The 21st Century Radio Homemakers


Lately I have been getting more and more questions about blogging, such as: “Why do you blog?” and “Why do people send you free products to review?” and “How much time do you spend blogging each day?” and “What do you write about?” and my personal favorite, “Why would anyone want to read THAT!?”

And that’s a legitimate question, I suppose. In fact, I often wonder that, myself. Why DO you people hang around, anyway?

There is a perception that blogging is a waste of time and energy that could be better spent elsewhere, and I can’t deny that I’ve wondered from time to time if what I do is frivolous and vain. Let’s face it; I don’t exactly tackle the most substantial issues here on Musings of A Housewife. But I read something last summer that gave me purpose for blogging and the confidence to expand my blogging horizons.

I picked up Standing in the Rainbow by Fannie Flagg for some light vacation reading material, and I was surprised and delighted to learn about the radio homemakers of the early twentieth century.  Here is an excerpt.

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, as more and more electric lines were strung down county roads to farmhouses, the long, lonely days of isolated farmwives living far away from their nearest neighbors were suddenly filled with warm and friendly voices. They were the voices of other women coming into their homes via the radio. As early as 1924, women all over the Midwest known as “radio homemakers” began broadcasting, supplying the wives with new recipes, tips for raising children, household hints, gardening advice, local news, and entertainment, but most important, a daily visit from a good friend.

You know what that is, don’t you — the very first blog! An ordinary housewife having a voice in the media is not unique to the 21st century. The biggest difference I can see is that women in the ’20s and ’30s were probably getting a lot more housework done as they listened to the radio than we are sitting in front of our computer screens.

Of course the age of the radio was replaced by the age of the TV, and you know what that brought with it — the morning talk show. Think of it this way, women used to sit down with their morning coffee and watch the Today Show. Now they sit down with their morning coffee and read blogs. In fact, studies show that Americans get a substantial amount of news and information from blogs. As a result, blogging has become a legitimate media outlet.

Mom blogging has so many different facets, and everyone’s reasons for blogging are different. Some desire to keep a family journal for their own records as well as to keep in touch with friends and family from afar. Some mom bloggers are in it for the social outlet; our society can be very isolating at times, and blogging brings women with similar interests together. Some mom bloggers are professional writers or aspiring writers, and they blog for the practice and the exposure.

But mom blogging isn’t really a new phenomenon at all, and it can be a valuable means of communication. If anything, it just goes to show that women will always find a way to connect with one another through whatever media outlet is available. I guess that kind of makes us the radio homemakers of the 21st century.