Amid all the political commentary these days, Joanne Bamberger is noticing more female voices in the pundit chorus. They may not be the best known analysts or in the “Meet the Press” crowd, but these women have large followings, expansive networks and are discussing the political issues of the day. They come from the ranks of female writers often called “mommy bloggers.”
“There is some really smart commentary out there,” said Bamberger, a D.C. journalist who pays close attention to what she sees as an evolution in female writing on the Web.
“These are good writers, but so many women get short shrift because they happen to have children and they get pigeonholed holed as ‘mommy bloggers.’”
Bamberger, known online as PunditMom, has long straddled the parent and political blogging worlds. This past summer she published the Amazon bestseller “Mothers of Intention: How Women & Social Media Are Revolutionizing Politics in America,” (Bright Sky Press). This past fall, she founded an online magazine for female political writers called The Broad Side. Now, she is working with the female-oriented Web site iVillage to launch a new micro-site for the elections, iVote 2012. (The site is up, but it won’t officially launch until March.)
“It’s hard to find women writing specifically about politics. If you search for it, not a lot comes up. But if you look at the women who are writing about their day-to-day lives, you can see a natural progression into political topics — insurance policy, education policy,” Bamberger said.
Her take is that when women began to blog about their personal parenting travails en masse a few years ago, many focused tightly on their own experiences. After a while, these writers expanded their focus and started to make connections between the personal and the politics.
“This has been an organic thing. They’ve found their voices,” she said.
For instance, when she and others at iVillage put a call out for videos from women about the upcoming election, she expected a few entries might trickle in. She was shocked when scores poured in containing heartfelt commentaries that connected individual experiences to political challenges.
The emerging themes: Women do not want to hear about private lives and candidate’s fashion choices. Mostly, she said, they want to know about issues that are important to their families, like the economy.
Bamberger’s not convinced that the politicians are listening. But, as women and mothers continue to speak out online as the election nears, she said, they will.
Have you noticed that parenting and “mommy” blogs have become more political? If so, will parenting issues become more important to the campaigns?