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Dec 13, 2012

Why the term 'mummy bloggers' should be banished

The term "mummy bloggers" -- much in the news of late -- is patronising and sexist, and should be consigned to the rubbish bin.


Apparently there are bloggers, and then there are “mummy bloggers”.

We were reminded of this recently when the Prime Minister hosted a bunch of them to drinks this week. Similarly, there are doctors and “doctors’ wives”. It is very important that poor unsuspecting readers and voters (and possibly medical patients) know the difference, especially if they are men. Otherwise they run the very real risk of taking the content of such blogs seriously or, in the case of the doctors’ wives, the opinions of such citizens on their merits.

If that happened they’d get infected with what the boys in my primary school playground used to call girl germs, and their p-nises (which is where men keep their brains apparently) would fall off.

To avert such a national catastrophe, sensible non-mummy commentators have been outing such girl-germ-carriers at every opportunity. There may even be a case for Nicola Roxon to pass legislation forcing mummy bloggers and doctors’ wives to be sold in plain packaging with graphic warnings about what can happen to unsuspecting men who get contaminated.

You see, and this may shock you, these mummy bloggers write about their lives, and some of them attempt to make a little pin money doing so. Some people, usually other women, find what they have to say helpful and occasionally even amusing. Which is really weird because, as we all know, women have no sense of humour.

Some female bloggers are not called mummy bloggers (just like some wives are not called doctors’ wives) because they don’t write about icky, girly things like bearing and bringing up children. They write about really super important things like budget surpluses and the latest poll results and whether Warney should be pre-selected for the Aussie cricket team even though he is 43.

They may or may not be mothers but — as all decent writers should — they keep such irrelevant private nonsense to themselves. No one wants to stop the mummy bloggers from writing their fluffy little columns, it’s simply that the rest of us need to be warned on approach. After all, there’s no bloody point having a ghetto — even a pink one — if you don’t let people know that its there.

Oh, and also come up with ways of keeping the people who are in the ghetto inside it. Some have suggested walls and barbed wire, but so far name-calling seems to be doing the trick.

The wives who are not called “doctors’ wives” may or may not be married to doctors (just like the doctors’ wives who are called “doctors wives”, confusingly) but they are those good women who vote for the Liberal Party like their husbands and believe in turning back the boats and that marriage should only be something that those with p-nises can do with those without them.

What is really causing concern amongst the self-appointed guardians of our media’s public health is that some of these mummy bloggers are starting to make some serious money. They are attracting women whose entire purpose in life, as anyone in advertising can tell you, is to shop. This used to work beautifully when the money women spent shopping went to the men who owned the shops and ran the factories that made the stuff mummy shoppers bought, but that’s not how it seems to be working any more.

Now these damned mummy bloggers are making some of that money and that’s just not right. Some of the men who used to make all the money out of mummy shoppers are feeling the pinch.

DISCLAIMER: The author would like to make clear that this is meant to be a satirical piece and not to be taken literally. The views expressed are not actually those of the author, who believes that the term mummy bloggers is patronising, derogatory and s-xist (with a dash of misogyny thrown in for extra flavor). She believes bloggers should be described in non-gender specific ways like poet, cop, scientist, writer, author, nurse and teacher and that when we do otherwise, we categorise and diminish their work as we do when we talk of female poets, lady cops, female scientists, woman writers (or worse women’s writer) and male nurses.

She also does not really believe men keep their brains between their legs. Well, not all of them, anyway.

*This article was originally published at Women’s Agenda


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35 thoughts on “Why the term ‘mummy bloggers’ should be banished

  1. Venise Alstergren

    Heavens to Betsy, we will have Granny Bloggers if we aren’t careful. Whereas if a grandfather was a blogger; what would he be called? A Gramp blogger?

    OTOH, writing about female issues should, OTW, be confined to women’s magazines, the back pages of the MSM, and their own personal blogs.

  2. Scott

    The fact that the nation’s media and popular culture hasn’t classified an online group as “Daddy Bloggers” is discrimination of the highest order.
    I demand that this group be recognised by the media as an influential minority group so that they too can get invited to drinks by the PM. Then I can bitch about it in left wing media, saying the term “Daddy blogger” is sexist and patronising (even though it might be one way of differentiating these bloggers from the mass of other bloggers out there and be the point of difference that drives people to their sites, increasing their influence)

  3. William Goodrich

    Mummies are from Egypt. Mommies are child-care givers.

  4. Alex

    Apropos: On Ladyblogs, by n+1 magazine from earlier in the year:

  5. milkus1

    The last sentence says it all for me…for all the denial of not being patronising, derogatory and s-xist in the disclaimer, the author tops it off with exactly the opposite.

    “She also does not really believe men keep their brains between their legs. Well, not all of them, anyway.

    The guise of humour, just exposes the true stance of the author towards such qualities she wants us to think she has. “I don’t think all women writers are brainless, well, not all of them.” would certainly not make past the editing desk. Neither statement should be acceptable.

