Double Standards

by Marinka on February 27, 2011

This weekend there was a huge article about mommy blogging and Dooce in the New York Times, so of course, OF COURSE, the comment section of the Motherlode blog is filled with the whole “MOMMY BLOGGERS ARE EXPLOITING THEIR INNOCENT CHILDREN!” stuff. Oh my god, the innocent children cry. Give me a fucking break. What about us? The parents. The mothers.

Let me paint you a picture.

Let’s use watercolors, shall we? The faint blue, to capture the winter sky. The white, the brightest of Benjamin Moore whites, the glistening newscaster’s teeth white, for the snowy mountains. The Catskill mountains. See my kids there with my Papa? They are away for a ski weekend. Some of their friends came too. Whoosh! There they go down the mountain! Please note the reddish hue of their cheeks! They are outdoors, skiing and happy.

And what is Marinka doing? Well, let’s put away the colors for that sketch. We’ll use charcoal, or pen and pencil, maybe. We find Marinka at home, in the West Village, cleaning. See? There she is in the bathroom on her hands and knees, scrubbing the toilet. What’s that? Oh, that’s just some Comet chlorox cleaner that splashed into Marinka’s eye from the toilet. No big whoop. We won’t know until later if she’s blinded or not, of course, but that’s what life is, after all, one adventure after another!

Marinka is now done cleaning the bathroom and squinting at it with her one working eye; she is pleased with how clean it is. Yes, a sense of accomplishment washes over her, because apparently the drop of Comet that splashed into her eye has somehow traveled into her brain and performed a virtual lobotomy.

Marinka goes to her daughter’s room and empties out the trash can. Something is stuck to the bottom. It’s typed. It looks like something Marinka’s daughter typed. Should Marinka read it? Surely reading it would somehow violate Marinka’s 12 year old daughter’s privacy. Fortunately Marinka subscribes to the paparazzi theory that garbage is up for grabs!

Marinka sets down her cleaning utensils and begins to read.

Mini Essay: Double Standards

My family doesn’t have a lot of double standards, except for my mom.

The arguments about that are between my brother and my mom and they sound like this:

“Mom, can I have some ice cream?”

“Sure, but only one portion.”

“What? Why can’t I have two?”

“Because you can’t have a lot. It’s too much!”

A day later, most of the ice cream is gone, obviously eaten by my mother. My brother gets upset at my mom and a small argument occurs.

Now, what do I think about this? What made it a double standard is that my mom said that my brother couldn’t have ice cream but then goes and eats it all. Double standards are just setting rules and breaking them because she can. I for one think it’s not controlling oneself because she is the most powerful and no one can tell her what to do.

Another example proving my point happened today, February ninth (Ed. note: I’m surprised she didn’t add, the Year of Our Lord, 2011).

My mom always tells my brother to wear a hat so he won’t get sick, but a couple of days ago she didn’t wear one herself. She spent today in bed, sick and I bet she regrets not wearing a hat.

This is what happens when one doesn’t follow a rule that does her good. Why not follow it? People can be lazy sometimes, but they just have to stop their temptations and follow the rule. For health.

WHAT THE HELL?

First of all, may it please the court, I did not eat all the ice cream. After the children-gluttons have their portions I have mine, so of course, OF COURSE the total amount of ice cream is reduced, but it has been pre-reduced by the children.

Second of all, my daughter is writing essays about how “obviously” I ate all the ice cream. And handing it to the teacher. And probably reading it to the class. Oh, I’m sure she’s getting a good grade for it, she always does. At my expense. That’s right, I feel exploited. Why should her academic success come at the price of everyone knowing that my children accuse me of eating all the ice cream.

Aren’t parents entitled to some privacy? Was I asked if I wanted my private ice cream eating habits exposed to the world of 12 year old classmates?! No wonder they snicker when they see me and hold their pixie sticks a little bit tighter when I walk by.

I say that as parents, it’s time we stop focusing so much on the children and start standing up for our own rights. If we don’t now, we have no right to complain when they Mommie Dearest  Double Standards us when they’re adults.

Join me. Insist that your children don’t use your lives as fodder for their homework assignments, sharing time at school, Facebook updates or conversations with their friends.

Or if they absolutely must, have them include a link back to your blog.

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Mommy Knows Best (Time Out Reading) |
March 4, 2011 at 6:24 am

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

OHmommy
Twitter:
February 27, 2011 at 4:01 pm

I dunno know. Every time I read an article like that and scan the comments I go into a deep whythefuckdoiblog funk. I’ve noticed that a lot of bloggers who started blogging the same time I do have become much more quiet about their children. I too post less frequently about my children now.

