Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Popular with the ladies...

There are good reasons why Girl Shy is one of my favourite films. 
For example I can empathise with the lead character... ;-)

This blogging malarkey, I mean!

This may well turn out to be what I believe in modern parlance is termed a "random" post, but let's see how it goes.

Over the last 4-day weekend here in Britain, which I hope everyone enjoyed, it came to my attention - between all the revelries and enjoyment of the Spring weather - that my unassuming little blog passed the 100 followers mark.  I promised that when this milestone was reached I would have a give-away and so I shall.  I am, after all, a man of my word.  Unfortunately it will have to wait a little while though for, as ever, life has intervened and I shall be away from the blogosphere for a time from this coming weekend.  When I return, though, the give-away will happen!

"I'm afraid it's a serious case of blogitis!"

Now, when thinking about all my splendid followers and what to give away, I began to think about an interesting [vintage] blogging anomaly.  Others have noticed it too, namely Andrea of The Deco Devotee, and I shall be interested to read her take on it in due course.  It is the dearth of male vintage bloggers.  A quick glance at the 90-odd vintage blogs on my blogroll reveals that almost 90% of them are written by women.  Of my 103 followers, roughly 75% are female.  Where are the chaps?!

Donning my scholarly hat for a moment my own theory, for what it's worth (based solely on a 10-year-old A-level English Language qualification) is this:  blogging shares a lot in common with gossiping.  At the risk of alienating the majority of my audience(!) - women like to gossip.  Men, less so.  ;-)  Perhaps it would be more fair to say that women enjoy sharing experiences, are generally more conversational than men, and that quite naturally extends to the vintage world as well.  To continue the academic point, another comparison can be drawn between blogging and the use of questions.  Men, ever the pragmatists, use questions to elicit information, answers.  Women can use questions as conversation starters/extenders.  So it is with blogging in a way, I think.  If I look at the few blogs, vintage or otherwise, which are written by men then by and large they are simply imparting information and advice.  My own blog is a case in point - I am basically saying "look what has happened here", albeit with a vintage bent.  A lot of the feminine blogs, I venture to say, are talking about new discoveries, handy hints and day-to-day personal incidents (but then, is that not what blogs are meant for?) - "look at what I found/did, isn't it lovely?" - again in this particular case with a vintage angle.  Looked at a certain way, the [vintage] blogosphere is a microcosm of the two gender groups (my goodness, that sounds awfully serious and didactic, doesn't it?  Does it even make sense?).

"Did you see the Royal Wedding on Friday?" 
"Yes."
"Did you see the Royal Wedding on Friday?" 
"Oooh, wasn't it lovely?" 
"Yes, didn't Kate look beautiful?" 
"Oh, her dress was simply darling, don't you think?" 
"And Prince Harry - swoon!"  Etc., etc., ad infinitum. :-P

Quickly, because I can tell you're drifting off (I don't blame you, either!), to focus on the vintage aspect I think it is easier for women to find and to post about vintage or vintage-inspired fashion than it is for men (and again, fashion tends to be a more feminine interest) but beyond that I can't imagine why there aren't more vintage fellows blogging about their experiences and activities - I'm sure it would make for interesting reading!

So this brings me back to the give-away and something that a certain female family member (who shall remain nameless because she doesn't like the Internet ;-P ) said about it that has given me pause for thought.  Without trying to give too much away as to the prizes, it has been suggested that none of them are overly "feminine" and that if a lady were to win - as seems statistically more likely - I ought to include something flowery, pretty or pink (or all the above!).  All the prizes are, of course, of a vintage-themed nature and aren't, I would say, particularly "masculine" or "feminine".  In fact, the thought never occurred to me  and to be honest I still think it is rather redundant.  Still, I'll never hear the end of it if I don't check, so should I include a particular gender-defining prize dependent upon the winner, or are you fine ladies and gentlemen more than happy to receive fairly unisex items?  Let me know!

7 comments:

  1. Well Mr P-P, fashion in general is dominated by women, and vintage fashion is just an extension of that. My chap is always complaining there isn't enough men's fashion commentary. Could this be because men's fashion is a little (whisper it) boring? I mean purely in comparison to the feathers and sparkles and colours and skirt lengths and prints and so on in womens fashion. The nuances of mens fashion are finer, and therefore harder to expand upon a great deal.

