By now, I’m sure many have seen a little of the fallout from the NY Times article by Jennifer Mendelsohn. For those trying to catch up, Mendelsohn wrote a piece covering “Bloggy Bootcamp“, yet another blogging conference, this one organized by the SITS girls. So what was wrong with the piece? Not much, in reality. Yes, it was a little snarky (real time girly bonding, anyone?). She could have been better about providing links to the bloggers she mentions. Basically, though, this article was written about one particular conference, it’s focus and attendees. It wasn’t meant to be an all-encompassing look at mommy bloggers, even though many are up in arms because of all the article did not say. They’re pissed the article didn’t talk about the charity work, the fundraising they do. They’re pissed with the title, which was a little derogatory and misleading, but aren’t most titles misleading? Mostly, though, they’re pissed over their PERCEPTIONS of what the article said. Even when the article said nothing close to what they claim.
Holy crapola, you’d think the NY Times had written in BIG BLACK LETTERS that mommy bloggers abused and neglected their children, from the posted reactions. You’d swear that perhaps Mendelsohn had suggested that mommy bloggers should kick off those women’s lib shoes and haul their pregnant, barefoot asses back to the kitchen. Dozens of angry responses, dozens of bloggers taking great exception to this article. Except that many of the angriest responses are centering on what the article did not say and, embarrassingly enough, many are from people who freely admit they didn’t take the two minutes necessary to read the article. And yet, they still want their opinions to be taken seriously. The ironic thing, to me, is that the NY Times piece was more reasonable and balanced than some of the “squeeeeee!!!!!” type reviews I’ve read of BlogHer, and other blogger conferences. At least the NY Times piece didn’t have the obligatory “look at me with my hands on the tits (oh, excuse me “BEWBS”) of some woman I hardly know. Aren’t I just the coooolest?”
There are far, far too many women blogging under the “mommyblogger” genre. Most of these mommy blogs are far from professional; most are far from achieving financial security through their blogs. Very, very few are making enough money to be considered true income, and very few ever will. Yes, there are notable exceptions. Yes, there are some very professional blogs, with talented authors behind them. These are exceptions to the rule. Not the norm. I remember when blogging was still pretty new, and how entrancing some of those blogs were. Now, unfortunately, most of what were once good blogs are now ugly affairs, with ads outweighing the writing, products and giveaways being the focus for many.
Mommybloggers want to be seen as something more than just a mom, yet an overwhelming number choose to refer to themselves and their blogs with yet another cutesy variation of mama, mommy, momalicious? How can you expect to be taken seriously as a businessperson, to be considered something more than “just a mom” if you CHOOSE to brand yourself (and branding is what ALL the cool moms are doing) as a mom? How can you expect to be taken seriously as a business person when you suggest in your taglines that motherhood is such a chore, that you risk your sanity with motherhood? How many “mom” blogs have we all seen that imply that a good stiff drink is what’s necessary to survive?
Mommy bloggers want you to know they are more than just SAHM. They want the world to know that they are contributing to their families finances with their blogs. They want the world to understand that they are not just bloggers, they are BRANDS, by God. But they aren’t. Most blogs will never, ever make more than a pittance through advertising. Most mommy bloggers are indeed just moms. There’s nothing wrong with the “glorified electronic scrapbooks” of most mombloggers. Not everyone can, or indeed should, shoot for those branded stars. And they should definitely never, ever engage in blogging just for the swag. And yet, we hear over and over again, mostly from mommy bloggers it should be noted, that there is indeed a culture of swag-starved mommy bloggers attending these events. Remember the uproar over swag at BlogHer? Remember all the controversy that has come from most female dominated blog conferences? I don’t know about you, but I haven’t read any accounts of face slapping pregnant women at SXSW. I don’t recall ever hearing anything coming from male tech conferences about concerted online campaigns to malign a fellow attendee. I don’t read too many accounts of tech conferences that refer to men literally pushing each other down in an attempt to get a Mr. Potato Head, or water bottle, either.
Mombloggers want to be taken as seriously as the men, but don’t want to act that way. They object to being consider frivolous, flighty little things without a brain in their head, but then proceed to drink mimosas from plastic sippy cups. WITH A REPORTER IN ATTENDANCE. It’s hard to understand how going to a conference labelled “Bloggy Bootcamp” (what are we? Twelve?), run by a group of women who refer to themselves as girls, is supposed to enhance your professional street cred. Perhaps when mommybloggers themselves start treating their professional events professionally, then the media might just catch up.
PS – I’d like to make it clear from the beginning that I do not know the SITS girls, and I know nothing about Bloggy Bootcamp. This post is not intended to disparage them, or the work they do.