  6. The Pav


    Two things

    First a clarification

    When you write”She also does not really believe men keep their brains between their legs. Well, not all of them, anyway.” Does “not all of them” mean All men or all their brains


    Is it OK to have Grumpy Old Fart Bloggers? I think that would not be gender specific although I would guess that most people would assume the masculine would apply.

    Disclaimer…….Just having some fun on an otherwise horrid day

  7. Salamander

    Don’t worry milkus1. Mummies are from Egypt. They are definitely brain-dead.

  8. Charlie Maigne

    I found the article generally unfunny so I’ll skip to the serious point:

    If someone blogs primarily about her experiences and observations as a mother, does that not make her a ‘mummy blogger’? How is that at all misogynistic or patronising? How does it diminish a blogger’s work to label it according to its content? The author herself acknowledges that women who blog about other issues like politics or current affairs are not called ‘mummy bloggers’.

    Sure, we can neuter the terminology with something like ‘parent bloggers’ but the fact is that most of these blogs are mother-centric, and that’s the image that comes to most people’s minds when they think of the genre.

  9. Holden Back

    We have zombie journalists, so we can have mummy bloggers.

  10. Observer

    Those bloggers — the aren’t-we-marvellous-for-procreating-more-middle-class, self-righteous, self-sainting, self-congratulatory and often sneerlingly contemptuous of the fecklessly hedonistic childfree — are, indeed, mummy-bloggers.

  11. Mike Smith

    @Holden: Indeed, a mummy could be regarded as a zombie wearing its sunday best. I’m not sure whether if they went to church they would believe in transubstantiation.

  12. Matthew McKenzie

    So you are suggesting we should label such bloggers in a non gender specific term such as “primary care giver to sons and daughters internet writer”?

    How is it misogynistic to label a mother as a mother. After all, mother, (or mummy or mommy or mum) is a gender specific term in itself. There is nothing sexist about that. I’d have thought that should be a much respected role in our society. If a woman wishes to write about her role as mother to her children in blog form, what might be wrong with labeling it as such?

    If there are reasons for that being sexist, then I’m afraid you’ve failed to list any in this unfortunately unfunny piece.

  13. Patriot

    Utterly daft coming from someone who is regularly published on Women’s Agenda. Charity begins at home. Would be nice if loony left outrage could begin there too.

  14. zut alors

    Venise, a grandfather blogger would be termed a wise elder.

  15. Phen

    I’ve even heard of journalists who write about sport being described as “Sports journalists”. I don’t know how these vicious labellers ever sleep at night.

  16. puddleduck

    Mummy bloggers. The ultimate cash for comment strategy of multinationals trying to get product X into your and my home.

    I used to read a mummy blog. It was a wee bit nauseating (north shore trials… you know the drill), but I persevered. Until said mummy blogger didn’t publish a comment I made querying the integrity of the product/service puffed by one of her posts.

    With various family issues of my own (that don’t include project managing a renovation, but rather, helping elderly parents as their lives disintegrate), I haven’t had time or energy to write to ask on what terms said MB agrees to receive cash for positive comment. But I’m not reading rhapsodies about any product where those terms seem to include not allowing any negative (but truthful) comments.

  17. Sprague Brett

    *yawn* A complete beat-up so Caro can have another rant and assert her feminist credentials. First, I have watched the phenomenon, like many others, for many years. The greatest contempt toward the so called “Mummy Bloggers” always came from hipster female types. It always seemed obvious that they were grossly offended that women would not only blog about what interested them (and what not often interested men) or put their “Mummy” slant on interests common to both sexes but that they could make money doing it. This offence did also seem to be 90% jealousy because the hipster bloggers were starving bloggers getting far fewer clicks/views etc.
    Second, to link this phenomenon to Mysogyny just because there are spaces in social media designed by women, for women, containing stuff often not interesting to men is hardly women-hating behaviour. I can bet hardly any men are upset these “Mommy Bloggers” are successful- no hate at all- just little interest and that is by design – the blogger’s design!

  18. Dianne Longson

    I love this piece and its satirical view of the discriminatory, sexist, misogynistic references to “mummy bloggers”. However I need to ask why words like “penis” and “sexist” are included as they are: p-nis & s-xist. Is there a PC problem with these words of which I am blissfully unaware? Can anyone explain?
    And a word to Goodrich re the spelling of mummy, as in child care-giver; it is only mommy if you come from America. If you speak English English, as opposed to American English, the word is Mummy!

  19. CML

    @ Dianne – If you don’t put the hyphen in these and other words, the moderator strikes. Mind you, it strikes for no reason at all sometimes on Crikey!
    You also beat me to it on the spelling of Mummy. Mommy? Only in America!!
    Aside from that – Jane you write what you want to write in your articles, blogs etc. For heaven’s sake leave these women to do likewise. These blogs don’t interest me, so do what I do, and don’t read them if they upset your feminist tendencies. The whole blo+dy country is full of experts with opinions on what people should write, read, see and hear. Live and let live, I say.

