Happy birthday, Mumsnet
Over the last 15 years, MNHQ has played host to many a famous face - here, some of them tell us what being on Mumsnet has meant to them. Get ready for some warm fuzzies...
Miriam González Durántez
"I have a monumental debt of gratitude to Mumsnet. When some tried to demonise me at the last General Election after I said that I would help, but not change my life completely and be paraded around, it was the support of Mumsnet that allowed me to come out of that unscarred. Having that kind of help from women I do not know personally was something that had never happened to me before. I felt safe because of you - and I can probably never repay the favour.
Mumsnet is also an endless source of information and wisdom in relation to my children: from ideas for potty training to realising that teenagers are grumpy to all parents, and not just me.
With very few people and scarce resources you have won a place of influence in record time. And that is because you can be trusted. I wish you another 15 years of success – and please do not change!"
Professor Mary Beard
"I've had some really great Mumsnet experiences, starting years ago with a discussion thread after I had said on the radio that I didn't think that Miss World was really worth protesting about any more (if this was a contest, I don't think I won!). Ever since I have taken the Mumsnet view very seriously indeed, and when I have needed good female support, Mumsnet have always been there... A A Gill is really no match for Mumsnet."
"The thing about Mumsnet is, come an election, politicians see it as the ideal place to 'Go and TALK to women', and I think, dude, you've got 7.5m women there - why not ASK THEM QUESTIONS, instead? How about not just 'listening', but 'working with'? You've got 7.5m brains there, running full-stretch, multi-tasking the fuck out of shit. Childcare, education, budgeting, care of the elderly, social cohesion, social mobility - that's 7.5m people who know. Who are coming up with solutions every day. They've got experience. They can wash a penis in a cup. They're all over this."
"Mumsnet has become part of British life over the past 15 years. It has helped millions of Mums – and some Dads too – cope with the pressures modern families face. It brought issues to national attention which might otherwise have stayed hidden. And it has helped change policy including that of the Labour Party with our free childcare offer for working parents and a doubling of paid paternity leave."
"Happy Birthday to everyone at Mumsnet. You've always been lovely to me, especially when we do our webchats and my office is suddenly filled with brilliant, smart women all tapping away as I give my answers to the most fascinating and difficult questions.
I can't wait to see what the next 15 years brings for Mumsnet - it's such an exciting time in the digital space. But right now, it's time to party!"
"I suppose I first became aware of Mumsnet for its fearsome reputation: a place where male politicians canvassed female opinion at their peril. Not being a politician, I've always found it a perfectly welcoming place. Compared to most of the opinion-airing corners of the internet, Mumsnet Talk is a model of decorum - sensible, measured, lively, good-humoured and respectful - and I speak as the subject of a 485-post discussion thread entitled 'Tim Dowling, for example, is a twat'. It's also where I ended up when I wanted advice on how to wire in my new oven."
Professor Tanya Byron
"As a mental health practitioner I know from my patients how supportive the Mumsnet community has been to them at times when they felt overwhelmed as women, lovers or mothers - the support and advice to many has been invaluable. As a journalist I often use Mumsnet as a source of information for issues I am writing about, following threads and looking at the debates and ideas expressed. Mumsnet is a powerful community of those involved in the nitty gritty of living life, and a resource none of us could do without."
"Being a new parent is a daunting and isolating business; having a network of people to turn to is vital. Mumsnet has become the go-to resource for mums and (whisper it) fathers who want to ask questions that Google can't answer. Congratulations on everything you've helped mums to achieve in the last fifteen years. Happy birthday."
"I love Mumsnet. Its warm, witty community was one of the earliest places I found feminist support and solidarity when I was first targeted with trolling, rape and death threats, and it has since proved a formidable ally in campaigns against maternity discrimination and media sexism.
Underestimate this community of passionate, intelligent, funny women at your peril."
"My children were born with Mumsnet, they started to walk and speak and have gone to school with Mumsnet. What started as an experiment has become a national institution, the place to go to get people talking.
In fifteen years you have changed Britain without Britain changing you, and your spontaneity, good humour, integrity and your desire for change remain intact.
Mumsnet is a powerful, popular force for fairness for mothers and families."
"In putting what mums want on the agenda, politicians, commentators and pundits have had, rightly, to take much more seriously a host of issues that are massively important for our society. Mumsnet has driven much of that progress and 15 years on, Justine and her team should be very proud of what they have achieved. Congratulations on reaching this important milestone. May you have many more."
Last updated: about 3 years ago