Have you met Ms Jones? I haven’t
Otherwise known as I did not have social intercourse with THAT woman…
This weekend Hope and I went up to London for the Mumsnet blogfest … it was an inspiring, challenging, welcoming and extremely enjoyable event and I will turn my attention to how wonderful it was in another post (which it fully deserves)… but for now I have the small matter of being lied about in the Mail on Sunday to address.
I should perhaps feel slightly pleased with myself, I’m clearly in good company after all so many people in the public domain have been misrepresented there, to a certain extent if I’m totally honest, I do (well only fleetingly and then slightly shame facedly)… out of the 300 plus bloggers present, I was one of three that she featured. It’s boosted traffic to my site and caused all sorts of people to phone, tweet, email and text me (frankly I’m disappointed to know so many have spent any time at all reading the Mail on Sunday), however it has also caused me to have to register on the Daily Mail website in order to respond which really annoys me.
The article is also racist and (sadly for an article written by a woman about other women) is sexist, bitchy, inconclusive and frankly rather dull. I’m not going to link to it … but in brief the self promoting and frightfully self righteous Ms Jones wrote a ‘review’ of Blogfest in which she portrays women (and particularly Mummy) bloggers as fluffy stay at home trivial people who really rather ruin the dour days she spends gazing into her own navel only emerging to consult the Mirror .. you know, the Snow White Mirror, “Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the finest of them all”, “You Ms Jones of course, you”… Where was I, sorry, yes we ruin her dour days by having the audacity to talk about our own lives, or issues burning, crucial, social, trivial, political, moving or just plain funny rather than flicking through back copies of her column with a ribbon in our hair having made sure our husband’s dinner is in the oven and pouting to redden our lipstick in readiness for his evening constitutional… OK shutting up now.
How dare we write about our families, or God forbid the horrors in Syria or Afghanistan or raise the profile of what it means to live with an autistic child, a dying friend or a teething baby when we should be contentedly being little women and leaving the real burning issues like, “How dare a greasy tasteless chef insult superstar Nigella?” to overpaid celebrity writers like her.
So, she reviewed Blogfest, insulted the unpaid, passionate, good people who had invited (and possibly paid???) her, she also announces that “you blogging Mums may as well wear burkas” so narrow is our vision. What??? Apart from it being a ridiculous and weak analogy it is grossly insulting to Muslim women. She has clearly honed the fine art of self promotion and using spite to drive the traffic which I’m sure her pay masters at the Daily Mail rub their hands together with glee about, but, I question the morality of not just Ms Jones who clearly enjoys sensationalist scribbling but the newspaper that allows her unpleasant mutterings to go out under their brand (I realise I’ve already answered that one … but what’s so bad about good news and being an honest and positive journalist?).
How does all this relate to me? Well apart from being a “mummy blogger” and I am proud of that term and do embrace it (I know others find it a little confining), and therefore offended by her piece, I am talked about in it; inaccurately … she refers to this blog as the Mushy Brained Rambler, and mendaciously (I love that word).
“So you don’t work. ‘No.’ … ‘I carry advertising on my site. It’s not as much as I was earning before, but it enables me to stay at home.’
Every woman I spoke to, such as Mushy Brained Rambler, and the much more straightforward Cambridge Mum, said pretty much the same thing.”
I did not speak to Liz Jones. I did share a lift with Liz Jones. I pushed Hope into the lift to head to a session at MumsnetBlogfest… I didn’t know it was her, and if I had seen a badge I wouldn’t have known who she was, I’d never heard of her before Saturday. She was being escorted by one of the organisers, we exchanged smiles but her tall sad looking companion looked blankly through me. Hope chatted in her pushchair, again Ms Mumsnet smiled at her and Ms Jones looked straight through her in a chilly kind of a way. The lift opened and we stepped back into the warmth of the event. Not a word was spoken in the lift, let alone exchanged between Ms Jones and I. She must have noticed my badge and taken the blog name from there, and in a splendid act of dismissive disdain included it in her piece but wrongly titled.
So, just for clarity incase you were wondering, I don’t make any money from my blog, I wish I did … on the strength of it I do now have my own column in the Cambridge News (also about the glorious trivia and minutia and enormity of having a baby girl so late in life and also unpaid), and I have done several radio pieces … I don’t carry advertising though I have pondered doing paid for reviews in a separate section of the blog but still haven’t decided if that is a way to go. Ms Jones you were wrong about me, and you lied. I know that the other two bloggers featured were also misquoted and misrepresented in the piece as well.
So much for journalistic integrity … maybe she was just having a bad day, or maybe she was just doing what she does for the paper she works for, or perhaps it was the threat of a flock of talented writers (and I don’t include myself) who are growing in number and will in due course take hold of her miserable Mirror, and the reflection will transform into that of a positive, life affirming, observant and informed group of women (some in burkas and others in bikinis) who will have joyfully left negative sensationalist journalism where it belongs … stubbed out and trodden into the cold hard ground.
The other two bloggers referenced in her piece were Cambridge Mummy
The Bottom of the Ironing Basket
Anyway, best I get back to laundering my apron and find a matching ribbon to put in my hair … or maybe I’ll just head to bed before my teething 10 month old small soul wakes up needing sustenance and love. Perhaps as well I’ll hunt out a paper bag to put over my head tomorrow, not because my vision is narrow but because I’ll need something thick and concealing to disguise the bags under my eyes after a late night at the keyboard and feeding a grumbly girl.
Three cheers for Mummy (and Daddy … for they were insulted too) bloggers and their optimism, passion and wit … hip hip hip …