What is this infamous Man Cave?
A special place in the home that is reserved only for men? A place they can feel comfortable being men? Where they can act like the cave men they are, something they cant do anywhere else. Where their masculinity is not threatened by feminine presence. A male retreat..or sanctuary if you will, where men can feel relaxed, at ease and behave in very manly ways like playing hours of playstation, watching hours of sports, drinking with or without male friends? This is certainly what comes to mind whenever this topic of conversation comes up.
Which is often.
Because I, like many others, have siblings that like to irritate me just for the sake of it.
I and my partner recently moved house. It took a lot of effort, being 7 months pregnant did not make it easy, but thanks to family and friends our entire home was boxed up, moved and then unpacked within three days. Every single box! I know, I’m amazing. Truth be told, it took a lot of forward planning. Nesting instincts were kicking in, and about a month before the move I felt the sudden urge to arrange everything, so that everything we own has a place in our new home, no things or stuff just hanging around gathering dust. So I spent a month going through everything we owned (Thank you Marie Kondo!!) and either throwing it out or handing it into charity shops.
All of this meant that once a box crossed over the threshold of our home, it would immediately be unpacked and everything it contained would be put in it’s place. Everything that came with us had importance, and now our new home looks homely and comfortable without being cluttered, every rooms looks neat, and because of this, the place doesn’t get very untidy. So, our move was successful, we could relax in our new clean home and just be comfortable. While I originally liked the idea of not having a TV in the living room (we don’t have actual channels, its literally just for gaming but I hate everything in living rooms being pointed at a TV,), we found a nice spot in the corner which we both agreed would work. Success yet again. Compromise at its best.
Back to man Caves being problems:
Myself, my partner, my sister and her partner sat at the table, finished dinner, having a normal conversation about how the house looks, and why I’m happy we found a place for the TV that doesn’t mean myself and my partner hang out in different rooms while he’s on the playstation and I’m watching movies on the laptop.
And then it happened.
The unthinkable. The unspeakable. The most offensive thing that could possible have been said at that (or any other) moment.
My sister says “Why don’t you just make a man cave?” She laughs. I turn my head and look at her in sheer disbelief.
Horror is a pretty apt description of how I felt. Was she serious? Did that actually just fucking happen? I question why that would even be necessary, she argues that every man needs one.
Again, I am in shock. Why? Why does every man need a man cave?
People who suggest this would have you believe that men don’t have spaces within their homes without a dedicated male room, which is precisely the problem. It insinuates the home is…wait for it….
A woman’s place!
What is this? The fifties! So men can’t feel comfortable in their own homes unless there’s a lazy boy chair, a gigantic tv, a fridge for beer, a bar filled with whiskey, and a Miss Universe calendar on the wall all in a room that is not inhabited by their nagging partners?
And wait, are women even allowed in this cave of man? Or is it just another space that men dominate…? Is it the ‘love you, but I need to be totally away from you right now in a space that I don’t feel my masculinity is threatened in‘ kind of situation?
What the man cave suggests is that women take over the house decorating and fill it with pretty, pink, frilly fucking candles and men need macho, sexist, frat boy shit around. Well assholes, that’s not necessarily the case. If men want in on how there home looks, they should stop assuming decorating is the woman’s job. Stop rolling their eyes at the curtain designs that lay around, or the questions about which color would make the kitchen more welcoming. Be a partner and join in, then you wont have a girly, pink house you so desperately fear.
I know…its a mind blowing idea.
Man caves insist that men need space away from their partners, who do nothing but nag about cleaning, or clean while nagging, or heaven forbid, talk about how their day went. It suggests that men and women have very different interests, and cant ever share interests and passions, to the point where men need a space to be men, and not inundated with female things like candles and emotions.
And another thing, candles are not just for women…you know how I know? Because my partner lights the candles in the bathroom whenever he has a bath…after he fills it with Epsom salts and bubble bath. And you know what else? He fucking loves it! He doesn’t need a beer in there to manly out the overwhelming femininity of his bath, he doesn’t question his sexuality, he doesn’t worry about his friends finding out, he just lies back and relaxes. Because its his bathroom too, and he feels comfortable there.
You know where he also feels comfortable? Every other fucking room in the entire house. Because we both had a say in what pictures go where, and the layout for the furniture and what we want from each room. Yeah I got my cute pictures of our Bunny up (which he loves by the way) but he also got his framed Lord of the Rings Poster up along with his Lord of the Rings Sword (which I love by the way). And just in case you were wondering, we actually like being around each other, we enjoy being in each others company. And after spending most of the day away at work, why is it so hard to believe that we would want to be together, doing separate things sometimes, but in the same room, close enough to have an actual conversation. And you know what else? Sometimes, quite often actually, we even watch things together, or buy 2 player games just so we can do things together. That’s a normal relationship. One where both people actually respect each other and one another’s space.
So no, dear sister, my partner does not need a room all to himself, because we actually share an entire house.