Archive for Blogging

What Color Am I? And What Does it Matter?

There’s a fascinating discussion about race going on right now in the Parent wing of the great blogosphere. Over at BlogRhet, Tere asks “Am I In, Or Am I Out?” and Daddy In a Strange Land wants to know, “What’s Race Got to Do With It…?

Race is so very complicated. And that is about the only thing I can safely say. From there, it is all largely personal experiences and questions.

Here’s some more questions–What color am I? And if I am white, can I still participate in this conversation? And if so, how can I do so in a way that is productive? Do I have anything of importance to add?

Is white the assumed default in the Blogosphere? Should we mention our race as bloggers? Since the blogosphere is anonymous, how does that affect how race is perceived in this community? What are the implications and politics of “passing” as white when race meets the anonymity of the blogosphere?

When my business partner and I started Mamanista!, I noticed immediately how white the blogosphere seemed. (I say seemed, because a lot of bloggers do not post pictures and even when you see a picture, you cannot know how someone identifies racially. Some people of purely European decent are dark and some “people of color” are very pale. Skin tone does not always signal race. But what is race? And where do people of mixed heritages fall in these discussions? … It is so hard to get anywhere in this post because there are so many side issues!)

At any rate, I was checking out another product review blog and was surprised to find the woman appeared to be black in a picture on her About page. Why was I surprised? The caricature in her banner was white. To this day, I do not know what to make of that.

A caricature is clearly not supposed to be an exact representation of the site author…and quite possibly some of us are posing as blondes when we are actually brunettes or vice versa…but for some reason this particularly surprised me. Does that say more about the site author or me?

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to have a lot of frank discussions with friends in real life and on the Internet about race. While I can’t say we always understood each other, I would like to think we moved the ball down the field just be talking with each other honestly.

I am white? What are the requirements for being a person of color? Appearance? Experiences with prejudice? Self-identification? Cultural differences? Interest in certain issues? Where you live? Where your parents lived?

Besides those who are mixed races, there seem to be others who live on the periphery of “color.” What about Arab Jews and Christians in the United States? What if they experience prejudice as Arabs? What about European Jews in Western Europe and the United States who have experienced prejudice and feelings of cultural dissonance? What if you are a Hispanic person of fully or partial European descent–is it your culture that gives you your “color?” Does it matter if you identify as Hispanic? Look Hispanic? Have experienced prejudice as a Hispanic person?

What if you can pass? Do you have a need, a desire, an obligation to not do so? What about in the blogosphere where we could all theoretically keep a lot to ourselves, including our color? In doing so, are we contributing to the impression that the blogosphere is white? And, if so, do we have any responsibility to combat that impression?

Should a white person even be discussing this? And is white a color? Or are white people colorless–with all the implied blandness and homogeneity?

How can the blogosphere as a whole better promote, recognize, and celebrate cultural diversity? What part do we all, white, black, brown, or otherwise, have to play in this?

How do we start?

Specifically as parent bloggers–is that enough of a starting point? My grandfather, who was Jewish, looked Jewish, experienced much prejudice as a Jewish person, and culturally identified as Jewish, but married an Irish Catholic woman, was a musician throughout the 30s, the 40s, and beyond. He had an opportunity to play with musicians of all races and, as a result, have many conversations about race that were really about music, conversations about music that were really about race, and conversations that were really just about music. Because music was a medium, especially in that era but also especially in the United States, that simultaneously transcended and yet breathed and lived race.

On some level, can parenting and writing about parenting do the same for us? Is race integral to parenting? Are there issues in parenting that can unite us in meaningful discussion while also illuminating issues of race?

ETA: More questions…I’m just full of it them, aren’t I?

So, how do we keep race out there? So everyone, the PR flacks, the politicians, the other moms and dads, everyone, knows that it is on our minds, and on our lips, and in our hearts? How do we live it, love it, cry it, share it, and celebrate it…not just once or twice, but as part of who we are?

Because I do think that this is something to embrace. Yes, we are different. For many reasons…and race is one of those reasons. Sometimes it is large and sometimes it is small…but it is always there. I want to strike out prejudice…not differences.

So how do we make this bright and shiny new world of the blogosphere more beautiful with more color?

Please Save Me!

I’ve survived falling off the Top Momma for a few days while other new additions have been pushed off. Right now I am dangerously close to the edge, though.

