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The Male Purse: gaying it up, or tribal ritual??

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  • The Male Purse: gaying it up, or tribal ritual??

    Grasshoppers,

    Today the question that addles my sleep stimulated mind is this:

    many perfectly masculine Homo Nipponicus con Cajonicus carry their daily necessities around in a small hand held bag, often sans shoulder strap, that most normal (?) Homo North Americanus con Cajonicus would describe as a friggin' PURSE!!!!!!!. This includes many of those men who don't need a bag for their eyeshadow.

    Given our parameters, that masculinity, etc. are social constructions, the questions are:

    1) does this make the Japanese male population one of the largest active sources of the Screaming Nancy Boy gene in the known world, or is it merely A Kultural Difference that we should regard with acceptance, and admiration (they do, after all, look very handy; and some of the designs are sooo Kyewt).
    2) if the basic idea is acceptable, what are our aesthetic determinants? (size, shape, colour, strapped or strapless);
    3) What about waist pouches? (i.e. is their lameness truly one the few Kultural Universals?)
    4) If Joe Schmoe started / stopped carrying one, would his wife sleep with him more often? And, if so, would she enjoy it?
    Discuss, with specific anthropological examples. Feel free to use the discussion as a gratuitous cover for more irrelevant tales of personal sexual exploits.


  • #2
    Re: The Male Purse: gaying it up, or tribal ritual??

    Question: Are Japanese men basically a bunch of "nancy boys"???

    Answer: Depends on which generation you are talking about...


    Older generation: Antonio Inoki, Pat Morita (Arnold from "Happy Days"), Yakuza, etc. Took their inspiration from the classic warrior Samurai ethic.

    Newer generation: Gackt, Hyde, anyone who has ever been in SMAP. Takes their inspiration from David Beckham.


    Conclusion: Modern Japanese manhood seems to be taking a powder...

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The Male Purse: gaying it up, or tribal ritual??

      Mark,
      Good Points. Pleez remember that I am only fiddling around. Emulating my online hero Westsan. AND, I am not entirely comfortable with the portrayal of the question in the way you have done so here. As much as I want to rake muck, I do not intend this as a broad characterisation. Merely a specific question regarding a specific observable behavioural tendency.

      I'm with you on the generational thing, but this is the anthropological beauty of the question: there is a plainly observable trend in older men to be quite macho, and an equally observable trend amongst their younger counterparts to work against that, as you opointed out. Distinction is a primary motivation in intra-group cultural distinction, after all. Nonetheless, the tendency to carry what I, as a robust (??) Canadian male would call a PURSE transcends these differences and distinctions. So, is it genetic, or Kultural? And, should we (I?) do as the Romans do, discard our (my?) outdated chauvinist aversions, and carry one around? Or should we giggle at the sight with an acerbically affectionate acceptance of the differences that are the creative fountain of our race (i.e. the human race)?
      Kurogane

      Comment


      • #4
        I much prefer a manly man..."Man Bags" are for model/fashion industry types and no to be taken seriously.

        I think the whole designer hand bag/accessory craze has just gone way too far in this country. No wonder home ownership is so uncommon here.

        Comment


        • #5
          ...

          "it`s not a purse, it`s a european carry-all....."

          Comment


          • #6
            [Heavy Russian accent on]

            We Russians carry them a lot, too. Frequently with pistols and Kalashnikov magazines inside.

            Nancy boys? Powder? Yeah right.

            [/Heavy Russian accent off]

            Comment


            • #7
              I would have to say it's a fashion or trend thing more than anything else.

              In Europe, I saw men with those things all over the place. Okay some were obviously screaming nancy boys, but a good portion of them struck me as being your average, everyday hetero male. Same thing in Quebec, well Montreal actually, I again saw a lot of men carrying them. Even my cousin had one and he's very much the ladies man.

              So here in Japan where being trendy is sometimes the only thing that matters, something like this will be followed almost slavishly, especially if a popular icon like David Beckham happens to carry one.

              Comment


              • #8
                Kurogane so very happy...........................

                [QUOTE=Kumachan]Same thing in Quebec, well Montreal actually, I again saw a lot of men carrying them. Even my cousin had one and he's very much the ladies man.[QUOTE]

                In the interests of domestic tranquility and interprovincial anti-Ontarian solidarity, Kurogane will ruthlessly suppress all residual Anglophonic-centric giggles and smart ass remarks.

                I think Kuma has hit a point here though. Male purseophobia does seem to me, Father of this Revived Thread (oh, so happy), to be a largely Anglocentred phenomenon. Hmmmmm.

