Sharing space is hard, y'all. And how is shakes down has always followed a gender line in my life. Our home was my mother's space, the shop was my father's space. That was where he went to, to escape her domain.
Lots of men I know have special spaces. Dens, jam rooms, offices, shops and sheds. As a trade off women are stereotypically given the bedroom, the kitchen, the spaces that are shared but more often expected to be tended to by women.
BlueJeans posted about women and hobbies and how our leisure times is often different than men's leisure time and importance of the second shift. In it katedaysweek made a fantastic comment about how this imbalance bleeds over into how we logistically arrange our homes. Much more eloquently than I could put it:
I think you are absolutely right, and this even manifests in the spatial configuration of our homes. Men feel they need to have a "man cave"/office/secret clubhouse where they can have time to themselves, with the assumption that attending to the rest of the home is the woman's job. I am actually really bothered by the recent trend in home design that caters to the man cave crowd because it reinforces this exact phenomenon. As someone who personally requires a lot of time to myself and private personal space, I feel like I have to justify it while for men it's assumed.
How have you guise noticed this breaking down in your every day life? Is it something you are conscious of? Maybe something that runs opposite to your experiences?
For many years my ex and I were somewhat transient. We shuttled back and forth between my parents house, and his. Both were our home bases where we had space in the closet but our rooms were still very much our rooms.
When we finally moved in together I discovered he gave not one shit about how our place was decorated or painted. All he cared about what that he had space for his seven guitars, two basses, and two amp stacks. ... in a small Vancouver apartment. I dealt. When our bedroom became a hazard zone due to pedals and chords hiding under clothes I did my best not to complain despite bloody feet. When our living room became a jam space I would pack up my books and go to a coffee shop to work on my thesis.
When we broke up he informed me that he felt like all spaces were my spaces and he had no where to go.
I. Was. Gobsmacked.
This led me to take the following change in attitude: This is my space, I will decorate it how I want, and use it how I want, fuck all y'all.
Luckily my current SO actually doesn't care how our place looks. He's happy we have a couch, a TV, and fully stocked cupboards. The rest are details to him. Our style is eclectic and other than the bedroom can be taken as androgynous. The bedroom though? Full on Ikea feminine.
I shit you not the first google image I clicked on, this, is our bed and bedspread:
This is our mirror:
And our curtains are fuchsia toile:
This works for now but I am under no illusions that this is going to last.
So long married, newly partnered, just thinking about moving in GTers, what is your strategy? How do you avoid this classic breakdown of women's house v.s. man-cave? Is it something you want to avoid?
Is it something you noticed your parents arguing about?
Any advice for those that are trying to strike a balance and avoid the man-cave trap?
ETA: And reading over this, and how I structured my contribution to this conversation I just realized we are following the same pattern to an extent. I'm treating the bedroom as a gendered space that belongs to me. Damn, guise. This is hard to break out of!