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in brief: “b” of stfu parents has a book…and some new haters

A few weeks ago, the woman behind STFU Parents appeared on the Ricki Lake Show to promote her book – and, in doing so, eschewed her anonymity. Blair Koenig, hitherto known as “B” has had a busy two weeks since.

On 4 October, the New York Post ran this headline: ‘Unmasked: Snark queen who moms & dads despise’.

The result of the media attention has been more exposure for the already successful blog, television appearances, and plenty of criticism from parents who, before now, hadn’t heard the terms ‘sanctimummy’ or ‘Mummy Jacking’.

Unfortunately, a lot of that backlash has had more to do with her appearance, relationship status, and the fact that she ‘doesn’t even have kids of her own’, than the blog’s actual content. In lieu of diaper bombs and sonograms, Keonig has posted some of the reactions over the past couple of weeks, ranging from indignant to plain misogynistic.

I wrote about STFU Parents in a post for Lip in August about mummy blogs and the judgment mothers and childfree women face either online or in their daily lives. The site is by no means a slight on parents or parenthood, and certainly not an affront to children. It intends to critique the tendency of some parents to inundate their friends’ feeds with updates on every minute detail of their children’s lives. It also serves as space for childfree people to vent and joke about the behaviour they observe online.

All of the blog’s material comes from readers.

The media is certainly helping fuel the battle between parents and non-parents. Mail Online’s headline, for example, read: ‘Shut the f**k up parents: Meet the (childless) woman behind the vicious baby blog that has the mommy up in arms’, or Yahoo’s headline (a site that houses some notoriously nasty commenters): ‘Snarky blogger targets proud parents’.

They have demonstrated that the worst thing you can say to a woman with an opinion is that she’s a) ugly b) sexually frustrated c) bitter d) childless e) slutty, or f) some combination of the above. Koenig has been on the receiving end of all of it, despite the fact that Keonig in a committed relationship and has mentioned, many times, that she has never ruled out motherhood.

The venom isn’t new to the Brooklyn writer who has obligingly removed posts when the parents in question have asked. But the intensity and personal component has contributed to an exhausting two weeks.

Koenig has responded to the comments and her newfound fame with humor and wit her readers have come to expect. And though the blog has been more about her than usual, her fans, some of them parents themselves, (sorry New York Post) at least are glad to know who has been making them laugh and occasionally nauseous, for three years.

STFU, Parents: The Jaw-Dropping, Self-Indulgent, and Occasionally Rage-Inducing World of Parent Overshare is available on Amazon.

Koenig also writes regularly for the blog Mommyish.

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