|Photo Credit: blacque_jacques on Flickr|
It’s no secret that certain types of work are more often undertaken by women in our culture than by men. There are varying opinions on why this is, and none of them are really within the scope of what I care to write about here. Whatever the reasons, some women feel very at home in these stereotypically female roles and others of us simply do not. I am one who usually enjoys the everyday tasks associated with mothering and work with young children, cooking, and – if I’m not too overwhelmed by other things – sometimes even cleaning.
When I started blogging, I specifically avoided any sort of monetization as well as giveaways. I feel like we’re marketed to all day long, and I wanted people to be able to interact with my writing without having anyone attempt to sell them something. I also wanted to be able to share my honest thoughts and opinions without having to worry about keeping a sponsor happy. I am still ad and affiliate free (though I have added the occasional giveaway because, well, I like them), and I still enjoy the freedom that comes with blogging purely as a hobby.
At the same time, I am starting to wonder if those of us in the “mommy blogger” community who aren’t selling ad space community are assigning too little value to our work, and if this tendency to undervalue what we do is related to society’s tendency to view women’s work as unworthy of pay. For me, seeking compensation feels somehow inappropriate. I have this sense that if I look for some sort of return on my work, the work itself must have been purely selfish. I must be insincere. Somehow, I feel that by giving without expecting to be compensated, I prove that I am genuine. I don’t have this same sense when it comes to my husband’s work, or that of any male I know. If I can’t view my own work as valuable, however, how can I ever expect anyone else to? In order to have my work viewed as worthwhile, perhaps I need to start attaching value to it myself?