WTF Files: IKEA's MÄNLAND
Hey men! You know what's worse than a trip to IKEA with your wife or girlfriend? NOTHING. Because the torture of walking up and down the aisles of the Swedish housewares store is apparently nigh unbearable for men (seriously, picking out throw pillows is SO HARD), an IKEA in Australia has come up with an infantilizing solution: MÄNLAND, a daycare for dudes.
What's the IKEA word for barfing in your mouth? BARFKLINGSTÄÄD?
Like the SMALAND daycares present in all IKEA retailers, MÄNLAND offers entertainment for those unable or unwilling to handle a 30-minute shopping trip. Unlike SMALAND, MÄNLAND is for grown-ass adults. Now, I understand that IKEA can be a daunting place (though not as confusing as the above video would have us believe—I for one have never been hypnotized by the textiles there), but to imply that men either cannot or should not be expected to participate in a shopping trip there is ludicrous. All this "daycare" accomplishes (beyond publicity) is to reinforce the notion that men are basically children who can't accomplish simple household tasks like buying pots and pans.
The reminder buzzer that sounds after 30 minutes takes this idea to the next level by suggesting that women—only heterosexual couples are considered here—won't even remember that they brought their "partners" (you know, the guys who are watching "footy" instead of sharing in household chores) with them in the first place. That's how useless husbands are, amirite ladeez?
The man-holding-a-purse-while-his-wife-shops image is nothing new, and it makes sense that some men might not want to shop with their female partners for ladythings like bras or dresses (same goes for women and dudethings like boxer shorts or nose hair trimmers). However, IKEA is a gender-neutral store filled with items like bookshelves and couches—why can't a man shop there? And aren't we to assume that he and his wife live together and therefore will both want to use that futuristic-looking plastic bag holder? Is a trip to IKEA really just TOO MUCH for men? (No, it isn't.)
On the flip side of this MÄNLAND coin, why aren't women allowed? If IKEA is so taxing a place to be in, shouldn't both men and women be able to take a shopping break with a video game and a free hot dog? Maybe even *GASP* together?
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