Mancave redux

13 Jun

A year ago, I wrote about the ‘mancave’ phenomenon.

My opinions on the matter are still mixed as they were then – I like the idea of married men having a space or spaces within their home in which they can feel comfortable, and spend time apart from their wives, places possibly with a bit more masculine décor; but, I don’t like the idea that the rest of the house is ‘hers’, to decorate entirely according to her tastes, etc., and that he is only ‘allowed’ such a space on the sufferance of ‘the Boss’, all too common amongst Blue Pill men; a place he feels a need to ‘retreat’ to, rather than merely relaxing in.

But, all that aside, if you’re gonna have a ‘mancave’, or whatever else you want to call such a space, for whatever reasons, I think it’s reasonable to expect that it should be entirely yours, and have nothing to do with your wife, her tastes, her comfort level (since it’s not for her), etc.

Well, today, I read an article in a free daily local ‘zine by a married female columnist that gets it all wrong. There is no permanent link to the story, as the paper’s website doesn’t store articles by text, only displaying pages of each day’s paper as images. But here is a capture of the page with the article in question:

Doing it all wrong.

Doing it all wrong.

Mrs. Kloet claims to see the value in such a space, but:

I do worry about a space that looks more frat-like than feminine.

Uh, the whole point is that such a space would be HIS, not YOURS, so why should he or we give a shit what you think?

Enter some douchebag ‘design consultant’ guy, who markets himself towards men who don’t want their spaces to be ‘too masculine’, apparently:

According to Damon Snider, owner of D-Type Living, a Toronto-based home design company for the modern man, a man cave should blend seamlessly into the rest of the home without appearing overly macho.

Uh, why? If it’s his space, not hers, why shouldn’t it be more ‘macho’ if he wants that?

And he goes on to argue that:

“The first thing to keep in mind is that you want women to feel comfortable in the space, too,” he says.

No you don’t! They’re not going to be in there, if it’s truly a man cave; if they never go in, what cause would they ever have to feel uncomfortable, anyway? Sheesh!

As one can see, the article goes on to explain how Snider has made it his mission to convert men away from “hard edges and dark colours everywhere” towards a more ‘balanced’ look.

For instance, regarding traditionally-favoured masculine décor such as sports paraphernalia and automotive stuff:

“Display things strategically rather than filling every empty surface with something stuffed with testosterone,” he says.

Ah, yes; heaven forbid that men should decorate their spaces like men!

And don’t be afraid to stray from typical dark leather furnishings and glossy black surfaces. Instead, opt for neutral wall colours and add splashes of colour through graphic artworks, photographs, or “dude-approved” wall hangings to bring the room to life.

Hey, I have an idea; why not let men decide for themselves what they each might want for their ‘den’ or ‘man cave’; some will opt for vintage 19th-century European alcoholic beverage posters, and some will opt for mounted deer heads (of ones they hunted successfully), or sports hero posters; men have varied interests, so one should expect that would be reflected. Why should any one particular look be deemed better than others? De gustibus non est disputandum, as the old maxim goes.

But of course, he goes on to encourage the ‘ladies’ (as Mrs. Kloet says) to ‘lend a stylish eye’ while not ‘going overboard on girlish touches’. As if they have any business giving any such advice to their husbands for such a space – unless he of course asks for it (though I can’t imagine why any man would want to).

So, there it is. Not even the ‘man cave’ is allowed to be free of female or metrosexual design consultant influence, according to Canadian progressive SWPL dogma.


Posted by on June 13, 2013 in Masculinity


24 responses to “Mancave redux

  1. DC Al Fine

    June 13, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    The mancave is a room in the basement presumably, so why is she so worried about it looking “frat-like”? the only people that are going to see it are family and any dudes he has over (like they’ll care :P)

    The author can’t seem to keep her grubby paws off even this small measure of independence for the husband.

  2. Lena S.

    June 13, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    LOL That’s all.

    OK, not quite all. Imagine suggesting that there be one room set aside for all the girly shit – but don’t make it too girly, because your husband wants to feel comfortable in there too. So let him throw a couple of power tools on the shelf next to your dust collectors and other useless paraphernalia. And instead of a bland graphic print from Ikea, consider a classic picture of Joe DiMaggio or a 500 poster, or something else that would make hubby feel at home in the girly shit room.

  3. Socially Extinct

    June 13, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    The existence of such a concept as “mancave” is implicit surrender. It’s a fact of human nature that you give nothing unless you are prepared to give it all away.

  4. Will S.

    June 13, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    @ DCAF: Hey, good to see you here again!

    Yeah, exactly. Sure glad I’m not her husband; brrrr!

