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Shelf policing: how books (and cacti) make women too ‘spiky’ for men

“How to avoid turning your home into a MANrepeller”, the Daily Mail proclaimed from atop the mountain on Sunday. “Interiors therapist reveals the items that could be making your abode offputting to men.”

It could be forgiven for wanting to jump on the Marie Kondo bandwagon, but the twist obviously had to be that the gaze you must please is not your own, but a man’s.

Femail’s nominated manrepeller was a journalist named Liz Hoggard, and her salvation came in the form of life coach Suzanne Roynon, whose mission is to “clear your past and present clutter to create a new relationship in your life”.

How does it work in practice? Well, there are a number of rules. You should not have too many paintings of “strong, iconic” but single women in your home; cacti are bad because they’re “too spiky”.

Bedrooms should be “a boudoir to welcome a man into”, where he feels comfortable and “not squashed out by anything else”. We’d already been told that men can feel threatened by confident women, women earning more than men and women expecting pleasure from sex but “menacing bedside furniture” is a new one.

Speaking of bedrooms – books apparently aren’t allowed in there, as they are a room for “sleep and love”. This raises some questions. Does it mean that if you like reading a book in bed you must then go put it back elsewhere in the house just before falling asleep? Is one book (singular) in the bedroom fine but two or more forbidden? What if you do find a partner thanks to your attractive new flat and he also enjoys reading in bed, does this create a loophole? Should you read this singular book together at the same time? Any word on Kindles?

Roynon doesn’t expand on these particular

Article source: https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2019/feb/11/shelf-policing-how-books-and-cacti-make-women-too-spiky-for-men

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