I do enjoy blogging. If I didn’t I wouldn’t take the time to leave this comment on a Sunday afternoon in my kitchen as I prepare our family dinner. But. Articles like those and comments left on it always make me re-evaluate my blog.

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Loukia February 27, 2011 at 9:33 pm

I’m as open on my blog as I am if I were at the park and meeting a mom for the first time – I’ll use my children’s names, I’ll talk about stories about my children, even how worried some things make me, etc. I’m always honest on my blog, but I sure as heck don’t spill it all on my blog. There’s my blog, and there’s my real life, where all my real thoughts are kept, in journals for my children, or in discussions with my closest friends, you know? I’m just sick of reading about blogs – good or bad? Blah blah blah boring. Don’t we all have LIVES?

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Mwa (Lost in Translation) February 27, 2011 at 4:06 pm

See, I was going to feel bad for you and agree and all that, until you added the bit about “in the West Village.” You lost my sympathy there. Boohoo me, here I am living in the coolest place on earth, boohoo. Nope, didn’t work.

(I’m the one in your webcam that’s looking green with envy.)
((Yes, I know that doesn’t make sense.))
(((I’ve had some alcohol.)))

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Loralee
Twitter:
February 27, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Every time I read comments like that I have an overwhelming wish that I had to ability to totally examine the commenter’s life and their inevitable fuckups as a parent and shout them from the rooftops.

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Maggie May February 27, 2011 at 4:28 pm

This is one of the funniest posts I’ve read in a loooong time.
I literally laughed out loud.
Thank you for that.
Oh dear god.
Kids.

As far as the haters? My husband can’t get past ‘fuck them’ and I think
he has a point.

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kalisah
Twitter:
February 27, 2011 at 4:31 pm

I do what I want and I don’t give a shit about the comments or opinions of people who don’t even know me. So there. My life (& blogging) philosophy. Booyah.

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Amelia February 27, 2011 at 4:41 pm

I liked the article, I didn’t realize some of the background stories of the blogs I read. There’s so much worse out there then blogging about your family and making money off of it that I can’t even begin to try and defend it. Everyone needs to find their own level of comfort within their family and do their best to work with it. I didn’t read the comments, I try to avoid the real world as much as possible.

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By Word of Mouth
Twitter:
February 27, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Firstly it may be time that twelve year old cleaned a bathroom and emptied her own trash can.
Secondly, I see this as another win for homeschooling since there would be no vindication on double standards if you were presenting this paper to the perpetrator of the double standards and this would be a moot point.
My children btw, have no doubt in their minds that I am the one who has finished the ice-cream, using with a fork while two fingertyping their life stories into my blog …
their history of course, for their review … eventually …

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By Word of Mouth
Twitter:
February 27, 2011 at 4:48 pm

lol, try and see your way around the auto correct …
and if you didn’t notice, then sorry I mentioned them :)

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deborah l quinn
Twitter:
February 27, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Hmm. Exploiting children by writing about their foibles on the internet so that you can discover you’re not alone and thus NOT KILL THE FRUIT OF YOUR LOINS? Or care and tend to your children by instilling in them the dream of being a 4 year old beauty queen? I mean, there’s exploiting and then there’s EXPLOITING. Not to mention the Senator in Missouri who wants to roll back child labor laws (no I am not making this up) so that kids under 14 can work as long as they want, wherever they want, with no parental permission necessary. I would gently suggest that the idiots who write things like “blogger exploit their kids” are A) idiots; B) not writers; C) idiots; D) lots of bad words that I don’t want to sully your comment space.

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Diane February 28, 2011 at 7:46 am

I agree with Deborah. Not having read the NY Times piece, I cannot comment, but really – what a bunch of kill joys. Sounds like the jealous girls in HS that find out the smart girls really are hip and want to do something to destroy them. Exploit our children, give me a break. Isn’t that better than expoliting our boobs, big hair and marriages for riches like the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills? Mommy Bloggers give moms a virtual support group – because we are too busy to foster our own adult relationships because we are home scrubbing something or sorting someone’s socks.

