Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15

Thread: Gender divide on minimalism?

  1. #1
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    9,687

    Gender divide on minimalism?

    Just a few random thoughts on a Saturday morning...

    Since my downsize and my claiming a small seasonal cottage as my primary residence, I've made some observations about the reactions of my friends.

    I'm always a little insecure about showing people my home, wherever it is, because I am a product of the upwardly mobile, acquisitive culture--very much a part of my former CT/NJ life. I've been "upwardly mobile" in terms of wanting to constantly improve myself, but I have never been acquisitive. So when my friends have asked to come visit our lake house, I get instantly anxious, because I'm sure my reality doesn't match up with my friends' expectations of "waterfront property."

    Yet, I've noticed, when the couples come up here, the women are polite ("Oh, this is cute--when are you renovating it?"), but I sense in the body language of their husbands a much deeper appreciation for this "simple living." My DD's future FIL came up for a Taboo party last weekend and he said "You guys are living the life! I wish I could get my wife to do something like this but I can't." And when I had an old colleague/friend visit on their way to Canada, she was also appreciative of the nice afternoon overlooking the lake, but it was her husband who had a smile on his face when he entered the house and surveyed its simplicity.

    Do you think there are more simple aspirations for men that may counter society's expectations of "providing" their families with more and more stuff? Do you think women are more likely to feel they need a bigger nest to feather?

    Just curious.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  2. #2
    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    1,075
    I think men appreciate less fuss (decorating) and less to maintain. I think women are always wanting to feather the nest. I'm atypical in that regard and less is more in my book.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    7,920
    My husband likes bigger so don’t know about the generalization. I prefer small. I could live in 700 sq ft if I was alone but not with someone.

  4. #4
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    2,127
    I'm likely atypical also. I love simple lake homes - probably stemming from our family vacations on Lake Champlain. Those simple accomodations had the happiest memories of childhood. I have more than I need here, and always trying to figure out more to discard.

  5. #5
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    14,867
    Well, I like houses and constantly look at the real estate websites, so I confess to judging most houses
    i enter as “love it for me” or “a big nope for me.”

    What you may be seeing is not so much that the husbands like the minimalism, it may be that the husbands like the minimalism for YOU. They can easily divorce the thought of themselves living in it where perhaps their wives cannot?

    We looked at a 530 sq ft condo recently and DH said it was too small. I thought it was perfect, but then,
    i envisioned only one of us there most of the time. The units one size bigger in the same building are 9xx sq ft and perfect spaces for us if we would bith spend a fair amount of time there.

  6. #6
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    14,867
    Our house in the city is around 1900 sq ft in a Victorian neighborhood where houses of our friends are much bigger, for the most part. Our Hermann house is a modest old bungalow. Some of the people who have seen it live in bigger better houses and probably have ideas of bigger better weekend properties for themselves, and that is ok!

  7. #7
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    10,798
    My SO was a complete minimalist. I am far from it. My father was a minimalist in some ways--until you saw the hundreds of books piled in his corner of the house. My mother used to say of any minimalist's digs "Looks like a hotel room," which I thought wasn't necessarily a bad thing. But her decor tended toward the rococo, which I still appreciate. Just not for me, particularly. I enjoy a wide range of decorating styles, accent on the "style" part.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    3,047
    I see both genders on "Hoarders".

  9. #9
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    By a lake in MO
    Posts
    4,664
    My MIL a NY/SouthernBelle first said of our house "well I suppose it's a nice starter home". We've been here 27 years. Her husband would of loved it..
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

  10. #10
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Eastern Massachusetts
    Posts
    4,366
    I have always been pretty proud of our incredibly tiny and humble abode, but in recent years I find I'm a bit embarrassed by our kitchen. Of course, it looks worse than ever as a work in progress, but I think my feelings about the kitchen mean it's high time to do something about it, and a work in progress means something is happening!
    As far as the sexes go in our house, DH is definitely more minimalist than I am. There is no question that most of the stuff in the house was acquired by me. It's easy to think that minimalists are super cool and unencumbered as they go through life, but then there are the times that they actually need something. The other day, DH decided he needed to wear a pair of disposable latex gloves for a project, and he got a pair from the cellar. He complained to me that they were too small. I said, "Well I bought them for me and I have small hands." He glared and said "You should probably buy some large ones." I said "Well nobody ever told you that you couldn't buy disposable gloves." (My gloves are the remainder of a two-box purchase from Costco from about 20 years ago that are almost gone. Shows you who does the dirty work around here!)

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •