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The PJ Tatler

by
Helen Smith

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February 7, 2011 - 5:17 am

I was just thinking about male space last night as I drove through some neighborhoods and saw televisions flickering and men gathered at neighborhood club houses to watch the Super Bowl. It seems like only on this day are men allowed to have a place of their own. It reminded me of this piece I read about the decline of male space (via News Alert and Instapundit). The article was written by Brett McKay, the author of The Art of Manliness: Classic Skills and Manners for the Modern Man. He makes a number of good points about the decline of male space at work, bars, barber shops and even in the home:

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.

I have often seen men, especially those who do not get along with their wives, practically living on the couch or in the garage. Sometimes, they are treated no better than the family dog. On the other hand, some basements these days are pretty nice and men often go there to get away from others and get some peace and quiet.

If male, do you have a space that you call your own? Do you feel that there are fewer places for men to go?

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