  20. Hamis Hill

    Famous agricultural scientist turned economist John Kenneth Galbraith in his book “Economics and The Public Purpose” described those who stay at home and run the household, generally women and mothers, as “The unpaid managers of consumption” without whose financially unrewarded efforts the entire economy of production would collapse.
    Galbraith argued that if the household bound managers of consumption were infact paid for their efforts then beneficial labour saving devices and services would emerge to reduce these costs.
    As it presently stands the unpaid “managers of consumption” have no incentive to raise their productivity by reducing the amount of time earning their “management of consumption” financial rewards simply because there are no payments for their labour.( John Lennon observed that, with regard to this effective “slavery”; “Women are the Ni–ggers of the World”)
    So good luck to “Mummy Bloggers” for seeking rewards for their efforts, which otherwise are sent unproductively wandering about shopping malls drinking coffee and window shopping as a way to fill in the time.
    Long past time for Galbraith’s unpaid managers of consumption to join the paid work force even if they have to employ themselves.
    This seems to be an economic and social justice issue considering that many households do not infact have a young mummy in residence yet their comsumption still has to be managed.

  21. Holden Back

    ‘Daddy’ blogger more than likely NSFW.

  22. Shaniq'ua Shardonn'ay

    @Dianne Longson – the dashes in the words p-nis etc is so that email versions of the article can get around spam filters. Nothing to do with PC.

  23. Shaniq'ua Shardonn'ay

    The fact that this article was first published in “Women’s Agenda” which from which we have articles such as “Gift Guide: Finishing Christmas shopping during your lunch break” !!! and “How to manage 5500 people and still have a life” is significant in itself. Maybe when it’s published in a news site that is described in non-gender specific manner I might bother taking it seriously, JC.
    Pot, Kettle, black.

  24. floorer

    Disproportionate, what these responses are (largely) to this fairly light article.

  25. Monash.edu

    “Which is really weird because, as we all know, women have no sense of humour.”

    Many do, but I’m afraid Jane isn’t amongst them.

    Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.

  26. Monash.edu

    Man, I think I’ve found something more irritating than straw-person argumentation: straw-person ‘satire’.

  27. dylan edwards

    I once heard a child call one of their parents ‘mummy’. Don’t worry I set her straight, the child agreed to call both of her parents ‘gender non specific caregiver’.

  28. Venise Alstergren

    MATTHEW McKENZIE: Good one. Therefore a granny blogger might be ‘Mother of a primary care giver to sons and daughters of internet writer’. Whereas a daughter of an internet writer might be, ‘Daughter of primary care giver to sons and daughters of internet writer’. aka Mum.

    PEOPLE WRITING IN FAVOUR OF MOMMIE should be shot. It’s an American word and sounds revolting.

  29. Venise Alstergren

    SHANIQ’UA SHARDONN’AY: Love your comment, (24).

  30. Venise Alstergren

    ZUT:(15) Ho ho ho ho….very clever. i wish I’d thought of it!

  31. Tom Jones

    There are those who would still argue that when they speak of mankind they also mean women who are wrapped up in the deal. As for Mummy bloggers why not just refer to them as women if the gender is important to know prior to reading a blog ( and I concede it might be as I would appreciate a warning when I am about to read a blog by an immature, ignorant male or narcissistic blogger.) Unfortunately the word Mummy has a lot of negative connotations because of the love of the English upper classes to use this word long into adulthood.

  32. zac48

    What outrageous sexist rubbish….”otherwise [dumb] men might actually believe it.” They’re so dumb they think they might catch “girl germs”, an American expression adopted by arrogantly self-appreciating child rearers, (mothers) in Australia. “Their penises might fall off!” A Freudian slip if I’ve ever heard one. Jane, a shrink can explain to you what ‘penis envy’ is. “girl germs”? an expression I’ve only ever heard used on the ‘Simpsons’ which is, in it’s own right a specifically sexist, socially conditioning cartoon of great influence. The image pushed, and men are reflected as, the stupid, emotionally stunted, drunk Homer. Anti-social, juvenile delinquent and potentially drug addicted Bart. Then there’s the very antithesis and opposite. The emotionally generous, all suffering and caring family loving Marj. And of course Lisa is a socially aware, intellectually advanced ‘liberated’ girl who is going to be the President of the U.S. one day. This microcosm of society reflects all the male characters in a negative light and all the females in a disadvantaged and positive light. These relationships are what the “liberated female” in our society generally identifies with mothers teaching their daughters, growing up at their knee, the same doctrine of sexual discrimination against men…Let’s completely disassociate ourselves from those dumb, unevolved men…. The ‘subjective group’ of women naive enough to identify with and be used by the great misandrist, Julia Gillard, thrive on this sort of sexism. Your a perfect example Jane Caro. This article about “mummy bloggers” runs much deeper than your throw away DISCLAIMER, and your self-righteous comments are just another example of a sex going through an identity crisis which is expressed by sexual discrimination toward men….Up the sisterhood. Go girl… Just pathetic.

  33. Venise Alstergren

    ZAC: I admire your passion-I thought the article to be tripe as well. However, purlese, ‘penis-envy’ is A) A fallacy. B) So terribly 1960s.

  34. Sexton rod

    Is Jane Caro a mummy? – if so, then she is a mummy-blogger.

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