By Josh Quarmby on 3 August 2017
The idea for Blokepedia originally stemmed from a discussion I had with a ‘mummy blogger’ friend of mine. I had noticed how many outlets women have for communicating with each other. Fashion blogs, parent blogs, food blogs – women have a myriad of avenues available for them to connect with other women. Men needed a way to be able to talk about things other than tits and cars.
The original concept was for Blokepedia to be a blog site for men to share their stories and discuss the topics we don’t openly talk about – like our mental health, relationships and lifestyle. The important stuff.
I started the blog by sharing my own story of losing my father and how bottling the grief and emotions associated with that loss impacted my mental health and the relationships I had with those around me. Writing the story down brought up many emotions and was a form of therapy within itself. I still remember the mixed feelings I had before hitting the publish button. Would I get trolled? What would my family and friends think? Would I be judged? Of course not! In fact, the opposite happened.
Within a short period of time I had other men sharing their stories and experiences on the website. I realised quickly this ‘man blog’ is something a lot more powerful than originally thought. I found myself having discussions with mates, colleagues and complete strangers, sharing our stories with each other and talking about the importance of men opening up. We were having meaningful conversations about the things us blokes need to talk about.
Since starting 8 months ago, Blokepedia has grown to include an online members forum (which is a safe and secure place for men to have these discussions) and we will be soon holding events for men to connect in person.
The importance of men opening up and sharing their stories with each other is about more than just mental health. It’s about community. It’s about connecting. It’s about being there for each other so we can all feel supported and connected. Through this we are less likely to feel isolated and more likely to feel valued.
So let’s work together more on keeping men connected and encourage blokes to have the conversations that matter.