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Double Standard 2.0; Bias and The Wall Street Journal

Yvonne Condes at blogger conference (photo by Rachel Matos)

In February, the New York Times had an article about the blogging conference Dad 2.0 in which the men were portrayed as trendsetters who were media savvy and professional. The headline for the article was, “Don’t Call Him Mom, or an Imbecile.” Because what’s the equivalent of being called an imbecile? Mom, of course.

Here is how the men are described in the New York Times article.

The 200 or so bloggers and media professionals who attended the second annual Dad 2.0 conference in Houston from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 were mainly in their 30s and 40s. They tended to wear well-fitting jeans, button-down shirts and blazers, and they were quick to whip out pictures of their children on their iPhones.

They sound like a delightful group who care about their families, are presentable and professional.

Now, fast forward to this week when a Wall Street Journal article portrayed mom bloggers as frivolous, vapid drunks who go to conferences like Mom 2.0 with the intent of partying and escaping their children.  “The Mommy Business Trip; Conferences Appeal to Women with a Guilt-Free, Child Free Reason to Leave Home” is so sexist, insulting, and ridiculous I hardly know where start.

Here’s an excerpt from the WSJ.

She (Katherine Stone) and other mothers who work from home —bloggers, interior decorators, crafters and the like—rarely get to travel alone to escape the daily grind. Event planners, networking organizations, travel agents [do travel against still exist?] and consumer-goods marketers are targeting these women by sponsoring conferences and conventions. They have figured out a simple way to make them happy: Give them a reason to go on a business trip.

First off, this article, its title, and its graphics imply that women who go to conferences without professional intent. They’re going their to escape their sad lives and whoop it up because why else would a woman go to a conference? It couldn’t possibly be to learn something, to network, or to be inspired.

This will be my first time at Mom 2.0 and I thought long and hard about whether it was worth it to spend the money and take time away from family. In the end, learning about “New Tools for Content Engagement,” “Empowering Your Small Business for Growth,” and “Random Acts of Impact; The Power of Giving Back” were worth it for me. But now when I get back, I’ll have to listen to friends joking about how all I did was hit the mini bar and watch tv in my hotel room.

I doubt when the men came back from Dad 2.0 if anyone was asking them how many beers they had or rounds of golf they played or how many pictures they took of themselves holding mint juleps. Okay, we mom bloggers tend to take a lot of pictures of ourselves, but that doesn’t mean we’re not serious about our profession.

The women I’ve met through blogging and at these “Mommy Conferences” are amazing, smart, talented women who have successful businesses, non profits, blogs, and websites. To lump us all together as a stereotype of a mother who yearns for fulfillment is pathetic and irresponsible. The writer clearly knows nothing about the profession.

It’s ironic that part of the Mom 2.0 conference is sponsored by Dove, a company that has gone to great lengths to empower women and girls when one of the leading newspapers in the country is making a point to try make women look silly.

 

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