Are the young children of mommy bloggers “fair game”? Their mothers think they are.

I’m not sure whether this is an example of incredible hypocrisy or an example of breath-taking cluesslessness. Or maybe it’s both.

Gina Crossly-Corcoran, The Feminist Breeder, asks whether children of public figures are fair game.

She should be able to answer the question for herself. Obviously she thinks they are fair game. She’s a public figure and she writes about her children all the time. Okay, not really about them, but rather about how they make her feel. And that is very, very wrong.

Let’s do a little thought experiment:

Imagine your mother, the grandmother of your children, started a mommy blog from the perspective of a mother of adult children. Imagine she blogged about how your arrival disrupted her marriage, ruined her sex life and eventually led to stress urinary incontinence. How would you feel?

Imagine your mother shared stories of the times she was ready to tear her hair out over your behavior. Toilet training you was awful; you weren’t completely trained until you were 6 and still wet the bed occasionally at age 8. You came home from the prom and were so drunk that you vomited in the front hall. She warned you that your first husband was no good, but you married him anyway. How would you feel?

Imagine that you learned from your mother’s blog that she was deeply disappointed at your birth because you were a girl and she had wanted a boy, that she felt her postpartum depression was related to her disappointment and that she never bonded to you the way she did to your dearly desired younger brother. In reading your mother’s blog you learned that she deeply resented the attention your father showed you; she needed more of his attention and you stole it from her. And to this day, she loves your younger sister (who takes her advice, unlike you!) much more than she loves you. How would you feel?

Most likely you would be embarrassed, angered and deeply hurt. Now consider that those, like Gina, who blog about their young children are doing the same thing to them. The internet never forgets. What a mommy blogger writes about her children today will be there for them to read when the children are older. It will be there for their children’s friends to read when they are teenagers. It will be there for their employers and professional colleagues to read when they are adults.

Therefore, the answer to your question, Gina, is no. The children of public figures are not fair game … so stop using your children to promote yourself.

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