This week’s adventures climbing the cliffs of insanity include a rumination what being a “mommy blogger” means, a great article on why the new Wonder Woman series is disappointing one female comic reader, and a link to a continuing celebration of the 75th anniversary of Lois Lane, and where you can find me as Wonder Woman. Live and in person, even.
When I was doing the Geeky Jules radio show last Friday night, I was asked a question that I’ve been pondering ever since. Jules asked what I thought of GeekMom being called a “mommy blog,” as that term is a pejorative to some.
The term “mommy blogger” seems inherently somewhat dismissive because it’s not “mom blogger” or even “parenting blogger.” It uses the least formal parenting name for mothers. Plus, I’m immediately suspicious of those making judgments about the worth of something that’s inherently female.
In other words, if you call me “mommy blogger,” my initial reaction is to pick that label, wear it with pride, and say “and your point would be?,” just as I did years ago with the term “bitch.” (Yes, I actually possess a baseball cap with the word “Bitch” on it.) Just as I also do with the term “romance writer” especially when the last is accompanied by the unsaid assumption about “those” kind of books.
What the three terms have in common is that they all refer to an aspect of female experience. Our society has made great strides in equality but it’s not there yet in viewing female and male with equal respect. There’s a terrific column about that in the Hartford Courant this week.
Sometimes we don’t even know we have these positive/negative views of male/female terms. In the MOOC “Gender Through Comic Books,” I’m taking, one of the questions this week was “what super heroine is the most feminine?”
And it stumped me because I realized I don’t think of my favorite superheroines as feminine. Kick-ass, smart, strong, compassionate, yes but feminine? Apparently, at the back of my head, I didn’t associate feminine with any of those other qualities I listed.
My own inner, deep-down, self has to be reminded that feminine doesn’t equal weak. And I didn’t realize that until the question was asked. I should have. It’s been over a decade since Legally Blonde, a movie featuring a very feminine woman who upends all assumptions about beautiful blondes, and yet I still have to think about why feminine is a positive term.
Part of this is my age. I’m 47. All the things I loved to do as a kid was “boy stuff.” Comics, science fiction/fantasy books and movies, sports…they were all twigged as not for girls. Therefore, I learned girl stuff was bad. I didn’t have Barbies, I had the Johnny West collection with cowboys, cowgirls and horses. I suppose my love of all things to do with horses was on the girly side but I wanted to be the cowgirl, not an equestrian show specialist. Boys got to do all the fun stuff, girls got pink. Not for me.
Thus, in my head, girl stuff became something to do avoided, something not as good as the boy stuff.
I hope it’s changed since then. I hope those a generation (or more!) younger than me reading this column don’t have those same inherent assumptions. Girls loving sports, for instance, is considered par for the course now. I never played organized soccer. My high school created a team after I graduated, a bit too late for me. But boys and girls join soccer leagues from age four now. All my kids did.
My biography tagline says that I’m a “writer, mom, geek and superhero.” The last term is a bit tongue-in-cheek but the other three? I wear those self-appointed labels with great pride. And that includes “Mom.” So if anyone out there wants to call me a “mommy blogger,” well, I don’t have a problem with that.
The question is why some people do?
Yes, I Am Real. Even If I’m Wearing My Wonder Woman Costume
This week, a chance to meet me in person. Twice and across the country.
I’ll be signing at a big book signing event hosted by the New England Romance Writers of America on Saturday, April 27th, in Burlington, Massachusetts. Details at the link and a portion of the proceeds will go to the Massachusetts Literacy Foundation.
And next week, I’ll be attending the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention at the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center Kansas City, Missouri.
I’ll be signing at their E-Book, Indie Publisher and Graphic Novel Expo, on Thursday, May 2. The attraction here is not so much me but the graphic novels, which might provide a head start on Saturday’s Free Comic Book Day.
Saturday, May 4, is the RT Convention’s Giant Book Fair. I’ll be there but so will Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Caine, Cassandra Carr, Julie Garwood, Melissa Marr, John Scalzi, Linnea Sinclair, and Laurin Wittig, among many, many others. Check out the complete list at the link.
Where does the costume fit in? I’ll be wearing my Wonder Woman costume for a special reader’s event for conference attendees on Thursday, Romance Pride: Over the Rainbow. Others are going to dress as their genre. I figured since I write superhero romance, I should be a superhero. I won’t be wearing the full costume again but look for me in the tiara at the two book signings.
Who’s Got You, Superman?
Lois, of course. DCWomenKickingAss is continuing to celebrate her 75th anniversary with a special series of interviews with comic creators.
As for Wonder Woman, who DC thinks will replace Lois in Superman’s affections, there’s a terrific post at Comics Beat about her current series, and you can find an incredible discussion in the comments, including some from former Wonder Woman writer Phil Jimenez.