The Future of Feminism: Not Your Ordinary Mother’s Blog

Mommy Bloggers. Just uttering that phrase brings forth mixed reactions. Some women wear the moniker with pride; others shrug it off with disdain, upset over being pigeon-holed. Personal feelings over the phrase aside, the phenomenon of Mommy Bloggers is a very real thing: Blogs devoted to parenting are a rapidly growing (and revenue-producing) area of the blogosphere that deserves legitimate attention.

However, within this genre of blogs there’s a smaller group of women, and a few men, writing about parenting with a different spin: a feminist one (as Kara Jesella pointed out in her Summer 2009 piece in Ms. magazine). These mommy bloggers are true pioneers in the future of feminism online.

Andrea Fox, writer of the popular blog blue milk, explains how writing about motherhood is both crucial and intrinsically feminist:

I write a personal blog that centers mothers, and myself as a mother, in motherhood. In doing that my motherhood blog is a radical feminist act because almost always we center children and ‘mothering’ in any discussion of motherhood. Mothers are frequently, quite literally, lost in the discussion of motherhood.

From blogs like Birthing Beautiful Ideas to wood turtle, feminist mothers are writing not only about their daily lives and their children, but also creating necessary dialogue around topics other feminist blogs dissect: patriarchy, kyriarchy, sexism, sexualization, gender stereotypes, reproductive rights, religion and more. Many of the blogs tackle heated topics such as judgement between mothers, birthing choices and breastfeeding.

The Feminist Breeder’s Gina Crosley-Corcoran “wanted to show that a concerned feminist could be a thoughtful mother, and vice versa. In fact, I think feminism and reproduction are intrinsically related. Discrimination toward childbearing women affects every woman’s ability to move freely through the world.”

The women and men behind these sites are not just raising the next generation of feminists: They are providing the stories, support and advice for others attempting to do the same.

Besides the great blogs mentioned in this post, here are a few more feminist parenting blogs you might enjoy:

Femamom
Feminist Father
First The Egg
Lesbian Dad
Life V 2.0
The Mamafesto
Offbeat Mama
PhD In Parenting
Raising My Boychick
The Radical Housewife
Spilt Milk
Standing In The Shadows
Viva LaFeminista

Feel free to suggest more in the comments below.

Part Six in a Women’s History Month series celebrating organizations and ideas that represent the future of feminism.

Photo of mother and child from Flickr user Ross Griff under license from Creative Commons 2.0

Comments

  1. Danielle Magnuson says:

    Another great feminist mom site is Jenn McKee’s An Adequate Mom Blog: Because being a perfect mom isn’t a realistic option.

    http://anadequatemom.wordpress.com/

  2. I’m a feminist mommy, always writing about how I see motherhood and how it’s viewed by society. Blogging has been a great outlet for me and for my family. I write about my son, my family, and mostly my experiences as a new mother. The post I got the most feedback from and was quite therapeutic for me was a post entitled “The Truth and the Nipple Nazis,” all about my experience with breastfeeding and how women are made to feel — by other women — when it comes to choosing how we feed our babies. The working/stay-at-home issue is another big one for me. I think it’s great to have lots of feminist moms out there writing about their perspectives and experiences!

  3. I find this refreshing because we almost never connect feminism with the joys of motherhood.

  4. I blog about mothering, women’s cycles, the feminine, whatever strikes my fancy…mostly the midlife transition, so don’t fit with mommy blogger moniker, but definitely feel like a feminist, or womanist….once your kids start living their own lives, and I was a stay at home mom, you begin to spread your wings. I lead journal classes foe women because I think we all need to find our voice and while being mom is part of me, it is by no means all of me. I applaud these young moms who have energy to blog, start their own businesses, write books…more empowerment to them.

  5. Hi,

    It’s great to see your feature on feminist mums online. I had my two kids (now teenagers) late in life and even though I was in three playgroups I turned to both books and cyberspace to find some soul sisters. Along the way I found the classic – Of Woman Born, by Adrienne Rich and even though this was first published in the 1970s the message continues to be relevant. Another couple of wonderful books are The Mother Knot, Jane Lazare and the Hip Mama’s Guide though there are many, many more. I wanted to mention firstly the Rich book, Of Woman Born, because a key element of her argument was to make a distinction between motherhood (an institutionalization of women-as-mothers) and mothering (the everyday things that women do with their children). This has become an important distinction, particularly in this time of change. Yes, women today are doing it differently and people like Andie with the blog you’ve mentioned ‘Blue Milk’ are providing a space for women to talk through the new territory but there are lessons to be taken from the past and this is important. Culture is leading on this today but the social system and cultural norms are holding back rather than facilitating change. If change is gonna come it will only be a product of concerted effort.

    There is a wonderful center based in Toronto called the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (a google search on MIRCI) will find them. They produce a journal, host a publishing house called Demeter Press and run numerous conferences – take a look and you will get a whiff of this brave new world. We need to leave behind the instituion of motherhood if we are to do our mothering and our fathering differently while we promote the need for care (in the wider sense of the word) within the wider community.