This was sent to me by Suzanne, a former reader at Poop on Peeps. She had posted this in the comments section of Poop on Peeps, but got no response from the great defender of children, Chicken Liver. She forwarded this to me, and while I’ve added a little commentary, the gist of this post is from Suzanne. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Suzanne.
Tricia Haas of MomDot.com has posted some very disturbing posts about little girls and thongs. She actually titled her post “Little Girls…..and thongs”. http://www.momdot.com/little-girlsand-thongs
Ostensibly she is outraged by the idea that someone would let their little girl wear thongs but she actually photographed a strange child in the park, cropping to highlight the thong. This woman is running around in parks taking ass shots of children, NOT her own kids, but strangers and posting them to the internet. She said it was no wonder dirty old men look at little girls!!!
What’s worse is her follow up post in which she basically brags about how many hits that thong post got. How? Search engine referrals for freaks looking for pictures of kids in thongs!!!!! There’s actually comments from freaks THANKING her for the images, and she STILL has them up.
I think she wrote this post for NO other reason other than to get even more traffic to her kiddie porn images. And that’s why she wrote all of these:
She complains about having to deal with all the pervs coming to her site to see images of children in thongs, but won’t remove the images or the multiple lists of keyword searches. Go figure. Anything to drive traffic numbers, right? A real class act for a woman who holds herself out to be a leader of her community of mommy bloggers. This woman has had her share of controversy but this takes the cake for me. She is knowingly participating in distribution of images that could be construed as child pornography.
Tricia Haas is no stranger to controversy, and there is at least one website out there devoted to slamming her. I hadn’t read her site before, most mommybloggers bore the crap out of me. What I did read there, I’m not impressed with. I don’t get how mother, especially one who portrays herself as a leader, can be so crass and disgusting. Then again, this is the same blogger who caused an uproar a few months ago for making fun of underage, overweight teens on her blog, posting photos to have her devoted fans ridicule.
Is this acceptable behaviour from a mommyblogger, a leader in her community?
When this blog first started, I never, ever, pictured a time when I would have more than random spam comments. Not that I get that many now, but those I do get, I love. Even comments I disagree with are enlightening, and I value each one.
I had hoped that an official comment policy would not be necessary here at The Bitch Sessions. However, that appears to be nothing more than foolish wishful thinking. The comment policy is now in effect, and I’d appreciate you taking a look before posting comments.
Thanks for stopping by. A new post will be available shortly.
The Chicken has flown the coop. The Poop is no more.
Hell must have frozen over. It’s the most likely explanation I’ve come to.
Words can only begin to convey my thoughts when I clicked over to read Chicken Liver’s Farewell as she shuts down Poop on Peeps. Flabbergasted. Astounded. Delirious. Delighted. Even though I knew she couldn’t continue forever, I never really saw this coming. Not the way it has happened, with the explanations she has given. Or lack of explanations, however you want to look at it.
Her stated reasons for closing down the Poop don’t really ring true for me. I’m sorry for any personal drama and family problems she has, but to use that as an explanation to quite suddenly close up shop? It’s not like she suddenly grew a family and had no time to blog. She always had a family that she always claimed was not impacted by her blogging time. She says ” it would really kill me to be spending my time here when I should be improving myself for my son”. If that was the case, she’d be dead now, considering she’s been devoting her time to shitting on others for three years. Shitting on others, at times, for spending too much time online, away from their families. She says “You don’t know how much it would kill me to be a hypocrite.” Really, Chick? She embodied hypocrisy with her Poop. She made vicious attacks on many bloggers, incited hatred, encouraged cyberbullying. A marshmallow heart? Please. The Grinch analogy is more apt.
I think real life caught up to her and bit her on the ass. Once her real name was out there, the pressure started to mount, culminating in the threat of legal action by Sandi Benson. Which may yet have been less threats and more action, for all we know. My guess is that even the threat of legal action may have put the brakes on for her. Even if her family supported her blog, they would balk at the notion of coughing up legal fees. And, who knows, maybe having the tables turned on her by Sandi really did have a eye-opening effect.
Bottom line? The Wicked Chick of the West is gone. Her Chicklets have lost their leader. She’s done, her power, such as it was, is over.
Raise a glass high and join me in a toast to the demise of Poop on Peeps.
Woo-hoo, deja vu. Sandi Benson is once again threatening legal action, or, at the very least, stating her intent to maybe, perhaps, pursue legal action against our beloved Chick. You may recall that Sandi warned (or threatened) Chick that legal action may be forthcoming back in September. I wrote about the kerfuffle here, if you care to catch up.
