Occasionally we stumble upon mommy-blogs in which the author is extremely anxious about the cleanliness of her house or her lack of making beautiful baked goods or what she’s doing or not doing with her children or I don’t know, whatever it is that the NYTimes is telling women and mothers to be anxious about. Sometimes her husband is a lazy asshole and she feels like she can never measure up to his wants and needs while still taking care of the children and house (and sometimes, though not always, her job). And she’s worried about her (normal-range) weight to boot.
And sometimes I will “poo” in her comments section, questioning why she believes that magazine or blog article she read telling her that her life is worthless if her kitchen floor isn’t sparkly. (I haven’t seen articles like that, but bloggers claim they exist. Maybe they have subscriptions to Patriarchy Monthly: Keeping women down since the beginning of time?)
This little scat packet of mine rarely goes over well. I’m not the target demo. The target demo is other women who also feel like their kitchen floor will never be clean enough who are supposed to commiserate. *shudder.*
And I wonder… is there any point to saying, “Cleanliness is next to cleanser, not next to Godliness” and “Why are you making yourself miserable because you don’t measure up to some artificial standard created by the patriarchy?” (Because the blogger is always miserable. And she always blames herself and never the magazines.) Not usually in those words, but it doesn’t actually matter how gently or politely the words are phrased. Harsh comments and gentle comments get the same response.
If it weren’t for the patriarchy or those women’s magazines, would they find something else to be miserable about? Is it really the patriarchy bringing them down, and would understanding it do any good?
Really what I ought to do is to completely leechblock such blogs so I don’t have to read them myself, because they depress me. Reading about women who are upset when they don’t need to be depresses me. I don’t like reading about people who stay with lazy husbands they don’t love and don’t communicate with who make them miserable (and say all relationships are like that, anyone who says differently is lying, so why change). I don’t like reading about people feeling guilty and anxious and worthless because they’re buying the line that the patriarchy is selling them. I don’t like reading about people being determined to stay miserable and anxious.
And no, I don’t blame these women, but it makes me feel sad and helpless to see the comments agreeing that that’s just the way life is and everybody feels like that and all women are worthless and not measuring up to arbitrary standards that they believe are important that don’t have to be important. And voices of dissent get attacked– it’s self-policing. Will it always stay that way? And is one lone blogging voice saying no, don’t believe it, doing more harm than good?
What’s the point?