    @ Lena S.: Spot on. Your parallel shows the absurdity of it, as well as the complete lack of any respect for real masculinity, on the part of both the authoress and the metrosexual designer boy.

  5. Will S.

    June 13, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    @ David: I agree, and pretty well said as much in my post on the subject a year ago (see the link in the first sentence); I’d prefer to call it a ‘den’, as one of my best friends’ dad called his male space off of the downstairs TV room. It was great; leather and wood, classical music tapes; he was very English, and his den reflected that. IIRC, he occasionally smoked a pipe in there, too. It was awesome.

  6. Lena S.

    June 13, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    Shit testing enters the mancave.

  7. Socially Extinct

    June 13, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    Shit testing enters the mancave.

    For many less materialistically fortunate men, the commode is their cave.

  8. DC Al Fine

    June 13, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    Try an experiment. Google “1950’s living room” and “2013 living room”. The 1950’s living rooms are fine. Lots of plain colours and simple furniture. Nothing to freak a guy out. The 2013 living rooms all look like this monstrosity:

    Modern decorating is repulsive to most men, while decorating from back in the day doesn’t even create an aesthetic need for a man cave. It shows how decorating has veered from relatively neutral to feminine over the past few decades.

  9. Will S.

    June 13, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    @ Lena S.: I’m going to nominate that for EA’s ‘Aphorisms of the manosphere’; it’s a perfect distillation of what is going on here.

    @ SE: No doubt; alas…

    @ DCAF: Ick; the modern ones are all so cold and lifeless – which is instructive! I wish Paleo Retiree or somebody @ Uncouth Reflections would do a post on this. It seems give women free reign, and they’ll just go nuts; restrain them culturally, and you end up with liveable, warm spaces. Funny, that.

  10. Lena S.

    June 13, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    LOL I think you have to keep Socially Extinct’s reply. Too funny. The solution of course is moar spankings (of women).

  11. infowarrior1

    June 14, 2013 at 2:09 am

    Gee it seems only force can remove some women from male spaces.

  12. Will S.

    June 14, 2013 at 7:11 am

    @ Lena S.: Hey, moar spankings sounds good! 🙂

    @ infowarrior1: Indeed. I think Lena is onto something… 🙂

  13. The Continental Op

    June 14, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Mrs. Op is great–she doesn’t really care for feminine kitsch decoration. She likes the place to look nice, but not feminine. THE WHOLE HOUSE IS MY CASTLE, YEAH!! Except for the kitchen, which I allow her to keep as her sub-domain.

    I think hyper-feminine decoration at home is a compensation mechanism for a dominant woman to convince herself (and her deluded husband) that she is feminine while she keeps her jackboot on her (whipped) husband’s neck.

  14. The Continental Op

    June 14, 2013 at 11:35 am

    To keep crowing, my bookshelves in the living room are crazy male. She has some books in there, about child-rearing and stuff like that, but I have them mostly stuffed with heavy theological books and a wide selection of hard-right reactionary reading. The cookbooks go on the bookshelf in the bedroom.

  15. Lena S.

    June 14, 2013 at 11:43 am

    I think hyper-feminine decoration at home is a compensation mechanism for a dominant woman to convince herself (and her deluded husband) that she is feminine while she keeps her jackboot on her (whipped) husband’s neck.

    I was thinking something along those lines too.

  16. dearieme

    June 14, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    My study is mine. My wife’s study is hers – it’s bigger than mine because she does the ironing there too.

    All the other rooms are ours. Bar the child’s, and it doubles as the guest bedroom.

  17. Will S.

    June 14, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    @ TCO, Lena: Yes, I’d agree with that, for sure. And you find it in churchian homes; one family whose house I used to visit, the wife ruled the husband, and the entire home was covered in feminine, Victorian-style décor (or I should say faux-Victorian; in the same way that a real ’50s diner wouldn’t have had pics of James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, and so on; it would just have an old jukebox, not an old-fashioned one; her house had lots of illustrations and prints of somewhat Victorian scenes, IIRC). It was a bit creepy, frankly.

    @ TCO, dearieme: Good for you guys! Doing it right. 🙂

  18. Ton

    June 14, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    I have a man cave, it’s called my house

  19. Will S.

    June 15, 2013 at 1:09 am

    Best kind. 🙂

  20. crimsonviceroy

    June 15, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Considering that if I was the one paying mortgage on MY property, I can do anything I damn well please with my PRIVATE PROPERTY. If it doesn’t have a function to it, it goes out the window. Most of all the decor is useless expense that could have been spent paying off the damn mortgage instead of giving it a more “appealing artistic aesthetic”, or whatever crap these dumb idiots are spewing on about.

  21. Will S.

    June 15, 2013 at 12:03 pm


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