April 6, 2008

SF Chronicle Has The Balls To Name Parenting Channel "Bay Area Moms"


Let the record show that in the year 2008, the San Francisco Chronicle, the newspaper of record for the capital of galaxy [or at least The United Federation of Planets], decided that the best name for it's "big page on SFGate.com that pulls together a lot of parenting items from the Chronicle and other places" is Bay Area Moms.

It can be found at the URL, www.sfgate.com/moms. That's sfgate.com slash M-O-M-S.

While the editors of Bay Area Moms--and one of the major contributors to the Chron's awesome parenting blog, The Poop, Peter "not a mom" Hartlab"--assure dads that they are "very welcome," a couple of commenters have pointed out that actually, they are of little interest to the Chronicle or its advertisers since, "85-90 percent of our readers and commenters are female" and "Moms control a family's purse-strings making 85% of the family purchasing decisions."

So some ad sales guy [sic] at the Chron thinks that moms are the only ones who purchase books and visit science museums, and that the parents of the Bay Area would like to be segmented and targeted based on their possession of a uterus, fine.

If you have a different idea for a name, leave it in the comments. We'll go all week, and then on Friday, we'll either vote for the best ones, or I'll just draw an entrant at random to win some sweet prize. TBD.

[And before you suggest it, note that Bay Area Parent already exists; it's part of Dominion Parenting Media, "the nation's largest publisher of free-to-the-public regional parenting magazines targeting moms, expectant mothers, and families with children." I swear-- never mind.]

Bay Area Moms [sfgate.com/moms]
The Poop commenters on Bay Area Moms channel [sfgate.com via easily a dozen people in the course of two hours last night]


... and they didn't even link to you or MetroDad or even Sweet Juniper in the "Our Favorite Links" section! Sexist BoBo trash!

I've been a regular Poop reader since they started it, and one of the things I liked about it is how inclusive it was of all parents. As I have posted on the Poop, this new "Bay Area Moms" thing just pisses me off, and I don't intend to shut up with the Chronicle about it. I've also been a paid Chronicle subscriber -- that's right, newsprint, baby -- for decades. We'll see if they pay any attention to me.

I also wonder about why they launched it at all. They really did have a good thing with The Poop. So why not expand that? What's the internal power struggle behind that decision? Then when they call it Bay Area Moms, it seems like a dis not just of the Poop, but of the hard work that Peter Hartlaub and other dads have done at the Poop. But maybe I'm way off base there.

B.A.D. - Bay Area Dads

S.F.P.D. - San Francisco Parent Dept

B.A.P. - Bay Area Progenitors

Okay, one serious one...

SFGate should have.... BabyGate

I think they're being silly for one major reason... I'm female and I get sick to all hell of reading "mom" blogs. "Dad" blogs add a bit of spice to the parenting blog scene, and at least the ones I've seen tend to focus on slightly different issues/perspectives which is refreshing to say the least.

How about:
The Parenting Fog (since it's San Fran)

B.A.B.Y. -- Bay Area Breeders anonYmous

The Y symbolizes the male Y chromosome.

B.A.L.C.O. - Bay Area Little Cute Offspring


B.A.R.T. - Baby Article ReTreads

C.R.A.P. - Chronicle's Read About Parenting

for dads:

C.R.A.P.P.Y. - Chronicle's Read About "Parenting" Poops on You

I have been reading your blog since my first kid was born in mid 2004 and its entries like these that keep me reading, not because I'm outraged as you are by how parents are always assumed to be moms, or everything kid related is directed at moms, but precisely because I know NO ONE like you--or at least no dad who seems so genuinely involved and interested in all things baby related. My husband could care less what stroller we got (ok, fine he saw the bugaboo and said case closed this is for us), nor does he care about what the kids wear (occasionally I get a what's with the XYZ?/ how much did you spend on that?/ that's cute) and he certainly does not read any parenting blogs. Nor do I see any of my friend's husbands doing any of this. How I wish this were different--especially when I read these posts of yours! Anyway, carry on! Rage against the mom-centric machine!

[thanks, I think. What I'm not seeing here is the next step in the argument--and it's NOT come up several times in similar comments on The Poop, either: is that bad? to what extent is/should parenting involve caring deeply about what your kid wears or the type of ricrac on the burp cloth? Or in discussing those things in 200-comment-long message threads online? Part of the reason dads might not bother with that stuff is because they know moms will pick up the slack, which is or isn't fair, depending on what people agree to. Dads and moms obviously differ in how they approach being a parent; that's not going to change. The Chron's Mom Problem [sic] is that it conflates moms and parents. -ed.]

It's meant as a compliment. And you're right when I talk to other mothers on why their husbands aren't as involved we usually come to the conclusion bc our husbands know we will deal, one way or the other. It's annoying as hell, but I'm going to guess the vast majority of households run this way and this is probably why places like the Chronicle target parent blogs to mothers, or why Cookie says something is "mom approved" etc. Anyway, it would be AWESOME if I could discuss the size and color of ricrac on a burp cloth with my husband--though I don't think he even know what ricrac is, or even a burp cloth!

[and yet, the only thing I want to know about ricrac is its combustion temperature. a sock absorbs just as much milk & drool w/o a frilly border. -ed]

In my book, obsessing over what a child wears is such an insignificant part of my parenting concerns that I couldn't see discussing it. If that's what mothers talk about at playgroups, then hey, let them have that chunk of the parenting world.

Sure, it's fine to have an interest in fashion and style, but many commercial parenting websites are drenched in it to the point of being sickening.

The dads I talk to are more concerned about milestones, whether there kid is getting enough socialization time, and just how much a preschool teacher should be pushing kids academically (really, debating the nature and purpose of a preschool education).

[sorry, not much marketable material there... back of the bus for you! -ed.]

Well, that's the assumption. It seems easier to focus on clothing and superficial issues by throwing up some product photos than to get knee-deep in the bread and butter problems parents actually go online for to seek help.

Or worse, do exactly that and then start an ad network, recruiting bloggers for street cred while leaching their Nielsen NetRatings numbers.

I'm not griping about bloggers -- we're just expressing our personal interests. It's artificial venues created by organizations for their profit potential that bother me. Many parenting websites read like fluff magazine marketing copy.

Yes, the name blows chunks.

But mad props to DT for working in a Star Trek reference to your post.


[Bay Area Moms: where no man has gone before. -ed.]

AJ--don't get me wrong, mothers talk about all the weighty matters, but sometimes you want a little fun and you find yourself discussing the more trivial things--like omg isn't that ricrac border so cute. Parenting blogs, especially those that provide a forum have to find some way to pay the bills for maintaining their servers, so yeah, they get a little commercial. It doesn't bother me if the "serious" content is actually useful and interesting--what bugs about those sites is when they start dumbing down the more controversial points of childrearing so as to appeal to everyone and thereby interesting no one (read: babycenter for me). Maybe what needs to happen is that parents should put their money where there mouth is and pay gasp! a subscription for a quality blog, then you could get rid of all the commercial bs and leave the ricrac discussing to the playground. ;)

crazy hippies having kids

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