Heterosexuality is apparently miserable. Last week, we wrote about Whitney Cummings' new show (based on the premise that being married to a man is awful). Today, more news: for Father's Day (which is the first Sunday of September down under), an Ikea in Australia provided a respite from the often-intolerable superstore, complete with hot dogs, foosball tables, video games, and flat-screen TVs showing nothing but sports, called "Manland." The women dropped their partners off there and were given a buzzer that went off in thirty minutes, reminding them to pick up their men.

My first thought was that this sounds like fun. Who wants to deal with crowds, maze-like stores, and the never-ending searches for things with names like FINTORP and KNUBBIG? I would totally choose hot dogs and video games over trying to find curtains in the right size along with, seemingly, the rest of humanity at Ikea on a weekend. But my second thought was sadness, since Manland suggests that I, a woman, am not welcome there. I can't "hang out." My job is to go pick out the couch and light bulbs and leave my husband or boyfriend in a nag-free zone where he can chill with his bros. 

Which brings a third thought: is this 1952? Isn't the point of shopping for your home together... shopping for your home together? And what about the men who like picking out duvet covers and lighting fixtures, and the women who'd prefer to watch TV?

Manland may become a section in all Ikea stores. Kris Matheson of Artisan Complete has decided to start a petition for the placement of Manlands throughout Ikeas worldwide. Now, I'm not opposed to the idea of offering a resting area from the hell that is the lower level of any Ikea. But can we call it Peopleland? (I'm going to keep working on that title.) Where no one has cooties and no one is from Mars or from Venus?

Because I just checked the calendar, and what do you know? It's 2011.

Commentarium (31 Comments)

Sep 19 11 - 1:46pm
GeeBee

And if you're a gay male couple, which of you gets to hang out there and which has to run around the store?

Sep 20 11 - 7:03pm
Catherine

Or, if I'm in a lesbian couple, can I only hang there if I am butch and dating a femme girl? What if my femme girlfriend hates couches?

Sep 19 11 - 2:27pm
mp

What would be honestly pretty awesome is if Ikea would open a small bar/lounge for adults only. Serve the same cafeteria foods, add booze, get rid of the family stuff, except maybe a giant ball pit

Sep 19 11 - 2:37pm
YES

Giant ball pits are the JAM.

Sep 19 11 - 2:43pm
Kel

" hot dogs, foosball tables, video games, and flat-screen TVs showing nothing but sports..." Are all the men who come to Ikea fourteen years old?

Sep 19 11 - 3:35pm
src

Apparently they are, in Australia.

Sep 19 11 - 4:44pm
lezley

@Kel

You've never been to Australia, then.

Sep 19 11 - 10:30pm
Dea

@mp
That WOULD be awesome! Maybe a trampoline too?

Sep 21 11 - 9:30am
John

And, if they are smokin', let the lesbians in !

Sep 19 11 - 3:07pm
Ryan

Man, who saw Nerve being offended by this? Honestly, I'm surprised.

Maybe if you guys changed it up every once in awhile and chose not to take just ONE news item as an attack against one of the genders, you could keep me on my toes. As of now it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that all these articles have 2 sentences of half-hearted devil's advocacy, followed by 2 or 3 paragraphs of condemnation.

Sep 19 11 - 3:40pm
S

Wish they'd open up the kids' area to adults once in awhile.

Sep 20 11 - 8:30pm
Stephanie

I don't know... I think I'd be worried about what the kids have done in the ball pit.

Sep 19 11 - 4:41pm
anon

You know what would be really awesome? Is if people who graduated from college could afford to buy furniture they didn't have to assemble themselves.

Sep 21 11 - 8:51am
Keel

Aw, but I love assembling my own furniture! It's like adult Legos! (not that that means I don't play with real Legos...)

Sep 19 11 - 7:03pm
Pervect

2 thoughts:
Why is it that Australian men who sit on their asses all day eating hot dogs look perfectly trim and well groomed, while American men degenerate into lard buckets who burp and fart too much? And....

What, no porn?

Sep 19 11 - 7:18pm
so-what

Hey lady Author, shut up. Don't take this from us.

Sep 19 11 - 11:24pm
anon

You know what'd be really great? If college graduates earned enough to be able to afford furniture they didn't have to assemble themselves.

Sep 20 11 - 12:51am
a nony mouse

amen

Sep 20 11 - 1:44am
yeah

i third that notion.

Sep 20 11 - 10:09pm
julian.

I found this confusing. It is kind of sad and funny that this is a thing that exists. Is shopping for assembly required furniture really that bad? I guess it doesn't have the benefit of assembled furniture which you can sit on. Man, I love Kittles, so many comfy couches.

Really though, I'm just upset that there is no ball pit.

Sep 21 11 - 11:37am
Flyingkal

"Isn't the point of shopping for your home together... shopping for your home together?"
Well, IME (being from Sweden and growing up with assembled furniture from the very first IKEA store) the man usually don't have alot to say in the picking out of lamps and duvets anyway. He's usually just there to load the stuff on the trailer/in the truck and take it home...
So, whatever reduces the congestion in the warehouse itself is a plus in my book.

"And what about the men who like picking out duvet covers and lighting fixtures, and the women who'd prefer to watch TV?"
I seriously doubt that there are armed guards forcing the men into the lounge...
And the women who'd prefer to watch TV are probably just staying at home in the first place

Sep 21 11 - 5:56pm
Treefinger

I don't even get this. When I was a kid (and now, since I'm only a young adult so I'm not concerned with nest-feathering yet), all 30+ year old adults, regardless of gender, seemed weirdly fascinated by furniture in a way I couldn't understand ("it's just a table... why spend all day in IKEA when you could be shopping for toys/video games/clothes, mum and dad?!"). Is there really a stereotype that men hate furniture shopping? Or is it a new one based on the "manchild" phenomenon?

Sep 25 11 - 1:20pm
jpark

Absolutely brilliant!! I am tired of wasting gas idling in a parking lot with the air conditioning and talk radio....and women, please understand that your men do love you, do want to spend time with you, but shopping is a hobby for many women and men just don't care for it....well, many men....

Sep 28 11 - 2:56pm
Karla

How about "Slackerland"? It gets rid of problematic gendered assumptions, and rightly points out that the other party is the one doing all the work. ;-)

Oct 02 11 - 3:35pm
Kahloe

To be honest (as a girl who was dragged around Ikea much of her childhood and later teenagerhood) both of my parents got a giant kick out of ikea. I watched as all the little kids got to go have fun while I along with the other teenagers plugged in our ipods and exchanged long suffering looks.what I could never understand was why I couldn't stay at home?if you don't want to be there then don't go-why create a pointless distraction?

Oct 08 11 - 5:05pm
eyejay

i think this is just disgraceful and, at the risk of getting under people skin, a really anti male story. The idea that a man needs to be left in a daycare to be looked after while his wife shops is so condescending it makes me see red. Its a new century for equality between genders, so why is it all of a sudden that the typical man is thought of as an unruly child who needs constant supervision from not just a wife, but anyone in general. In our efforts to become a more woman friendly culture we have swung the pendulum to far and now we are a hostile culture towards men. Im not comparing the troubles of men in the presnt to the troubles of women in the past, but im saying that gender equality means just that EQUALITY. and if you dont want to go to ikea with your wife then just dont fucking go! just dont act supprised when she runs off with Sven, the blond swedish guy she met in the Jagenplutz aisle

Nov 23 11 - 2:53am
Latrice

A wonrdeful job. Super helpful information.

Nov 24 11 - 6:20am
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