By reacting to a story about “man-caves,” I almost feel like I’m taking the Wall Street Journal‘s anti-feminist bait. But in the name of giving obligatory WTFs to bogus trends: What the fuck, Wall Street Journal?
The story does have some substance, in bringing to light the micro-industry of outfitting spaces just for dudes. There’s Mancavemarket.com, Man Cave LLC, and the “Official” Man Cave Site, not to mention the DIY Network’s show Man Caves. As usual, the story founders on its attempt to identify a broader societal trend, this time in the sphere of gender relations.
The man cave has a secret: Women use them, too. Their new interest comes as these spaces have morphed from cold garage outposts into tricked-out comfy spreads, complete with flat screens TVs, fully stocked bars, arcade games and plush (clean!) furniture.
Women, we learn, are taking more interest in men’s dens because they’re comfy and increasingly tricked out—and also because they cost more, and God knows those tightfisted wives keep a close watch on their husbands’ expenses. But what happens if the Cave becomes too inclusive, blurring the lines between a Y-chromosome zone and just a family room? The proprietor of mancaveinteriors.com says that men are starting to “take charge” of their own spaces again. Though some never let go in the first place.
Mr. Sattler flips on an outdoor blue light to let the neighbors know when his “underground lounge” is open, but jokes that women, including his wife, typically stop by only if “they are dropping off food or bringing cleaning products.”
I don’t know whether to feel more nauseous because men actually spend hundreds of thousands of dollars outfitting rooms with NASCAR memorabelia where wives aren’t welcome, or because the Journal happily declares that women invading those sacred spaces because once things become nice enough for female habitation. Either way—blarg.