Image credit: Bob Harvey [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
I was innocently browsing a prestigious internet website that definitely didn’t have silly quizzes for me to take, when I found an article about She Sheds. It presented them as “the answer to the Man Cave”. I read it and moved on, but then heard someone talking about She Sheds on the radio on my way to work. At staff meeting that day, someone else mentioned it. Apparently these She Shed things are something to talk about.
A She Shed is a shed in the yard that’s been turned into a private place for the woman of the house to hang out, do girly things, and be alone or with her girlfriends. And the typical She Shed is decked out in frills, lace, and throw pillows. (If you want to go look at pictures, here’s a good round up of them.)
I’ll admit it, a part of me wanted to say “Yay! We deserve our own space too!” and I imagined what my own shed might look like. But then I realized something was a little lopsided. My She Shed wouldn’t fit the profile at all. For one, I’m not a big fan of what Captain Hammer would call lacy, gently wafting curtains. My She Shed would be a place of geekery, possibly looking like a miniature Warehouse 13. There would be a bin full of nerf guns for impromptu fights. Maybe even a 3D printer.
Then it dawned on me: the purpose of a man cave or a she shed is to provide a space to put the things you love to do out of the way of common areas. This need to isolate the things you love to one spot is kind of disturbing to me. Shouldn’t our dwelling places reflect who we are everywhere? If the guys have their man caves and the gals their she sheds, then what is the rest of the house for? (I say this while living in an apartment, so — take it with a glob of purple goo.)
I hope that if I ever have a she shed, or my husband develops a need for a man cave, it is out of a desire to have lots of things I love within arm’s reach rather than a shunning of the hobbies.
Actually, I think this could go one of two ways: either Sheds and Caves become known as a symbol of hen-pecking and forced isolation of the things each gender loves, or it becomes a thing that spreads through warmth, love, and peace, and all of a sudden created spaces pop up everywhere–not just gender based, but interest based as well. Until finally, we hear things like “Oh that? That’s my Whomping Willow fortress. Yes, I hooked it up to animatronics. Why do you ask?”
And to be honest, I hope, I hope, I hope this is just one development in a chain of developments that will someday lead to it being perfectly acceptable for me to have my own bat cave.
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10 thoughts on “From She Shed to Nerd Nook?”
This is great and I love how you challenge whether it may lead to the whole man-space, female-space separator.
My fiance and I both decided we want our own studies: his for a music studio, mine for writing and crafting. This won’t be for a while, we kind of need our own house. Obviously, space will dictate whether you can even accomplish these things. Right now, we make do and it doesn’t bother us because our living room is our geekdom.
Though I think it’s ultimately healthy for couples to have their own space somewhere because you are not one person; we still need time to ourselves. The traditional approach to it is very sexist (the whole man-cave thing…I mean really) mostly because it discouraged men and women from sharing similar interests: a man like cooking for instance and a woman liking to work on cars. Great thoughts!
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Your comment reminds me of my husband and his sisters. He loves cooking, and his sisters often worked alongside my father-in-law at the bus garage, learning how to do car repairs. 🙂
Also made me think about people who do not have the luxury of space to themselves and are forced to display all their interests under the noses of those they live with. That might get to be tiresome after awhile and a place of one’s own would be heavenly.
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I love everything about this article!
I have my little she-cave in my loft – it’s full of all my posters, books, stuffed animals, comics, etc. I love spending time up there when I get the chance 🙂 Myself and my partner certainly don’t think of it as being the only space to keep the things that I love (even though most of it does end up in that space). It’s just a safe place to go when I need to recharge or get away from the world for a little while. My partner has her own space for this as well (Our extra bedroom). We both love each other and our various hobbies, and very often those hobbies end up coming out of our spaces and into common areas. Still, the separate spaces help keep us sane, so they tend to stick around!
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A thought-provoking article. Rather depressingly, my father spent most of his time in his own private garage whenever he was home during my kid years, resulting in us barely seeing each other when I was young. I can certainly see why the concept has the implication of enforcing isolation on either gender for their hobbies, but it’s also not too different from, say, an introvert needing a private space that can be their retreat for the stressful times. I know I need something like that.
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Yes, I totally agree. Sometimes having an isolated space is a healthy thing. (Introvert here.) 🙂
Hence why I might consider a whomping willow: wards away anyone who doesn’t know how to get in.
I just hope people can feel free to share their times of calm and geeking out with others when they need to instead of being relegated to a confined space and basically told their interests are not appreciated.
I was just talking about this! I’ve been talking about how I wanted to build a writers space, and then the topic of She Sheds came up. And honestly… I don’t want a She Shed. I want a Bat Cave. Or a Fortress of Solitude (I’m not THAT much of a Superman fan – but it sends the message to the kids to stay out, I guess). Get my desk, set up my POP Vinyls and action figures… and just write!
Same here! I’ve actually been doing research on famous writer’s spaces to create my own. And it’s really made me wonder what effect solitude and ownership of a space has on writing. Did you know E.B. White wrote in a literal shed while sitting on a hard bench and with nothing else around him? Talk about solitude and focus!
I really want a “Whomping Willow fortress” now ^_^
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Definitely worth clicking the link to see what this is all about…she sheds for the rich and famous haha!
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