email could solve matters.
    The only small concern is that promoting a perfect sisterhood may make some bloggers less likely to voice opinions and concerns. I could be wrong – I often am 😉
    What you or I may feel happy to write about will not be the same for a new blogger who doesn’t want to ‘rock the boat’ and post about anything that goes against the opinion of another blogger. Opinions are only opinions after all and if we all thought the same it would be boring!
    How what we say is perceived is not something we can have total control over. What may be written without malice or offence can be taken to be something else all together.
    Tricky territory!

  4. 17th January 2012 / 6:01 pm

    I’ve not really seen any bitchiness online. A few gripes about people not linking up when they should have (once it was me and I didn’t even realize I’d forgotten to link – woops). A couple of sticky situations where the tone of a comment was unlcear but both were soon resolved (with a lot of ‘phews’ and ;~)s). Nothing that warrents a campaign.

  5. 17th January 2012 / 6:26 pm

    I hardly dare comment…
    I agree with you. This reinforces the image that women are inherently bitchy, and that we need to stand together to face this problem.
    I agree with Rosie Scribble, that the bitchiness is a very minor problem. A campaign really does seem a sledgehammer to crack a nut (and I don’t think it will be successful in cracking the nut anyway).
    I agree with Mammasaurus. I hate to think that promoting a perfect sisterhood might make people less likely to voice contentious opinions. Mummy blogging isn’t a support group – at least that’s not all it is.
    Being a mum is something that we all have very strong feelings about. It deeply reflects who we are. How can things NOT get personal when that is the core subject matter? I like it when people blog with strong feelings. That’s when there’s a risk that it will become personal. But I think it’s a risk worth taking.

  6. 17th January 2012 / 8:46 pm

    I think you make a great point – I think critical voices in mothering are in a real minority, and in blogging even more so. I don’t think I’ve ever *not* met with a supportive response from other parents in blogging – especially in terms of parenting issues, despite the fact we often come from such different perspectives and places.
    Yes, we have differences on lots of issues and a minority of people don’t always behave as we might wish they would – but is it a big issue for women in blogging? I’m not sure it is.

  7. 17th January 2012 / 8:47 pm

    Indeed, I’m very much opposed to the idea that judgement is female. It’s human.

  8. 17th January 2012 / 8:48 pm

    You make so many great points, Annie. YES, I think promoting “sisterhood” and “support” runs the risk of stifling debate and difference and diversity. Especially when I’m not sure we’re lacking sisterhood and support to begin with – parent bloggers, with a very few notable exceptions, are massively supportive of one another, in my experience.

  9. TheBoyandMe
    17th January 2012 / 8:55 pm

    I read the post that you are talking about, and I understand that the intent is to unite people and remind us of how lovely we should be to each other, but I am not convinced it’s needed. I don’t understand why just women are being highlighted here; I think the parent blogging community in the UK (and I know I’m still a newbie) is supportive and inclusive. If we want parents (or hang on, people in general) to remember how to be nice to each other then include both genders. If we want people to support each other, then it should be regardless of gender, as it is of race and culture.
    People will be horrid regardless of their reproductive organs, some people are just nasty and vindictive. From the small amount of experience I have in the parent blogging community, people are not like that; they are tolerant and inclusive. There are a few people at lesser folk are happy discussing Sherlock and real nappies.
    I don’t see the need to shove this in people’s faces; it feels like the whole blogging/blagging debacle all over again! There is no issue, one is being made.

  10. TheBoyandMe
    17th January 2012 / 9:03 pm

    Sorry to butt in on Sally’s reply board but I wanted to comment on something (hope that’s ok?).
    I also worry that promoting a sisterhood is going to alienate new bloggers. I do think that while bloggers are mostly supportive and inclusive, you have to wave your blog in people’s faces for a good few months before being acknowledged. It was months and months before some of the ‘bigger/older’ bloggers acknowledged my existence. Maybe that was just me? If there’s a sisterhood, is that going to create an even bigger hurdle to jump as a new blogger? A ‘club’ as such?
    Does that make sense? Have I just said what you’ve said but in different words?

