evolutionIn her article Wanted: A Few Good Men (With Scissors) Kelly Crow reports that the scrapbooking industry is casting its net to catch men.

“The $2.6 billion scrapbook industry is undertaking a delicate PR campaign. “For the past 15 years, it has enjoyed a dot-com-style boom by selling sparkly paper, flowery stickers and cheery albums to scrapbookers – predominantly women … But with sales tailing off, the industry has a new plan: Get a few of the nation’s 138 million men to pick up a pair of zigzag scissors.”

Apparently the industry has produced a lot of man-type papers with tractors and barn doors, and stamps with deer and war medals, primarily to appeal to men – and I thought they were for us so we didn’t have to put our men in flowery frames!

The CHA have only just started counting men and, would you believe it, they found, “Just over one million men made scrapbooks in their spare time last year.”

The article lists a handful of examples from a media executive, an actor, and a film producer, to a firefighter who gave up and outsourced the job; a graphic designer who wants his kids and grandkids to know what matters to him because he didn’t know what mattered to his parents after their death; and a jet mechanic whose scrapbook helped win a lawsuit!

But I must confess the thing that really got my back up was Shelli Gardner’s (of Stampin’ Up) comment. She is quoted as saying,

“Men have got to have a place in this hobby. They may not be begging for it, but we need them.”

No, Ms Gardner, men do NOT have to get into this hobby – and certainly not to shore up your or anyone else’s business! If you’ve had jam for a time and now need to prepare for a lean season do what’s necessary to prepare for that season, but do not insist men have to get involved in a feminine, decorative artform.

As one post on Debbie Schlussel’s site said …

“I get much more enjoyment out of using real wrenches on real lug nuts. [Rather than stickers and paper.] There’s something about men that makes us prefer to fix things instead of decorate things.”

And Against the Motion

I rather think that Ms Schlussel was not impressed with this article, either. I wonder what gave it away? Could it have been her opening remarks that …

Readers of this site know that I document the frequent attempts in America to feminize America’s men and blur the genders.

or was it perhaps her closing remarks …

Men and scrapbooking. Al-Qaeda and the rest of the world are training their men to destroy us and we’re training our men to . . . be women.

In fact she hit the nail on the head!

Man Card

I also have to agree whole-heartedly that the best bit of the whole thing was Mike Cargill, a product manager for car-parts maker Axiom Automotive in Phoenix, who says he …

… enjoys sitting down with his 10-year-old daughter and flipping through the scrapbooks his wife makes, but he’s not about to start laying out new pages. “Working in the automotive industry, you’re never going to see me walk into work with a scrapbook under my arm,” Mr. Cargill says. “I would probably have to cash in my Man Card.”

There’s a world of difference between appreciating and using a family scrapbook to have quality time and discussion with your children, and insisting a man has to make one. Ladies, we don’t appreciate the caveman image where he pulls his woman along by her hair. Neither should we pull a man along by his necktie to the scrapbooking table.

I’m also inclined to leave the final word with Mr Cargill.

I am the Mike Cargill that you excerpted from the WSJ article on Men and Scrapbooking.

Your blog is hilarious and RIGHT ON THE MONEY. I must say that I found it pitiable and hilarious that the scrapbooking industry has tried to target me as a “new market”. I can understand men needing to connect to their kids, document hobbies, or single dads trying to find ways to build bridges to their daughters….but, seriously…SCRAPBOOKING???

I think I speak for the vast majority of men who are not “testicularly challenged” when I say that there is no way that I would be caught or “not-caught” dipping into any estrogen-laden hobbies anytime soon. It is the hazing of traditional boundaries that has caused men to stop being men. It may even be the reason why some women have started BECOMING men.

I can’t create an egg, and you can’t fertilize one. And from there the boundaries begin and should not end. Men did just fine existing in most ways (except for taking out the trash and wiping our feet on the doormat) until somebody decided our job was to be male but not manly. Testosterone is God’s gift to me and I will use it in judiciously massive doses until the day my creator ceases to find me amusing to Him.

Now I have to go start my motorcycle, hit the road, and scare some screams out of the effeminate male commuters in their hybrid SUV’s.

The Nub of the Issue

So here we are … Is this simply a self-preservation tactic by the scrapbooking industry? Or another nail in the coffin of the American Man?

Well, Dear Reader, which side of the argument would you take? Add your comments below.


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