Man Caves: The Last Bastion of Toxic Masculinity?

There has been a stigma in place for the longest time in society. A perception that women should be in charge of the home. This relates to the design, the furniture, the fauna and the general organization of each item. Thankfully, as society is adapting to be more open, equal and female-empowering. It seems this stigma is becoming a thing of the past.

However, there are still those that live relentlessly by these backward ideas. They mindlessly leave the decorative aspects to the girls and set about their own project. Which more often than not, takes place in the smallest room in the house. A space they have claimed as their sanctuary. Their man cave.

Are Man Caves Bad for your Family

Man Caves have been around forever. Serving as a port in the storm for many men. A space in which to hide from the daily routine of home life. They often fill these rooms with gadgets, games or models that they donate inordinate amounts of time to. All in the pursuit of avoiding family and general social interaction. This may be slightly hyperbolic but there are still extreme cases such as this.

With so much focus being put on men’s mental health issues. It’s so important for men in particular to have a healthy living space. This includes regular leisurely pursuits. Plus a loving and supportive group of people in which to interact regularly. So what better people to share your passions and pleasures with than your family?

Though man caves in their most conventional form are perhaps a social distancing tool. One that can irreparably damage family and marital relationships. They can be slightly tweaked to offer a fun and inviting atmosphere for all the family to have fun.

The Solution: Family Cave

Our proposal is for a change in dynamics. To create a shared space. A family den rather than a man cave. Man caves often center themselves around individual activities. So to make these spaces more inviting and hospitable. It’s important to offer group-based activities.

One excellent way to transform this empty space is by forming a games room. This can take many forms but can be very successful in bringing people together through competition, teamwork, strategy, and planning. Here are a few options to consider when stocking your games room.

Man Cave Ideas

Sports Tables are a fantastic addition to these spaces, provided there is a functional area in which to use the tables. This can be ping pong tables, billiards tables, air hockey machines or foosball tables to name a few. These can provide hours of competitive bonding. Plus you get to practice a skill that you would usually have to attend an arcade or sports hall to use. It’s a great household investment.

If a more collaborative approach is what you are looking for. Then a board games room may be the perfect set up. This room can include a board games collection, a snack fridge, and a large playing table. This offers a communal area where people can get together and play. Plus, it’s not just the family that can benefit. It can be the perfect place to host social games nights with neighbors and friends.

Video games can also offer a chance to bond through the rise of party-based titles. These have been around for the longest time but seem to be more frequent in today’s market. Great party titles for all the family to get involved with include Nintendo classics like Mario Kart or Mario Party. Or perhaps if controllers are scarce. The Play link series on the Playstation 4 offers the ability to play with your phone acting as the controller.

Then, of course, there is the option to go more retro. Local multiplayer in today’s gaming landscape is all but non-existent. Though with earlier titles the options were plentiful. So collecting some old games to play as a group can also be a great way to fill the room. Plus, this can be more cost-effective as most older games are dirt cheap.

Multi-Use Room

Game related activities are not the only way to utilize this room. This room could also be converted into a home cinema, an art studio, a home gymnasium or a home library. The possibilities are endless.

Though the most important thing to takeaway is that these are spaces to be shared. We all need our downtime as human beings. Though, to lock ourselves away from those who care about us. Those who want to rid us of our stresses. It can be more harmful than it seems, regardless of our intentions.

In a day and age where woman are becoming more and more respected. Doesn’t it feel rather obnoxious and backward to have a gender-segregated area within your own home? An area where men can practice neglectful and solitary ideals synonymous with men of the 1950’s.

These spaces are often physical walls in which men can put up metaphorical walls. A space to suppress their emotions. Hiding in their room to avoid dealing with hard emotional issues. It’s an issue that has become a pressing concern for men.

So in summary. The idea of having a personal space in which to wind down and have ‘me time’ isn’t necessarily evil or misadvised. However, if done for the wrong reasons, can be catastrophic to your mental health and your most important relationships.

The simplest way to avoid this is to develop an ethos of community within the household. Where this space that would have been a hiding spot is instead, a safe space. A wholesome environment to have fun, engage with others, unwind and ultimately, live a healthy and mindful existence.

That’s our view of man caves in today’s society. Do you feel they still have their place? Do you feel a communal space is a better option for a healthy lifestyle? What do you think are the best ways to fill the space? Let us know and thank you for reading.

This content is brought to you by Shahbaz Ahmed.

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