  11. 17th January 2012 / 9:05 pm

    Thankfully, I haven’t had any unpleasantness thrown in my direction and have always found support amongst fellow bloggers. However, I have witnessed a couple of instances where an anonymous commenter (why are they always anonymous?) has personally attacked an individual. This is why I support the campaign.
    I’ve only been blogging for a couple of months and was worried that this bitchiness might be fairly commonplace. But, from reading everyone’s comments above, I think I may have just been unfortunate to have seen some unpleasant comments from a very small minority.
    I certainly agree with you Sally that the most important thing should be to treat each other with respect. Our opinions are all valid even if we don’t all agree with each other all of the time. That’s what makes things interesting.

  12. TheBoyandMe
    17th January 2012 / 9:07 pm

    Dammit, I managed to delete half a sentence!
    “There are a few people high up in the tree who are all snatching for the sunlight and it seems elbowing each other out the way, while us lesser folk are happy discussing Sherlock and real nappies.”

  13. 17th January 2012 / 9:13 pm

    I think I see the odd “someone was mean” when what people really mean if they’re honest is “someone didn’t agree” but even then, I’ve never seen someone out and out slag off another Mum. I just don’t buy that it’s going on, and we’re all somehow missing it.

  14. 17th January 2012 / 9:15 pm

    I’ll be honest – I don’t watch Sherlock or talk about nappies, but I agree that something more inclusive might have felt more appropriate, for me.

  15. 17th January 2012 / 9:17 pm

    I don’t like anonymous comments, but my question is: should we have a whole campaign, based on the assumption this is a problem specific to WOMEN, based on one or two nasty comments out of thousands of supportive messages? Really? Is that a campaign that needs to happen? I’m not sure it is. I think it’s more damaging than helpful because it will create an impression that there IS an issue with women attacking other women via blogs, when I don’t believe there is an issue, at all. As others have said, you’ll always get the odd nasty person – and all the campaigns in the world won’t change that, sadly.

  16. 17th January 2012 / 10:28 pm

    Every time I hear about a ruckus in the parent blogging world I think ‘am I deaf/blind/stupid? Is it just me who didn’t see this?’ Every time someone decides to ‘take a stand against the bitchiness’ I think ‘oh blimey, took my eye off the ball for a minute and they are all scratching each others’ eyes out’ …or I used to. Now I’m not so sure, my overwhelming experience has been of a supportive, caring, open community with room for everyone. Yes, of course there are disagreements and differences of opinion, this is a wide and diverse community of people, we cannot hope to agree about everything and it would all be pointless and boring if we did. I think a campaign serves only to be divisive, it is surrepticious finger pointing and I really don’t think it is needed.

  17. 17th January 2012 / 10:33 pm

    Oh absolutely! I just don’t think there is this nest of vipers that gets referred to from time to time. Yes, one or two people probably are a bit mean, and many of us have the odd off day when we might be a bit snippy, but really? I think parent bloggers are very fair-minded, very supportive, very accepting people, and you’ve put your finger on it – a campaign feels a bit like finger-pointing – at bloggers, and at women in general. I’m just not keen, although I am sure it comes from the best of intentions.

  18. 17th January 2012 / 10:41 pm

    This: “you have to wave your blog in people’s faces for a good few months before being acknowledged. It was months and months before some of the ‘bigger/older’ bloggers acknowledged my existence”
    I have personally experienced and don’t like.
    Which is why I like the fact that some of the newer blogs have hit the ground running, like Mammasaurus and Actually Mummy cos I HATE that period of having to walk around stooped low, because you’re new….
    I hated it in Yoga hierarchies too!
    Liska xx

  19. 17th January 2012 / 10:43 pm

    During my three & a half years of blogging I’ve only been bitched about twice (once on Twitter & a couple of anonymous comments). It really hurt me at the time but I very quickly ignored it and moved on. In my experience the positive bloggers far out weigh the negative, bitchy ones. I think a campaign gives a bit of a bad impression too.

  20. 17th January 2012 / 10:45 pm

    I kind of feel like the “campaign” is inherently sexist because of what it assumes. Am I out of order?

  21. 17th January 2012 / 10:53 pm

    Ooh, that’s interesting.
    The issue of taking a few months to get noticed – what I would say is that’s not snootiness (I don’t think). It’s just that there are thousands of blogs, and you do need to see something a few times before it takes root and makes a meaningful impression in your brain.

  22. 17th January 2012 / 10:53 pm

    I was dying to know what you’d think. I think it’s sexist. I really do.

  23. 17th January 2012 / 10:54 pm

    I think the positive HUGELY outweighs the negative. And being totally honest, I’ve had some terrible negative moments – but for every single one, I’ve had a thousand lovely moments to outweigh it.

