Male exclusive spaces enable and dismiss discussion of misogynist violence, as they did during the 2017 U.S. presidential election. In the decade and a half prior, men-only, homosocial, domestic “man caves” became a cultural trend. Given man caves’ popularity and potential to enable patriarchal oppression, we ask: what do man caves suggest about masculinity’s vitality in an era wherein patriarchy reigns, but challenges to hegemonic masculinity are evident? To answer, we textually analyze Man Caves, DIY (Do-It-Yourself) cable channel’s renovation reality show. From a feminist perspective, we examine how Man Caves constructs “neo-orthodox masculinity,” our term for masculinity that recovers and challenges old forms of masculine capital. Through mutually contradictory themes, Man Caves makes over masculinity in ways that respond to feminism as a movement to end patriarchy. We conclude by considering how feminist anger, hope, and activism may exploit the vulnerabilities that neo-orthodox masculinity highlights.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cultural Studies
- Visual Arts and Performing Arts