Today, Sandi has a new post up, entitled Revenge. [NOTE: This blog entry has since been removed.] Maybe it’s just little ole moi, but I find it’s a little confusing. On one hand, Sandi informs us she has lawyers on retainer, and is actively pursuing legal action against Michele McBee, the owner and author of Poop On Peeps. On the other hand, though, she seems to be asking her readers for their opinions on how she should handle dear Chick. She says:
“Do I fight dirty with dirty, and air all of her dirty laundry to expose how imperfect these judgemental people are, how they are guilty of many of the things that they are so cruel and quick to judge others about? Should I post pictures of her and open up the comments for you to all join in and trash talk her appearance? Her remark to this will be that I put my picture out there and she doesn’t. If that’s the case, how did I get the photos?
Or do I just take it to the courts and let her be exposed publicly via the legal process and let you all find out her real identity via public record of court proceeding? Is it better to drag her through court proceedings and make her get her own attorneys to prove lack of malicious intent and desire to defame and cyber harass on that awful website?”
Maybe it really is little ole moi, but I would think if you have lawyers on retainer, or as Sandi says, “we have and have a legal team in place ready to go“, then why would you be putting this forth for discussion? That post almost comes across as a dare to her readers – expose any and all details about Chick that can be unearthed. Kinda confusing, too, on the whole “let you all find out her real identity via public record of court proceeding” thing, considering Chick’s real name has been pretty darned public for a long time now. It seems a little disingenuous to write, in one post, about her legal options, and at the same time rip Chick a new one. More likely Sandi was trying to vent frustrations, and maybe garner a little more sympathy for herself. She’s probably figured out that her stats increase, and she gets tons more readers every time she mentions Chick, or Chick mentions her.
It’s not surprising to me that Sandi is on the offensive, being on the receiving end of Chick’s pointy stick must not be pleasant. Her methods, though, leave a lot to be desired. She crossed a line that many would not, myself included, when she published a link on her blog for the “virtual” gravesite of a premature infant Chick buried many years ago. Chick has repeatedly said if you put it out there, it’s fair game, but I’m sure that she never envisioned a situation like this. However, as we all know, the internet does not forget, or forgive and Chick’s real name has been widely known for quite a while now; she’s known for the better part of a year that people are actively searching information about her. If she wanted to keep a private affair private, she should have perhaps removed, or protected that memorial site. You can’t live a double life and not expect one to spill onto the other and create a ground in, messed up stain on your “real” life. If you spend your days trying to think of new ways to torment the same four or five people over and over again, it’s no surprise that they fight back. All the same, I don’t condone what Sandi did.
Chick’s sycophantic followers, however, are up in arms. How dare she!!! She’s not a REAL mother!!!! She should be arrested!!!! While I do, on some level, feel for Chick on this one, I can’t stomach the two-faced outrage. Sandi didn’t create a site mocking Chick’s miscarriage. Chick has repeatedly mentioned losing a child, and the “special” club she belongs to; she created that site, and put her name on it. I’m sure she never expected to have it show up on an attackee’s blog, but those are the chances you take, aren’t they? Anything, people, anything you’ve attached your name to online can come back to haunt you. Even things you would prefer never see the light of day, things that are intensely personal.
The most interesting aspect of the conversation at le Poop is the enormous double standard Chick is perpetrating. She has frequently mentioned being part of a “special” club of parents, those who have lost and buried a child. She will not write about, or even allow comments about, women who have lost a child. She says a miscarriage is not the same as losing a child, and only holds sympathy for those who’ve buried a child. She has declared all who’ve endured her pain off limits, but lesser mortals such as Dooce and Sandi are fair game because, after all, they only had miscarriages, not lost real, live babies. From her entry A Note From Me, she comments:
“you know there’s a difference. Pretty much every woman I know has had a miscarriage, and that’s a lot of women. Picking out a casket, buying a plot, the service, the loss, really?! Seriously!”
On the whole, I can agree with her. My heart aches for anyone who’s lost a child, it’s unimaginable to me. A mid-term miscarriage is just as unthinkable to me. But can you equate one with the other? Should the death of a child you’ve known, loved, rocked to sleep, fed in the middle of the night, and worried over ever be put in the same category as the loss of a mid-term fetus? Where do you draw the line? A 21 week fetus is a baby that deserves perpetual mourning and respect, but the loss of a lesser fetus is somehow not painful enough to be remarkable? One of the Chicklets asked just that in an angry tirade. She says:
“You carried a baby to 21 weeks, I have carried one to 20 weeks, another almost 18, and several others for a couple of weeks. And you think your pain was more special than that? You think that whatever pain you endured was easier than my having to her from doctors that because my baby wasn’t “viable”, I was lucky to have lost it when I did? It was harder for you because you had a child to bury? It was harder for you because you got the luxury of a service? Somehow you are more special than I because you had to pick out a casket, and have a gravesite to visit? Fuck that, you ARE NOT.”
