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Yasmin Alibhai-Brown in the Independent thinks Mumsnet is shallow and self-interested... what do you think?

(324 Posts)
JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 19-Sep-11 08:59:20

From today's Independent:

Look at the immensely powerful Mumsnet website and some other copycat ones and there is barely any mention of (or fundraising for) the famines in East Africa where mothers push dry breasts into the limp mouths of babies as they die. Jeremy Clarkson wrote an abominable column last week on these starving children. Where is the famous Mumsnet battalion to slap him down? Not much about domestic violence either, or any serious take on the policies of the Coalition government which are leading to unprecedented numbers of female redundancies. They are low-paid and therefore, I suppose, not part of the cosy circle, a Starbucks for the right kind of mummies. But if you want to know about skiing with babies, its all there, plus very efficient guilt cleaning for working ladies and buckets of advice for SAHMs (stay-at-home mums).

You can see the whole article here

AyeBelieveInTheHumanityOfMen Mon 19-Sep-11 09:05:50

No, nothing ever written about domestic violence on MN. No politics to see round here, either. Numpty.

You got her name wrong in the title, though.

ColdSancerre Mon 19-Sep-11 09:06:29

I think she didn't do her research. Not much about domestic violence? On any relationship thread where the OP is suffering abuse at home there are always loads of supportive posts offering real practical advice.

SybilBeddows Mon 19-Sep-11 09:06:41

1. we don't tend to waste time on Jeremy Clarkson, he is a lost cause.
2. he is also behind the Times paywall, maybe Y A-B doesn't realise not everyone has a Times subscription.
3. if she has views on what we should be commenting on she should come on here and post herself
4. there are a lot of threads about DV, sadly. (Though the trolls are doing their best to limit those hmm)

AnyFucker Mon 19-Sep-11 09:07:50

I don't think she has actually read any of Mumsnet

SybilBeddows Mon 19-Sep-11 09:08:42

basically she's just doing the thing that the Daily Mail does or any other lazy columnist, where you pick a few threads at random and use them to demonstrate that Mumsnet is all about sex or all about Boden or all about how to claim benefits or any of the multifarious other things this very diverse site has been accused of being obsessed with.

ArmageddonOuttahere Mon 19-Sep-11 09:09:55

Blimey Yasmin, being a SAHM has melted my brain, I must have imagined that thoughtful discussion on Somalia last week.

oh no, here it is..

pozzled Mon 19-Sep-11 09:15:00

Is she reading the same mumsnet that I am?

No mention of the famines. (Except the thread linked above, among others, and the fact that mners respond to just about every human disaster or world event by posting in sympathy and asking what they can do).

Not much about domestic violence. (Except for the hundreds of threads where women experiencing this are given help, support and advice).

Not much on the coalition policies and their effect on women. (Except in the politics and feminism sections. Plus all the support and advice given to women who are struggling financially and have lost jobs etc).

lubeybooby Mon 19-Sep-11 09:15:28

Load of rubbish. I've seen in depth discussions on many things that are not shallow, endless support for those suffering any kind of domestic abuse, enlightening, clever and thought provoking feminist debate and all manner of other things. Seems like she really hasn't hung around here much. Or maybe posted a ridiculous AIBU and flounced.

SybilBeddows Mon 19-Sep-11 09:17:58

While I mostly like Y A-B, she does sometimes buy into the misogynistic stereotype that Stuff Women Are Concerned With is therefore necessarily shallow and trivial.

AnyFucker Mon 19-Sep-11 09:20:48

I am not familiar with this journalist

is she usually such a lazy one ?

CalatalieSisters Mon 19-Sep-11 09:22:42

The whole article is a piece of flammery though, isn't it. There have been a few daft articles in response to that annoying-sounding film coming out. She uses the standard columnist strategy of making huge generalisations about alleged social trends seemingly based only on her own daily life and that of a few pals. Hence, "the highly dramatised domestic irritations of the privileged" is supposed to characterise the concerns of us all.

Zero research is one good way of resolving the whole "work-life balance" problem though, I suppose.

NightLark Mon 19-Sep-11 09:22:57

By all means criticise all of us in this country, in the rest of the developed, rich world, for being more concerned with the minutia of our lives than the big issues of famine, of politics,

BUT the article sounds like she is expecting MN to be something it isn't - a kind of a club with a membership and a central direction.

I know MN does campaigns, but I don't see it as a unified force, with some kind of policy direction. And her comments seem to be criticising it for not acting like one.

It's just a place where a whole load of voices can be heard, speaking independently.

And I totally agree that the advice, support and awareness raising on DV is huge here and can't think how she missed it.

ColdSancerre Mon 19-Sep-11 09:23:58

I read her columns but they tend to be a bit forgettable to be honest. I cant think of any stand out 'wow you really made me think about that issue' pieces she has written. She has written for the Independent for years I think.

mayorquimby Mon 19-Sep-11 09:28:54

I do think that MN is quite self-congratulating and some posters seem to think that the site is some sort of moral barometer for soceity etc.

bintofbohemia Mon 19-Sep-11 09:31:11

Column inches to fill + lazy bitter journalism = something more worthy of the Mail.

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 19-Sep-11 09:32:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bonsoir Mon 19-Sep-11 09:32:44

I didn't understand the point of the Yasmin Alibhai-Brown article and I don't think she understands the point of Mumsnet. Most of Mumsnet is about sharing anecdotal experience in order to make better personal decisions - Mumsnet is not about macro institutional forces and political issues (which only ever provide imperfect solutions for the many) so much as about personal insight in order to optimise micro-decisions within the family.

Hullygully Mon 19-Sep-11 09:38:15

Oh shame. I used to like her. Lazy lazy lazy.

bintofbohemia Mon 19-Sep-11 09:39:06

What's Clarkson done now - what paper does he write for? God he's a nob.

CalatalieSisters Mon 19-Sep-11 09:41:16

You're right mayorquimby: mumsnet does set itself up for this sort of tripe by often claiming to be more than just a random collection of women's conversations.

BerryLellow Mon 19-Sep-11 09:51:29

I am shallow and self interested. At times. And I can have a laugh on Mumsnet when I am in that mood.

BUT. I am also here for the support threads, learning about feminism, issues surrounding disablilty and SN. Amongst many other things.

Bonsoir has it right - 'I don't think she understands the point of Mumsnet'.

nenevomito Mon 19-Sep-11 09:51:40

What a shock shock not every thread on Mumsnet is about something serious. Its a sweeping generalisation which doesn't reflect the site properly - but that's lazy journalism for you.

For someone who is meant to be celebrating what women can achieve these days, its a bit disingenuous to go on and bash women in the same article.

ireallyagreewithyou Mon 19-Sep-11 09:52:32

i agree with her a bit.
But i find all the earnest bits dull

why should women right men's wrongs?

Hullygully Mon 19-Sep-11 09:53:44

Clarkson wrote a good piece on Uganda last week.

A lot of his persona is an earning-construction.

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