Suburban housewives gather ‘round kitchen tables and across backyard fences, where they smoke, drink coffee, and share their views on kids, husbands, and creative ways to use Tang in recipes. Adherents to the ‘children-should-be-seen-but-not-heard’ school of thought, these laid-back, retro-moms give their children unlimited access to television, unsupervised outdoor play (as long as they come home when they’re called for dinner), and questionable playthings including toy guns and empty dry cleaner bags. Though small in size, their community network is strong and likely the reason these housewives weren’t driven to drink (that often).
Buoyed by consciousness raising groups, feminist philosophy and an inexplicable love of polyester pant-suits, early feminists unite to demand equal rights for women. Huddling around bra burning bonfires, these thoroughly modern women pass the time dissing male chauvinist pigs while voicing their aspirations for their daughters and themselves. An obsession with benchmarks is born. United in a cause that transcends local concerns, these women reached out beyond their local community to champion social causes (and get out for a night with the girls).
Women enter the workforce in unprecedented numbers. Drawn to power-suits, big shoulder pads and even bigger hair, they juggle career and family in an attempt to have it all. On the down-side, the dual-income household is blamed for spawning rampant consumerism and exhausted women, mothers and wives. On the plus side, women have more purchasing power than ever before. As they gather at office water coolers to speculate who killed J.R. and share war-stories from the mall (a forerunner to the modern-day product review), marketers begin to recognize their clout. As working moms embark on a road previously less traveled, they take support and solace (as well as tips on good daycare) from the other women sharing their journey. They continue to share and connect as their community network extends even more.
Technology (and broadband) becomes mainstream as widespread adoption of email changes our lives. Despite rumours of early adopters having difficulty grasping the nuances of Reply vs. Reply All, society embraces this new medium for connecting. Highly skilled at sharing and connecting, women take to this new means of communication like fish to water, (or schools of fish?). Now they are networked and connected globally, instantaneously and so easily. It’s like it was made for them.
Blogging becomes a way of life as the number of public blogs on the Internet swells to 156 million by February 2011. At 3.9 million strong, Mom Bloggers are a force to be reckoned with. Women find blogging to be a creative outlet, a fledgling business opportunity, a way to stay connected and a lone listening ear at those times when a day at home with children proves long. United, bloggers champion social causes, and speak out against social injustice. They make a difference. Connecting across virtual backyard fences, they reach out to the world to share their views on family, husbands and why their children shouldn’t be allowed unlimited access to television or questionable playthings like guns and dry cleaning bags. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
We celebrate social media, influential women, connectedness and community. The Moms attending the BlogHer ’11 conference this week have a lot to celebrate.
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