One of the things that saddened me when I worked at an estate agency (apart from brown tiled bathrooms, leylandii, and the whole farce of pretending selling houses was for the good of anyone other than the estate agent) was master bedrooms.
The clue is in the name… the Master bedroom… where the man of the house sleeps.
So what’s with all the pinky, peachy, light and fluffy? What’s with all the cushions on beds, efusive drapery and flouncy valances?
What sort of woman would make her man sleep in a room like that?
What sort of man would let himself? …. any man…. most men probably shrug and say they’ll be asleep mostly in there, it’s very nice dear….mmmm whatever you think… and other stock phrases that maketh for a quieter and easier life.
When we decorated our bedroom I couldn’t bring myself to have anything other than a gender neutral…erring heavily towards the masculine room…. so its dark wood, off white and a wall of dark purplish red.
Knowing what I do now…. I could have gone for a mixture between Barbara Cartlands boudoir and Dolly Partons powder room and Jane would have loved it… but I’d have hated it.
I lived once upon a time in a wing of a house built in 1634…. we had the run of the rest of the house and the Master suite made sense (I guess historically as much as any other way) – the master bedroom was huge and had painted panelling… it lead through to an ensuite bathroom, which led through to a dressing room, which then in turn led through a door into a second bedroom… a lighter brighter frillier bedroom for the lady of the house.
Seperate rooms.. with visitation rights…. how damn civilised.
The reason I’ve been pondering gendered rooms of late is becuase I’ve just signed up to do a Swedish massage course… and massage too has its gendered stereotypes. At the male end is sports massage… or sexual massage… massage with a purpose. At the female end…. lavendar walls, mood lighting, whale music and pampering.
I also know a lot of men who don’t feel totally comfortable at either end… they aren’t dealing with a sports injury, don’t want to be (openly) associated with sleaze… but don’t feel at home with the touchy feelyness of aromatherapy and warm pebbles.
When…if…. I qualify I’d like to do sensory massage that appeals to men… a womb room…dark and warm, lit by candle light… music chosen by the client that ‘they’ feel relaxes them.
Or maybe thats just for me… maybe they’d say it doesn’t matter what it looks like as they’ll be asleep and dribbling for most of the time they are there.