How the Wall Street Journal took a giant dump on women

Photo via the Wall Street Journal.

You've heard about blogging conferences and events, right? Basically, a huge group of bloggers get together in a pre-determined location to do what people do at work conferences — network, hang out, and learn. Or, that's what I've always assumed happens at work conferences, but according to this piece published by the Wall Street Journal, the only thing that happens when you gather a large group of mothers who blog together is a whole bunch of selfies and mini bar raiding.

I'm not the only person slightly miffed by the piece, and Morgan from The 818 expresses her disgust much better than I can:

Last year I attended the Mom 2.0 conference in Miami, Florida. I was lucky enough to share a room at that conference with one of the most respected women in the professional blogging circles I personally run in — a woman named Katherine Stone. I think it was the same person the Wall Street Journal interviewed for their silly fluff piece on this silly trend of Mommy Blogging and these silly little Mommy Conferences which *giggle* are really just a great excuse to get away from our kids and eat junk food. (shhhhhhhh.) Except the Katherine I roomed with didn't turn on the TV or declare her freedom from Nickelodeon once. She refused to ignore any phone calls from her husband or children so we could do tequila shooters on the beach and then lay around eating snacks we tell our kids will rot their teeth. She didn't even want to split the brownie I had left over from the plane ride.

Instead, the Katherine I roomed with introduced me to the editors of Babble, which directly led to me landing the column you are reading right now. The Katherine I roomed with was given a humanitarian award for the meaningful and selfless work she does as an advocate for maternal mental health. The Katherine I roomed with was greeted with hugs and admiration from the inimitable list of attendees, who ranged from New York Times best selling authors, to Emmy award winning television producers, to agency heads, to Internet superstars, to doctors, to lawyers, to fashion designers, to yes…(oh the horror) Moms who blog.

Head this way to read the rest.

  1. I had trouble with the link to the original WSJ article, if you do too google "The Mommy Business Trip", should be the first result.

  2. The bit about sponsors "finding a way" to get moms to travel and spend miney is SO flagrantly presumptuous and disrespectful. As if the conferences are organized by sponsoring companies to get indulgent stay at home moms (who blog or post pictures on Instagram or whatever silly mom things) to come party.

  3. I do think this article is fucked up…but it actually made me laugh because I just got home from a work conference, where I totally indulged in crappy snacks and alcohol, took instagram selfies and enjoyed my giant hotel bed and tv to myself knowing I wouldn't be interrupted by cries of 'mamaaaaaa'……

    But yeah, that article is annoying.

    • ^Agreed!
      I think that my problem with this isn't that the conference is a "break from work and family" so much as that it implies that these conferences aren't ALL like that. Engineering friends of mine recently went to a 4 day conference in orlando where there were pool parties, trips to disney, and bar crawling all organized by the conference planners. And you better believe that they hit the mini-bar on the company dime.

      Yes, there are valuable seminars at conferences and great networking opportunities. But I think that most professional conferences are treated as a mini-vacation by people across employment groups and genders. It's unfair to characterize mommy bloggers as the only ones who are taking advantage to the situation.

  4. I'm having a hard time deciding which WSJ graphic is better this one or the "poor rich people" one they had back in January. Not that I would probably be their primary target audience anyway, but wow.

  5. Okay, what I'm going to say is controversial. But….

    If you only read bloggers' posts about conferences, this is the impression you get of what goes on. Shame on the Wall Street Journal for not doing more in-depth reporting and scratching beneath the surface, and yes, it's annoying (although not surprising) to see a topic related to women handled so cavalierly and superficially. However, I think this piques the ire of so many because it rings an uncomfortable bell.

    • I have never attended a big blogger conference, but I will say this: when I go out of town for work, especially if I'm meeting up with friends and/or Empire co-workers, there is totally PLENTY of photos being taken, drinking of booze, and I get super happy realizing I have a bed all to myself and can sleep in until whenever I want/have to be at work without interruptions. But also? I fucking work when I go out of town for work.

      My two big issues with this piece were 1) the implication that women are going to blog conferences and not doing anything besides drinking and taking photos of themselves and 2) the implication that men also don't do this kind of thing, and/or that blogging conferences are less serious because women are just so silly. All I really have for this piece is massive rolling of the eyes.

    • The problem isn't them saying that this stuff happens, the problem is them saying that this is the ONLY stuff that happens, and that this only happens at "mommy blogger" conventions, and not, y'know, EVERY WORK CONVENTION EVER IN THE HISTORY OF TIME. A friend of mine was recently in town for an optometrist's convention (which while it doesn't matter, for the record was vastly male dominated.) All of the behaviors described could describe their convention to a T (though like the bloggers, they also did get lots of work done at the same time.) It's only these women who get flak for their behavior, and have it implied that because they manage to have some fun with colleagues that they otherwise don't get to interact with, that they're not primarily gathered for important business purposes.

  6. The wording and tone of this is like those out-of-date 50s guides to how to be a good housewife. Imagine the exact same image and wording, but with drawings of men instead of women and swap genders in the text. I can't imagine the WSJ would be so patronizing and dismissing of men.

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