"If you ask men if they spend any time hiding, they usually look at
you as if you're nuts. 'What, me hide?' But if you ask women
whether men hide, they immediately know what you mean."--from
"Where Men Hide" "Where Men Hide" is a spirited tour of the dark
and often dirty places men go to find comfort, camaraderie,
relaxation, and escape. Ken Ross's striking photographs and James
Twitchell's lively analysis trace the evolution of these virtual
caves, and question why they are rapidly disappearing.Ross
documents both traditional and contemporary male haunts, such as
bars, barbershops, lodges, pool halls, strip clubs, garages, deer
camps, megachurches, the basement Barcalounger, and Twitchell
examines their provenance, purpose, and appeal. He finds that for
centuries men have met with each other in underground lairs and
clubhouses to conduct business or, in the case of strip clubs and
the modern rec room, to bond and indulge in shady entertainments.
In these secret dens, certain rules are abandoned while others are
obeyed. However, Twitchell sees this less as exclusionary behavior
and more as the result of social anxiety: when women want to get
together, they just do it; when men get together, it's a
production.Drawing on literary, historical, and pop cultural
sources, Twitchell connects the places men hide with figures like
Hemingway and Huck Finn, Frederick Jackson Turner's theory of the
American frontier, and the mythological interpretations of Joseph
Campbell and Robert Bly. Instead of blaming the disappearance of
the man-cave solely on feminism, simple fair play, or the demands
of Title IX, Twitchell believes this evaporation is due as well to
the rise of solitary pursuits such as driving, watching television,
and playing videogames.By blending together anecdote, research, and
keen observation, Ross and Twitchell bring this little-discussed
and controversial phenomenon to light.
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