The Man Cave and Male Empowerment

[I was on a bad blog site for a year and hardly anyone saw my stuff, so occasionally I will be reposting old posts that are not necessarily topical or relevant, but still interesting to me.]

The concept of the Man Cave is not new. There was "The Study",  "The Den".  "The Garage",  "The Shed", and many more euphemisms that simply described a way to remove oneself from the "prying eyes" of the family.  But in this time in history, it has taken a new meaning. A place to escape the "feminine" world. Which I think is Bullshit. And not for reasons of feminism. Since there are many ways in which women use a similar method to escape the pressures of family life. "The Spa", "The Parlor", "The Kitchen" (which has become a male refuge in recent years as well.) or even "The Night Out". Which has also been used by both sides for centuries. Going to "The Pub", "The Bar", "The Cafe", or "The Movies".  Why do we invent so many different ways to leave our families.

 When I was a boy my father left his family. He got involved in a group that taught personal empowerment for men, women, and children. It was, as we came to find out, the beginning of the "Me generation". A selfish style of thinking that says it is okay to put your own needs above others. To make yourself happy first before trying to make everyone else happy.  This is a concept, both right and wrong. Confused? Well, you should be. The concept was right, but the practice and implementation were wrong. Some probably came out of the programs feeling better and having learned more about themselves. But most people, just simply came out as selfish, spoiled people.

What went wrong? The same thing that goes wrong with all of these philosophies. Human nature. Our anthropological need for three things. Flight, Fight, and Fuck. These are not only responses to everyday situations, but they are also what drive us in all our actions on a day to day basis. If you think I am wrong, think about this.  Every action you partake in during a normal day falls into one of these categories. We "flight" from things that may change our tiny lives. We "fight" for things that will improve our tiny lives, and we "fuck" to bring connection into our tiny lives. Most times we use a combination of two of the categories to achieve one of the others.

We want comfort, control, and consolation. And when any kind of authority comes along and offers to make it all about you. Most people leap at the opportunity. "So it's not my fault?" or "I am the most important person in the world" or even, "It's okay to behave this way?". These are what the "Me generation" embraced. And a lot of them left plenty of broken families in their search for their perfect life. In the end, it was all just a form on Escapism. The ability or desire, to take the things that may have been wrong in your life and simply walk away from them. Because those things are not about you.

Nowadays, this type of behavior is frowned upon mostly by the general public. Divorce can be expensive and well, what about the children? But people still walk out on their families. Into their hobbies, into their man caves, into affairs. Sometimes couples go along on these "adventures" together, and then they both walk out on the family. And then the selfishness is passed onto another generation. And the cycle repeats.

So if you want a family, and to be involved, then you can have your man cave, but call it what it really is, and everyone into the Play Room.

A great example of this would be my wife and I. I am a fabricator for a living and as my hobbies go. She is a Paralegal and cooks. A great cook by the way. Chef level. But it is her hobby in the sense that she doesn't want to do it for a living because she may lose her love of it. We are also both artists, and we find great joy if doing artful things with the talents we have. So I learned to cook from her and have become a good cook, and she has learned to fabricate from me and is comfortable using many power tools that most people are not. We shared our individual lives we each other and it has enhanced our lives together. As a family.

But that's just me...Walking My Mind


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