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Strong enough for a man, but made for a groom? | Manolo for the Brides

Strong enough for a man, but made for a groom?

I tend to think of the items on the common wedding registry as being fairly unisex. Everyone…okay, almost everyone…uses things like plates and glasses, deli slicers, and toolboxes. Then again, plenty of wedding registries I’ve seen have included stuff like iron sconces and votive holders. If you think decorative items are intrinsically feminine, then I suppose plenty of registries do err on the side of girly.

Um, power tools and what?

But is the answer a wedding registry designed specifically for dudes? The Man Registry claims to be the worlds first registry that puts the Reggie back into registries. (Hey, you try making a good registry pun!)

TheManRegistry.com is the world’s first wedding gift registry for grooms. We offer hundreds of products geared specifically toward men. The days of men being content with dishes, hand towels, and linens as wedding gifts are over. With The Man Registry, grooms everywhere can pick out the barbecue grills, tools, bar glasses, and electronics they’ll need to start their new marriage.

Three brothers started TheManRegistry.com in 2007 when they noticed that many of their close friends and family were getting married, but too often were registered for gifts that were strictly geared toward the kitchen. Where were the gifts that the groom could get excited about? It was clear that creating a wedding registry tailored to grooms was necessary.

Some of the products listed in their Top Ten include the Black & Decker Cordless Screwdriver and the Pharos Science 3.5 GPS Navigator. Now, correct me if I’m way off base here, but I would say that nearly every single female I know has both a screwdriver set and a GPS. I can’t say I like the fact that The Man Registry is pushing these things as toys for boys and spreading the myth that chicks all lust after hand towels.

I guess I am just not seeing why an entirely separate man-oriented registry is necessary when many department stores have both linens and power tools. Why are grooms-to-be who want to set up a killer bar not simply adding shot glasses and cocktail shakers to their registries? Have their brides truly taken complete control over all gift options, or are they just looking for something to whine about? I feel like the guys who created the Man Registry said, “I know, let’s create a fake problem so we can make money by providing a solution!”

On a scale of one to ten, I would skip the numerical system altogether and rate this site as pretty pointless.

30 Responses to “Strong enough for a man, but made for a groom?”

  1. Twistie April 22, 2008 at 11:40 am #

    Most places that have bridal registries allow you to put anything they sell on the registry. That’s why some people think it’s funny to register for a bag of Cheetos at Target.

    The reason I didn’t suggest registering for any tools Mr. Twistie might need when we were getting married was simply because he had pretty much everything he wanted in that regard. I figured if I needed a hammer or a soldering iron, I could use his.

    When my brother and his wife went to register, he was the one who fell in love with the formal china pattern.

    I’m with you, NtB. This is making up a pretend problem and ‘fixing’ it based on stereotype and lack of thought. After all, even if the woman is more interested in the color and texture of those handtowels, the man is still going to end up using them, too. And just because there’s a chop saw or a big screen TV on the registry doesn’t mean it was the man who wanted it there.

    These guys can bite me.

  2. Dia April 22, 2008 at 1:02 pm #

    ‘…too often were registered for gifts that were strictly geared toward the kitchen. Where were the gifts that the groom could get excited about?’

    Because kitchens are for women.

  3. Melissa B. April 22, 2008 at 1:22 pm #

    For the record, my sweetie was the one who nixed putting video games on our registry, and he is super excited about the prospect of getting a deluxe food processor and sharper, shinier kitchen knives. All of these items can be registered for at department stores, Crate & Barrel, and Amazon.com. So yeah, this site sounds a) pointless and b) trades in outdated stereotypes.

  4. Nariya April 22, 2008 at 1:30 pm #

    My husband put all of the cooking utensils on our wedding registry. He loves the cooking. I, on the other hand, registered for a Nintendo Wii.

    Thanks, stereotypes!

  5. Megan April 22, 2008 at 2:08 pm #

    I think everyone is over reacting just a little bit. I checked out the website and I have to say I think it’s kind of funny, and there were a few things on there that I would register for. And honestly, three of my closest friends who got married recently had a hard time getting their hubbies-to-be a part of the planning process…this seems like a fun and harmless site that might help that a little bit.

  6. Pencils April 22, 2008 at 2:26 pm #

    Technically, since we’re married, everything is now “ours”–but before we got married last year, I owned TWO GPS devices, while my husband owned none. Pbbbt! to you, ManRegistry. I also had my own cordless screwdriver for years before meeting my husband.

  7. Pencils April 22, 2008 at 2:28 pm #

    And my husband was the one who picked out and got very excited about the Japanese Global kitchen knives on our registry. They are fabulous knives, I have to say.

