MAN SPACE

Men's Folio (Singapore) - - Features -

The gen­der­ing of do­mes­tic spa­ces has per­sisted since the Vic­to­rian age, where women had the boudoir (with a van­ity to sit at and weep about the ter­ri­ble things done to them) and men had the li­brary and study (for “se­ri­ous work”). Some­where around the turn of the last cen­tury, women suc­cess­fully claimed the home as their own, turn­ing it into a fem­i­nised en­clave, and men, re­quir­ing a habi­tat for their manly habits, carved out the “man cave” as the last mas­cu­line bas­tion within the house. As the idea of the un­mar­ried adult male be­came less of a so­ci­etal odd­ity, the ex­is­ten­tial ne­ces­sity of man caves ex­panded to en­com­pass en­tire liv­ing spa­ces – all those sin­gle men needed some place to stay af­ter all – and thus, the bach­e­lor pad was born.

The orig­i­nal 1960s Play­boy vi­sion of the bach­e­lor pad served as a stylish emis­sary for a mod­ern mas­cu­line life­style lib­er­ated of fa­mil­ial re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and work ethics. It was a place where pros­per­ous and he­do­nis­tic males could lux­u­ri­ate in sybaritic leisure, ac­com­pa­nied by à la mode fur­nish­ings that were a leit­mo­tif of the post-war con­sumerist boom in the 1950s and 1960s. These sleek, sov­er­eign king­doms – ar­tic­u­lated by men’s mag­a­zines like Play­boy and Esquire – fi­nally gave the sin­gle man his own pri­vate do­main, to fit his moods, suit his needs, and re­flect his per­son­al­ity.

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