Even I don't always agree with my opinion


Carry A Purse – It’s A Manly Thing To Do

Posted January 16, 2016 by jim young in Lifestyle

“It’s where I keep all my things. Get a lot of compliments on this. Plus it’s not a purse, it’s called a satchel. Indiana Jones wears one.”  – The Hangover

I carry a purse.

I’m not ashamed of it and I don’t get embarrassed when someone points it out.

I have no insecurities about my sexuality and while others may perceive the notion of a man carrying a purse to be somewhat effeminate I accept that this is their problem and not mine.

What is it about a purse that makes it seem unmanly anyway? Men have carried purses long before women were even allowed to own money.

In fact the first known purse was carried by Otzi The Iceman who lived around 3300 B.C.

By the 15th century, both men and women were carrying purses and about 1670 men’s pants were made with built-in pockets eliminating the need for men to carry purses, although small money purses were still carried in their pockets.

The Scottish sporran survived this period and is still used today by very some very macho Scots who even wear dresses. Sorry, I mean kilts.

But with all the jokes about what a Scot wears under his kilt notwithstanding, who would dare question the sexuality of a true Scot such as William Wallace or Rob Roy McGregor?

Even as late as the 1800s men were still carrying purses.

There’s a line from the 1984 version of A Christmas Carol  that describes something being “as tight as your Uncle Scrooge’s purse strings”. Yet Scrooge’s sexuality has never been in question that I am aware of.

In the Americas, purses became known at handbags in the early 1900s. Even then, the handbag was most used as a reference to men’s hand-luggage.

Throughout history – there’s only been a very short period of time (circa later 1900s to 1960s) that men HAVEN’T carried purses. (Coincidentally this also coincides with the only period in history when men typically had short hair. I wonder if there’s a relationship.)

And even though men’s designers began to revive men’s purses in the 1970s, 40 years later there’s still a stigma attached to a man carrying a purse – especially if he refers to it as a purse.

In an episode of Seinfeld, Jerry went to great lengths to insist that he didn’t carry a purse – it was a “European Carry-All”.

It seems that it’s my friends who are most uncomfortable with me carrying a purse and when I reference it they are quick to suggest it’s not a purse, but rather a “murse” or a “man-bag”.

I correct them by saying, “No – it’s a purse”.

Quite frankly a “murse” or “man-bag” sounds a lot gayer to me than does “purse”.

“Not,” as Seinfeld or Costanza are quick to point out, “that there’s anything wrong with that.”

It just makes more sense for me to carry a purse than to have a 2-inch wallet jam-packed with cash, credit cards and ID cards stuffed into my back pocket.

Sitting becomes a balancing act at best.

If carried it in my side pocket, my wallet will restrict the blood-flow to my testicles whenever I sit or attempt to bend over.

Personally I prefer my testicles to be as unrestricted as may be socially acceptable.

I have tried to thin my wallet without much success. I don’t think its contents are unreasonable.

I carry in it a credit card, interac card, health card, driver’s licence, Venture One card, Costco Membership Card, Air Miles Card, Bell Calling Card, Driver’s License, CAA card, S.I.N card, an insurance card for both my wife and I, a library card, Birth Certificate and ½ dozen various loyalty cards.

(Okay – I admit. The Bell Calling Card could probably go but that’s not going to make a big difference.)

That’s almost an inch without even the wallet which is at least another 1.5 inches empty. And that’s not even including pictures of my children and grandchildren, various notes or even cash on the rare occasion that I actually have any.

A purse on the other hand, allows so much more flexibility. In addition to the above mentioned items I also carry, a digital camera, back up batteries, power adapters and various accessories including a table top tripod, a folding pocket utility knife, matches, business cards, Kleenex, bandaids, keys, headphones and my ebook reader/tablet.

There’s even room for my netbook computer.

I can’t even imagine what Otzi The Iceman carried in HIS purse over 5,000 years ago.

It just makes more sense to carry a purse and I’m no less a man because of it.