  24. Emily (Mummylimited)
    17th January 2012 / 11:01 pm

    Ever since I heard about this campaign I’ve felt uneasy about it and I haven’t been able to figure out why. I mean why be bothered by something that is basically asking people to be nice to each other, but I think you’ve summed it up perfectly. The implication that women need this bothers me in general, but what bothers me more is that the blogging community needs it.
    I’ve now been at it for 2 years and have found most people welcoming, friendly & interesting. Not everyone is my cup of tea and so I usually just stop following them.
    I agree with Chris, I wonder where I am when this stuff happens, but if I and your other commenters miss it, is it really happening?
    Imagine if you’d just started blogging & this campaign was the first thing you saw. You’d run a mile, wondering what on earth you’d stepped into.

  25. 17th January 2012 / 11:10 pm

    Yes, interesting to hear that perspective.
    I don’t really see blogging as having an in-crowd of ‘bigger/older’ bloggers. I see it as having lots of different circles of people with different interests, or connections. It’s a question of finding your circle, or your few circles.
    I think it’s true that older bloggers aren’t so open to making new contacts. They have their own circles, and it’s time-consuming enough to keep up with those. I do sometimes have a scoot round new blogs, but not nearly as often as I used to, or as often as I’d like to. And then if I do find a new blog that I really like, as you say, I need to see it a few times before it takes root.
    If I have a new commenter on my blog, I always go and check out their blog. That feels like an invitation. I think that’s one way a new blogger can get known – by commenting.

  26. 17th January 2012 / 11:26 pm

    I think I must be someone that misses things like this too, or else it is a non-issue.
    For me I’ve found the online parenting blogging world more supportive than not, more positive than negative, at every point the ups have outweighed the downs. I stopped writing at my ‘old’ blog due to a ruckus with local ‘real-life’ mums commenting on my opinion/words but the support I got from the online world was incredible and meant a lot at what was a horrible time.
    I personally feel like it can sometimes feel like there are enough pressures, expectations and unwritten rules when it comes to blogging without making a newbie feel like they had to stick to yet another code. Blog as you act in life; with respect and sense but with honesty and spirit too, no?

  27. 17th January 2012 / 11:28 pm

    I posted on the original blog post too, so I won’t repeat ver batim. I think the slogan of standing together or being united in any way begs the question “Against what?” and it turns out that we’re being asked to unite against….ourselves. Or at least the unpleasant ones. And who makes that call.
    I actually quite like the slogan “ditch the bitch” in a way, because it says that we should be able to have a decent argument or debate without, well, getting all bitchy. I would love to see people taking others’ views on board without feeling attacked and attacking back. That’s the bitchy element, but yes, it is sexist in that it applies only to women.
    And I also asked why the “blogging with integrity” motto doesn’t cover the “not slagging off” approach too?

  28. 17th January 2012 / 11:51 pm

    Oh wow, enjoyed reading all of the above and totally see where everyone is coming from. I haven’t experienced any nasty comments so far on twitter or my blog and hope to keep it that way. Being accepted as a new blogger did leave me feeling an outsider at first, but to be fair probably less so than moving house and making new friendships in the real world, so my conclusion is that the blogging world, as far as my limited experience goes, is a friendly happy place which I hope to continue to enjoy.

  29. 18th January 2012 / 1:16 am

    Commenting makes a big difference – as Sally mentions there are sooooo may blogs out there that if you want to be noticed you need to try and write good stuff, comment lots and try new ideas out. It is hard to get noticed, but that’s mainly down to the amount of parent blogs out there. It’s one of those ‘you get out what you put in’ things me thinks!
    I am constantly surprised at the amount of blogs out there – you think you know most bloggers and then a whole posse of blogs that you weren’t aware of appears!
    I started blogging not really reading or commenting on any of the ‘established’ big blogs – it was nothing personal, just that I felt a greater affinity with the other newer bloggers, we all felt a bit lost together! It’s only now after 6 months that I am getting to some of the ‘biggies’ blogs.
    There are ‘circle’ of bloggers, though they all overlap somewhere along the lines, I feel this only natural as if we were all one huge circle our heads would implode with the numbers! It’s easy for bloggers – especially new ones to feel excluded from ‘circles’ or that they are all cliquey and that’s another joy of commenting 😀
    Along our travels we’ll all speak to bloggers who will have an opinion on another blogger based on either a real experience or just hearsay in some cases. I think that’s natural and human nature though and I don’t think we could – or even should necessarily stop it.