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sophie February 27, 2011 at 6:00 pm

I am a *very small* blogger who will never make money from it–and I’m good with that. I do not have children, but I did have stepkids for 4 years. Did I use them as topics when they did funny/silly/stupid stuff? Absolutely. Do I still post when my niece and nephew do silly/stupid/funny things? (Like the other night when they were divvying up my belongings “to be prepared” when I die) Of course. I also love all four of them dearly and would never do anything that felt damaging or intrusive. I have to trust that other mothers know their kids and their comfort level. I know many mommy bloggers do cut back on the kid stories as the kids get older, and that is a choice only they can make. And just for the record? There isn’t a kid in the universe who isn’t going to hate their parents for something at some point. At least the blogging makes a nice scrapbook.

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the mama bird diaries
Twitter:
February 27, 2011 at 6:39 pm

I agree. The very least children can do is link back to our blogs. I will join your cause.

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Catherine
Twitter:
February 27, 2011 at 7:05 pm

I always think, If you hate mommy blogs, why in hell do you read them? I don’t particularly like gun magazines or car shows, but rather than read/go to them and them whine and piss and moan about it, I just avoid them. Is that such a difficult concept to understand?
I have no doubt that my kid is talking all kinds of trash to his friends about me. Like the time he offered one of my homemade cookies to a friend, “I know they look like poop, but they taste good.”

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Loukia February 27, 2011 at 9:35 pm

You never fail to make me laugh. :) Also, I posted my thoughts about this whole thing in reply to Pauline… my way of telling her to not stop blogging! ;)

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Awesome dude February 27, 2011 at 10:09 pm

The parent is only truly blessed when his/her children are smarter then him or her.

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tracy
Twitter:
February 27, 2011 at 10:26 pm

Link backs are key. I also think our kids should sell ad space on their homework and they have to pay us 60% of all revenue until they turn 18.

Why doesn’t anyone ever take parents up as a cause? It’s truly a tragedy.

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The Flying Chalupa
Twitter:
February 27, 2011 at 11:54 pm

Marinka, this is one of your best – a classic. Right up there with the Starbucks / Beatdown incident.

Fucking Dooce. I have my issues with her – but you raise a valid point. WHAT ABOUT THE MOTHER’S???? Why does no one stand up for us?

I have but one quibble: you shouldn’t have raised such a smart, sassy daughter who is every inch a mini-Marinka – look at the hilarity and intelligence of her writing. Thank god she’s not blogging.

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Marinka February 28, 2011 at 8:42 am

I have to admit that I like Dooce a lot. I do think it would be nice if the mainstream press sometimes ventured beyond her, but she was my introduction to blogging and I’ll always be grateful for that. As I’m sure my children will be too.

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Donna February 28, 2011 at 12:11 am

For the love of God, do NOT let your daughter start a blog! Your life will be over. Next she’ll be telling us the toilet bowl wasn’t really all that clean after all.

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Charmaine February 28, 2011 at 1:25 am

I’m so happy right now. At your expense, of course. ewink.

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From Belgium February 28, 2011 at 6:03 am

How come it is always the mothers fault when the ice cream is gone?

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Stephanie Smirnov
Twitter:
February 28, 2011 at 7:18 am

I should reserve this comment for the Dooce piece but since you bring it up–didja see how Jon Armstrong was quoted as saying the birth of their second daughter was “good for business?” Niiiiiiiiiiiiice.

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Jessica B. February 28, 2011 at 8:26 am

At my son’s 5 year old check-up, I was asked if anyone in the house smokes. I answered “No.” The Big Guy jumped in: “No Mama. You aren’t telling the whole truth. You told me never to lie. Daddy smokes.” Um? He does? “Remember at the party we were at.” Ah yes, my husband smoked 1 cigar at a family gathering w/ 15 other Dads. he will NEVER live it down….and I am living the double standard of being a perpetual lier…sigh.

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ShallowGal February 28, 2011 at 8:57 am

I was going to write a something similar today, because my blog’s newest follower is my 12 year old. He disguised his face in the little picture, but the braniac used his real name.

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Tanya
Twitter:
February 28, 2011 at 9:00 am

Bwahahahaha that’s awesome.

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Tanya
Twitter:
February 28, 2011 at 8:59 am

I’ve never heard of Dooce… I live in a hole called Salt Lake City… But you’re blogpost was hysterical!!! I think people need to get the hell over themselves and find something new to bitch about, parent blogs are here to stay. If you don’t like it don’t read them.

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Tanya
Twitter:
February 28, 2011 at 9:02 am

So my hole must be deeper than I thought because Dooce is here in SLC.

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Crisanna February 28, 2011 at 10:07 am

I feel like everyone here is missing the point. She described you as “the most powerful and no one can tell her what to do.” If that’s not a parenting win, I don’t know what is!

