Reese Witherspoon ruffled some feathers last week after she gave a speech at WSJ Magazine’s 2017 Innovator Awards in New York City. She was lauded as Entertainment Innovator of the Year, and with that, used her time in the spotlight to implore Hollywood to strive for better representation of women, especially in light of the recent scandals following the accusations against Harvey Weinstein.
"I don’t really believe that we’ve been seeing the full spectrum of the female experience, and that is simply because women’s stories are not prioritized," Witherspoon said. "I also just think we need to think about women differently, because women are the largest captured consumer audience in the world."
Sounds great, right? But when she went on to stress the need for reaching women on multiple platforms, she added, "And I’m not talking about mommy blogs and 14 ways to cook a turkey."
Instead, she said, women want "real substance and premium thought-provoking, well-made content," and this rubbed some mom bloggers the wrong way, including Meredith Gordon, the creator of Bad Sandy, as Cosmopolitan rep0rts.
"I’m sure that got you a lovely little chuckle, but your words made me rethink you as a champion of working women," Gordon wrote for Mom.me, adding, "I was curious why someone in your position would marginalize a group of women who are doing exactly what you claim to want to do. Bloggers are using their own platforms, which they have painstakingly built on their own, to provide a myriad of content to an audience hungry for authentic entertainment, as well as information. Bloggers are their own bosses, own their own content, and are in full control of their schedule and workplace. The online community is one of the few branches of the entertainment and media business that is dominated, if not run by, women."
It sounds like both parties have a valid point. Witherspoon likely didn't intend for the comment to dismiss a subset of women, but rather highlight that yes, women dominate blogging, but they shouldn't be confined to just one medium. However, as Gordon points out, being a blogger is admirable and powerful on its own.
There's no one right way to be a woman, or a mother, and if anything, this controversy makes that even more clear.