Friday, 2 August 2013
Jon Bear Journal: The Man (Bear) Cave Part I
The term "Man Cave" has worked its way into the twenty first century lexicon with the advent of specialized areas in the home designed specifically to tailor to a man's creature comforts. My views concerning the whole concept of a "man cave" are shaped largely by the way in which society has changed, even in my own lifetime. I believe that years ago there was much less need for men to have a man cave. I feel as if men somewhat fear losing there identity and become more feminized in today's world, so they are searching for something to cling to. Men need to beat there chests and be loud and yes....even be gross and inappropriate at times.
Years ago men could do this in the home or they could do it as a member of a men's club or social group or at the pub. Along with technology and the ability to watch movies in our own homes and play video games or interact with others on the computer has come a tendancy for people to spend more time in their own homes where they meet their entertainment needs/desires. That's not to say that there are not plenty of people who still do things for amusement or relaxation outdoors, just probably not to the same extent as they might have a decade or two ago (a statement I am making merely out of personal observation without the imperical data to back it up).
A lot of men today do not feel the need to dominate the household either, as in America and many other countries women share what once were traditionally male roles such as the disciplinarian or the fixer-upper and in many cases take the lead in those roles. Instead of the home being THE MAN'S home, it's now much more.. THE FAMILY home in a progressive society.
All these changes have left the man a bit devoid of HIS space.. that place that belonged to him where he was master of the domain. Now that men don't "rule the roost" as they once did, they are trying to at least "reclaim" a small part of it. So with these two things: the way the home has become redefined and the manner in which technology has made it much easier or more comfortable to find entertainment at home as opposed to outside the home... The Man Cave... came into existence. It functions as an agreed upon environment (between husband and wife) where men can bond with other men and not fear reproach or the awkwardness that can sometimes ensue when a women just can't understand what the heck we are thinking when we act a certain way.
Having considered the context where-by a man cave might be appealing if I were a married man, I sometimes wonder if I would like to have one, were I ever to have that family of my own someday. I THINK the answer to that is yes. Of course the man cave would have different rules for different men, given the level to which they needed to assert their masculinity I suppose. For myself, I think I could be okay with a women in the man cave from time to time as long as she abided by certain rules...
These rules are somewhat dangerous to discuss (starts digging grave)... so I won't mention them here >.<... but hopefully understood once a spouse agrees to let the man have his man cave. Permission is always a must. Firstly, because it allows the female to feel as if she is still in control and the man is deferring to her judgment (a tricky little mind game we try to play ;)) Secondly because the viability and finances to make a truly epic man cave must be considered, and as an entertainment space it should be secondary to survival (though only barely lol). But once the details were ironed out and permission granted here are some things that I would want my man cave to have:
As big a television screen (high definition of course) as possible, with a minimum of 80 percent of the viewing time spent on sports or athletic events. Much of the other 20 percent should be on action/adventure movies. A bar: In my case I don't discriminate between beer, wine, hard liquor or mixed drinks.. they would all be permitted, but alcohol of some sort would be a must. Comfortable furniture. The kind of chair and couch that you can fall back into or recline in or completely relax in is vital. A pool table and ping pong table and dart board among other games room type apparatus. Because pfft! how could you have the Man Cave olympics without a variety of games to play? An epic gaming sytem with a variety of (sorry about this...) violent games as a healthy outlet for aggression of course too. >.< A nice card table for gambling might be fun aswell. Those are the essentials I have thought of, but I would be open to any suggestions that others might have too.
All of the things outside of the mancave that I mentioned would make for a very nice entertainment room in a home too, but the transformation where those things become more a man cave and less an entertainment room happens when it is primarily occupied by grown men and dominated by interests that most men prefer. There are some women who could quite enjoy many of the man cave interests, and as such they would have a much better chance to gain the occasional admittance. There are men who might care less about those things too, and they could freely turn down the invite if they chose to.
The rules of the man cave might be somewhat controversial but interesting to consider, so they will be the focus of part two in the man cave post next week.