Chick’s thoughtful response was:
“I think when your birth a child, or you raise your child and they’re taken away by illness like Heather spohr, or in an accident then yes it is different.”
You might note the clever sidestepping Chick did there, not even answering the question put forth. She does, however, try to portray herself as a woman who has lost a child, like the Spohrs, not just endured a miscarriage, like Sandi and Dooce, and innumerable others. As painful and heart-wrenching as that must be, I don’t think for a moment that it equates to a parent losing a child. No matter what the circumstances.
I’m working on a new post for you all now, but in the meantime, check out some of the other posts in the scintillating Chick series:
Check back soon, the new post should be up in a day or so.
Summer’s over, I guess, and it’s time for me to haul my sorry ass back here. I’ve been horrendous about posting this summer, and more than a couple of you have emailed and reminded me that I have a quota of Chicken Liver posts to write, and I suppose it’s time for me to get on with it. No better time than now, since Chick has gone and stepped in the proverbial poop. If you’ve somehow missed this delicious drama unfold, our Chick has had a rough week, what with being outed by Dooce, The Mighty #26. Outed and threatened with legal action by another. If I weren’t so damned gleeful about the whole episode, I’d almost feel sorry for her. Almost. But not really.
Dooce has been her main target since she started Poop on Peeps three years ago. Sure, there’s been some equal opportunity hate thrown in for The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, and a few lesser known bloggers, but methinks that’s simply filler until the next Dooce post. Jealousy is the oft touted opinion as to the source of the hate, but I’ve always likened it to a junior high, with the outcast taking revenge on the popular kids by scrawling spiteful statements on the bathroom stalls.
But as the saying goes, living well is the best revenge. And Dooce has taken this philosophy to a new level, deciding to Monetize the Hate with a new section on her blog, absolutely swimming with ads, where she’s publishing some of the hateful comments and e-mails she gets. And many comments left at Poop on Peeps. Clever. I hope she makes bucket loads of money from it.
The ironic thing about this story is that Dooce may never have actually named Chick if her followers hadn’t started bitching about it in comments, or if she hadn’t taken to Twitter to accuse Dooce of stealing her content. Initially, Dooce didn’t credit the comments at all. She’s pretty much just let her readers believe these are comments she received in email. Since comments become the property of the blog owner, she’s attributing all the comments to Chick, regardless of who actually wrote the comment. To her readers, it really looks as if Chick’s a deranged lunatic, spewing hateful e-mails continually. Dooce has not linked directly to Poop on Peeps and it seems most of her readers are still unaware of the connection. I’m sure that will change.
I think it’s brilliant. Chick is running ads, making money indirectly from Dooce. Likely an insignificant, paltry amount. Dooce, on the other hand, The Mighty #26, with her millions of followers, might stand to make a small fortune indirectly through Chick. Of all the slaps to the face that could have been delivered, this must be the one that stings the hardest. Dooce’s Alexa stats are way up lately, and she’s been riding a wave of publicity. Traffic to her Monetize the Hate section is likely more than most blogs will ever see. The Alexa stats for Pooponpeeps.com are down and the comments there are dwindling in numbers.
Dooce profiting from Chick’s hate wasn’t even the worst part of her week. Her Collecting Children entry was a largely incoherent ramble about Michelle Duggar, people who have 26 cats, The Jerry Springer Show and Sandi Benson of Lucky Thirteen and Counting. She was far less than flattering in her assessment of Sandi Benson, calling her out on her parenting skills, her appearance, her over-sharing. Pretty typical chickenshit attack. Pretty lame, considering that Chick herself is guilty of much of what she rages against Sandi for, minus the kid collecting.
Sandi was somewhat less than amused by the experience, though, and posted a very pissed-off rebuttal, stating her intention to pursue legal action against Chick. Taking the expose Chick theme one step further, she posted Chick’s name (slightly wrong again, though!), hometown, several email addresses, and even Chick’s sister’s names. From all accounts, the Bensons might just have the financial wherewithall to engage in a legal battle with no guaranteed outcome. It’s hard to imagine what outcome they might be expecting, but if legal action is pursued, life at Poop on Peeps is guaranteed to be affected.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Chicken Liver’s identity has been thoroughly exposed. While Dooce has not connected Chicken Liver of Poop on Peeps directly to the Michele she credits for many of the crazy ass comments about her, people are now furiously bombarding Google with searches for her. Her name is all over Twitter. She may have legal problems. It’s only a matter of time before people connect the dots. If you Google the name Dooce gives, the link for Lucky Thirteen comes up, and there you get the dirt. I hope for her sake that Dooce’s fans really aren’t the mindless minions that Chick has always maintained they are.