                I find them absolutely dorky. A bag yes, a purse, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  So you're saying that a bag, with straps, is acceptable, but a little clutch with no handles is not? What's the difference? To me, a bag (with a strap/straps) is, if anything, even more feminine and purse-like. Those little clutches are kind of like mini-briefcases, and don't seem un-manly at all.

                  I guess it really really depends on the bag though. And the guy.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    To Purse or Not to Purse

                    Originally posted by smallworld
                    So you're saying that a bag, with straps, is acceptable, but a little clutch with no handles is not? What's the difference? To me, a bag (with a strap/straps) is, if anything, even more feminine and purse-like. Those little clutches are kind of like mini-briefcases, and don't seem un-manly at all.
                    I guess it really really depends on the bag though. And the guy.
                    Nice. Remember, I am just F'in around here. Affectionate parody would be the style, if you will.
                    I am too well trained not to know that The Bag and the particular social construction of masculinity are such that They do not share my North American (West Coast Canadian?) purseophobia.
                    On the other hand, at a gut level, there is something ___gy about the whole custom (from Mai Native Perspective).
                    Now, onto the Meat and Potatoes:
                    I would say, Bag, yes, handbag, clutch purse, NO!
                    I suppose that the key is, as you said, the bag itself. A very small ("8 x 10" or smaller)bag with straps does, indeed, look goofy. Even more so then those cheesy shiny leather clutch bags the older men and City Boys tend to carry (the latter are those guys in the flashy suits). A A4/B5 size bag, I have no problems with. It is the hand bags and the small shoulder bags I am talking about. Also, those stupid waist bags (like rock climbers chalk bags) are utterly naff.
                    Song2,
                    If they do, in fact, match, then even my purse carrying J=friends would have something to say about that.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      ArmBags Tojo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                      Originally posted by Song2
                      Maybe some enterprising young dude should design some kinda bag for blokes that straps to one's upper arm...you know about 8"x5"x2" kinda thang. It would also be juuust about the right size to whack shorter folk in the head with on a busy train, or simply whilst walking along...hell if you wore one on either arm you could have a right laugh walking along bopping one and another with the mere twitch of one's shoulders!

                      They shall be called 'Arm-bags'...I hereby copyright the phrase, and am now off to knock one out...a design that is. Wonder if Louis Vuitton would be interested in a smaller version (note to self - that could be misconstrued by some as possibly being a racist comment, so be prepared for a boring, boring argument.)
                      Brilliant. You have a bright bright future here. I find that with my manly shoulders, I don't even need the arm bags on there to bop people (never on purpose, of course).
                      As for the racism, if anyone can get anything from that commentary, they are scraping the bottom of the racism barrel. ノト反答!!!!!!!!!!???????

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        the murse

                        the MURSE.

                        i am afraid they are making there way across the ocean. sad to say, i know many murse users. remember fanny packs/bumbags?? isnt the murse just a jazzed up version of everyones favourite 80s beach pouch? they used to be vinyl now they are leather. same same but different.

                        i think the real question that needs to be asked is why do guys have so much stuff these days? what happened to a key ring and a wallet? why do we all need so much stuff?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          We are living in a Material world, and I am a material mirl

                          Mirls! That is the solution to the greatest anthropological riddle of the last 22 years (why are so many men becoming so damn girly?)

                          It's because we are all mirls.

                          BTW, I agree with you on all the stuff. Being a man that wears pants (advance warning: No lame smarty pants Brit cracks allowed ), I have discovered a revolutionary solution to the whole problem of where to put my stuff. In my pockets. That is why they call me Doctor. It was the central insight in my 347 page thesis, "Why is everyone in this country always carrying around so much sh&t?"

                          Some of my J-guy friends have so many blinkets and bobbles and twizglicks and kozzles with them all the time, I feel like asking if they have any beauty care products in the bag. And these are the macho ski pro guys.
                          Cultural relativism is a brilliant operational technique, but every now and then I just feel like standing on a barstool and screaming "I'm mad as hell, and I'm just not going to carry a Murse anymore". Maybe it will catch on, like when Albert Finney did on "Network". Then again, maybe not.
                          Culture fascinates me. I can sit and rant about it for hours.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If its got a strap on it, its a purse, and the holder of said item is either a female, or a male aspiring to be gay. If it has no strap on it, its still gay, plus you have to carry the damn thing around with you all day. what ever happened to a wallet? I have one in my back pocket right now and it is in no way hindering me. If you have too much crap with you then take a backpack or something similar, but for heaven's sake man, dont use a f'ing purse!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Disgusted in Kyoto

                              Originally posted by Song2
                              apart from maybe one of them there snazzy new 'Arm-bags' to put them all in...coming to a Shibuya store near you soon!
                              (Free Advert #1)
                              Shameless. Absolutely Shameless. Are you going to make ones with a Tare-panda theme?

                              Comment

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