Please visit Top Momma now, and click on the cute little Leopard-Human Cub Hybrid. That’s my brazilliant Baby Diva.

It would be very cool to keep her on there until her birthday (August 9) so I can use the traffic to spread the word about Congenital Heart Defects.

Time is of the essence, though…as soon as a new pic is added, I’ll get booted if I don’t have enough clicks.

Click as many times as you like and please pass this link (http://www.topmomma.com/mommas/referal/727) aroud and ask them to do the same.

THANKS!

I’m a Top Momma–Please Vote For Me

An adorable pic of Baby Diva in a leopard costume just got added to the front page of Top Momma. Please go “vote” for me by clicking on the image. Time is of the essence, though…as soon as a new pic is added, I’ll get booted if I don’t have enough clicks.

So visit Top Momma now, and click on the cute little Leopard-Human Cub Hybrid.

Also, please pass this link (http://www.topmomma.com/mommas/referal/727) on to five friends and ask them to do the same. I can’t tell you it will give you good luck, help you win money, or save the children…but getting votes will make me smile.

THANKS!

Very Tardy With Taggings

I got tagged right before I moved by several super, sexy, smart bloggers and I am remiss in answering because house hunting has been kicking my butt.

So, to answer the following Memes:

Csara at Baby Talkers tagged me to post 7 random things about myself and Amygeekgrl at Crunchy Domestic Goddess (who may be crunchy and is definitely a goddess…but is she domestic? Certainly not domesticated.) asked me for 8 things you don’t know about me. First it is 7, then 8? Is this Meme escalation? A Meme Race? Mutually Assured Meme Destruction?

Momomax also tagged me with a Meme…I’ll do that one next. Did you tag me and I missed it while I was obsessing over dormers, high hats, and cathedral ceilings? Please let me know and I promise I WILL answer…I just can’t promise promptness.

This is hard because generally if I haven’t told you something about myself, I probably am not going to!

Okay, here goes:

1. When I was in high school, I worked as a performer at children’s parties. Yes, I used to dress up as Princess Jasmine, Snow White, and the Pink Power Ranger, and occasionally as Minnie Mouse, do face painting, and make balloon animals.

2. I am terrified of sharks, spiders, and also to some degree alligators and crocodiles…but mostly the first two.

3. I was a founding member of a sketch comedy troupe in college.

4. I have been obsessed at one time or another with the following shows: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Project Runway, Meerkat Manor.

5. I love to travel and have always wanted to live in another country for a year. I have hiked the Inca Trail up to Machu Picchu, explored Ankor Wat, and made my way through caves and jungle in Belize.

6. I gave birth while my husband was deployed to Iraq…although you probably know that if you’ve been reading.

7. I skipped second grade and entered college at age 16.

8. I have, or at least had when I was younger and played the piano and flute, perfect pitch…but I can’t sing in tune. Oh, the irony!

Now it’s my turn to tag 3 other people so here goes:

1. Veronique at Little Elephants

2. Christine at From Dates to Diapers and Organized Chaos

3. Pale Girl at Drama Mama

If you want to be tagged, just go ahead and let me know that you did it…or if you want to be tagged about feminism, I’ll tag you when I do that one.

I Would Have Baked a Cake

While I think it is perfectly acceptable to broadcast your own accomplishments, normally I wouldn’t like to toot my own horn two posts in a row.

However, Mary Tsao at Mom Writes has left me no choice by doing me the honor of selecting my post, 15 Tips for Freelance Writing Success, as her Perfect Post choice this month. I am so flattered to have received such excellent feedback on this post and I am ecstatic that others have found these tips helpful.


June 2007 Perfect Post Awards


Wow! I am honored to be in such great company. Check out This Month’s Perfect Post Awardees at Suburban Turmoil and the Perfect Post Archives at Petroville.

Pressure’s on…I guess now I’ll have to write another perfect post an interesting post a good post something, soon.

Thank you again Mary for the affirmation!

Down the Rabbit Hole

And seriously, that is what some of these properties look like…a rabbit hole…or someone’s bad trip!

I have many posts to write and memes to which to respond and no time to write…But…Christy at Christy’s Coffee Break, one of my newest favorite places to visit, passed along the Rockin’ Girl Blogger Award to me.

Since girls do, in fact, rock, here are some of the most rockin’, rollin’, and generally cool Internet gal superstars I know:

1. Mom-101
2. Momomax
3. Amygeekgrl at Musings of a Crunchy Domestic Goddess
4. crazedparent
5. Vicky at The Mummy Chronicles

Please accept this bold pink button and pass it along to five others!

