Herewith, a deeply unscientific survey, and thoughts on women, and voting, and when or if they'll all wake up.
I still nose about the Mom Blog world, even though I stand in amazement at how gigantically dull most of it is. Bless their hearts, the mommies who blog are all so sweet, and so bland and so full of energy. They post pictures of their kids and their living rooms and their vacations, and sometimes are really funny. They enthuse endlessly over each other, and, good entrepreneurs that they all are, they pant to make money. (So did I, I've just decided all the networking is not worth the sacrifice of writing time. Then again ... you be the judge.) For them, it's contests and giveaways galore, and commenting galore on other women's blogs -- stopping by to say hi! -- in the attempt to Drive Traffic to Your Site. I'm still taken aback by how many blog about blogging about blogging about blogging. It's why I for all practical purposes unsubscribed to the Mom Bloggers Club, even though, being member #280 or something, you could say I was almost present at the creation. It seems to have become a pretty big deal.
The popular mom bloggers tell a good story, are indeed rewarded with a good amount of traffic, and can boast perhaps twenty or thirty regular and admiring comments per entry. These better ones all seem to have adopted a certain tone for their work: a faux-raunchy (or maybe genuinely raunchy) vocabulary, a sarcastic, sitcom-ready voice that combines bathroom humor with wacky revelations and scriptedly heartfelt appeals to the reader's understanding. My life is so crazed. Just a mom trying to make sense of it all. Smiling out loud. Speaking my mind (and getting whumped for it) since 1970. Wiping ass and loving it ....
And these women, who otherwise fixate on the personal for 363 days of the year, all love Barack Obama. Or at least they did, when he was in the news and they had reason to think about him. He still is in the news, you say? He's making news? What, you mean the socialist legislation, the half-nationalized banks, the nationalized health care plans? The returning of Winston Churchill's statue to the British ambassador? The secret letter to the Russian president, the $900 million to Hamas? The Polish missile shield? How about the string of Cabinet appointments gone awry? Oh. Oh, no. The mom bloggers who loved him really aren't interested in all that. They'll still carry his blue-and-red "Hope" campaign poster on their sidebars, but to them, Barack Obama has evidently not been in the news since Inauguration Day, and before that he was last in the news on Election Day. Remember when he won? Booyah! was the reaction then. It's a beautiful day!!!!! I am so friggin' HAPPY!!! Doesn't everything just seem better? Woo hoo!
My unscientific survey comes in here. I "lurk" in their world, and I watch and wait for some one of these fine women to say something about President Obama now. I don't even ask them to have second thoughts. Maybe they like the stimulus package, or all that money for Hamas. Even if they don't, it's only been six weeks or so since he took office. They may be giving him the benefit of any doubts. I just look for them to notice he's alive. To say something to each other. Anything. They shouldn't be afraid to mention him -- they all loved him.
They don't peep. Nothing. One mom blogger, one among thousands to be sure, said frankly in a post dated November 5th, "Thank God it's over. I'm BORED. And now for the important stuff: I need a new toaster." And below was a picture of her toaster. I'm sure she's a fine woman.
I'm sure she's a fine woman, and I'm frankly worried that she speaks for the thousands. I'm worried that she speaks for our future. If I am not mistaken, quite a chunk of Obama's voters last November answered to this, what I might call the "Woo hoo!" demographic: the white, middle class, middle aged suburban woman. Fifty-six percent of all women voters opted for Obama, white or not, middle class or not; seventy percent of single women chose him.
I see the mom blogger demographic inside that 56% as especially powerful and especially scary. These are women full of energy, interested in new technology, happy and vibrant people. These are the household spenders that marketers target, these are the moms running your kids' PTAs. (Don't forget where Sarah Palin came from.) Why they fell in love with Barack Obama I can't say -- novelty, symbolism, the fact that he talked about hope and moms hope for stuff for their kids, so he seemed right -- but I worry about the fact that he seems in turn to have so fallen out of their lives since he won. If this is the way these women approach the world, then Barack Obama literally can do no wrong. In four years, he'll be just as attractive to them again as he was in November of 2008. Why not? In four more years he will still be able to talk about hope and he'll still be black. His kids will be older, too, and that will help. Today they are adorable little girls; in four more years the older girl will be on her way to being a babe. Moms love that. If the economy is still in a sink, and with his policies running it it will be, he could be in like Flynn. Please, please vote for a better future. Four more years! Woo hoo!
It almost gives a bad odor to the whole concept of the vote for women. What a shocking thought. I wonder what the old rationale against it was? Why, of course. Do a penn'orth of research -- lookee-uppee, the mom bloggers would say -- and learn that one of the things men and women feared about female suffrage was that women would choose foolishly in the voting booth by heeding their emotions rather than by thinking things through and being logical. How absurd! As if men don't vote their emotions!
But men also don't fuel a whole world, a universe of dad blogs. Oiling crankshafts since 1966 .... No. So they escape my lurker's scrutiny and my lurker's worries. Maybe, in the days before female suffrage, men voters did the same, did whatever men do to make sure people don't know their emotions. Shut up, I dare say.
Strangely, the moms have shut up, now, too. They don't talk about him, they don't acknowledge his existence, his plans, his actions. Why? What's percolating, if anything? I keep my eye on one mom in particular, who for a variety of reasons is my barometer of the Woo hoo demographic's political mood. I wait and watch for her to quietly, ever so quietly, take down the blue and red "Hope" badge from her busy and ad-filled, award-filled sidebar. If she ever does, and for what it's worth, -- you will have heard about it here first. You be the judge.