Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Motrin Moms Update

Katja Presnal has an excellent update on her blog Ladybug Landings with a letter from Susie Spence, president of the nonprofit organization Babywearing International inc. Go read it. Good stuff.

I also found a wonderful post from Julie Roads, on her Blog Writing Roads how she would have written the Motrin ad. Her proposed ad copy is very well written casts an even broader net to fathers and grandparents is informative, sensitive and inclusive. Bravo!

I just want to also add that I have been a little dismayed with some of the backlash I have seen directed at the women who have participated in blogging about the Motrin ads. There have been some rather negative remarks on twitter and on the comment sections of other blog posts suggesting these women have too much time on their hands and resorting to the classless snark of hormones, PMS, and boredom. Not surprisingly most of the remarks have come from men, but sadly they have also come from women. It saddens me that when a group of women speak out to say they find something offensive, a group of people will make disparaging remarks about it. The general theme being to shut up. They fail to see why the very women the Motrin ad was designed to target were offended should have a voice in saying so.

For years advertising has cast women, especially moms, in a negative light. Moms feel judgment from all sides for every decision and choice that they make regarding how they care for their children. Those decisions aren't made lightly and thanks to the internet, not only are they able to research information that will assist them in making informed decisions, but they are also able to find other women who struggle as they do to find the right answers. They are a powerful group in terms of the amount of money they control and spend and in light of today's economy, companies are going to have to learn to show them some real respect in order to be able to profit from them. From what I've read, it seems that there are still a few (mostly) men out there that just simply don't like that idea.

To the men that did understand the issue and created thoughtful intelligent responses I simply say thank you.


M said...

With all due respect, I disagree with some of your message here.

I don't think many of those who did not see eye to eye with the moms who were outrages "failed to see why the women [who] were offended should have a voice in saying so."

Rather, I think people expressed that they did not agree that "fuss" was required in this case, etc.

Perhaps some came out and said what you say they said above, but the comments I read did not say anything of the sort (in other words I think the generalization does not hold true), only that in their views this level of outrage was did not seem appropriate to the "crime" or that they simply didn't get what the big deal was.

Those people are expressing *their* views on the matter and the reaction to it, just as some moms are expressing *their* views--quite vocally in some cases. Because that side holds a different view though does not in my opinion make those views "sad," anti-mom, the equivalent of saying "shut up," and so on.

I see no difference in moms expressing their critique of the Motrin ad and others expressing their critique of the moms' reaction.

I don't perceive as sad the fact that some did not agree with those particular moms' reaction. Because they are moms or women or for some other reason, should they be immune to being the subject of disagreement and critique?

Those moms felt free (as they should) to express their disagreement; why shouldn't others be able to do the same and be given the same respect moms expect for their views?

The tone of the post suggests women should not disagree with moms or other women. Not sure if you were implying that, but if that wasn't the underlying logic, I'm simply having trouble seeing what you do think is wrong with (or sad about) others expressing a different view on this same issue which many moms were very outspoken about.

Julie Roads said...

Hey there - I agree with you completely. Maybe this seems like a small thing to make a 'fuss' about - but don't we have to start small - and didn't we make a HUGE difference. What about all of the moms who fought so hard for Obama?

For me, this isn't about just that one Motrin ad - it's about the fact that the Motrin ad symbolizes the devaluing that mothers consistently get in this country: the scant if any maternity leave, the horrid health care system, the total medicalization and powerlessness placed on childbirth, the promotion of formula and strollers over breastfeeding and slings...I could go on for days.

Anyone who pretends that women and moms are on an equal playing field in terms of value, respect and opportunity is sadly mistaken (perhaps naive, mislead or full of backlash spirit - aka, misogyny.)

And, thanks for including my ad revision in your post!