As some of you have seen, we recently published an article by Leslie Bennetts titled 10 Reasons Working Moms Should Feel Great About Themselves (Reason number one: Working women are happier).
This post is not meant to defend our decision to publish the article but rather for me to personally explain why we did it and share my reactions to the reactions I’ve heard from several members (OK, that’s a mouthful, I know).
We published Ms. Bennetts’ article because:
1. We’re an open community where ANY member is free to submit articles, write notes, ask questions, and join in on the discussion. We’re not an editorial magazine and unless the content is inappropriate or irrelevant we don’t prevent it from appearing on the site.
2. Ms. Bennetts’ book is targeted at working moms, is based on research, and it caused heated discussion when it came out. I expected that her article would contain relevant information and be a good platform for discussion at Work It, Mom!. This second point is the reason why we featured the article in our newsletter and on the site yesterday — to invite our members to enter into this discussion and conversation with each other.
I am going to refrain entirely from saying how I feel about the article — I’ve not commented on the other 500+ member articles we’ve published on the site or any posts from our bloggers and I don’t see it as my place to do that. The reason I decided to write this post is because several members have suggested — both in their comments on the article and in their personal emails to me — that Work It, Mom! should not have published or featured such an article. A few members have told me that they are now leaving the community because we published the piece.
To be completely honest, this baffled me. In every interaction I’ve had with members on the site — and you guys know that I stay pretty active and involved and ask for feedback non-stop — what I’ve heard over and over is that we all want an open community rather than an editorial magazine. We want to hear from real moms through their real voices and we want a place where we can discuss things openly, express our opinions, and share support and advice with each other. While I know that the opinions of several members don’t represent the entire community their implication that Work It, Mom! should be editing or filtering what type of content we publish and feature gave me significant pause.
This goes to the heart of what we’re trying to build here at Work It, Mom! and the personal vision I’ve had for this company since the first day I got the idea to start it — which has now been augmented and enlarged by the rest of our awesome team here. My dad, who is my close life advisor, always tells me to try and fight my impulsive nature and not make decisions when I am upset. So I am going to think about this for a while because I’d be lying if I told you that I had a good night last night and that I wasn’t upset. Work It, Mom! is not some corporation that I work for — it’s a reflection of my personal vision, my passion, a labor of love and a huge piece of me. As I’ve written before, this is personal. And when members tell me that they feel we’ve done something that offends them and they are leaving the community because of it, it upsets me, regardless of whether I agree with them or not.
So I am going to let this simmer, as one of my favorite entrepreneurs once said about things that happen with his business. But I really want to hear from you, your opinions about what Work It, Mom! should be, and whether you think it is our role to filter content that might be controversial, opinionated, and even polarizing. So don’t be shy, sound off!