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A disappointing point of view March 29, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Business Issues, networking, WAHM/WAHD Stuff, writing/editing/blogging.
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Yesterday a writing colleague disappointed me with a comment that was made about “housewives.” No, no not the show Desperate Housewives, but the actual group of people called “housewives,” which in itself is a passé term, as most choose to call themselves SAHMs or WAHMs.

I can let most things roll off of my back with relative ease, especially on forums (BBs, for the old guard) where there is such a large collective of people from a variety of walks of life and experiences. “Whatever” is part of my vocabulary, as is “get a life.” I say them aloud or think them and then move on, subscribing to that rule we learned in kindergarten, “if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing.” But then sometimes, something really gets to me. Usually it’s something that goes right to the core of my being or business and warrants commentary. I try not to make such commentary in open forums, because, well…you know…what you write on the Web is out there forever. (And could come back to bite you in the ass.) But yesterday, this comment at AW about housewives and their ability to run viable businesses did send me down that path of needing to post a response.

No, your eyes are not deceiving you. If you’re not sure, read that last sentence again.

So apparently the person who posted the comment thinks that all of us WAHMs (and the SAHMs) out there pushed out their brains with that final push of placenta. I’m pretty sure mine didn’t fall out. Wait, let me check. Nope, still there.

Let me backtrack a bit.

The issue began with a valuable post about new magazines and where to find them. For writers, especially freelance writers, this is a great thing, because breaking into the old markets can be tough, and hey, any help that we can give each other is great. The originator of the thread posted a link to Mr. Magazine. This was in turn followed by another resource. Gratitude from other posters for sharing theses resources followed, until the big warning “to tread carefully when approaching new magazines.” Not bad advice at all, one should tread carefully anyway.

More commentary and then this whopper:

I think it helps to know how much investment went into it, and who the people behind it are. If the magazine is started by a bunch of housewives, for instance, count me out. But I was keen on getting into Good Magazine almost as soon as it published the first issue.

But then, highly-funded start-ups aren’t likely to take on relatively new writers anyway.

Also, start-ups– highly funded or not– can have teething problems. It takes a while to get stuff in order, figure out the tone of the magazine, etc. Lots of stuff gets killed, things get lost, paperwork can get muddled.

So, like I said, proceed with caution.

It was the phrase “If the magazine is started by a bunch of housewives, for instance, count me out” that irked me to the point of needing to post a response.

Why? Not because I happen to be one of those, ahem…housewives who started a magazine, but because in the statement, this dear woman devalued the ability of women who are WAHMs and SAHMs to run successful viable businesses. And even if “housewives” don’t also work, running a household is no easy task either. (I wonder what her grandmother would think of the statement.) I’m also irked because, had it been made by a man, I could have dismissed it as having been made by an unenlightened mysogonist. But from a woman, the statement is utterly disappointing, and magazine editor or not, I’d still feel the same way.

The funny part is, despite my response, and starting with the caveat that I wasn’t posting to start a fight, but to offer some enlightenment, some folks (including the owner of the statement) weighed in with fisticuffs ready, striking at my reply to the “housewives” comment. Perhaps I struck a nerve calling her out.

Whatever.

Eh, read and decide for yourself.

 

Copyright © 2008 Erika-Marie S. Geiss

 

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Comments

1. Melaniehoo - March 31, 2008

Are you kidding me? I assumed the commenter was a man, but a woman? What is WRONG with people? I haven’t read the thread but I’ll do that as soon as I post this. Good for you for defending yourself and every other woman who’s determined to be successful mother AND woman.


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