    Choose what prize you like, I say. I am a lady, and I like ties, braces, and leather cigarette cases as much as anything girly and flowery. Any vintage girl worth her salt would be proud to use Katherine Hepburn as her menswear pin-up.

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  2. For myself, I don't mind if it is unisex or even masculine :) But that is me :p

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  3. Is it because many men tend to post about more specific vintage interests, such as only old-time radio, or only vintage cars, rather than masculine vintage in general? And then they tend to read blogs on their specific interests rather than the wider vintage blogs. Perhaps in some cases they're put off looking at general vintage blogs because they feel it's all going to be frocks and frou-frou.

    I'd love to see more blogs from vintage chaps; I've tried to keep mine relatively gender-neutral but stuff about clothes and hair *will* keep creeping in.

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  4. Flowery and pretty I can cope with, but pink? BLEUGH. ;-)

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  5. His Lordship follows several blogs, but I don't think he would write himself as he isn't into writing and is rather private. I can't speak for men in general, but that is just his way.

    What he does mention to me (as 'classic town and country wear with a bit of mod thrown in' man, and hence a regular vintage/repro buyer) is that he notices some male vintage fans seem to want to 'win' some untold competition. There can- with a few men he's met- be a little bit of 'one upmanship' (my tweed is rarer than yours old chap) or very pedantic put-downs (Oh, your tie is repro...heheh) whereas vintage women share their ideas more without the need to establish a pecking order and play with the rules more flexibly. They might show off, but without the whole...'alpha' thing, if you see what I mean. Perhaps blogging lends itself to that, whereas events and so forth (where you do see plenty of chaps) allows a bit more manly banter face to face?

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  6. Well, some very interesting theories to supplement my own - thank you ladies! I'm glad to see I was right not to worry about the contents of my forthcoming give-away either!

    PD - I fear you may be right. There's only so many times we chaps can go on about the pattern of a tie, or the cut of a suit, or the style of a shoe! You ladies certainly do seem to have a far greater opportunity to discuss [vintage] fashion.

    Mim - that's a good thought, I hadn't considered it. Yes, now you mention it a lot of the blogs I follow that are about certain aspects of vintage - architecture, technology, politics etc. - are written by men. We do have our particular interests and I can understand wanting to focus on them more than general themes.
    I don't mind following all you lovely ladies' blogs, even if they do contain "frocks and frou-frou" :-D (and you are doing a good job catering to both genders, Mim). I've always been a firm believer in the old adage "know your enemy"... erm, I mean "how the other half lives" - only joking! Seriously, I think growing up with 4 sisters and a disproportionate number of female relatives has left me far more sympathetic to women's perspectives(!).

    Perdita - that certainly corresponds with my understanding of the different ways men and women communicate, from what I remember of my studies. Men, it has to be said, are very competitive and aggressive in groups whereas women tend to be more co-operative and encouraging and that can manifest itself even online. I'm afraid I've noticed it in some corners of the vintage æther as well, which is a shame. For chaps like myself and your Lordship, who perhaps don't feel the need or desire to assert themselves in such situations, I agree that it can be rather off-putting. I can understand the desire for privacy too; this blog was/is based around general national/international vintage happenings more so than my personal adventures (mainly because I rarely have anything to tell - it would be a boring not to mention sparsely-populated blog if it were just about me!) and it has only been within the last 6-12 months that I have felt comfortable blogging about my own finds/experiences, bolstered by the anonymity afforded by an assumed Internet name. ;-)

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  7. I think its a survival strategy, chatting. Imagine how boring life would have been when we were all foraging and hunting for us girlies, ooh there's a berry, oh look another berry, here's a good berry. Hence the need for extended conversations about which fur wears best, and which men bring home the best meat. Men however just need run after a mammoth and hit it with a sharp stick, so not a great need for chit chat!! And while I'm on a roll look what happens to men when they get near a barbeque!!! Ug, me man, me cook meat on fire!!!! (must be said in a deep voice) Lol. As for prizes, just choose something that you would like to win, If ladies wouldn't like it, they wouldn't enter!!!! X

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