h/t to Lauren at Feministe
Read bfp's take on the movie, who also links to others thoughts.
Machismo was about putting on a show. About looking really fucking beautiful and representing yourself and your ‘group’ (whether it was a music group, like the mariachis above, or the dancers or bull fighters of old etc) well. It was about attracting a love interest (as in the song above) or demonstrating your bravery. It was about tapping into an ancient past that was strong enough to build a bright future. It was something you did together as a community–how do you show off if there is nobody to watch? But most importantly, machismo was something that you stopped–you took it off and put it away for special occasions. If the special is used every day, then it’s no longer special, right?That's all! xoxo
Blogher has come and gone. The swag has been taken, sorted, trashed or given away. Trinkets and real useful items emblazoned with corporate logos weighed down the shoulders of Bloger attendees. While I did not go myself, there was no lack of swag posts in the momosphere. Last year I gobbled up as much as I could and even made a swag care package for Amy. This year the swag appeared to have jumped a notch or two. One team of mommy bloggers even road tripped their way to Blogher complete with a hybrid Chevy Tahoe and a list of corporate sponsors, including CBS News which got current mom blogger BFF Katie Couric to tape a welcome message for Blogher. As I find myself deeper and deeper in this blogging thing and as I get more and more emails for products and promotions (NOTE: Stop emailing me at my work! That's what the contact me link is for!), I make myself stop and consider the ramifications.
No, I don't think that mommy bloggers are any less smart than techies, music reviewers, or anyone else who blogs and gets freebies tossed at them like we're at a sporting event. I do think that the speed of the mommy blogger boom and the intensity of the swag has been overwhelming for many of us.
Let's take the Blogher Mom Roadtrip moms. I use to write with them and know that they are all intelligent women. I also know that the powers that be over at SV Moms aren't out to do anything sinister. That's why I think it's safe to make them my case study.
There was buzz before the road trip was announced in certain blogging circles that a car company was trying to find the right audience for the offer. I wasn't privy to those conversations, but when I mentioned the road trip to a friend, they nodded and knew it was coming. "They just needed to find the right niche." Add in Zune, Weight Watchers & Six Apart as sponsors and the cross-country road trip appears to have paid for. Yet before they even set out to pay their first toll rumors began to swirl that they were mere shills for the sponsors. On July 10th Jill Asher blogged a huge disclaimer/fact that the moms involved were not given any guidance/rules on how to blog the trip.
…what you won't see blogged from this road trip is detailed information or opinions about the gear our sponsors have provided to make the trip happen. Instead, we've asked our bloggers to simply chronicle their experiences, the good, the bad, the funny, the plain weird. They can mention our sponsors, but they don't have to. For example, we had a question from one of our bloggers today: can she just say, "I got in the car," or does she have to say, "I got in the Chevy." We told her car is fine.
As I said, I know these women and know them to be honest; especially since many of them are also professional writers. They aren't the stereotypical wide-eyed PJ wearing mommy bloggers. Yet because they were going on a sponsored road trip, their integrity was questioned.
I believe that happened precisely because we are not dumb. We, as a society, as a blogosphere, are leery of corporate sponsors. Even if we get them ourselves, we know sometimes they come with strings or gentle suggestions. I know that at some of us are reluctant to post a bad review of a book, restaurant or product for many reasons. First is the backlash that the company or marketing agency won't tweet us again. Next is having no desire to be "mean" to something someone put a lot of work into, especially books. Another reason is that some of us know too well how much power a small post can wield. Yes, even a blog like mine with a small audience can post a bad restaurant review and bring the chef to his knees. A few of us had this convo at last year's Blogher. One woman got emails from the owners asking her to remove the review! I wrote a bad review many moons ago and the manager offered to give my husband & me a free meal to let us judge again. No, I never took him up on it.
I agree with Diane Farsetta at WIMN's Voices (where I also blog) that I'm not totally sure if this type of partnership is problematic. I do find it problematic that marketers who are getting paid big bucks have figured out a way to get moms to do their work for them. Rather than spend thousands of dollars on an ad buy, they are ship off a few freebies with an information sheet chock full of talking points.