  30. I Want My Mummy
    18th January 2012 / 1:43 am

    The focus being placed on ‘women’ and ‘the sisterhood’ is the main thing about this campaign that just doesn’t sit right with me. I’m no bra burning feminist but put a group of men together and you can guarantee that they will be just at bitchy (if not MORE bitchy) than a group of women.
    I think that the biggest issue in all this though is perhaps communication and the way people deal with and/or articulate their opinions. We all have our own take on everything, from teething to blogging, and without disagreements and debate it would be pretty boring wouldn’t it?
    I would never, ever publish anything that I wouldn’t say to someone’s face, just as much as I wouldn’t devote a post to a personal attack. BUT, in the same way that if I had bought a product that turned out to be a pile of poo, I will be honest and say if I feel something is wrong or unfair.
    And that is what I have seen people doing recently. Unless I have missed something and there are in fact posts out there saying ‘ooh, that [insert name] is a right cow’ etc then isn’t it ok to voice an opinion and offer a bit of constructive criticism in an upfront and honest way?
    I might be in the minority here but the posts that I actually have the biggest problems with are those that mention ‘someone’ or ‘various bloggers’ being deliberately cryptic and getting people gossiping without naming names. I think *thats* bitchy.

  31. 18th January 2012 / 8:42 am

    Perhaps I’ve missed the point here. I thought that Lisa (The Mummy Whisperer)’s campaign was simply a reminder that there are some judgmental women around who may benefit from walking a mile in the other person’s shoes before they comment. She hasn’t said that men aren’t judgmental, she’s speaking from her perspective as a woman. I didn’t think Lisa was saying that anything specific was happening in mummy blogging and I didn’t see her finger-pointing, although I can see why others may suspect that is the case. I’m certain her intention wasn’t to stir up bad feeling – quite the opposite in fact. I’m a feminist, and I can see that some women can let the ‘sisterhood’ down by being judgmental and knocking each other. Just think back to any debate you’ve ever read on breast v bottle for example or the whole blogger/blagger row. It is all about respect. Some of the backlash against Lisa that I saw on Twitter yesterday just proves her point, frankly.

  32. 18th January 2012 / 9:04 am

    I think for new bloggers, it is a bit worrying, isn’t it? Honest, if you’re new and reading this, 90% of us never see it!

  33. 18th January 2012 / 9:05 am

    I suspect it’s a non-issue! And isn’t that a lovely thing to feel?

  34. 18th January 2012 / 9:05 am

    I’ve been thinking overnight as to how to respond to this post and I’m still not completely sure I’ll get my response right.
    In any group in society you can get some nastiness between people. It’s part of life being full of individuals. People have different opinions and some people have different levels of respect meaning that they think it’s OK to tell people exactly what they think and not always in a tactful way. I certainly don’t think this is exclusive to mums online, or even mums in general. Having recently spoken to people who are travel bloggers and wedding bloggers it seems that no group is without some nasty comments, but that it is really in the minority when you look at the total number of people involved.
    To those outside the mummy blogging “circle” I feel that having something like this targeted at just mums makes any “problem” seem bigger than it is. But then as someone who has an engineering background I just have problems with any group that is created on grounds of one gender. I spent years campaigning against the award that exists for female only engineers and refuse to join anything that is targeted towards only one of the sexes, even if it only be in name.
    I hope this all makes sense and doesn’t offend anyone – it’s just my views and that doesn’t mean they are necessarily right or wrong.

  35. 18th January 2012 / 9:05 am

    I was quite proud of “ditch the bitch” too 🙂

  36. 18th January 2012 / 9:06 am

    I’m really pleased you feel that way – blogging *is* amazing, when all is said and done!

  37. 18th January 2012 / 9:07 am

    I think that’s my main point – I can’t remember EVER having seen a “she’s a right cow” post – so who is it that’s “slagging off their sisters”?
    And yes, I have a problem with this being presented as a sisterhood, as though there’s some feminist principle involved. I am not sure there is.