  8. Carol April 22, 2008 at 3:16 pm #

    Indeed, I would never have to borrow Mr. Carol’s tools because I have my own (well, I did borrow the miter box, but that was to help him install our new hardwood floor!). He, on the other hand, borrows my kitchen tools all the time, exclaiming “this is cool – what’s it for? Hey, it works great!” So let’s lose the 1950’s gender stereotyping, ‘k?

  9. french April 22, 2008 at 8:08 pm #

    I have just a few things to say in response to the very concept of a “Man Registry”:

    1. I’m the one with the power tools in this relationship, thank you.

    2. What, the men don’t eat the things that get COOKED in the kitchen? Men don’t cook, either?

    3. He loves my sateen sheets and fluffy towels as much as I do.

    4. Deciding what people like based on their gender is not funny, it’s discriminatory. It’s like assuming that all black people love fried chicken and collard greens.

    5. Grooms not wanting to be involved with wedding planning is unfortunately because in the United States, at least, the prevalent social messages that they get are that they should not be. While I agree that this is lamentable, I don’t agree that the way to fix it is to have something specialized and separate for them like the “Man Registry”. Having a more inclusive registry, like those at Target and the like, seems like a much better option – and doesn’t make any assumptions about who is putting what on there. The other nice thing would be if we’d all agree to stop belittling grooms who do want to get more involved as “pansies”, “gay”, “effeminate”, “whipped”, or other hateful things – never mind harassing brides who don’t want to be involved!

    6. I will be more than happy to tell correct the family that I’m the one who put the circular saw on the registry. Politely, of course – but every little bit of erasing stereotypes helps. :)

  10. Mary Anne April 22, 2008 at 9:29 pm #

    Girls. I’m sorry, but I’m with Megan. What’s wrong with calling a registry full of gifts that are universally male oriented “The Man Registry”?? It seems to make a lot of sense to me.

    I looked at the site – it seems they are also trying to educate men on the marriage process. Is that such a bad thing? There are thousands of websites out there that do the same exact thing for us brides.

  11. Never teh Bride April 22, 2008 at 10:35 pm #

    I guess I just don’t see a lot of the gifts on the site as being “universally male oriented,” Mary Anne. Besides the fact that everyone who lives in an apartment or home of their own should have basic tools, the quesadilla maker, margarita smoothie blender, and 17-piece kitchen tool set listed as potential gifts on the site all seem pretty kitcheny (which to the site’s creators translates as girly) to me. In fact, many if not most of the gifts listed are fairly unisex…wine openers, GPS thingies, iPod alarm clocks, and air mattresses are not unique to the male domain.

    But like I said, it’s not the name of the registry that irks me, it’s the fact that they created a problem that’s already been solved (as french said above) by stores like Target, where one can register for a torque horse pneumatic ratchet wrench AND a tablecloth.

    Plus the creators of The Man Registry kind of sell guys short — a lot of their copy implies that no man could possibly care about his home because everyone knows that all he wants out of life is a set of beer steins with billiard balls on them. Personally, I don’t like seeing men stereotyped badly any more than I like seeing women stereotyped badly.

    As for the groom-specific content on the site, it’s all of the get-you-tux/deal-with-the-car/the-stripper-conundrum variety. I don’t see anything about budgeting or choosing a venue or how to write vows or buying favors. I do hope they add more in the future, but for now I’m still going to suggest that grooms read The Engaged Groom if they’re interested in getting more involved in the planning process.

  12. Mary Anne April 23, 2008 at 12:48 am #

    I understand where you’re coming from..I guess. I think we’ve come far enough as a society where we can accept that certain products are always going to be accepted as male oriented and certain ones will always be accepted as female oriented

    Do you get this upset after seeing a Home Depot or Budweiser commercial?

  13. Never teh Bride April 23, 2008 at 8:32 am #

    I’m not particularly upset at the site, Mary Anne…I just think it’s an idea (“men like power tools”) that doesn’t necessitate this level of solution (“a registry billed as just for dudes”) when couples can already register for everything from coffee pots to tire irons to pool tables at department stores, Target, Amazon, and so forth.

  14. Pencils April 23, 2008 at 11:35 am #

    Mary Anne–I don’t agree that some products are always going to be male-oriented and some female. My husband cooks more than I do, and I like to cook. I also know a lot more about how a car works than he does–I’m the one who checks the tire pressure and changes the oil. (I’d do more but it’s impossible on modern cars without computers and stuff.) I think that in a few generations, that sort of gender stereotyping will fall by the wayside. As it should.

  15. rabrab April 23, 2008 at 11:58 am #

    I don’t think that the Man Registry creators are trying to create a problem so that they can make money by solving it; I think that the problem does exist for a lot of grooms (fewer than before, yes, but still a lot of them.)