The NYTimes covered Blogher and many bloggers were not happy with the placement (in the Style section where almost all women-centric stories live) nor with the description of women bloggers:
[Blogher] has since evolved into a corporate-sponsored Oprah-inflected version of a '60s consciousness-raising group. … many women at the conference were becoming very Katie Couric about their belief that they are not taken as seriously as their male counterparts at, say, Daily Kos, a political blog site. Nor, they said, were they making much money, even though corporations seem to be making money from them.
And that's just what gets my goat. That so many women, especially mom bloggers appear to be drowning in free samples for their review blogs, yet don't seem to be swimming even in the kiddie pool when it comes to cash flow. Well, unless you're Blogher who just signed a deal with NBC & iVillage to the tune of $5 million. No word yet on where that money will end up. And for the record, the women who put Blogher together deserve a good cash reward…yet so does every review blogger out there. For many of us, this is a business and we need to start acting more like businesswomen not grateful for the crumbs that are thrown at us (myself included!).
Farsetta reminded us that Anne Elizabeth Moore chides us all, bloggers or indie punk folk, that when we shill for companies for free swag or a flat-fee that does not add up to at least a certain amount an hour, we are underselling ourselves.
My mother use to remind my sisters and I that we were a reflection of the people we hung out with so to be careful. I think the same idea can be said about those we partner with on reviews and sponsorships. And because of this, we shouldn't be too hurt when someone questions our integrity if we're tooling around in a free car with free $5/gallon gas and blogging about it – Even if we aren't dropping the make & model name every chance we get. "I'm getting into my Toyota Prius. Wow. My Prius windows are dirty! Time to wash the Prius…"
1. Piper Reed Navy Brat came out in paperback this weekHead on over to the Jambalaya blog and get all the details!
2. Piper Reed the Great Gypsy releases on August 19
3. There will be at least six Piper Reed books
4. Each week in August there will be a Piper giveaway
5. Educators will be eligible for the drawing of a classroom set of Piper Reed Navy Brat
The item I miss using the most from when my daughter was a baby is the baby sling & the Bjorn.
I miss having her so close to me; I miss her being small enough to fit into the darn things!
Now baby slings are associated with granola moms or attachment parenting. Sure, they strap their babies to them, but I have to tell you, you are going to want to have that carrier, especially if the baby comes during nice weather (spring – fall). I put my daughter in the Bjorn to take a walk, to walk around the apartment to get her to sleep, and well anytime I wanted to use both my hands, I put her in there.
My daughter certainly lived up to the theory that babies like to be close to you. Heck, she's almost five and she still wants to be next to us.
I also used a wrap sling. It wasn't as easy to use as the Bjorn, but I'm sure that was because I didn't use it enough to learn all the tricks.
In the end, the carrier was quite a life saver. So send your friend this perfect gift.
Apologies for not posting until today, but Monday was jam packed with work & fun.
You can see this week's Work it, Mom post where I ponder whether or not moms really can be green. Being a mom myself I know that convenient-sized items really do make a difference in my life. Can I cut them out? Can others?
I also posted to Chicago Parent about why I applied to the Progressive Women's Voices program.
I am freaking about what to wear this weekend. Thankfully I did get a haircut on Friday, a new work tote on Sunday, I'm getting my nails done today, and Cinnamon's putting the finishing touches on a new purse for me. Um yeah…I was already in the process of a "grown up make-over" and this trip just put that plan into high gear. I love my totes & messenger bags I do have (seriously, see how loved they are!), but I know that I needed to upgrade for work.
And this video is sooooo me. Love it!
abortion as follows: “any of the various procedures — including the prescription, dispensing and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action — that results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation.”WHAT...THE..FUCK!!!!!