  38. 18th January 2012 / 9:10 am

    Oooh, now, it’s not often I don’t agree with you but I do on this one – eek!
    I didn’t see a backlash against Lisa and I was online for most of the day yesterday – obviously another thing that totally passed me by. I saw some debate on this issue on blogs, all of it was respectful, none of it was personal, I think everyone involved tried to understand the other point of view – isn’t that what blogging is all about? I would HATE to think that by talking about this issue, by saying, okay, I get where it comes from, but here’s why it isn’t for me has become “slagging off a sister” or “bitchy” or even “backlash”. It’s just an opinion, and I think I’ve tried hard to be fair and respectful in expressing it.
    Just as I’m not offended by people who commented saying they thought it was a brilliant, positive idea. It’s just different voices, different opinions, different experiences – and I think that’s to be welcomed, and embraced.
    Similarly, I can’t remember reading a post about breast versus bottle, or blagging versus blogging that “slagged off” another mother. Almost every post I remember reading has gone out of its way to say “This is what I think, but whatever works best for your baby is fine, too”.
    But like I said, obviously many of us (me included) are just missing this stuff, completely.

  39. 18th January 2012 / 9:12 am

    Thanks for commenting – I agree with you in that I would have loved for a campaign like this to be about bloggers generally, blogging with respect. I think singling out women doesn’t sit easy with me.

  40. 18th January 2012 / 9:29 am

    Personally I think there is a problem, the obsession with rank, statistics and so on that many seem to suffer from makes it almost inevitable, caused mostly by the lack of transparency on various networks and an underlying suspicion of crony-ism that may or may not be valid. You only have to look at Shhh Blogger or the real mummy blogger (or whatever it was called) to see what happens when what’s bubbling under the surface erupts.
    It’s a sad fact that some people, men and women, don’t just want to succeed, they want to succeed at the cost of others failing. These people are known by the non gender specific term “arseholes”.
    That’s not to say the majority aren’t lovely because the majority are but if 99 people are nice to you and one person is horrible, you don’t lie awake at night thinking about the 99 nice people do you? That’s human nature.
    Of course us blokes are inherently perfect in this regard, we NEVER bitch, and anything you might have read around the time I failed to win a Gurgle award was completely misinterpreted 🙂

  41. 18th January 2012 / 9:32 am

    That’s not to say I’m either for or against a sisterhood campaign, that’s none of my business, I’m not a sister.

  42. 18th January 2012 / 9:32 am

    Respectful debate is great. Your post and the comments are great. I guess I’m focusing on a small minority of incidences instead of the majority of people who are respectful. I think I should stop doing that!

  43. katyboo1
    18th January 2012 / 9:45 am

    Your post is very interesting. I do not consider myself to be a mummy blogger, despite the fact that I’m a mummy and I blog about my children and my parenting or the lack thereof. I also blog about food and books and films and life in general. I just consider myself to be a blogger.
    I don’t have anything against mummy bloggers or any bloggers who feel more comfortable in a tribe or a group or under a label; it’s just that I came to blogging so that I could be me, and that’s only a tribe of one, and I’m very happy with where I’m at with that.
    My experience is that in all the years I have been blogging I have been supported, uplifted and received nothing but positivity from other bloggers and regular readers. Blogging has given me more of a sense of connection and community than almost any other activity I have ever done. I have never failed to get on with and like the people I have met through my blog, and have made some amazing friends I would never have had the good fortune to meet otherwise.
    It’s not to say that I haven’t had a few negative comments over the years, but a handful in what is now coming up for five years is nothing and certainly compared to things I have experienced in ‘real life’ in the past five years it is nothing. And certainly the thing that linked most of the negative comments I have received is that they tend to be mostly ‘mad’ rather than mostly from women.
    Maybe I’m just lucky. I don’t know. I certainly feel lucky in all sorts of ways because of blogging.
    So this is a very long winded way of saying I feel very sorry for those who feel they have experienced bitchiness or a backlash against them for whatever reason, but I do not think that it merits a campaign of its own, and certainly not one so very focussed on women and their perceived imperfections.
    I support women’s rights to not be oppressed. I support their rights to have equality in whatever form, but then I support that for all people. Maybe it would be better to remind ourselves of our shared humanity and the right of every single person to demand respect for what they do and what they stand for and who they are?

