Guys need an exclusive space to hang out in their homes -- a refuge where they can enjoy what they love, whether it's a soundproofed basement used as a rock 'n' roll lounge and adorned with limited edition guitars; a room where diehard ski fans can chill out with a roaring fireplace and alpine atmosphere; or a lush golf-lover's paradise, featuring a state-of-the-art virtual reality driving range, media center and top-notch equipment storage space. Because DIY Network understands there's an environment for every guy that makes him feel fulfilled, we recruited licensed contractor Jason Cameron and former NFL great Tony "The Goose" Siragusa to offer amazing ideas for the ultimate Man Caves. In each episode of this awesome DIY Network series, Jason and The Goose create a man cave solely for one lucky guy, plus offer ideas and expert do-it-yourself instruction to help homeowners everywhere construct their own personal hangouts.Here are a couple of tastes of what the show has to offer:
The concept of a man cave in a home is a sexist concept in itself. Born from the "Men are from Mars" school of thought that men need their own special space to flee their nagging mates and decompress by watching sports, playing poker, drinking beer, and smoking cigars, its perceived necessity derives from the traditional notion that the home (and all the work within it) is entirely the woman's domain.
One of the reasons I find this show disappointing is that I'm usually so impressed with how gender-friendly DIY-themed home improvement shows tend to be. Do you ever notice how many of these shows portray female carpenters and contractors and designers doing things that many girls are never socialized or encouraged to learn to do? And they are typically shown with such little fanfare that it sends the message that women doing this work is nothing out of the ordinary at all, and that just about anyone can take on the tasks they demonstrate.
This show, however, reinforces the idea that men and women are separate species or exist on entirely different planets, and that they therefore have different needs, different interests, and different roles to play. It also operates covertly under the assumption that all of this is somehow natural and not a product of our culture and socialization. And even though this type of entertainment is incredibly popular (see the numerous relationship advice books and magazine articles and the countless "Battle of the Sexes"-themed games, quizzes, reality shows), I find it pretty lazy and irresponsible.