A Man Blogs, Aged 64 and a Half

If you look closely towards the bottom of the sidebar on my blog you’ll see a badge for something called ‘Post 40 Bloggers.’ Click on this and it will take you to their site, where you will find a range of posts by people over the age of 40.

A taste of the excellent Post 40 Bloggers site.

They have kindly featured a couple of my posts before, which is why I wear their badge of honour, but in recent weeks they have promoted a number of posts that have got me thinking about whether I should be doing this. I’ve been wondering if there is, in their writers’ eyes, some kind of upper age limit beyond which blogging becomes inappropriate, like an onscreen version of dad dancing. Oh, and it appears that being male is apparently a disadvantage too, as for some reason their featured writers have, by and large, somehow omitted to notice our existence. It’s time to redress the balance, I think!

Some might say that age is irrelevant, but if that is the case why mention it or write about it, as quite a few have been doing? My age is part of me and who I am, it gives me life experiences not available to younger people. Of course, I understand that ageism is still very prevalent in many industries, and I know that I have the luxury of being protected from this, now that I have retired. But, without that burden, I don’t keep my age a secret or shy away from mentioning it, when it suits me to do so – like now! We can still write when we are older, we don’t lose the ability to communicate just because we are in our 60s, not our 40s: fortunately for the likes of me, I don’t have to contend with anyone telling me I’m too old to do the job, or to fit in with the younger cool kids, and I know that makes me very lucky.

And men can blog too – there is no natural monopoly on subject matter. Of course there will be some subjects that will appeal more to one gender than another, but that doesn’t mean we can’t read them if we choose to do so: for me, the quality of the writing is of equal importance to the subject matter, so why should I worry if it isn’t ‘meant for me?’ Maybe I should start writing about football and cricket – there could be a whole new market for me in Australia on creative uses of sandpaper! But just by saying that makes me think there could be a post in there somewhere about how we develop our sporting loyalties and what they mean to us. Is that a topic which would appeal more to men than women? Is it being sexist to think or say that? You might think that – but I don’t. It is just my response to the sexism – in the sense that they believe only they can do it – that seems to be implicit in several of Post 40 Bloggers’ featured writers. And I have many female friends who have an interest in sports, so I am well aware that this is a subject of wide interest – no need to pick me up on that!

But maybe I’m just weeing in the wind? Maybe blogging really is a female-led world? If you google something like ‘older bloggers’ this is what you get: mostly female, mostly beauty and fashion:

This is just the first screen: scrolling down gives you much more of the same.

To be honest, I found that to be a pretty dispiriting exercise. It did leave me wondering if this blogging lark really wasn’t something I should be doing. But then I thought ‘sod it, it’s my time I’m spending on it and people can choose whether or not to read what I write.’ So here I am, back after my most recent little hiatus.

For the past couple of years I have been an occasional contributor to the Senior Salon, which was set up by Bernadette and recently taken over by Esmé. Each week, bloggers choose to contribute posts and I have found many blogging ‘friends’ this way. Yes, the balance is largely towards female writers, but there are a number of regular male contributors too (I use the word ‘regular’ in relation to their blogging habits, not because we oldies are obsessed about our bodily functions – just to be clear!). But I follow many other blogs too, written by people of a range of ages and on a plethora of topics. The age and gender of the writer are irrelevant to me: it’s what they have to say which is of interest. Of course, their writing will reflect their life experiences, but why should I feel odd if I choose to read them, simply because I’m older or younger, male not female? Actually, I don’t – if you have a problem with this then I think you need to take a look at yourself and why you blog. Be honest with yourself, it might just surprise you.

Is reaching the grand old age of 40 some kind of barrier? Is it a milestone, beyond which everything changes? Judging by some of the posts I’ve seen, some in their 40s appear to think their lives are in a downward spiral. But even we poor disadvantaged males have a life expectancy in the UK of double that – people, your race is barely halfway run, and you have much to look forward to. Maybe we need a Post 60 Bloggers website? Or Post 70, or any other age you care to choose? Age shouldn’t be used in a divisive way – ‘I’m not that age so that can’t be for me’ – but people put others into pigeon holes. It’s a form of prejudice, of discrimination – don’t be ageist, please!

