In this extract Eileen McCann compares the experiences of older men with older women. She feels that older women tend to be better at communication, she attributes this to experience of life. She thinks that men tend to gather in the pub when they get older. She remarks that she is glad that her husband died before her as he would have been hopeless at looking after himself.

Item Type



Can you think of any traits or qualities or even words that you would associate with older women? Anything that comes to mind?

How do you mean?

Like would you think that older women are strong, or older women are good at communication, things like that

Well a lot of them are a lot better at communication they get older they get more experience of life...they would be a lot better at communication...and I suppose more so than men, a lot of men...I don’t know, I think when their wife dies, they are inclined to just gather in the pub and that’s their life…

So they’re more isolated than older women?

Yes they are, yes definitely I’m very very glad that my husband wasn’t left for the family, you know? Although I miss him terribly, but he would have been hopeless, completely hopeless at looking after himself, he wouldn’t have went on holidays to them or anything not on his own, he would come with me but not on his own where I’d go everywhere, you know?


31:42.6 - 32:56.4

About this item


Ageing, Gendered experiences



Date Added



"Eileen McCann compares the experiences of growing older as a woman with that of men.." Lifescapes: Mapping Dublin Lives, Item #145 (accessed February 23 2018, 4:51 am)