Domestic Dudes: The story of a new consuming class

Sandeep Dutta

Introduction

Once upon a time there was a clear and sharp divide between the men's and women's world. Masculine identity was defined as a hegemonic one, the man having a paid job in the public sphere, allowing him to provide economic resources for the family, to become the household head and to be absent from the domestic space. Domestic space was traditionally considered a feminine space; while the public space a masculine one. Nowadays many earlier assumptions are challenged by ongoing transformations towards the democratization of gender relations. Alternative patterns of gender identities are emerging that reconsiders the importance of private lives and domestic space. This paper focuses on the manifestation of masculinity in the domestic space in India, one that demonstrates signs of reduction of gender differences and of emergence of alternative domestic masculinity that actively engages itself with everyday domestic chores. The purpose of this paper is to dissect the emerging notion of domestic masculinity and identify what is driving Indian men to tie the apron at home and its impact on how men buy and consume household products and brands. The paper makes a strong argument to marketers to acknowledge the growing trend of equal sharing of domestic chores between millennial couples and target household brands to them and not treat the husbands as bumbling idiots who are best ignored and kept away from the domestic space.

The multi-faceted men of today