– 30 –



    Purse’s are for women and sissies. They contain lip gloss, little packets of tissue, spare change and tampons. I used to own a leather brief case and now I carry a courier bag to carry all the weapons of work. And you are right about the crippling wallet syndrome. All those important cards and documents go into the courier bag with the important tools, the problem solved. Calling it a “European Carry-All” or Satchel is just dodging the issue. If it looks frilly and dainty it’s for a woman. If it is floppy and outrageous no one in their right mind should carry it.
    I guess the image at the right of your article really drives it home. It looks like that guy just had a dump in a feedbag.


    Hammerhead – I think you’re making some assumptions here. What makes you ASSUME my “purse” is either “frilly and dainty” or “floppy and outrageous”? (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

    But you’re right about “Calling it a ‘European Carry-All’ or Satchel is just dodging the issue.” That was actually MY point. It’s a purse. “A rose is a rose is a rose…”

    If you’re homophobic on this issue (as you seem to be) – that’s okay too. You can get help for that. Or – you know – don’t – if you really don’t want to.



    Whoa down there. Before we start saying who is afraid of what, reread and you will see that I am not saying that your purse looks like a woman’s purse. In fact, I’m assuming that it is probably utilitarian and a little on the scruffy side. We are talking about the same thing, I think the name isn’t that important but the look is. Like any article of clothing or accessory, there are still some rather clear lines about what is feminine and what is masculine. Yes, the lines are blurring but culture, and the language that is used to describe it, is changing.

    My comment about the fashion choices of the individual in the photo stands.


    Hammerhead – I reread your article like you asked. What you said was and I quote “Purses are for women and sissies.”

    I stand by my position that they are not just for women and sissies – but real men too – and were so long before they became associated with women (and sissies).

    NOW you are claiming that you are “not saying that (my) purse looks like a woman’s purse” but in fact you have already declared that all “purses are for women and sissies”.

    ergo – My purse must be a purse for women and sissies regardless of what it looks like.

    According to your comment – you don’t carry a purse – you carry a “courier bag’ which Wikipedia will tell you is also called a “messenger bag”.

    And Wikipedia will also tell you “Messenger bags are often used as a fashion accessory. While they can be found in the possession of either gender, they are often commonly employed by men in a function analogous to a woman’s purse (that is, to carry bulky items that do not fit into pockets, or a large number of items, while doubling as a fashion accessory). ”

    Your Courier Bag is a PURSE Hammerhead.
    (By the way – I love that your username is Hammerhead. It adds a certain dramatic flair when I call you that.)

    A rose is a rose is a rose… and
    A purse is a purse is purse… and
    A homophobe is a homophobe is a homophobe…

    Oh – and I do agree that the photo on the right looks like a guy that just had a dump in a feedbag. I added it to attract attention to my article. Thanks for validating it’s effectiveness.


    Jim, I am saying that the if the bag is carried by a woman it is a purse and if the same bag is carried by a man it is generally not referred to as a purse. You insist on calling it a purse simply because it is semi-controversial. Cloth wrapped around a woman’s waist is called a skirt but wrapped around a man’s waist it is called a kilt. A rose is a rose.


    In fact, Hammerhead, a kilt actually IS a skirt. But not every skirt is a kilt.

    In my article however, I never made a reference to a kilt being like a skirt – I compared it to a dress which is something different again.

    We’re getting into an area here similar to the difference between parallelograms, rectangles, squares, trapezoids and the rhombus and a topic for another discussion.

    If you read my reference to the kilt and the “dress” in context – it was simply included for comedic relief.

    But according to your logic – if a woman puts on a kilt, it’s a skirt. And if a man puts on a skirt – it’s a kilt.

    Continuing that (your) logic, would it be fair then to conclude that a transvestite in a skirt, carrying a purse – is a Scot?

    Yes, a rose is a rose – but a dandelion isn’t necessarily a marigold. http://www.dogonaroot.com/dandelions-on-my-grave/


    I am a strong advocate of the Fanny Pack. It straps around your waist for hands free carrying. It’s big enough for your wallet, keys, gum, phone and party favorites. In the 80’s everyone wore them. I take a tremendous amount of ribbing when I strap it on. When the party favorites come out I’m a hero and the tune changes.
    I will be the person you can thank when this functional fashion item makes it’s way back into (onto) the style scene.
    You’re Welcome!

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