    I have set up an internet site that I hope might contribute to this organic movement for change see: http://www.maternalhealthandwellbeing.com

    Regards from Australia, Joannie

  6. I’m not even a mom but I have been an avid blog-reader for over ten years (even before they were called “blogs” actually!) and I’ve noticed this phenomenon as well. Especially since I’m not a parent, I like reading blogs from interesting, passionate, feminist women who just happen to be parents and use their perspective to their benefit (and don’t put their entire focus on the wee ones.)

    You’ve mentioned a lot of great blogs, but an excellent new feminist mama blog (headed by two smart and funny women) is Mama Nervosa, at http://mamanervosa.com — highly recommend giving it a read!

  7. I’m worried that the respect I get now as a “mental health blogger” will disappear when I actually become a mom, even though I mostly write about the ways in which women can become mothers *and* maintain control over their mental health. I’m already writing about motherhood, but because I don’t have a kid myself, I’m a “mental health blogger” — does that mean I lose my credibility when I start posting pictures of my own baby, one day? If so, there will be angry posts about it and some well-researched arguments against that kind of nonsense.

  8. Thanks so much for all the wonderful blog suggestions. As a very new participant in this genre, it’s wonderful to feel like part of a thriving community of bloggers. You can check me out at undercoverinthesuburbs.com.

  9. The “momosphere” is also heavily dominated along race/class/ability privilege lines. It would be awesome to also enable a more diverse spectrum of voices to be heard…

    • Elayeyelay, Sociological Images recently wrote about the lack of diversity among mommy bloggers: goo.gl/2Sx3T. I also wrote a post about it here: goo.gl/VNebj, and wrote about the three broad categories in the momosphere: goo.gl/OUo9A. What do you think?

    • I agree, elayeyelay, which is why I did my best to create an inclusive resource list above that tried to include a mix of races/classes/abilities, and why I’m always on the hunt for more diversity within this genre!

      • cool! i should have been clearer – i was thinking about ways to allow a more diverse spectrum of feminist mamas to write in the first place. but getting the word out about those who are already doing it is a great start (I checked out your blog, it was great to see the extended blurbs of the above list).

  10. I am really happy to read this article today, of all days, on International Women’s Day. Avital, I appreciate the listing of websites to. I offer the work I am doing right now on my site and with The Berkshire Festival of Women Writers this month.
    I have a blog series at http://www.outofthemouthsofbabes.org, posting guest blogs from women all over the country, answering the prompt- ‘how has your mothering been impacted by your creativity’ or ‘how has your creativity been impacted by your mothering?’. I believe that creativity feeds a woman’s soul. I produced an event this past Friday night where 6 women author/mothers shared readings ‘from the soul of the mother’. Commenters here are welcome to visit the blog series and offer a guest post. I am accepting submissions through the end of March.
    The zone of a woman’s soul, while our voices are so easily shuttered and weary during the years of mothering, is richly fed by engaging in acts of creativity. If we back up the truck and simply look at the very act of mothering as our most creative expression, then taking the steps to express what that territory looks like- each of these individual views provides opportunities for deeper understanding of each other as women- provides a vista of stunning views and terrifying heights- narrated and illustrated by a woman, who is also a mother. Loosing our authentic voice just happens while we are nurturing the voices of others. When we express our lives as mothers creatively, we distill these experiences, however mundane or extraordinary and we weave together the fabric that is woman. The fabric that has been so torn and manipulated by our culture. In her TEDx talk in December, Gloria Steinem stated her wish for women today to ‘tell their stories’. The blogosphere, these websites that value the voice of a mother who is a fully realized woman, are all inroads to this weaving.
    Thank you again Avital. Sincerely, Suzi

  11. The dialogue about “mommy blogs” has been interesting. It’s nice to see you acknowledge that writing about motherhood can indeed be feminist. I work full time. I am a mon. And I blog. Call me “mommy blogger”, call me “blogger”, just call me. AND please visit my blog at http://chatonsworld.blogspot.com. My last post was about International Women’s Day.

  12. So many great women doing powerful projects!

    Here is a group of women artists also doing their part to expose the
    realities of motherhood through film, sculptures, paintings, video and comic art.
    The goal is to crack the myth of the ‘perfect mother’ role in our society.

    http://www.supermomunveiled.com

  13. I’m really late to the party but I just wanted to say hi and thanks for the great list. I found some wonderful new-to-me bloggers there. I also want to shamelessly add my site to the collection. I too am a feminist mama and write about life as a mother in academia from a feminist perspective (when I’m not writing about cycling and running, that is).

    http://simplybikeblog.com

    Really enjoying the scope of this series!

    S.

  14. I was in the 2009 article, but I think I’m going to have to rebrand, since people wrongly conclude I’m a “mommy blogger,” rather than a political/feminist mom.

    http://www.punditmom.com
    http://www.the-broad-side.com

  15. I need help from other feminist moms. My 25 year old daughter is a feminist nightmare. She was given a great education but quite her job, moved in with her boyfriend in the suburbs with no car, and let’s him make all the decisions. She has no intention of going back to work and is waiting on him to propose.

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