  44. 18th January 2012 / 9:48 am

    Hi guys, Thanks for telling me you’d written this post Sally, I know that you did it with a certain amount of trepidation and I appreciate it – you know I’ll always love you anyway!
    Can I make a couple of BIG clarifications though, because people seem to be reading other peoples posts and not mine, so most of this is actually nothing to do with what I was suggesting?
    It’s NOT about bloggers. I was just planning on starting with bloggers.
    I’m totally open to ideas for names that match what I’m attempting to do – that’s what I was asking for – so obviously the name might not be right yet.
    It’s not saying that only Mums or women bitch. It’s not saying don’t bitch or don’t disagree. It’s saying that it can waste considerable time, energy and political power if we don’t take a step back, try standing in someone else’s shoes and get our facts right before reacting.
    It’s not against Dads or non-mums.
    I said in my post that the 3 objectives were …
    To strengthen the position of Mums in society.
    To encourage Mums to feel strong and confident in our differences
    To help them to appreciate that given different circumstances and different shoes, they might be different too
    I believe that it’s REALLY important that us Mums have a stronger position in society because we are really important (not more important than anyone else though). To do this we’ll need to look after ourselves to get stronger, stop the school gate/media/twitter/blogging public slagging off which makes us look daft and wastes time, accept that our differences are ok, and then take back more of our social standing (I don’t think we are victims btw) – this is more complicated than 1 paragraph can cover!

  45. 18th January 2012 / 10:18 am

    Ok here we go *sticks head over parapet and prepares to get hit*
    Forgive me this wont be short.
    Three issues here all getting rolled into one
    Firstly Im with Alex (male solidarity and all that) there is a problem with rankings, stats, suspicions and paranoia over in crowds and cliques. Sometimes behaviour seems to suggest this is happening, although normally the problem is with the person who is struggling to rise up the rankings and their belief it is a conspiracy they moving slowly rather than belief that it is simple because there are a lot of bloody good blogs out there. I was one, until I focused on why i write and removed myself from all rankings and tables. I think people enter to soon and are actually being disrepectful to the established blogs by believing they have right within few months to leapfrog them! BUT some people DO become defensive and view new blogs as threats to their status and then start to ignore or refuse to acknowledge them or comment because it will help them with rankings etc instead of actually focusing on what that person writes and do they enjoy it!
    Secondly there is a problem with Parents being judged, if they dare write about CIO or formula feeding they can expect to be lambasted by some comments, and their blog will become a battle ground for opposing views. I agree in part with what Mummy Whisperer said but I do not accept this is a MUM problem, this is a parenting issue and we need to be more supportive of all parents and not so judgemental. I work with expectant and new parents, I recently launched a new program to support http://www.daddynatal.co.uk called http://www.babynatal.co.uk for this exact reason. To provide parents with a program offering information and advice on all parenting methods in a non judgemental forum.
    We do not walk in the shoes of these parents, all I say to all my parents is simply this. Look at all information and then make the decision based on what is in the best interests of all of you as a family. If you do that no one has the right to judge your decision as they do not have all the information on you as a family.
    So yes lets support all parents and stop being so bloody judgemental.
    Finally as bloggers, we have a massive voice, we are extremely powerful, and with that comes responsibility. Debate and reasoned discussion is excellent and should be encouraged, but never forget if just 5 or 6 of us crop up on a blog making the same debating points this in itself can become over whelming to the author.
    We do need to think not only about what we say but how. Supporting each other is great but try not to pick sides, present information not just tell them they are wrong.
    Rant over
    *puts head back down*

  46. 18th January 2012 / 10:32 am

    Erm, can I just say as an older blogger- I don’t mind who I talk to, old or new. I just get a bit miffed when newer bloggers (not all, just a small minority, who raised there objections after Cybermummy)say that we are all cliquey and ignorant and don’t let them join in. Rubbish (or it is for people I know). At Cybermummy we had no issue with anyone coming up and joining us in conversation. And remember, at the first Cybermummy, hardly anyone knew anyone else- we just chatted at random with people. There is no them and us, not in my experience anyway.
    I like the idea of this group for precisely that reason, to dispel this ridiculous notion that old bloggers are an inner sect who hate new bloggers and wish to cast them out.
    Sorry!

  47. 18th January 2012 / 10:38 am

    The way to solve this issue is to do a mummy blogger bikini calendar. I can’t believe nobody has suggested this so far. (PS I’m going to post this comment on every single blog post I comment on this month).

  48. 18th January 2012 / 12:06 pm

    Alex only if you do a daddy blogger one for us to giggle at ;o)
    Dean – I totally get what you are saying. Maybe I’m attempting too much in one place. I’m looking at the whole standing in each others shoes, but the main premise is the lack of social standing for Mums, and I don’t think that’s the same for Dads. Don’t get me wrong Dads have a whole heap of problems themselves, I honestly don’t think that being a Dad has the same negative connotations socially that being a Mum can have (not always – but we aren’t the most highly rated group of people!).
    Have you read my post? If you’d like to get involved or add your two pennyworth to the way the campaign evolves, it might help if you commented there.

