08 August 2007

One Pinays thoughts on the State of the Momosphere

You'd have to be living under a rock if you have not heard about the conversations swirling about race and bloggers. There have been some amazing posts by CityMama and Mocha Momma detailing the situation with marketeers who had "no idea what to do with communities of color" at the BlogHer Conference. This ignited a larger discussion. There have been countless others reacting to what happened, intelligently bringing the conversation to a deeeper, more authentic place. In particular, I found Jason from Daddy in a Strange Land's thoughts so right on. I found myself nodding the whole time.

In all honesty, I have never been the one to make a scene. Never the one to raise my fist in protest, but rather have always needed to take it back, digest it and then formulate my opinion. Maybe it was from growing up with a "don't rock the boat" mentality from my immigrant parents - who for most of my life did what they could to fit in in America, rather than stick out. Blogging has helped me kick that attitude.

I was there at the Blog Her conference in the room where it all came down. It was disappointing, frustrating and infuriating. I am a new blogger and came to the conference thinking that I would learn about the nuts and bolts of blogging, and was surprised to spend more time learning more about the politics of blogging. In my obvious naivete, I did not spend anytime thinking about how mommybloggers of color were not pitched to by marketers. I had noticed that there was not a dearth of blogs written by women of color, but chalked that up to my lack of tech/search skills and time to explore the vast blogosphere. I also mused about why we got potholders, nasal spray and gum in the swag bags. Did the marketers expect us to write about these things for free? Is this what they thought what mommy's or women in general wanted? I blindly went to BlogHer thinking most things in the blogosphere were equal - duh! Thanks for opening my eyes.

Regardless, I want to respond to Kelly's/Mocha Mom's question at the end of her post - "Where were you, Mommybloggers? I needed you."

While yes there were many women who have responded with a resounding, "I had my hand up!" or "I wanted to talk more about that". There were many of us who remained silent because we did not think anyone would hear or try to listen. When I stumbled upon filipinamamas.com, I was so excited to find a space where we could explore parenting through a pinay lens. Is it different from my non-pinay lens? Do I have a non-pinay lens? No! My parenting style is a reflection of my upbringing and rebellion from a Filipino upbringing. Yes, marketers and blog readers, I bring all that to my writing. Most women of color bring all that to our writing and our parenting. We bring all that and buy deodorant, watch TV and drive cars, just like our caucasian counterparts.

Mocha Momma, where were the mommy's who had your back? I for one, was stuck in my head trying to understand where others thought my place in the blogosphere should be. I spent the next few days clarifying what I think that place should be. Filipinas have a unique parenting perspective. I hope this space is a start to educate others, more importantly I hope it is a place for us to connect, support each other, exchange Spam recipes and build community. (Hey, there's a sponsorship we should be able to lock down!) This Pinay momma has your back, is inspired by your courage and will continue to write on the blogosphere to shed light on this inequity. I'll be there at BlogHer 08 to continue this conversation live.

I look forward to continuing this conversation online with you all.


Mocha said...

I think you've hit on it: there are politics to blogging that many of us didn't ever expect. But I have to say that I have a bit of guilt "opening [your] eyes" because I liked it when I was happy with the organic process of writing. Then, I read others. Then, I realized the unfairness. Then, I got ticked off.

And now I'm here.

Thank you for your thoughtful reflection on this and posting here. I understand the "I can't comment under 200 words because now I have so much to say!" thing. ;-)

la dra said...

Well said. Like you, I think having a site like this one makes a statement about who is here and who is shaping America's future generation. It's important that we not use the anonymity of the internet here because we are more empowered by our identity here when we share it the way we want to share it.

I like how you mention how your parenting style may even be a rebellion against Filipino upbringing. I think I sense a deeper post in that statement...

mj aka sugarmama said...

I'm nodding all the way through your posting. I missed out on that whole session at blogher and I'm glad that you posted it here.

FilipinaMoms.com solidified the pride I feel as a Filipina and as a Mom. I'm glad to hear that that some of us had found a home in the internet. Now it is just a matter of getting people to know that we are here,and we are here to stay.