So I'm waiting to get a haircut and flipping through a parenting magazine when, there it was: another ode to the mommy bloggers article. Well, isn’t that just special. This is the same thought I had last month perusing Babble's list of the Top 50 Mommy Bloggers, and it’s the same thought I always have when somebody writes another oo-la-la feature about the power of moms with Internet access. Listen up sisters. I am dad (with DSL). Hear me roar.
I hate mommy bloggers and their flowery, eye-catching designs; their quaint recipe suggestions; their useful tips; and the pictures of their perfect kids. I hate the way they can get away with interjecting cuss words or discussing sex and come off sounding classy at the same time. I hate that they can write complete exposés about what terrible moms they are and everyone hails them as “Parent of the Year.” Plain and simple, I hate mommy bloggers for what they are doing to us guys.
I don’t think these ladies realize the awkward position they have put us dad bloggers in: men on the opposite end of the gender equality divide. Who would have thought that could ever happen—and in a parenting-related matter no less? Not me. But let’s be honest, this would have never happened if advertisers hadn’t been so quick to recognize the mommy blogger’s potential to influence household buying patterns.
When the makers of an experimental, titanium-alloy infant car seat want a competent, respected person to endorse such a product to the targeted demographic, who do they turn to? Mommies. That’s not really fair to us dads. I mean, not only could we give that doohickey a thumbs up, we could also go all Tim the Tool Man and add a few modifications to it as well. (What mommy would ever think to actually improve a product via the addition of tank treads?)
Oh that’s right, not every company is ignoring us dads. At least the good people at Sony value our opinions, sticking us with the gadget beat and all. Hellooo. How sexist is that? I’m betting La-Z-Boy, Frito Lay, and the makers of gout medication won’t be far behind.
Moms forget that our masculinity chafes at the mere thought of being beat by girls at anything, but they shouldn’t be so smug. 2010 is supposed to be the year of the daddy blogger according to social media experts like Global Digital Practices VP, Jessica Smith (and "Jessica Knows"). So move your sweat-pant-wearing butt out of that chair in your kitchen/office piled high with exotic eight-slice toasters, German-engineered vacuums, and self-changing baby diapers. This brother needs to make some of that mad parent-blogging money for himself. You know it’s hard out there for a pimp …and by "pimp," I really mean pimp in the sense that I will pimp erectile dysfunction remedies on my site if it means some traffic and little attention.
It’s because mommy bloggers overshadow us, that we dads have had to resort to desperate self-promotion. Some of us dad bloggers are killing ourselves bragging about how great our sites are—the unique visitor counts, the prestige we’ve earned, the brands who should swoon over us—all to make sure everyone realizes who’s their daddy …blogger. In a man’s world there’s nothing wrong with a little chest-thumping in a pick-up game of street-ball; so there’s no reason for us to act any different in the blogosphere. (In your face, mommy bloggers!)
Come on, we’re guys. This is how we operate. Trust me; a little bravado goes a long way in covering up mediocre writing, disingenuous fatherly posturing, and the massive amount of Google Ads pocking our landing page to such an extent that the computer screen appears to have measles. Sure, the majority of dad bloggers are actually really nice guys, but nice guys who are the genuine article finish broke. (It’s the eye of the blogger / I’m the cream of all sites / Rising up to the challenge of my rivals)
For dads who want to make bank, this is a competition. It’s a blog-eat-blog world, and if there’s one thing we’ve learned about blogging from mommies, it’s that it’s all about the Benjamins. No? It sure doesn't seem that way when moms and marketers get together at their fancy little conferences. (I hear it can get quite catty.) But if that’s not the case, then thank you very much, ladies, for misleading us with that false perception of our own fabrication.
I just find it hard to believe that the mommy blogger’s great leader wasn’t thinking about ad revenue whilst clacking away at her computer, spilling all those emotional beans about her personal struggles with postpartum depression. I can almost see her there in 2004, rubbing her hands together at the sight of the first paid ad on her blog—the initial step in an elaborate plan aimed at achieving financial independence as well as the power to boss around appliance companies at will. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the honesty and authenticity of her content, nothing whatsoever.
Don’t be coy. Everyone knows who I’m talking about. If I was to ask, who is arguably the most influential mommy blogger of all time, ninety-five percent of mom bloggers would trip over themselves like old maids catching the wedding bouquet as they shouted out Heather B. Armstrong’s name. And of the remaining five percent, I suspect that, just like pubescent boys surveyed about masturbatory proclivity, they’d be lying to say otherwise.
Well Dooce, you can’t fool me with the façade of your self-deprecating humor that you use to charm the masses. Underneath I know it’s your version of Madonna faking an English accent. Isn’t it ironic, though, that your scheme helped usher to our cultural forefront throngs of mothers, isolated in their parental responsibilities and in need of connection. It’s because of you that these women now feel empowered with a voice in a community that can be heard beyond cul-de-sacs and cubicles. And all that womanly interaction on an emotional level, the very underpinning for human bonding, is now facilitated on a mass scale through blogging, thus producing a sense of solidarity, a solidarity that has translated into tangible influence. Pffft! Whatever. Guys can bond too. It’s just a little difficult to chest bump through our monitors.
That’s okay. One day our Phoenix will rise from the gigabytes and lead us daddy bloggers to prominence. He will be our Alpha-Blogger, complete with photogenic dogs and a complete mastery of the Mormon language. He will be hairy and muscular, holding a toddler in his arms and brandishing a martini made from the Absolut vodka he endorsed on his blog the day before. To the media, he will be the very image of modern fatherhood. But until that day, we will blog on, fighting for our rightful share of ad and endorsement revenue, content to let Jon Gosselin, the Balloon Boy’s dad, and every other goofball father on television twist our credibility as a parent from “Father Knows Best,” to “Father Knows Squat.”
Hey, I don’t like it either that these TV dirt-bags define fatherhood in the eyes of the masses, but what are us daddy bloggers supposed to do—ignore making money and use our sites and our writing to set the bar higher for all fathers? You think that just because mothers have successfully used their sites to sway major corporations and to bend the government’s ear, dads can use their blogs to change how fathers are portrayed by the media and entertainment industries? …As if! Who do you think we are—mommy bloggers?
See, this is why I hate mommy bloggers. I hate them for defining their credibility through honest content rather than making a buck. I hate them for empowering themselves to change misperceptions and in doing so, proving to dads that we can do the same thing to change the media’s stereotype portrayals of us. But most of all, I hate them for all they’ve legitimately achieved and for all the praise they’ve rightfully earned. (God knows they deserve it. Thanks to those of you who have set the standard of integrity and quality for us daddy bloggers to work towards.)
This post was a Five Star Friday selection
Mommy Blogger Mug Photo courtesy of Megan at the Velveteen Mind
We Can Blog It badge courtesy of Kelby Carr
Jon Gosselin photo courtesy of... ehhh [shoulder shrug]