I also found Aimée Morrison’s article ‘Suffused by Feeling and Affect’: the Intimate Public of Personal Mommy Blogging the most interesting of this week’s readings. Morrison argues that the mommy blog creates an intimate public, a space where the individual has the opportunity to interact within a small, selected community.
There is intense regulation involved in the mommy blog. The author can choose to conceal her identity, control the accessibility of the blog, and monitor who follows it. In some ways this kind of personal blog can be seen as a source of power as it allows for the “breaking [of] social taboos constraining who can speak and what can be said about the condition, experience, and role of motherhood” (Morrison 40). On the other hand, Morrison claims, the anonymity of the author and exclusiveness of the community highlights and creates political weakness, especially since the blog’s content only explores the personal domestic space, ignoring her outside role in the community, workplace, etc.
After reading Morrison’s article I found myself going back to Mark Poster’s The Digital Subject and Culture Theory, particularly the passage where he outlines Foucault’s ‘essay, ‘What is an Author?’ Foucault’s first point regarding authorship is that the author governs the meaning of the text; he or she “expresses, intends, and creates all meaning that may be read in the text” (Poster 488). When it comes to digital literature, however, Poster argues that the bond between author and text is weakened, leaving interpretation in the hands of the public.
I think the mommy blog, unlike most digital literature, resists the weakening of this bond between author and text. The mommy blogger governs her text; her readers know her only from the fragmented identity she provides (whether it is fragments of herself or maybe fabricated entirely) and since she is writing a personal blog, the intent is clearly embedded within the text. The mommy blogger she has control over her text and I think this demonstrates power as an author.
What do we think of mommy blogs or blogs in general in relation to the author’s intent and connection with the text? Does the mommy blog give women a political voice or highlight political weakness?