Monday, September 10, 2012

On Indian Mommy Bloggers and Blogging for Social Change

Hindustan Times printed an article today on some mommy bloggers you know: Kiran, Itchy, Lalita ... and me. I feel a bit of a fraud because I never have considered myself a mommy blogger. A blogging mother, yes; mommy blogger, no. Nevertheless, I have been reading mommy blogs longer than most people even knew they existed, so perhaps I am allowed to have a say.

I am glad this article was written. For all that, though, I think it missed out on a few important milestones in the (online but very real) community that is the Indian mommy blogging scene. I have frequently mentioned, as have a lot of others, how much we depend on other blogging parents for support and advice on this parenting thing. About 5-6 years ago, this dependence led to off-blog friendships that have mostly survived and flourished. Fun like the 2008 online baby shower led to support groups that survive today. These relationships and others nourished by Twitter and Facebook have helped create movements like the annual Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Month and Violence Against Women Awareness Month. For mommy bloggers like Parul their writing led to book deals.

Am I saying mommy blogging has changed India? Who knows, it's much too early to tell. But for a generation of Indian women like me, it has changed our perception of parenting, family and friendship, to some extent, and it laid the foundation for other movements that have helped me give sense to the life I lead. And yes, perhaps I am the elite but I do know that Boo and Kiran (to mention but two) have both spoken of strangers who recognised them from their blogs and came up to thank them for the inspirational writing.

I myself continue to get heartfelt mail from people I do not know for blogposts that spoke to them. When something crops up that affects us all, we know we have a network to tap into, thanks to our blogging. Somewhere, clearly, a difference has been made and is still being made. Whether this difference compares to what is happening elsewhere is difficult to say because my medium of choice and therefore my reach is still restricted in this country, but I think we have all come a very long way from the relative isolation that was the internet a decade ago.

By and large I am glad Manjula wrote this piece. It has made me think a bit about what this space is all about -- I tend to lose focus from time to time on that.

On that note, please keep in mind that October is Violence Against Women Awareness Month. If you would like to chip in with a blogpost, information or just help spread the awareness please feel free to contact us at vawawareness@gmail.com or @VAWawareness.

2 comments:

Trish said...

I was missing the fun times we had as group..and this post reminded me of just that! Hope you and yours are well,Susie Q

Sue said...

Thanks Trish. Yes, we are well and thanks to FB, I know you guys are too. :)