image via dic.academic.ru
Dad Bloggers United – An Anarchist’s Picnic?
When I was in college, I stayed in a fairly progressive dorm – often the bathrooms were gender neutral and diversity was a part of the common language there long before it was in the news. Flyers were regularly posted – not just for parties, concerts, and clubs – but for Wiccans, Atheists, and – yes, Anarchists – to meet and discuss common interests. My favorite was the Anarchist’s Picnic.
That always seemed odd to me – Anarchists getting together in an organized fashion. I mean, isn’t that against the whole point of anarchy? Well, a few years have gone by since those days, but that stays with me. And if there is anything parenting has taught me about it is anarchy. Anyway, the reason I bring it up is because there is a fair amount of talk in the blogging community (that I have seen anyway) about mom bloggers and dad bloggers and how they are alike or different. I’ve decided to weigh in on the issue and cause a bit of anarchy myself.
You see, in the last couple of years, there were some moms that started blogging about being moms. Naturally, part of parenting is purchasing, so companies began to be interested in what moms had to say about their products. In the process, many products courted and sponsored (directly or indirectly) some mom blogs and some were given free products, and others formed campaigns around commercials they hated or poor service encounters. Conferences were developed, books were written – commerce was growing around this new niche of public consumerism. And all was well and good in the blogosphere.
But a little while into it, a funny thing happened. As blogging in general became more prolific – it was no longer just the moms that were blogging about parenting. The dads of the blogosphere began to be more vocal about being dads and pockets of movements erupted here and there as forums where dads could express their parenting prowess and problems. Suddenly the age old paradigm of the chasm between the genders had now infected the emerging public parenting industry. Yes, you heard me correctly, the public parenting industry. Yes, I did just make that up, but you can have it. Go on. Take it.
Anyway, the question remains, will dad bloggers be able to organize and influence consumer goods in the same way mom bloggers have? If so, what will it look like and if not, why not? Obviously I have opinions, otherwise why on earth would anyone ever want to start a blog? Sidenote: in the future, if you want your voice (opinion) to be counted, forget your vote, start a blog. Other sidenote: in the sci-fi future, if you want to vote, you must be a blog owner. Last sidenote: the sic-fi future is meant to be cool and interesting about keeping bad things from happening through cool and interesting things.
Here’s my theory (finally) about dad bloggers – it all goes back to the anarchists picnic. in a certain way, dads just don’t have the same mentality as moms – much in the same way men’s magazines and women’s magazines are different. But how much of that comes from the way we are and how much of the way we are comes from what we learn in the magazines (and other media.)
Maybe we should not be allowing this fragmentation of the parenting genders at all. Maybe the rally cry of the dad blogger should be “down with mommy and daddy blogger stereotypes!” After all, in my house, there has to be a coordinated effort between mommy parenting and daddy parenting – if there isn’t, our kids smell it a mile away and exploit it like velociraptors testing electric fences in Jurassic Park.
I know – what I’m suggesting sounds like anarchy to those for whom “buckets of identification” are needed – as another daddy blogger once said. But parenting is much more than being just a dad or just a mom – and there are people all day everywhere that serve as parents to children for whom they are not a biological mother or father. There are gay parents raising children – do they have to have their own “bucket” or will we just continue to marginalize them into second class citizenry in an effort to ignore them out of reality as some have tried? What about foster parents? Grandparents raising their grandkids? Adopted families? If we have learned anything from watching television it should be that what we call the nuclear family is changing in its make-up and dynamics.
So too, then, should the buckets change. In fact, let’s get rid of the buckets altogether. No more buckets! There, I said it. Parenting Folks of all flavors unite! Anarchy! And picnics. Definitely more picnics.