September 23, 2009, - 2:55 pm
Today’s Wall Street Journal features an article about how “men” are back, when it comes to buying beds. The paper claims that companies specializing in manufacturing beds are now catering to men, after years of pandering to women.
But here are a couple of the beds the paper claims are the new “masculine” offerings.
Do these look like men’s beds to you? Only if you’re talking flamboyant “men” in San Francisco and Washington’s DuPont Circle (affectionately known as “The Fruit Loop”). The only straight guy I can see in either of these beds is Austin Powers, and he isn’t real. Could definitely see Yasser Arafat in one of these.
Here’s a tip: If you’re a guy, and you seek a “stylish” bed, you might play for a different team. Beds are for sleeping (and the other thing). They’re not for style. . . or for looking like a Barnum and Bailey’s circus act.
The Journal reports on one of the guys who bought a bed by Hollandia International, maker of both the above beds. It doesn’t say whether he bought one of these tutti-frutti models or something a tad more conservative. Either way, his wife’s response says it all.
Dave Shapiro, a 33-year-old real-estate investor in Philadelphia, paid $30,000 for a Hollandia International adjustable bed that offers a built-in 32-inch Sony flat-screen TV, surround-sound speakers and outlets for laptops. “The best thing is the TV,” he says. “You don’t have to get up.”
Mr. Shapiro admits his wife was less than enthusiastic when he picked the bed out six months ago. He delighted in showing her that the TV could be lowered into the footboard via remote, and he let her pick out the color and pattern of the mattress fabric. His wife declined to comment.
While women have historically made household bed-buying decisions, the bed industry sees men as a neglected market and hopes that innovative products will rouse them from their spending torpor. In recent years, manufacturers have engaged in something of an arms race to equip mattresses with new comfort features such as memory foam and fancy toppers. Now, the industry is looking to the success of the bigger-is-better entertainment-system craze, which prompted men to equip living rooms with giant-screen TVs, surround sound and music-studio stereos—as well as “man cave” furnishings such as high-tech recliners. The hope: The new man cave is the bed.
Uh, good luck. There are many things I’d call a “man cave,” but that red, ultrasuede bed (which costs $50,000) ain’t one of ’em. The WSJ calls these beds “the Male Sleep Lair.” Lair? I don’t think so. “Lair” evokes a masculine warrior waiting to pounce on prey. For these bed models, “Bathhouse surrogate” or “Elton John After-Party” are far more appropriate.
Nothing wrong with marrying gadgets to beds, but when it comes to a canopied lipstick red ultrasuede neo-futuristic brothel look, there’s nothing masculine about it.
Why must we shove these bright colors and effeminate pageantry on America’s men? Those who do it can only want America to fail. As I’ve noted before, societies without strong men die out. Name a single matriarchy that remains today and is strong and growing. You can’t. There isn’t one.
And the same goes for societies that prize beds fit for . . . a queen. A Girlie-Man Nation isn’t a nation for long.
Tags: Austin Powers, beds, Dave Shapiro, DuPont Circle, effeminate, Fruit Loop, Gay, girlie-man nation, Hollandia International, men, San Francisco, Wall Street Journal, Yasser Arafat