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magpie February 28, 2011 at 10:16 am

If my child suggests something for my blog, and I use her suggestion, am I exploiting her? I mean, I give her a little ice cream from time to time as recompense.

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b a seagull
Twitter:
February 28, 2011 at 11:01 am

I forget to check Dooce for months at a time since I was told about your blog. I “get” your humor and points of view more.

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Wendi
Twitter:
February 28, 2011 at 11:18 am

I’m a little perplexed as to why we needed to see yet another article about Dooce. Is the NYT going to do an article about iTunes next?

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Peajaye
Twitter:
February 28, 2011 at 11:25 am

Maybe it’s just me – but I kinda felt like there was an underlying stream of misogyny to the NYT piece, no? Like: Who in their right minds would give a fuck about the fabric of these women’s lives? I mean, why does “exploitive” get trotted out when women discuss their lives, but we applaud men for “opening up”?

Also, I wonder how many of the “exploiting children” commenters are wearing clothing and typing into machines made by 3rd world children. I guess it’s better to exploit other people’s children than your own.

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anymommy February 28, 2011 at 11:37 am

This is hilarious. That’s point number one.

I didn’t read any comments because comments on Motherlode drive me everloving batshit crazy and I still have not recovered from the comments on the two disruption incidents that went viral in the news and I never will. (Although I read your lovely comment and I still feel warm and fuzzy.) That’s point number two.

And number three…I liked the actual article. Am I alone here. I’m behind, I know, but I just finished it and I thought it was smart, I left it feeling Dooce was smart and real and savvy, etc. I loved the end about sleights of hand and blogs being “true enough.” So, yeah, there’s my take on an issue that so OVER already. Jeez.

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joeinvegas February 28, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Next time buy two ice cream containers and hide yours at the back.

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Mrs.Mayhem
Twitter:
February 28, 2011 at 5:13 pm

This is such an awesome post. I constantly write about my kids who are 6, 8, 11, and 13. For me, that was the point of starting a blog — to have a record of my kids’ childhood.

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elizabeth-flourish in progress
Twitter:
February 28, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Cal is 11. She has written many things about our family and me specifically for class assignments. Sometimes, the teacher will approach me after class with a look of concern and ask how I am doing. Uh-oh, I think, I bet it was another telling class assignment. Thank goodness I have a blog now. Payback’s a b$%^, Cal.

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Phoenix Rising
Twitter:
March 1, 2011 at 1:26 pm

My 9-yr old wrote a paper about her great grandfather who died and unbeknownst to me, was quite a hero…. the things this man “accomplished” were amazing (again, according to her paper). I looked at her and said, “Honey, Great Grandpa never saved orphans from a burning building?” She answered with, “I know. But I just liked to add things to it to make it more interesting like you do with your blog.”

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subWOW
Twitter:
March 1, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Great point! In my view, every eye-roll earns me the right to mention them once on my blog.

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Jana @ An Attitude Adjustment
Twitter:
March 1, 2011 at 7:25 pm

Love it! I have quite a lot of thoughts brewing on this topic myself, but overall, am offended by the general vitriol that seems to be spewed on Lisa Belkin’s blog in the comment section. I suppose because it’s part of the NY Times and has more male writers than women writers, so it’s given more respect and prestige, and even among women, women are ancillary.

What do I say to those jerkoffs? Kapow. Feel the wrath of my lasers.

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Noelle March 2, 2011 at 1:56 am

You’re overlooking the most important point: she admitted you have all the power! VICTORY!

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Amy ~ Eat. Live. Laugh. Shop.
Twitter:
March 3, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Hys-freakin-sterical!!! I kids accused me yesterday of eating all the Oreos. I didn’t eat a single Oreo (in their absence). I’m sure that will make an essay too. Mother’s unite and stand against such slander!!!

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GrandeMocha
Twitter:
March 5, 2011 at 8:23 am

My dad was the ice cream villian. He would eat half of my popsicle and never let me have any of his. Blame the dad or the dog next time hey call you out.

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MamaRobinJ
Twitter:
March 6, 2011 at 12:27 am

So, so funny.

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MamaRobinJ
Twitter:
March 6, 2011 at 12:29 am

Wait! I wasn’t done…

I’ve been reading the mommy-blogger-hate for a while, but have only been blogging for a couple of months. I’m not sure what I think of the sharing, but so far I write much more about my own crazy than my kid’s crazy.

This story takes sharing stuff about your kid to a whole new level though. ;) Love it.

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