Shortly after I decided to start a blog I thought I would explore the web and see what other women bloggers my age were up to. What I found surprised and shocked me.
I realized I had just discovered another glass ceiling,
This was to have a strong influence on the direction I have decided to take this blog.
COMPARED TO THE HUNDREDS AND THOUSANDS OF YOUNG WOMEN BLOGGERS AND MUMMY BLOGGERS, THERE WERE HARDLY ANY OLDER WOMEN BLOGGERS MY AGE!
What on earth was going on? Why were so few middle-aged women blogging?
WHY in a world full of high powered, highly experienced, intelligent, successful, educated, competent and resilient women……..did so few of them have a blog?
I realized, with a sinking heart that there seems to be a Brutal cut off point for women bloggers directly related to AGE! A hidden glass ceiling.
SLOWLY BUT SURELY OLDER LADIES START TO GENTLY DISAPPEAR AROUND 45 YEARS OLD.
Their numbers continue to fall faster and faster as they approach 50 and 55!
By the time they are in their 60’s, they are spoken of the way an archeologist would speak of a rare fossil he has accidentally stumbled upon. The blogger in her 70’s is thought of as a minor miracle.
This discovery suddenly made me conscious that I too was now what other people think of as an “older” woman.
This seriously rattled me. The worm was in the apple, and self-doubt started to shake my confidence. Was I venturing where angels fear to tread? Should I even attempt to take part in an activity seemingly reserved for much younger women?
Up until this unwelcome discovery, It had never occurred to me that I was middle-aged. Had I been asked what age I “felt”, I would have said about 45 to 48.
Perhaps the fact that I have had 5 children from 2 different marriages has a lot to do with this. My oldest son is 40 and my youngest daughter 14. So my parenting activities are still a major part of everyday life. As are packing school lunches, doing school runs, attending parent meetings, and supervising homework.
Constantly having young children and teenagers around, has definitely kept me on my toes, and abreast of much of what is “trending”.
Suddenly discovering the enormous lack of middle-aged bloggers, brought me down to earth with a resounding thud! It was the bucket of cold water.
The very next day, a routine visit to a new doctor brought home my “middle-agedness” even more painfully!
“Now you are middle-aged, the truth is that high blood pressure….”
At first, I thought someone must have entered the office.
But a quick look over my shoulder made me realize the doctor was indeed talking to “Moi.
I had walked into the medical practice, feeling a strong competent fully functioning still an attractive woman. Less than an hour later, I walked out a newly anointed older citizen. !!!
This episode, and my discovery of how few mature women bloggers there are got me thinking of many things.
The first is how quick we are to conform to what others expect of us at different ages and stages of our lives. “Other people” have very set ideas as to what women should be doing or conforming to.
If you are not aware of the power and DANGER of other people’s expectations and opinions, these can contaminate you before you have time to guard against them.
“They” will affect your self-image, and take you hostage. Pretty soon you will start to doubt yourself and begin to wonder if you have not indeed bitten off more than you can chew for someone “ Your Age.”
This my friends IS the moment we start getting old and giving up on our dreams.
Not letting others make us feel too old and past it, and not accepting things because “That is the way they have always been” is to a large extent what Blogissima is about.
I LOVE THE EXPRESSION “YOUR BRAIN EAVESDROPS ON YOUR THOUGHTS, SO BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU THINK.
The way we see ourselves and think about ourselves is extremely important because it governs the way we live our lives.
Eleanor Roosevelt is famous for saying “NOBODY CAN MAKE YOU FEEL INFERIOR WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT”
I would like to add:
“Nobody can make you feel old without your consent “ BUT you have to put up a fight. It is essential to remain vigilant and to refuse to be boxed in or labelled.
Unless we raise our awareness of how insidious and sneaky these generally accepted ideas are, we will take them on board, and start accepting them as a given. Once you sit up and take note it is quite mind-boggling how many activities, relationships, clothes, jobs or other things in our lives “others”consider age appropriate or not age appropriate.
Which brings me back to blogging & Glass Ceilings, ageism is alive and kicking in the blogosphere.
Blogging Is definitely not an area any of my friends have ever thought of entering. If asked for an opinion their response is invariable: “Blogging is for the very young.” OR “I am just not into computers, I am far too old and not tech savvy enough…”
NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH! WE MUST STAKE OUR CLAIM!
As older women, we have a lot of experience. We need to step up and claim a piece of the very big pie that is out there. There are so many unique opportunities for mature women bloggers, who need to make additional income and create emotional and financial opportunity.
But to do this we must NOT let ourselves be hemmed in by others, or stopped by our own self-doubt.