Man Caves Are Where Patriarchy Goes To Die

by Chris Hershberger

Man Caves Are Where Patriarchy Goes To Die

Here at Masculine Interiors we find “man caves” offensive. There are the wall-mounted electric guitars, the foosball table, the hero-worship of sports teams, and then there’s the offensive odor of cold pizza and cheap beer.

But others find them offensive for other reasons. In a recent op-ed in San Francisco State’s newspaper, a female student argues that man caves are inherently sexist.

Writes Kalani Ruidas:

Guys should get over the feudalistic idea of a man cave allowing them to be the “lord of their manor” in a room they can call their own. It bears a juvenile likeness to a tree house with a sign that reads, “No girls allowed.”

The sewing room or craft room, to which a woman might retreat, is identified by the action that takes place there. By that token, a man cave is a place where a man devolves into a grunting subhuman that leaves sexist and racist comments on message boards, then furiously masturbates to free porn.

Ruidas’ essay is entitled “Man Caves Perpetuate Patriarchy,” yet one could argue that man caves are actually the result of patriarchy that is crumbling.

In the postwar years, a suburban dad would have retreated to his dignified “den.” But now that same dad is likely to have a wife who also works, and his space has devolved down the evolutionary scale to the Cro-Magnon terminology of “man cave.” No one really says “A man’s home is his castle” any more, and changes in American life have made it nearly impossible for a man to afford to buy a house without a domestic partner. The “man cave” is the pathetic cocoon-retreat for the kind of gelded schlub one finds in every television sitcom, dressed in his open-front plaid shirt with gray tee underneath, perpetually outfoiled by his stylish wife and quick-witted children.

In facat, the man-cave is patriarchy’s graveyard.

Perhaps if men took a more active role in the furnishing of the rest of the house, rather than handing it entirely over to the wife, they wouldn’t need a cave in which to hide with porn and football, which is to say, other men’s sexual and athletic prowesses.





Chris Hershberger
Chris Hershberger

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