    Why do so many of the readers here think that it’s not a problem? It’s because this is a self-selecting readership, and by the very nature of the writing that draws us here, we’re all willing to seriously consider non-traditional ideas about weddings. The readers of more traditionally-oriented (“It’s all about the bride”)blog probably won’t have that same openness (if they were looking for something non-traditional, they wouldn’t be reading those blogs. It’s circular.)

    The end result is that if you took a poll of the your readers, a high percentage would probably say that the groom had input on what goes on the registry, as a matter of course. The readers of the Wedded Bits blog probably wouldn’t, considering that there is one (count ’em — ONE!) entry in the category “The Guy’s Guide” but 20 for dress designers, 19 about dresses and 7 about accessories. And that blog’s less than a month old. That ratio makes their attitude pretty clear; and it’s that the groom isn’t a big part of the picture. Those are the grooms who need the Man Registry — the ones who are necessary for the marriage but irrelevant to the wedding.

  16. Melissa B. April 23, 2008 at 12:08 pm #

    That’s a really good point that hadn’t occurred to me, rabrab. My friends, male and female, would never need something like The Man Registry because they happily register together for kitchen knives, linens, a new stereo, and awesome barware, and both members of the couple would use all of those things.

    But I can see how a lot grooms might end up feeling left out of the whole process, since so many wedding sites are super bride-oriented and there still seems to be a large set of people who think the groom doesn’t get a say in anything except the identity of the bride. For those guys a “Man Registry” might be something fun they can do to feel like part of the process. But I’d still rather see a site that encourages couples to plan together, rather than reinforcing the “men don’t get to have a say in weddings and need their own special separate site” idea.

  17. Never teh Bride April 23, 2008 at 12:10 pm #

    I think what they need, rabrab, isn’t a registry of their own, but rather some new brides.

    If I was a guy being told I was irrelevant to the wedding, I’d start seriously wondering where and when else I’d be consider irrelevant! Will the men shut out of the registry be allowed any input into the use of their homes? Do they get to choose their own clothes once the wedding’s over?

    I’m not denying that these super whipped grooms don’t exist, but if they’re that whipped, why would their beastly brides even let them sign up for the Man Registry?

  18. rabrab April 23, 2008 at 4:03 pm #

    Oh, I completely agree that those grooms might want to consider a new bride, but it looks to me like the point of the Man Registry is that they don’t have to ask if they can add something to the registries the bride has already set up– they can make one of their own.

    But there’s also a huge spectrum between “super-whipped” and “deeply involved in the planning” with just as much room on the “shut-out” side of the midpoint as there is on the “involved” side.

  19. La BellaDonna April 23, 2008 at 6:01 pm #

    I’m so with NtB on this one! Of course, I believe that anything on a registry that has to do with a home is geared towards women AND men – unless the guys are chained to trees outside, they are also the ones living in the new homes being created. That’s what MAKES a home – living with someone you love. Sometimes it’s a cat, sometimes it’s someone you just married (…and his cat), but if both parties are sharing the real estate, what’s on a registry pertains to both of them.

  20. Twistie April 23, 2008 at 8:00 pm #

    Even fifteen years ago when Mr. Twistie and I were setting up our registry, there was plenty of opportunity to add in things like power tools and TV sets. The one thing that kept Mr. Twistie from choosing things for the registry was Mr. Twistie. I was standing there begging him to have an opinion on ANYTHING AT ALL. If he’d actually expressed a preference for orange and chartreuse polka dotted bath towels or a penis shaped lava lamp, I’d have said okay because he’d bothered to give a crap.

    The one and only reason I can think of where a groom would ‘need’ a separate registry of his own is a situation where he’s got a hell of a lot bigger problems than the fact that he isn’t registered for just the right circular saw or gas grill.

  21. Tobe April 24, 2008 at 1:59 pm #

    This site is harmless, as well as informational. If you all honestly believe that the typical man out there wouldn’t use a site like this – you’re crazy. If I wasn’t already married, I would be telling my fiance to pick out a few things on The Man Registry.

  22. french April 24, 2008 at 9:27 pm #

    Sorry Tobe, but I think that encouraging gender stereotypes is FAR from harmless.

  23. Becca April 26, 2008 at 12:35 am #

    And isn’t part of the feminist movement about being able to choose who you want to be as a person? I love being super girly and I’m proud of that. My fiance loves being a tough man but is sensitive. He’s excited about the things we’re registered for, and I could see him being just as excited about some of the things on that site. So whats wrong with having different outlets for different people in the world? Why does it always have to turn into an issue of repression? No one’s forcing anyone to use the website.

  24. Becca April 26, 2008 at 12:43 am #

    I think it’s rediculous everyone is getting so upset about this website. It’s a fun, informative site for the groom with a cool registry. It’s funny. And maybe it’s just because I’m comfortable with who I am and my gender, but if my fiance wanted to register on a site like that I wouldn’t feel threatend.

