A friend of mine who had spent time in Australia told me about this movement. Essentially, it’s a group of often older men that get together and do various projects, things like building a neighborhood playground, making furniture, repairing engines, helping a member do home improvements. It’s a bit on the touchy-feely side, with lots of rhetoric about men sharing their emotions and the like, but it’s still essentially masculine. It appears to be mostly older men, who will often mentor younger men and teach them various handy skills.
Their choice quote is “men don’t talk face to face, they talk shoulder to shoulder.” The idea being, men tend to bond over accomplishing practical things together, not sitting in front of each other, talking about their feelings and hugging.
Evidently, some mentally unstable feminists (redundant, I know) objected; men aren’t allowed to have freedom of association under gynocentrism. A typical attack from an unhinged feminist goes like this:
why it was decreed that men needed sheds more than women. Which sex has historically had the power to barricade itself in its study/club/recently conquered country and relax with a glass of port? Conversely, whose lives have traditionally been dominated by serving the needs of others? Whose concentration is most often broken by calls on her (oh, I’m sorry – have I given the game away?) time from children or co-habitees who still don’t know where the clean towels are kept, and miscellaneous idiots at work who believe that it is the nearest woman’s job to clear up the literal and metaphorical messes they leave behind?
Yes, women need sheds far more than men. Where’s our charitable funding? I’m writing this in a freezing loft conversion and can hear husband and baby coming up the stairs to get me, though at least only one of them is crying at the moment. What I wouldn’t give for a dozen metres of muddy turf and a tangle of thorny thicket to deter them. Maybe I’ll just institute a mandatory prostate exam instead. Yes. That ought to do it.
The solipism and self-centeredness comes through loud and clear. But I can understand why unstable feminists would have a problem with such a group; it leads naturally to the lodge: a network of men, more or less formal, which increases men’s social power. That’s why manboobz freaked out over essentially this idea when I called it the Mannerbund. Women naturally see a group of men and want to get their attention, demand to be included, then demand to be catered to, to change the “hostile environment.”
The various leftists and totalitarians hate the idea too, as any organization that is not managed by the state has to potential to curb state power, even in trivial ways. It’s essentially the same reason cultural Marxism attacks the family – nuclear and extended – because it simply means less individuals rely directly on the state.
Some comments on reddit note that Maker Spaces and Hacker Spaces in the US are pretty close to the men’s shed idea, with more an appeal towards high tech and emerging technologies. So far the Men’s Shed movement, started in Australia, has migrated to New Zealand, the UK, and Ireland. Due to legal issues, women are technically allowed to join, but generally speaking women don’t really have an interest in actually participating in such things, aside from the aforementioned attention seeking.
Sounds like a great organization me, and any organization that is sex-segregated is a step in the right direction, and any organization that is private, non-state, and non-business helps rebuild the civil society.
It’s all about entryism. Keep it on the down low, we don’t want to alert them we are planning the glorious revolution from our sheds.