Together we have co-written a blog about mothering and writing since 2011 and we continue enjoying the twists and turns of thinking through sharing, disclosure and self-censoring in digital writing situations. As feminists, we are grappling with ways to invoke privacy values and boundary setting in a liberatory tradition that celebrates the female voice and the possibilities of self-expression.

As teachers / writers / scholars, we have a longstanding interest in the reflective, educative, and revelatory nature of personal writing. Does writing a parenting blog necessitate presenting news about close relations and relationships? What is frank and fair and what constitutes stepping over the line in talking about others? What are dangers of unsanctioned digital talk? Are there measures or flexible standards to guide how much to reveal about self and others, and how do these questions play out for bloggers with an online presence?
What is one to do about protecting our privacy online?
Saturday, 28 April 2018


In The Facebook Fallacy: Privacy Is Up to You NYT journalist, Eduardo Porter, challenges  the claim Facebook’s co-founder and chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, makes that the social network's use of providing its users with greater and more transparent controls over the personal data they share could protect its users’ privacy.

However, given the latest revelations of the mass amount of information shared without the consent of people who have had their privacy breeched, Zuckerberg's claim has been proven as bogus. 

What, then, is one to do about protecting their privacy online? As Porter says, "Even if we were to know precisely what information companies like Facebook have about us and how it will be used, which we don’t, it would be hard for us to assess potential harms".

According to Professor Acquisti, flipping the burden of proof of privacy regulation from  consumers’ proving that data collection is harmful to requiring big online platforms like Facebook to prove they can’t work without it, may be a good place to start. 

My question is - who has the power to make this a mandatory practice?

posted at: 23:25   0 Comments
What have we learned about blogging, Facebook, and Cambridge Analytica
Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Concerns have been raised this past week by experts about the amount of information being collected and dispersed by a few giant internet companies after widespread reports that U.K. - based Cambridge Analytica used data from more than 50 million Facebook accounts to influence the 2016 USA presidential election.  

Folks are also starting to wonder how secure their personal information is on social media networks. News reports claim that it increasingly depends on where people live and access the web on the planet. Keeping ones privacy online is no longer - and may never have been -  easy, if at all possible. 

While there are articles that provide users with advice and guidelines on how to use the internet in ways that protect the personal privacy of users, many people still give away personal information about themselves and often about their children through their blogs and online posts. 

At this time of being sensitive to what is being posted online - pediatricians, researchers, and advocates are developing a public health campaign that addresses sharenting concerns. They remind bloggers to adopt a “child-centered perspective” because there are no legal policies in place that offer our youth a way to address conflicts that arise from sharenting. They note, "it’s up to the next generation of parents to reform digital habits to ensure that their children can exercise their privacy rights, freely define their personalities, and evolve their digital footprints on their own terms."   

It's imperative that parents be aware of, and attentive to, the impact that social sharing has on children of parents who’ve become so accustomed to freely distributing intimate details of their children's lives. 

While the GDPR “right to be forgotten” provision applies directly to this principle in the EU, the US and Canada do not have such laws in place. Under the GDPR the “right to be forgotten” provision, individuals (including infants and children) have a right to request their personal information be scoured from search engine results. It is up to parents at this point to protect the privacy of their babies and children, when over 90% of 2 year-olds in the US had an online presence as of 2010. 

posted at: 16:17   0 Comments
Privacy and Posting and Pictures

 Privacy and posting and pictures

We are learning that our phones and online apps pick up lots of information about us: what we like and what we do—even where we are located and going.  In this post, I’m prepared to take a risk and  post this photograph I recently took (my phone cam knows when!)  
I took it while on a walk. I wonder if the computer can pick up my coordinates and know my exact location in this photo. There’s a small figure in the pic—you can see it if you look carefully. Can the computer tell who that is?
Questions like this would never have occurred to me last year. I thought we had more freedom to guard our privacy by following some sensible self-censorship. I think we are all learning to fear that once we are hooked into technology, performing with it, everything is open to being known and perhaps exposed.  Having “nothing to hide” has taken on new meaning—rather than meaning we have a clean slate, it seems to say that we literally are left with nothing hidden or private.

posted at: 16:16   0 Comments
The end of individual privacy with public and private online postings?
Friday, 8 December 2017

Watching Emma Watson and Tom Hanks in the Netflix movie The Circle where Watson's character, Mae, shares every single second of her work and personal life on line by wearing a "SeeChange" camera 24/7 in a commitment to be transparent and giving up her right to privacy. As she rises through the ranks, she is encouraged by the company's founder, Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks), to engage in a groundbreaking experiment that pushes the boundaries of privacy, ethics and ultimately her personal freedom. Her participation in the experiment, and every decision she makes begin to affect the lives and future of her friends, family and that of humanity.

Is this the way y/our world is going? Will interpersonal interactions and relationships die when there is no space for personal privacy and interpersonal private relationships?

While Mae has entered into this 'voluntary' situation as an adult - how may this influence/violate children's privacy? Where does one's individual autonomy fit into a world where privacy is no longer respected or desired?

posted at: 00:07   0 Comments
How Caitlyn Jenner is like an emotionally reckless mommy blogger
Monday, 1 May 2017

Careless people are dangerous and immature.  Check Gatsby. The villains in this American tragedy are reckless with other people's emotions. The same is being said of Caitlyn Jenner of the publication of her The Secrets of My Life.  One reviewer calls her "emotionally careless with the women in her life" in "How Caitlyn Jenner Betrays Her Family in Her New Memoir The Secrets of My Life".

There may be some lessons to be learned for mommy bloggers who want to talk about their families, especially when their children are moving into adulthood.

How does the nature of a family blog change by the very definition of aging and maturing children within the family?

Let's speculate a bit about possible areas related to family for bloggers to explore as their children mature. We could talk about job market and educational opportunities for young adult children, questions associated with their development from home out into the world as they take on more responsibility and independence.

Yet the question is, should the challenges our children face really be the main focus or burning interest of parent bloggers who, in their own lives, face personal challenges associated with this family transition time, as well as questions of aging and personal development and growth.

This is the question of balance. Is this a time to give kids more space and to leave them alone as topic areas in social media?  In real life, a mother's relationship  with her kids shifts as they grow up. Like it or not, she learns she is not privy to the all the details of a grown child's daily activities, and that it's not up to her to fix all problems and bring happiness. If she were to turn to her blog to write about the child, such ruminations take her in the opposite direction of practicing a mindful letting go and respecting  her child's independence.

If the child is successfully making the transition from teen to adulthood, a mother's writing about it can not be really interesting to others who are bound to hear self-satisfaction. Was it was Dostoevsky who pointed out that the most interesting families are unhappy ones?  He wrote fiction. In blogs, it's probably a worse gaff to write about how children struggle and suffer. Should they bump into these pages, they're bound to feel betrayed.

Should this time be one where adult children and their parents agree to share their family story, this may be the only time when a blogs are positioned to share family history.

posted at: 12:03   4 Comments


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Fiona Green
... is a feminist mother, Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Winnipeg, and loves to cycle.
Jaqueline McLeod Rogers
... is a mom of two young adult daughters. I received a Ph. D. for studying fiction by women, and have always worked full time as a professor with an interest in writing and women’s experiences.
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