The Unbearable, Unbothered Man

It’s not quite laziness. It’s not quite a focusedness. It’s likely a state of being unbothered. For whatever reason, those things contribute to men being terrible.

This in regards to a specific aspect of their lifestyle that is being excused for “efficiency”: there is a culture of man that is so above being disturbed that they will go out of their way to create a work around as to not “stoop” to a level unfit for them. For example: The 5 Day Workshirt.

This Kickstarter project sounds inoffensive enough, a stink and stain resistant shirt that can be worn multiple days in a row without “getting dirty.” There are a few taglines for the product like “No Stink. No Stain. No Problem.” but the particularly offensive one is “Less laundry. More life.” Laundry literally takes you an hour and a half. And the majority of the time you aren’t actively busy. And this is to help save money on buying clothing…? Who is this an issue for? Man-children who don’t know how to do laundry or shop for themselves? Men who are too tied to clothing being the work of the opposite sex that they must cut the act out of their life? No idea.

Regardless, this new “amazing” product was advertised to me and provides an itchy dissatisfaction regarding gender: it doesn’t feel right at all as it’s based in a male psyche of being “unbothered.” This problem would be solved by—I don’t know.—including women in this process and marketing outside of sexy standby scientists rather than just an office man doing extreme things like riding a bike and lounging with a laptop. Moreover, they conjure powerful “uniformed” men—Barack Obama, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein—to reenforce that clothing is a decision that you are above.

Obviously this is tied to the tech man mentality which, as we all know, is known for its man problem. Products like this, by and for the unbothered tech man, represent a need to cut out things that are below you and remotely womanly in order for you to be your most productive. This item isn’t singular either as Soylent has made a name for itself by cutting out something else gendered: cooking. Apps like Handy and their “We clean for you!” business hopes to free up your time from tidying up.

There’s something so myopic, almost rude, about these product that resonates an “I’M ABOVE THIS!!” attitude. Yes, these are undoubtedly by and for the tech industry’s male monsters but it’s undeniable that tech men are exaggerations of all men at their worst (and sometimes best). These products that are created aren’t serving a need other than the utility of bros who can’t be bothered by tasks. These things are born of male culture, of people who must be undisturbed by trivial tasks like shopping, cooking, and cleaning.

If there were ever a time to examine maleness as a poisonous culture that serves itself, looking inwardly instead of outwardly for answers so that they can ironically cut out anything related to women save for sex, it’s products like these. They strip life of both creativity and commonness while reenforcing terrible tropes of what men and women should be doing with their time.

So, no, 5 Day Workshirt: I see you and I call you on your bullshit. It’s not because you are a bad product (It’s fine.) it’s because it’s representative of so much more: the toxicity of the unbearable, unbothered man.

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