'WSJ' Article Sparks Mom Blogger Outrage

Rant 8

MinibarMaking the rounds on Facebook today is a totally asinine article from the Wall Street Journal, called 'The Mommy Business Trip.'

In it, writer Katherine Rosman manages to reduce popular women's blogging, lifestyle and crafting conferences to a way for stay-at-home moms to party without their husbands or kids-- and by "party," I mean, sleep late, dance, tweet, and most importantly, raid the minibar.

In case you're having trouble visualizing such debauchery, the WSJ helpfully provided a graphic, with drawings of these so-called moms, all of whom appear to be visiting our planet from the year 1983.

The online version also includes a video interview with Rosman, who can barely conceal her eyerolls as she describes some of the most popular conferences, including Mom 2.0, which is taking place next week (and where our own Tracy Odell is speaking).

Predictably, bloggers are going public with their fury. See what they have to say after the jump.

Katherine Stone, author of the blog Postpartum Progress, was featured in the story, and admitted after reading the article that she had been wanting to crawl under a rock all day. On her blog on Babble.com, she wrote this in response to the WSJ article:

I apologize to all the women who feel minimized and condescended to by the piece, in particular the graphics that accompany it. I know we all don’t lay around in our hotel rooms on the ground gorging ourselves on crap. In fact I’ve racked my brain to think if I’ve ever laid on the floor of a hotel room for any reason, and I can’t come up with a single instance.

Agency executive Marcy Massura shared in the comments an e-mail she wrote to Rosman, detailing the many ways the article offended her. Some of my favorites:

-Do not call me ‘Mommy’ unless I made you.

-Can we talk about the 'Daddy Business Trip'? You know WHERE THEY DO THE EXACT SAME THINGS like dining out, drinking with colleagues and ACTUALLY GETTING WORK DONE.

-This article CLEARLY demonstrates how LITTLE WSJ thinks of mothers, our role in society, our value as entrepreneurs and our INTELLIGENCE.

Adrianna from Military Money Chica wrote:

Thanks for portraying my profession as a bunch of opportunistic, burnt-out-moms who have to dress a vacation in business casual to get out of doing the laundry.

As a "mommy" who has attended multiple blogging conferences, I have to admit that the WSJ article made my blood boil. I always return from blogging conferences with valuable new social connections and practical information about the business of blogging-- information I rely on for my career. I also get to spend time with other bloggers who've become close friends over the years. These are women who have similar professions and understand my life in a way that most of my friends at home just can't. I don't see how mom blogging conferences are different from any other business conference- We get new information, make connections, catch up with colleagues, and have a lot of fun while we do it. There's no need to apologize for that.

As for the incredibly condescending graphic, I'd like to state for the record that I have NEVER slept in at a conference (if anything, I typically have to spend the next few days after a conference catching up from a lack of sleep) and I've certainly never laid on the floor of a hotel room, gorging myself on the minibar. As Isabel Kallman pointed out in the comments of Katherine Stone's post, "Moms know that hotel carpets are gross."

I do hope that Katherine Rosman address the flood of complaints in a future story. I don't have high hopes for that, though.

What about you?


Image via Andreas Hagerman/Flickr



blogging, trends, discrimination, moms matter


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lovem... lovemyson1224

I read the article and was not offended one bit. It was serious and didn't make fun of working mothers. I believe the graphic was supposed to be tongue in cheek. I don't think they were being mean just funny.

LadyM... LadyMinni

No one recognizes satire anymore; thus they had to apologize.

Cel7777 Cel7777

Do people really have to get offended about everything? It was meant to be satirical. It must be exhausting to be so sensitive.

nonmember avatar JenniMarie

I think the WSJ article was spot on! I'm sure many of us wish we could go blow off steam and be re-energized but are unable to justify the expense. Good for those that are able to do so.

bella... bellacazzate

I'm not sure if a few commenters know the definition of satire...

Estelle Sobel Erasmus

I found it unacceptable to disparage the hard-working mom blogger community. I wrote about it as the bedtime story we just have to tell our daughters.

Shrew2u Shrew2u

Having attended a business conference for work last month (I work outside of the home), I have to say that I spent two days partying AND getting valuable contacts and information.  I woke up on time, though (habit) and did not raid the mini-bar (there wasn't one - which makes sense in a hotel that caters to government employees and contractors).  So, who really gives a damn if MommyBloggers do the same things that parents (MALE or female) generally do at business conferences?

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