  49. 18th January 2012 / 12:08 pm

    Dean- you are a legend. Well said!
    If something is there to support women as a whole, then good for it. I think the debate surrounding it is healthy, and of course no one is forced to join in, but as someone who has been on the receiving end of their own fair share of anon comments, nasty search words written deliberately to be abusive, and bitchiness in general (some of which has been borderline bullying), not to mention someone using my old alias to be downright rude and stir for months, I hope groups like this help even a tiny bit. I don’t think it’s sexist to suggest women are worse at this than men are- we just are.
    Its like the whole review or not, breast feed or not, nutella and Nestle arguments. I was discussing the Nestle one with someone at an Oxfam launch last night, and actually, when Nestle and its parent companies are encouraging women in the the third world not to breastfeed, its not to sell more formula, its because many women have HIV/AIDS or other life threatening diseases they can pass on through breast milk. Yet when us lucky people in our nice comfy lives (compared with these other women) are on Twitter we become angered and only hear half a story before we get our collective knickers in a twist and shout that they are out of order. We often need to see the full picture. Arguments do flare up easily because the old “Twitter is read only” and something you may type in a moment of self proclaimed hilarity, may not be read by someone else the way it was intended.

  50. 18th January 2012 / 12:57 pm

    I blogged about this all yesterday because it’s just too long to put in a comment. Essentially though, let’s not put up divides, categorise or otherwise – let’s think about our values and morals and what we believe in – and apply them to every aspect of our lives, be it blogging, parenthood, work or social.

  51. 18th January 2012 / 5:32 pm

    Now the irony of this has made me smile. I wrote a piece for Gurgle which went online this week, mother care then shared it on their FB page and this was first comment posted 😉
    link to post http://www.gurgle.com/guides/guide-to-newborn/life-with-a-newborn-a-dad-s-view/2764
    Strange how, with a newborn, he has the time and ability with all the sleep deprivation to write a blog. We spent most of the time in a catatonic half-sleep/half-wake state, trying to fit in cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping with the all-consuming needs of our precious new person. We’d grab showers when we could and activities like shaving and hairbrushing were discarded as ‘frivolous’. Granted, we had no doting grandparents on hand or anyone to offer babysitting duties (although we probably wouldn’t hav wanted our delicate gem out of our sight then!). Bet his missis would rather he spent less time at the computer blowing his own trumpet and more time cleaning off puke, changing explosive nappies and making a few more hearty dinners 😉 ♥
    Just to clarify my children are 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 and most of you know what i do 😉

  52. 18th January 2012 / 6:21 pm

    Yikes. Good example…

  53. 18th January 2012 / 6:32 pm

    Dont watch Sherlock!!!???

  54. 18th January 2012 / 6:34 pm

    lol I thought so, full of assumptions and obviously hadnt read piece, but instantly wanted to attack my parenting.

  55. 18th January 2012 / 6:45 pm

    I don’t really watch much TV. Am I honestly missing much?

  56. 18th January 2012 / 7:29 pm

    to be fair I doubt she even read piece, and from comments no I doubt she blogs 😉
    And not well enough written to have come from a Mummy blogger 😉

  57. 18th January 2012 / 7:30 pm

    Thank you 🙂

  58. 19th January 2012 / 12:47 am

    Well since Sally moved and Chris seconded the motion I will state: IT IS SEXIST.

  59. 19th January 2012 / 1:57 pm

    Wow. I am still amazed that people leave comments like this! This is the precise reason I sometimes really loathe the online and social media world, it gives people something to hide behind and makes them think it’s ok to share thoughts that they would never say face to face. Jeezo *rolls eyes*.

  60. 21st January 2012 / 11:22 pm

    Unfortunately the snootiness I experienced online was confirmed when meeting said blogger in person so it is not always “thousands of blogs” etc… and I know it wasn’t personal as it happened to someone else too, although it stopped when they had a higher ranking and were then worthy of being spoken to. The hierarchies are there even though there are some lovelies who don’t do it, see it, or partake in it…..
    Not seeing it doesn’t mean it is not occurring….
    xx

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