A fund has been set up at Jana's former law school to honor her memory:
c/o Dean of Law
1535 W. 15th St.
Lawrence, KS 66045
As great as Woods was in winning the most important major golf tournament of the year, he just got greater. We now know he gritted out all those big drives, made all those miraculous shots and holed all those magnificent putts on a knee that wasn't yet healed from April surgery. And on a leg with stress fractures in two places. - Christine Brennan, USA Today
Yes, there was hemming and hawing on the sports pages about whether or not Tiger should had played at all. But it was more related to his legacy...whether he would surpass Jack Nicholson for Golf King or not. Carol Slezak of the Chicago Sun-Times even reminded us that Tiger's feat is not unique:
“The diagnosis was not to play in the U.S. Open,” Hank Haney, Tiger’s swing coach, said Monday before chuckling. “There was no way he wasn’t playing the U.S. Open.”
That’s what makes Tiger, Tiger. His ferocious competitive streak – which in this case may prove harmful – coupled with his intense mental strength allowed him to not only proceed when he shouldn’t have, but actually thrive. - Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports
You think Tiger Woods had it rough playing golf with an injured knee? Try vaulting on a severely sprained ankle -- and sticking the landing. Oh, how quickly we forget.
Twelve years have passed since Kerri Strug's captivating performance during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Remember her terrific vault and landing, followed closely by a look that said, ''I'm in excruciating pain,'' followed closely by her collapse onto the mat?
Janelle was one of the best players on a very good high-school team, the Lady Raiders of St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale. A midfielder and a 2007 first-team, all-Broward-County selection, she had both a sophistication and a fury to her game — she could adroitly put a pass right on the foot of a teammate to set up a goal, and a moment later risk a bone-jarring collision by leaping into the air to head a contested ball.
That she was playing at all on this day, though, was a testament not to her talent but rather to her high threshold for pain, fierce independence and formidable powers of persuasion. Janelle returned to action a little more than five months after having an operation to repair a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament, or A.C.L., in her right knee. And just 20 months before that, she suffered the same injury to her other knee.
There was a lot of skittishness around the blogosphere about this story. Was it a thinly veiled attempt to drag girls and women back to the time when even running was bad for our reproductive organs? Or a simple call to action, without the call, for parents to wake-up and smell the Icy/Hot?
So where does this leave us parents? Especially those of us with athletic girls, which I am a member of that club. Do we let them see sportscaster after sportswriter bow down at the Temple of Tiger and his amazing ability to win on a torn ACL? Do we afterwards tell them that it's ok for a man to do that and not "you, young lady. You're sitting out of your soccer tourney." Will we get back-up from their coaches? Or do we fall back on the "when you're an adult, you make your own choices," line again?
I'm a huge sports fan...HUGE. But I recall watching my classmates in high school play thru injuries, I see Hall of Fame football players limp thru Chicago, and my knees hurt like hell some days. Do I want that for my girl? Hell no. Do I want her to sit out because she might get hurt? HELL NO.
A middle ground needs to be found, settled, and established. I'm not talking laws here, I'm talking about parents being parents. We should not laud acts such as Tiger Woods at the US Open, Kerri Strug at the Olympics, or Curt Shilling's bloody sock. We should laud the Cubs for putting Zambrano on the 15-day disabled list despite his displeasure and every other player who sits out "just in case." Yes, championships will push us to do things we might not do during the regular season, but we need to ask what is best for the person. Will they be able to walk in 10 years? Will a 15-year-old boy hide his injury to be like Mike? Not just "will we win?" A lot of time and money has been spent to discuss steroids in sports and the way our kids look at it. We need to start talking about cortisone shots and playing on not just bum knees, but torn, broken knees.
- realize that parents are people. Realize that parents are people. Realize that parents are the same people you knew before.
- realize that parents can be activists. but they are also parents. they have different things on their mind. Single parents often have things such as food, rent, money, health on their mind. Unlike the single person, they are usually thinking of their child(ren) when they think about these things. Sometimes a single parent (take me for example) cannot concentrate on the latest protest, though important as it may be, because I may be thinking of what will my next job be, and the addition of subtraction of money in my head.
- to build a community, parents and children should be welcome and not feel they can’t attend a meeting/event because of their baby(ies).
Monthly on WBEZ's The Afternoon Shift.Check the VLF Facebook page and/or my Twitter feed to know when to tune in to 91.5 FM or listen live online.