I would think of myself as a very liberal person. I was raised by a feminist mother in the 70’s who took me to pro-choice marches in America and told me, “I don’t care who you bring home for dinner, gay, straight, boy, girl, black, or white, just as long as they are nice.” I come from a large family and one of my close relatives is gay. My whole liberal family are completely accepting of their homosexuality.
Even as a parent, with my kids I have never been gender specific with their sports or toys or even clothes. I have said countless times to my kids, “There is no such thing as a toy just for girls or just for boys. There are just toys.” One Halloween, I dressed my identical toddler twin boys as girls with the frilly dresses and all.
This year, my husband and my four youngest are living in the beautiful South of France so I can get re-educated after raising my little darlings for the last 17 years (okay, maybe not darlings, but you know…..I am the mother :)).
My husband returned home with the kids to Dublin for the Halloween break, and when he walked through the door, he was wearing a handbag! Holy Sweet Mother of God, a cross-body, multi- compartment handbag. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my handbags, but this on him – what? – What have the French done to him? Where has my American baseball cap- wearing husband gone? Do I have to go out in public with him wearing this?
But the state of this handbag, it had to go. It was black, small, and very effeminate. So off I went to the outlets in Kildare because well, if he was going to wear a handbag, it was going to be the manliest one I could find. I ended up buying him a Hugo Boss leather bag which looked a little more manly (emphasis on little) than the one he had. See photo above for a look at the one I purchased, being modelled by the salesman in Hugo Boss.
I have always been a huge tomboy, and my husband and I have this running joke where he asks me, “Who’s the man?” and I say, “I’m the man.” lol. Only, now,I honestly think the man bag makes me feel like “the man.” I gave him a hard time about it and was waiting for the, “Oh, it’s just a joke. I actually did it just to rile you up,” but that was not happening. We have been married a long time, and he is just starting to carry a handbag now? I feel like I was sold a different version of a man, one who would never even consider this accessory choice. He should have come with a sign that read, “Warning man who may carry handbag; marry at your own risk.”
An article in the LA Times entitled, “In China, Alpha men carry designer purses” states, “Designed for men, many of these guy purses often known as shou bao in Mandarin would be right at home in the women’s handbag section of an upscale department store. Popular styles include the oversize wallet with wraparound zippers like Zhang’s and the embossed leather Coach handbag with the slinky shoulder strap and handles. Colors trend toward solid brown, black and gray. But some fashion-forward gents don’t mind showing a little flash: Burberry plaid, Gucci’s interlocking GG pattern or Louis Vuitton’s distinct LV monogram.” My husband seems to love the convenience of his handbag or man bag, and so it seems it’s here to stay. This means I need to do one of three things, or maybe all three? What do you think vote in the poll below.