This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

Elderly men in the 1800s

Strangely enough, our modern view of elderly men is in sharp contrast to our ancestor's view. To us, there is nothing more comforting than the image of a elderly, grandmotherly, woman, as someone to trust. We really don't see them as hags and witches anymore. But our view of elderly men isn't quite as good as it used to be.

The biggest consideration is length of life. Women have always had a longer lifespan, on average, than men. And it's important to ask *what is elderly?*. The man in the picture there is probably in his sixties. Up until the 20th century, that was pretty much the oldest man most people ever saw in their lifetime. Women, on the other hand, have commonly lived much longer. So elderly women could be in their 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, or more. And that makes a big difference to image. There is elderly, and then there is downright scary old. And while many women could achieve this, few men did.

Our attitude towards being fat has changed, too. I doubt if being a terribly overweight man with long white hair and beard would be considered much of an attractive image these days, but it was then.



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