The musty hot breeze of summer gushes in through a dark apartment, scattering mothballs and dust. Faded curtains swing on a brown-smeared, dirty mug, which falls over an unkept bed, spilling dregs of coffee onto an already soiled mattress. Boxes of half-eaten pizza and empty beer cans litter the room, and flies buzz around an old rusty computer chair, over which swabs of melted cheese and dirty underwear dangle and swing in the wind…
A horror movie?
No, this is the image which pops into most people’s heads, when they visualize a man’s house. Not any man mind, but a man who lives alone. One of those bachelors, widowers, or merely independent persons who, for one reason or another, prefers his own space or whose circumstances in life have led him to live a certain way.
Maybe it’s the media, maybe it’s the traditional mentality, however it is a fact, that most people seem to believe that men on their own generally end up inhabiting dirty, smelly apartments, eating trashy food, being slovenly and unkept, and having quite a low level of hygiene. It could be that while allocating the tasks of home-maker and care-givers to women, men have therefore always been perceived as being unable to take care of themselves, eat good food, clean the place they live in, and actually lead a healthy, secure and worthwhile existence.
As if without a female to take care of him, every man degenerates into a dowdy primitive creature: part cave-man, part little boy, who lives on burgers and alcohol, whose clothes don’t fit, and whose every-day kitchen appliances are only used as sock-hangers. Someone, in other words, who almost prefers to buy new underwear, rather than face that most terrible of beasts – the washing machine.
Stubbled and bleary eyed, reeking of pee and old socks, these lost men stumble through life searching for a female mate – someone who will take them in hand, cook some chicken and veggies, wash their clothes, make their house habitable, and literally ‘iggibhom ta’ nies’ (turning them into civilised human beings) as the Maltese saying goes.
It is sad – very sad – to see men so portrayed, and to realize that the same musty mentality which erroneously marginalised and labelled women throughout history, was actually doing the same to men all along.
Thing is – during the past one hundred years, women’s place in the world has totally changed, until at last (in most cases at least), we thought that finally men and women were really starting to be perceived as equal. However, this is blatantly not true when it comes to certain particular concepts and issues, and this, obviously, is one of them.
Personally I know quite a number of men (both young and old) who live on their own, and yes many of them live in clean houses, cook healthy food, wash their clothes, and actually DO know how to live independently, without the need for a female to act as their nursemaid. On the other hand I also know quite a number of people (male and female) who, though they live with their parents, significant other or flatmates eat only junk food, always wear the same soggy dirty clothes, and who announce their presence wherever they go with a certain identifiable smelly reek.
In conclusion, it does not matter whether you live alone or in company, if you are responsible, smart, and self-sufficient, this will be apparent in the way you live.