My sewing snack yesterday. Get me!
I read a blog post last night that gave me so much food for thought. It was by male fashion blogger, Not So Lonely Londoners. I came across his blog via Yes, I Like That – thank you, my friend. He posted about Company magazine’s claim that blogging is really the domain of women and men should keep their noses out. (I haven’t read the article. I’m paraphrasing like mad and going for a cheap laugh, so don’t take that as gospel.)
But I was really intrigued by the exploration of men and blogging.
Here are the bald facts as I know them. 99.99999 per cent of my readers are female. I did receive one, cherished comment left by a male blog reader. Hello, if you’re reading!
I have always tried hard not to automatically address my audience as female. I avoid saying things like ‘Hello, ladies!’. I largely try to use a ‘he or she’ approach to subjects. I am aware that I often address my audience as ‘loves’, ‘darlings’ etc – and I don’t know how many men would feel comfortable with such grand gestures of affection. (I’m often not sure how many women like it. I’m sorry, I’m a gusher!) But, by and large, my rule to myself is that I don’t want a male reader to feel excluded from my blog. That would be bad.
There are some male readers. I’d call them ‘readers by proxy’. Female friends of mine dig their boyfriends in the ribs and angle the laptop screen: ‘Look what she’s gone and done this time!’ Some people’s partners get so bemused by the snorting and sniggering at a laptop screen that they eventually ask to see what the fuss is. I was delighted to hear that Handmade Jane‘s sons totally engaged with my Me Made June marathon last year (best post here), when I was photographed with a different stranger over the 31 days. So, men read. From over their girlfriend or wife’s shoulder and, I suspect, when none of their mates are looking.
Men also contribute to these sewing and knitting blogs. How many of them wield a camera, albeit sometimes reluctantly? Whose partner has ever made a suggestion for a make or requested a knitted hat for winter? Which boyfriends quietly recommend a clean up of the sewing room? Sew Busy Lizzy‘s husband was the total inspiration behind her being photographed wearing an apron in Sydney harbour! If that isn’t a man enabling his partner to create and grow in confidence, I don’t know what is.
Then, there are the male bloggers. How many do I read? Let’s see, there’s…
- Male Pattern Boldness
- Not So Lonely Londoners
- Charlie Brooker
- Made By Hand – The Great Sartorial Debate
- Quite a few fellow children’s authors
Now, this is largely a reflection of my areas of interest. There just aren’t that many men out there blogging about fashion, sewing etc.
Blogging does take some key skills/personality quirks:
- A willingness to make an idiot of yourself on a public platform.
- A desire to engage
- Lots of self-discipline and application
- An open mind
- A voice
Are any of these qualities more female than male? No way! Women may have some cultural advantages. Society allows us to be much more emotionally open, for example, which lends itself well to blogging – or our type of blogging. Don’t know how emotional openness works on a blog about motorbikes…
But what do you think? Is this about sewing or blogging? Should we care about the gender of the writer or the reader? Everyone’s welcome, here at Didyoumakethat Towers! Just don’t ask me to make something for you…
PS Check out The Blogging Bloke!