    And no one even seems to be acknowleging the fact that it’s got articles for the groom. All along my engagement my fiance has been asking me ten million questions about what he pays for, what he plans, etc. And honesly, has anyone even looked at the website? The layout is classy. It’s not crass or super manly. It seems to me that if those guys wanted to start a sexist website, they would have designed it completely different.

    And isn’t part of the feminist movement about being able to choose who you want to be as a person? I love being super girly and I’m proud of that. My fiance loves being a tough man but is sensitive. He’s excited about the things we’re registered for, and I could see him being just as excited about some of the things on that site. So whats wrong with having different outlets for different people in the world? Why does it always have to turn into an issue of repression? No one’s forcing anyone to use the website.

  25. Melissa B. April 26, 2008 at 4:11 am #

    Becca, the sentences I’m having trouble with are these:

    “The days of men being content with dishes, hand towels, and linens as wedding gifts are over.”

    “Too often [couples] were registered for gifts that were strictly geared toward the kitchen. Where were the gifts that the groom could get excited about?”

    According to the Man Registry, your fiance should not be excited about the things you registered for, because no real man would be content with hand towels and kitchen stuff. Besides, as others have pointed out, the registry itself isn’t really filling a need — you can register for gas grills, GPS devices, video games, and just about anything else at a lot of other places too.

    I don’t think anyone is actually angry or upset or under the impression that The Man Registry is oppressing us. The sales pitch just makes us roll our eyes, and I think NtB summed it up well when she called the registry service “pretty pointless.”

    A good website geared towards grooms, on the other hand, with tips and information, would definitely be a useful thing.

  26. Johanna April 26, 2008 at 7:00 am #

    I think 96% of all wedding related sites, some of which NtB has pointed out earlier, are ridiculous, not just this one. Everything that is particularly, commercially designed to be critical to fill the needs of a person for one day of their lives to me seems irrelevant, pointless and too expensive.

    Just like the nail polish for brides. Any bride can wear what ever polish they like and any non-bride can wear the same shades. They shouldn’t need specific lines for “the engaged”. And any groom can have their power tools in a normal department store, or choose the pastel colored silk linens instead.

    I’m sorry to say that from my point of view the whole business has gotten way out of hand over there in the United States a long time ago. This discussion only underlines it in a sad, sad way. How can something so trivial as gifts cause such a riot that the men want their own site? “Don’t get left behind” ?? Wasn’t this about the two people getting married…

    Enforcing gender stereotypes is just as stupid as fighting them only to prove a point. These kinds of websites will only promote bickering among the two extremities (as we’ve seen).

    I glanced at the site and noticed I could put 8 out of the top 10 items on our registry without consulting the groom, but only because that’s me. I don’t want to fight for keeping girly things girly any more than putting an end to all gender oriented traditions.

    I hate that all my feminist friends disapprove of my work in the kitchen, neglecting the fact I simply like doing it, regardless of traditions, upbringing or expectations. I won’t try to fix the car only because that would be radical, and I won’t mind Mr. Johanna getting excited about vacuum cleaners.

    No matter how deep the war between the genders get, the marriage should be about TWO people and both their needs together, not dividing them even further apart.

    This site will not get the grooms more interested in wedding planning. It will only give the pigs who love it a great way of demeaning the women who like doing the planning and the men who like their women and doing their share in the kitchen.

  27. Never teh Bride April 27, 2008 at 8:57 pm #

    Maybe you missed my comment about the content on the site, Becca, so I’ll just c&p it here:

    As for the groom-specific content on the site, it’s all of the get-you-tux/deal-with-the-car/the-stripper-conundrum variety. I don’t see anything about budgeting or choosing a venue or how to write vows or buying favors. I do hope they add more in the future [and if they do, I’ll definitely recommend it] but for now I’m still going to continue to suggest that grooms read The Engaged Groom or Groom 411 if they’re interested in getting more involved in the planning process.

  28. harold April 2, 2009 at 4:12 am #

    because no guy goes actually wants or cares to read “groom 411” or “engaged groom” if there is any chance at all of getting the guy involved with weddings, it’s going to be through a site like the man registry. not sure if you’ve been paying attention to the wedding blogosphere, but they’ve gotten pretty big over the last year.

  29. Lucy P. February 12, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

    I came upon this for sort of a related reason – I hate all this ridiculous kitchen and “home” stuff that I can easily buy for myself. Yes, it adds up to some amount of money but who cares? I want actual gifts that I personally want. I will never consider a potholder or a plate a gift to me. Point being, if there is a man registry, why can’t there be a woman registry? So women can actually register for things they want, not junk their mothers have in their kitchens?