Let them wear purses: a call for male handbags

Zach Petroff | Opinions Editor

Feb. 16, 2023

If you could go back in time, what would you do?

Would you go back and prevent a human tragedy? Would you spend one last time with a loved one? Or would you go back and find your younger self and give them some needed advice?

Like most questions, I only asked so I could give my answer.

If given the opportunity to bend the fourth dimension I would find the person (or people) responsible for not allowing purses to be acceptable attire for men and show them the ills of their ways.

Men have been deprived of the luxury of having a fashionable alternative in which to carry their items in. This inability to accessorize a handbag with a male outfit, might just be the reason that men start so many wars.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, why not just wear a purse?

As progressive as I like to think that I am, I am still instilled with three decades of toxic masculinity. I come from a town where it is considered “odd” behavior that I’m not working on my second marriage. If I showed up wearing a purse I would be chased out of town with pitchforks.

I do not have the self-confidence or a stable enough childhood to wear a purse.

I have always been told that men get pockets and women get purses. If that is the case, whoever negotiated that social contract is probably the same person that thought jean jackets were a good idea.

The problem with pockets is that on a standard pair of slacks or jeans there are only two real usable pockets.

The back pockets are as convenient as a hiccup. One rear pocket is designated for a wallet. This ill-designed money and card carrier provides a level of discomfort and imbalance. The rectangle shape is probably imprinted on my back side like a crappy tattoo.

Then there is the other back pocket. A useless piece of fabric that is only designed for flat and bendable objects.

Why must a man fit his life in two pockets? What person can go through the day with only two front pockets worth of stuff? While phones and keys take up a majority of room we are left to play Tetris without loose change, gum, pens and pencils.

Talking about pens and pencils, I have never experienced pain like reaching into my pocket and poking the flesh between my thumb and index finger on a pencil. It is probably near the same type of pain one experiences during childbirth, only worse because nobody is expecting it.

I long for the day where I am able to not just take the bare necessities with me on my daily journey. The freedom that comes with being able to walk around with luxury items such as tissues, chewing gum and even perhaps a small snack must be invigorating.

Plus, purses bring about the joy of being able to match an outfit. I would spend so much money on different handbags that accentuated not only what I was wearing, but also my personality. The amount of creative planning that men are losing out on probably explains why we truly are simple creatures.

I applaud this generation for bringing back the fanny-pack. These second-place items are a good start in the quest to de-gender purses, but they lack the freedom and fashionability that handbags have.

I always urge pushing boundaries, and that includes fashion. If we could shed our reservations about gendered items this world might just be a slightly happier place.

I know the male species has had it pretty easy these past millennium, and perhaps we don’t deserve the convenience of being able to carry essential items with us, but a man can still dream.