We’re all different and have our own uniqueness – I don’t want to be categorised as part of a ‘target market.’ I choose what I want to read, not what I’m told I should read. I would prefer people to read my posts because they enjoy them, find them interesting, believe them to be a good use of their time, and that is how I approach the blogs I read. People seem to be taking this a bit too seriously and are losing sight of the enjoyment we can feel from reading or producing a well-written piece. Surely, the pleasure we can derive is reason enough to be involved in blogging, without any other need for justification? Simply by putting something out there we are offering an insight into our selves – my blog is me, like it or lump it. I don’t mind what your age or gender are, you’re very welcome here, and I hope you feel that it was worth your time and effort. In saying this, I recognise that there are many reasons why people blog, one of these being commercial: I did originally have some comments here about monetising a blog, but they felt out of place. Maybe another time…..

Nor should blogging make you feel under pressure. Some feel they have to post every day, or every week. That may be fine for them but it isn’t my way. If I don’t have something to say, or don’t feel like writing, why should I put myself under pressure to do it? Believe it or not, but I set myself quality standards for what I post, and creating a schedule is the best way I know of reducing the quality of my output. I took part in National Blog Posting Month twice, and the range and content of what I posted was, to my eyes, all over the place. Again, that may work for some but it isn’t for me: reading some of the posts I’ve seen recently makes me think I should somehow be feeling guilty for being male, older, irregular in my posts. I don’t. And I won’t ever apologise for that.

Maybe there are far fewer male than female bloggers, and maybe older bloggers like me are very much in a minority. But if we choose to be here, what we have to say is just as valid to us as anything said by others with different demographics. Don’t lose sight of that, or of us. Who knows, you may even find something to like about us 😉

55 thoughts on “A Man Blogs, Aged 64 and a Half

  1. Hi Clive, an interesting post. I have never thought about blogging being specific to any particular age group or gender. I do follow a fair number of male bloggers and I enjoy their posts. Most of the people I follow, male or female, are 40 years and upwards. I think it is because we have different taste in books and other things than the younger generations. Older 20s and 30s are all about babies and small kids, young 20s and teens are still learning the ropes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Roberta. To be honest I hadn’t really thought about it either, until I read the string of posts and did the little bit of research that prompted my rant. I follow blogs from a wide range of ages and, as far as I know, the two basic genders. It’s what and how they write that interests me, but it appears others think differently!

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  2. I sometimes feel that as a 65 year old I don’t fit into any blogging niche, Clive. I like to write about a variety of topics and don’t focus on fashion, food, or crafts (which many in my age group do). I can imagine as a man in this age group, you’d feel even more left out. But the world needs our voices! So I’m glad you’re going to hang in there and do it your way. I’ve backed off on a strict blogging schedule as I felt my quality was slipping. I’m much happier but still need reminders not to take myself too seriously. Hope you’re feeling better!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Molly, it’s good to know I’m not the only one writing on a variety of topics. I like to think of my posts as being eclectic, though some might call them confused! And thanks for your good wishes 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Take It Easy and commented:

    As is so often the case, I’ve been prompted to share a previous post by Timehop. This was written a year ago today, and was my response to what I perceived as a growing trend of ageism and sexism in blogging. Reading it again today I recognise that I have made several sweeping generalisations in the post, but I stand by what I said. It’s worth looking through the comments on the post too: they aren’t exactly universally in agreement with me but some very good points are made there.

    I’m painfully aware that it is more than five weeks since I last posted, and that I left you with a rather plaintive cry about my state of health. For all of those who commented and offered support, I am truly grateful. It is too soon for me to relate the story here, but please be assured that I am receiving excellent healthcare and hope to be back here more often in the not too distant future. I have some major real life things to sort out, too, so don’t expect anything regular from me: I’ll be here when I can!

    As ever, thank you for reading. I’ve rather neglected other blogs as well as my own, and need to ease my way back in gently. I’ll try my best to be more active, I promise, but be gentle with me!