Three is a Magic Number

Daddy Forever was kind enough to tag me. I usually take these things way too seriously. I have trouble with editing myself, which is going to be an issue when I go for #2 on my “Three Things I Want To Do Before I Die.” I either can’t decide which three are tops, or I have trouble coming up with even one. Well, here goes:

Three Things That Scare Me
1. morbidly graphic mental images of something happening to either Baby Diva or Super Dad
2. spiders and sharks
3. that my next baby may also have some sort of birth defect

Three People Who Make Me Laugh
1. Super Dad
2. Mike Seaton (oh, my, did I just encourage more jokes?)
3. Stephen Colbert

Three Things I Love
(Since Super Dad reads the blog, I’m going to point out it says “things”)
1. Reading (out loud to Baby Diva or just alone)
2. Going to Art Museums, especially with Super Dad
3. Good Wine, especially when enjoyed with friends

Three Things I Hate
1. Ignorance
2. Bullying
3. Writers Block and Stage Fright

Three Things I Don’t Understand
1. wanton cruelty
2. time
3. finances

Three Things On My Desk
(heh, heh, my “desk” is really my coffee table and the couch and there are way more than three things on them)
1. cleaned, empty baby food jars
2. a botle of water
3. a textbook for the curriculum I am working on

Three Things I’m Doing Right Now
1. blogging
2. pretending to do work
3. trying to decide when to go to bed

Three Things I Want To Do Before I Die
1. see Baby Diva and any future little ones hit the major milestones–graduation, marriage, children of their own
2. write a novel, possibly even publish it
3. travel to India

Three Things I Can Do
(well? or just do?)
1. Write
2. Cook
3. Make Balloon Animals

Three Things I Can’t Do
1. Sing on Key
2. Run fast
3. See very well without my glasses or contacts

Three Things I Think You Should Listen To
1. Your mother
2. Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge in B Flat Major, Op. 133: Overtura
3. Your imagination

Three Things You Should Never Listen To
1. A Siren
2. Anyone who says, “Don’t worry about it…I’ll take care of it.”
3. Nagging self-doubts

Three Things I’d Like To Learn
1. Russian
2. To Maintain and Repair a Sewing Machine
3. How to write dialogue that doesn’t sound like smart college students trying too hard to impress one another in section

Three Favorite Foods
1. Saag Paneer
2. Massaman Curry
3. Any sort of very sharp, very stinky cheese

Three Shows I Watched As A Kid
1. Tons of Cartoons like Rocky and Bullwinkle and the Thundercats and the Hanna Barbera line-up
2. The Muppet Show
3. Carole and Paula in the Magic Garden

Three People I’m Tagging
1. Katy of the aptly named “Katy’s Blog”
2. Miss Trashahassee of Trashology
3. Household6 of Patiently Waiting

Father’s Day Blogroll: Calling All Daddy Bloggers

Do you have a Daddy Blog or know someone who does?

I would like to offer to put button links on my Mama Saga to PERSONAL Daddy Blogs (not business blogs**, though it is of course fine if your personal blog links to and promotes any business you have or is a section on your larger business site).

I will put buttons up as I receive them and keep them up through June. I may keep all or some of them after June.

Not sure how many Daddy Bloggers will read this…but I know there are at least a handful and maybe some of you have husbands or daddy friends who blog and may be interested.

It would be great if you would link to this post to help spread the word!

How it works:

1. Send me the website address.

2. If you have your own button, send me a URL for a hosted image (uploaded to a service, such as photobucket) or e-mail me the button at mamaluxe at gmail dot com.

Buttons should preferably be 120-150 pixels in width (if they are larger, I will re-size) and no more than 150 in height.

If you are unable to make a button, just let me know and I will do it; but it may take me a little while to make a button for you.

3. A reciprocal link (text or button, if you prefer) is nice but is not required! Let me know if you want a button and what size you want. I have one on my sidebar if you just want to grab it.

** Moms or Dads–if you have a COMMERCIAL site that you would like to link on either of my blogs, I would be happy to talk about a reciprocal link if you are interested.

Make Me Feel Good

Vote for my blog on TopMomma! I get points for you clicking on the pic below and clicking on the pic once you get there.

See this pic? Click it to visit TopMomma and then click it again once you get there (assuming I am still on the board):