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Is the Toilet the Only Place a Man Can Get Some Peace and Quiet?

"With no room to call their own, men were forced to build their male sanctuaries in the most uninhabitable parts of a home."

by
Helen Smith

Bio

September 18, 2012 - 4:29 pm

Cassy Fiano has a post here at PJ Lifestyle entitled “Five Things Men Do That Secretly Annoy Women.” I have to say that I read it with amusement, especially when Fiano’s main question seems to be “What’s the deal with all the toilet time?”:

…what is it about men and taking forever in the bathroom? Now that there are smart phones and tablets, the problem’s even worse. There are endless forms of bathroom entertainment nowadays for men to take advantage of, which means that men have an excuse to take even longer to spend an hour doing something that really, should only take two minutes. And why is that? Sure, you can sit in there and play Angry Birds to your heart’s content. But couldn’t you just do that, I don’t know, on the couch or something?

When I was researching my forthcoming book called “Male Strike:”  Society’s War on Men,” I wrote a section on the decline of male space, even in their own home. Brett McKay, the author of  The Art of Manliness: Classic Skills and Manners for the Modern Man had this to say about a man’s lowly position in their own house in modern times:

The rise of suburban culture with its emphasis on creating a domestic nest, usually meant sacrificing male space for the good of the family. Home designs in the 1950s exchanged the numerous, smaller rooms of the Victorian home for fewer, larger rooms. The goal was to create more open space where families could congregate together and bond while watching the Honeymooners on TV.

With no room to call their own, men were forced to build their male sanctuaries in the most uninhabitable parts of a home. Garages, attics, and basements quickly became the designated space for men, while the women and children had free reign over the rest of the house.

Commenters to Fiano’s post on all that bathroom time reiterated what many men feel, they have no space at home of their own so they have taken to using the toilet as a sanctuary:

Larry J
I heard one older guy claim that his wife had completely taken over the rest of the house so the bathroom was the only place he felt was his own.

Jeff states:
I remember my grand dad– when he got home from work, he’d have a glass of bourbon and read the paper. Today… if a man ever sits down in the presence of his wife, she’ll (a) complain about how tough her life is, (b) start a fight about something, or (c) iterate through the “honey do” list.

So men have made the toilet into their sanctuary. Maybe asking why these “annoying” men spend so much time in the toilet is the wrong question and the right one is: why don’t men have anywhere else in the house to go to get some peace and quiet?

Helen Smith is a psychologist specializing in forensic issues in Knoxville, Tennessee, and blogs at Dr. Helen.
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