Australian Ikea creates “Manland,” a giant daycare for men

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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.