Last week, the popular
mom parenting website Babble put out one of their patented Top 50 lists. But in a surprising twist, the Babble editors gave a rare tip of the cap to fathers and came out with their Top 50 Dad Blogs of 2011. And look who’s hanging on by a thread at #50.
First of all, I want to say thank you to the Babble editors. All snarkiness aside, I really am honored they decided my blog was worthy of inclusion on the list. If you click on the other guys you’ll see I’m in some pretty amazing company, something that is not lost on me. And the fact that this list appears to have been put together by real people doing actual research as opposed to the linkbait, online popularity contests is very refreshing.
But when you wade into a community and start anointing some and not others, there are bound to be hurt feelings and sour grapes.
First of all some guys were upset they didn’t make it. Well, they didn’t come right out and say they were hurt by being left off the list. It came out as “These lists are stupid” and “This is nothing but a popularity contest.” Then people wrote lengthy posts about how they’ve been at this for longer than half the people on Babble’s list and how the lack of inclusion on some list should never impact your sense of self-worth. Because the fastest way to show people you don’t care about being left off the list is obviously to write a post devoted solely to the same subject.
Sorry, but I call bullshit.
Look, if you truly started a dad blog simply because you wanted to keep a record of life with a child then fine. But frankly, I think most people who say this are completely and utterly full of shit. Most writers crave recognition, positive feedback and affirmation. We want comments from people who are moved by us, thousands upon thousands of people clicking our respective “Like” buttons and countless followers on Twitter. And in that vein, we like it when we’re recognized by established sites that increase our exposure.
Why are we all so afraid to admit this? Because people will think we’re shallow? Newsflash: parent bloggers spend many, many hours writing about ourselves on a non-stop basis. Some do it better than others and appeal to a broader audience, but in the end what we do is shallow and self-absorbed. And seeking validation is not something about which I’m ashamed. I work hard on this blog and my writing. So when that hard work is recognized, you’re damn right I’m happy. And when it’s not, I’m pissed.
Case in point, Backpacking Dad made up a list of the Top 25 Sexiest Dad Bloggers. It was a completely random list based on Shawn’s warped sense of humor. It has little to no meaning and was obviously meant to elicit a few laughs. And I was kinda pissed I wasn’t on it.
But the controversy about the dad blogger list was not relegated to the ranks of men.
CecilyK, a Babble mom blogger, wrote a post that not only concerned the release of the list, but griped about dads griping about the list. Then, she dropped this on us:
Yeah. Equality is a totally unreasonable request. Especially considering most women are constantly calling for fathers to be MORE involved, so naturally it’s a good idea to essentially tell dads to quit their bitching when they do just that. And launching into the completely unrelated wage gap issue was equal parts confusing and annoying.
(I should note Cecily K wrote this follow-up post in which she interviewed Jason Avant which was nice to see)
Then there was this piece which wasn’t so bad in and of itself, but spawned a comment which had me seeing red. A commenter named Kim wrote:
Wow. I mean…wow! She actually asked why men need equality when it comes to writing about being a parent. And she called that writing “Mom-blogging.” As if anyone who writes about his/her children is automatically a “mom blogger.” Which supports the very real and misguided notion that real parents are moms, and dads are an afterthought.
I wonder how Kim would feel if I said “Why is it necessary for women to have equality in the board room? After all, it’s BUSINESS and the work world belongs to men.” I’m betting that one would go over about as well as, ummm—about as well as a dad invading mommy parenting turf.
I’m just sick of it all. I’m sick of some dad writers pretending they don’t care about recognition. Yes, we all enjoy the brotherhood and support of being in a great online network. That’s certainly been a spectacular byproduct of blogging. But the sooner you’re honest with yourself and admit you’re in this for more than just the “love of the game,” the sooner we can all move on. And maybe if you write with that in mind, you’ll make more of these lists you claim you want no part of.
And moms, cut the bullshit. We all know you ladies are way more organized, successful and powerful than we are. For now. But you’re also FAR more catty, so let’s stop feigning outrage over some minor dad-on-dad crime. And honestly moms, how about treating us as allies instead of potential enemies? You can’t get mad that men don’t put in enough time as husbands and fathers and then turn around and complain that we’re invading your turf. We’re not the Jets and Sharks and there’s no reason this has to end in a knife fight.
Although if I don’t make the next big list, that’s exactly what’s gonna happen!