Yesterday Gawker went all Fox News on mom bloggers when one of their writers, Brian Moylan, decided to take down all mommy bloggers because one of them had offended him with a post about a risqué billboard for Manhunt, a gay hook-up app, that had offended her. Still with me? The post was subtly titled, “Mommy Bloggers Need to Shut Up About This Dirty Gay Billboard.” No crass link-baiting there.
His beef is with a blogger named Kelly Cole, who wrote about a billboard that she drives by on the way to her kid’s school. The ad features two buff guys, suggestively disrobed and about to start kissing. She explains that despite thinking of herself as a liberal feminist, she feels that her 9-year-old’s innocence is being put in jeopardy by the sign. Alright, maybe she was doing a little link-baiting herself … because, seriously?
Specifically, Cole says: “You try explaining the “Zero feet away MANHUNT MOBILE” phone application to your 9-year-old son. A 9-year-old who loves Army guys, and so noticed the dog tags right away.” She goes on to say that it isn’t the “porn-iness” of the image or that it features men, it is the fact that she has to figure out how to tell her fourth-grader “that some people like to find casual sex partners fast by using their mobile phones.”
Moylan lambasts Cole for trying to paint herself as a liberal, points out that her protestations that she’d feel the same way if it was a man and a woman on the billboard are b.s. because our society is so inundated with images of sexually-charged men and women selling things that you almost don’t even notice them anymore—this one stands out because it is two men, proceeds to give her some tips on how to frame the ad in a loving and thoughtful way (“Tell him it’s for a way for men who fall in love with other men to meet. Easy as that. You don’t have to tell him it’s for sex.”), and then closes it out by pronouncing her blog post as “‘mommy blogging’ at it’s worst,” and that she is just another “privileged heterosexist asshole.”
As a purported “mommy blogger,” I know that it is always a risk to post what you really think about something when it is the least bit controversial. Most people shy away from it because you never know what the blowback will be and, for the most part, people naturally want to avoid confrontational situations. So, I’m sure that Cole knew she was asking for it when she posted her opinion on the MANHUNT billboard. She lives in one of the most liberal parts of America, for crying out loud, this couldn’t be the first time the subject of homosexuality has come up for her 9-year-old. I live in the heart of Midwest and my FIVE-year-old knows what it means to be gay, so I have to question her claims of being “liberal,” too.
So even though I agree with Moylan, I have to take him to task for being so over-the-top in his denunciation of mommy bloggers. His opening salvo of “Is there anything worse than mommy bloggers? That is a rhetorical question because if you have two firing synapses, you know the answer to that question” smacks of a calculated plot to get hundreds of thousands of pageviews from irate mom bloggers (who, it seems, never fail to take the bait, i.e. What am I writing about and linking to right now?), when his message of using this unusual-to-our-heterosexist-society billboard to create a teaching moment with your kids, thereby promoting the acceptance of homosexuality as a family value should be more than enough.
So, please tone it down, Gawker. If you have a problem with an individual, take out your frustrations on them, not the entire group they appear to be part of. I believe that is called stereotyping and when combined with histrionics and hyperbole it just makes you look like some kind of Bizarro World Bill O’Reilly.
Photo Credit: StudioCityPatch
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