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  4. I love the reference to sandpaper in relation to cricket in Australia Clive 🙂 I’m so glad I found your blog as I enjoy your posts and your sense of humour. I always appreciate your comments on my blog too. Great to read your thoughts here!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Debbie, that’s kind of you. I do my best, and sometimes opportunities like Sandpapergate drop out of the sky! I’m looking forward to English crowds ‘welcome’ for Smith and Warner when the World Cup starts – the latter is already a hated figure here so I imagine the language will be lively! Glad you enjoyed the post, and many thanks for catching up with my back catalogue 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. My fat finger slipped I had not finished. But men and writing men tend to use more subtle names for their blogs so they are harder to get to the top of a Google. Do not be dispirited join a group you will find them. Fact, more books written by men get published successfully than are by women.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. There are many male bloggers I have personally met a dozen or more in actual flash (with clothes you understand) and I have many followers of experience shall I say. Google will show the most tapped blogs, and teens to infinity open beauty, style and parenting blogs

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading, Ellen. I too follow a good many male bloggers, but as the Google search I mentioned in the post showed, we are well hidden! Do you follow Post 40 Bloggers? Nothing has changed there since I wrote this: I think they should rename it Just Post 40 Female Bloggers. They follow me on Twitter and I tweeted them a couple of times about this post. No reply, no interest. I’ll just bumble along as before in my own little demographic, whatever that is 😊

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    • Hi Rachel, thanks for visiting and commenting. I’ll take a look at your site and survey – as you may have spotted, I don’t feel that Post 40 Bloggers does enough for older (and male) contributors, so it would be good to see something better!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Senior Salon Roundup Post: April 16 – 20, 2018 | The Recipe Hunter

  8. This is a great post Clive. As a fellow retired gentleman, I post when I want to and if it isn’t every day so what? For me the blog is mine and I enjoy the process of writing. For me being creative in whatever way I can is a lot of fun and a great exercise for my brain. I find in my tiny piece of the blog world that I have a few male bloggers who write regularly and with whom I’ve been able to establish a form of blog relationship. But I agree the vast majority of bloggers I come across ar female, but interestingly about our age, I’m a similar age to you. Though I do cringe a little at turning 65 this year.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Bottom line, as far as I am concerned is blog if you want to, not because someone else says you should or shouldn’t Clive. I like blogging for different reasons; I like the relative anonymity and letting my words speak for myself, without any preconceived notion about the “me” you might see if you met me. if that makes sense!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks, Clive! I dropped in on Post 40 Blogger, and read a few of the articles. Quite depressing that most of these people believe they are ‘over’ when they are 40! So there Is ageism in the blogging world! I really haven’t noticed that, but I’ll pay attention now!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Well, this man, aged 76 1/2, blogs occasionally. Someone told him it helps sell books – all lies of course, but a man has to do what a man has to do – in this case bore the sh*t out of a handful of followers.

    Liked by 4 people

    • And long may you keep doing it, Frank. Blogging, I mean, not boring – which you never are! Interesting that you raise the commercial point: as I said in the piece, it is an angle that I think is worth exploration.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I am very glad you post. I only blog because I like to write and if anyone wants to comment that makes it even more fun for me. If not, I still enjoy pulling my thoughts together through my words. I love to read all perspectives and we can gain so much by reading the words of all ages, genders and walks of life. Keep posting! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Clive, thank you for a well written post. What I love about blogging is that I meet so many people with diverse opinions. It would add to the sadness of the world if we start to divide bloggers into political factions along the lines of sex, gender or age and start ignoring each other’s voice. Thanks for speaking out about this.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. Interesting post, Clive. Maybe men in general aren’t keen on writing blogs? I know my husband wouldn’t even think of starting up a blog, but he’d spend hours looking at football or any other kind of moving ball game on TV.

    Liked by 3 people

    • You could well be right, Stevie. It sounds like Sam fits our stereotype well! There are some very good blogs written by men, and no doubt there are loads more that I haven’t found, but the thread that prompted this post seemed to be following an assumption that men somehow weren’t a part of the blogging world. And ageism is rife out there too, so I felt the need to vent!

      Liked by 2 people

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