Meternity Leave has broken the internet since this article by Meghann Foye was posted two days ago. Women are up in arms about Foye’s assertions that non-expectant mothers should still be entitled to Maternity Leave, or as she calls it, “Meternity Leave”.
Let’s ignore the irony in lines like this one: “Women are bad at putting ourselves first. But when you have a child, you learn how to self-advocate to put the needs of your family first.”.
And let’s set aside Foye’s suggestion that Maternity Leave is a “socially mandated time and space for self-reflection“.
Lots of women and men have already voiced their opinions about how much “self-reflection” actually happens during Maternity Leave, and just how ridiculous Foye’s statements are.
Let’s look at this article for what it really is: a marketing strategy to advertise her book.
I speak from experience when I say that controversial publicity is the best publicity out there.
This little blog has seen a few viral posts, but by far, the biggest money-maker is this post: 12 Things Daycare Providers Wish Parents Knew. Part of its popularity is because it has hit a nerve with daycare providers ever since it was first published.
However, a large part is due to its controversy, and the backlash to it. Because people will generally read an article before they bash it. Not always, but most times.
Do a search for that article and you’ll find hidden-away forums and social media posts and article aggregators where people who have no idea who I am have called me names I’ve never been called in person. They presume to know my personality, my work ethic, my life and my motives. And they bash my parenting, my writing, and my perspective.
My response to those haters is here, in The Perpetually Guilty Conscience of Mommies Everywhere . After writing that, I stopped reading the responses, comments and replies of the pot stirrers. Because I realized something: that negative publicity was making me money.
I stand behind what I’ve written, and I continue to support it. And I learned a valuable lesson: even the haters are clicking through and upping my stats, my ad revenue, and my online reach. By gaining that negative publicity, I’ve essentially doubled the income I would have otherwise received through only positive responses.
Meghann Foye is doing exactly the same thing. Or perhaps it’s her PR person that has masterminded the whole thing. Either way, she’s making money off of that negativity and backlash, through book sales, and possibly public appearances, a personal blog, speaking engagements … and maybe even follow-up book deals.
Sure, she has to deal with feeling the affects of unfiltered internet bashing, but she’s laughing all the way to the bank.
So the next time you see someone spouting about some controversial topic that is just begging you to rant online about how terrible it is? Chances are, your response to it will make that author money. And if it’s something you disagree with, do you really want to financially support it?
*Note: Yes, I realize that this post points back to Meghann Foye’s article and will therefore get her more publicity. I’m employing a technique I like to call piggy-backing: using the popularity of someone else’s post to create more buzz for my own ;-). It’s a two-way street.*