Why the ‘mumpreneur’ phrase divides opinion

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EVERY now and then, there’s a flurry of discussion in the press and on social media about the term ‘mumpreneur’, which seems to divide opinion drastically in a way no other word I can think of has done.

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked on Twitter what I thought of the term in what I thought was a rather ‘we hate it, do you too’ kind of way, and then the Guardian featured an opinion piece on the word a few days later, which apparently became one of the most popular articles on their site that day.

So let’s do this here.

As the Worthing manager of the Mumpreneurs Networking Club, I get to hear a lot of opinions about our name and it’s mostly women who voice their thoughts on it.

The negative comments are mostly about the ugliness of the word itself with its clumsy etymology (with which I happen to agree) or about not wanting to be described as something gender specific, often citing the argument that you don’t normally hear the term ‘dadpreneur’.

This is a good point, but I think the fact that you don’t hear the word ‘dadpreneur’ is much more to do with generations of patriarchal society rather than word usage.

Some argue that the term sounds apologetic – either that you’re not quite a ‘whole’ mum because you’re busy being an entrepreneur or vice versa.

But I think that this argument, much like the others, depends on the way the word has been used, and the sensitivities of those who hear it.

Ultimately, I am a mumpreneur.

I am also a writer, a speaker, a coach, a wife, a sister, a mother, an entrepreneur, a runner, a feminist, a WI member, a friend, a networking manager and a sometime broadcaster.

I wouldn’t be comfortable with any one of these being my only definition, but I am proud to be all of them.

Shall we put all the conversation about the word aside and work on changing the social landscape instead?

We have come so far that women can run a business and have children, too.

Let’s celebrate that and support each other in our choices instead of wasting our time and emotional energy arguing about what we should be called.

To find out more about Mumpreneurs, visit the website at www.mumpreneurs networkingclub.co.uk

Tweet me your thoughts on this debate via my profile page, @coachbythecoast