Men: May I Ask You A Serious Question About Man Purses?

Hi Guys,

Ladies feel free to join in too but I wanted to know exactly what men think.

Ever ticked off someone over the smallest little unimportant thing? Well apparently I did to a fellow writer friend. I didn't mean to but well, I had to be honest.

He asked me how I felt about his male MC having a man purse and how I thought audiences might perceive him?

I could only speak for myself but I told him I would think of a man with a man purse (which I consider just a purse) as maybe a bit feminine or weird. That might be a bad opinion but I had to be honest. I told him unless the book was humorous, I'd see the man purse in a negative way. I mean come on, a man carrying a purse in a thriller? I also said I couldn't take the MC seriously because, well just because.

So he got pissed! I don't know if he carries a man purse or what but he acted like I insulted him personally. I reminded him that he asked for my opinion and then I let him have it. I told him the average man does not wear a man purse and that I don't know how male audiences specifically could view his character as some big hero, manly type if the dude's carrying a purse! Well that set him off and of course from then on he was convinced I didn't know what men really want or think like because I was a "girl".

A girl?

Anyway, I didn't mean to hurt the guy's feelings. But when you're a writer, your work is gonna get different opinions. He told me everyone else thought the man purse was cute. I didn't believe him. I think they said that to be nice. I don't know any men who wear men purses and the only time men talk about them is when they are making fun of them.

I'm from the South. Texas. I don't see men carrying purses down here, LOL. Maybe it's different in his neck of the woods but I think he's in the minority about how men feel about these purses. Please. They even make fun of them on television. And isn't a man purse just a purse any darn way?

Most men I know wouldn't be caught dead with a purse. I even asked my dad who's in his 60's what he thought. He looked at me crazy and said, "Sure I'd wear a man purse. Right after I start wearing dresses."


So guys, if you read a book where the male MC wore a man purse and spoke of it religiously, what would you think? What would your perceptions be?

Maybe it's just me but the man purse stuck in my head so much I couldn't concentrate on what the character was doing!  I kept going in my head, "Man purse? Really?"

Best Wishes!

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Hi I.J.,

I knew a guy who got his toe bit off by his own Chihuahua! No joke. People think they are all cute but they can be mean too. One of my cousins was attacked by a little Shitzu. That spelled right? LOL. It was her neighbor's and it always ran after her when she took her trash out. One day it bit her. But seriously, them little dogs can do damage.

Best Wishes!
I have a simple rule when attacked by small dogs--punt!
Indeed! I thought of that after the fact. :)
Hey John,

Ha, ha! I feel you and you have me cracking up! I admit, it has a creepy tone to it but his MC is the hero. I agree it is brave. If it works for him, that's great but I think he should realize a lot of people might not relate to the man purse thing, LOL.

And yes I've heard men say man bags too.

I LOVED A Clockwork Orange, talk about creepy.

Best Wishes!
I don't normally think of metrosexuals as heroic (probably because I've known so many of them), but it wouldn't stop me from reading. Under the right circumstances, the purse could work as a quirky gimmick. But the character would have to go a long way--and I mean a long way--to prove he wasn't just a narcissistic flake.
I don't think you need my weigh-in because I'm agreeing with most if not all of your respondents: A man purse is weird. I live in Vancouver, one of the most gay-friendly cities I know, and men don't carry purses. It's not that I think the world SHOULD be that way (I'm often grateful to be a woman because we can do anything we want, and men are still confined to a set of rules), just that it is that way. If your friend asked your opinion and can't take an honest response, I guess you know now not to respond honestly to that friend (I have friends like that; they have other redeeming qualities). And if your friend really wants his character to have a man purse, let the character carry one, and get made fun of. Maybe your friend will be a groundbreaker and make it acceptable for men to carry purses. Tell him good luck from me.
that's my point. we're idiots for judging. but people do. that was the question that sparked the debate.

gay is the natural association every time a man does anything someone might construe as feminine, or something women do. this isn't a bias that I have - I actually associate the man purse with a precious executive type, maybe a Conrad Black - but one I've heard voiced whenever subjects like man purses come up. (I've never heard anyone say, oh, that man looks so green or blue with that bag.)
I think when people refer to a man carrying a purse as "gay," they don't mean "gay" as in "homosexual," but "gay" as in "effeminate." While "homosexual" and "effeminate" mean two entirely different things, the use of "gay" does not always distinguish between them. Call it "South Park Syndrome."
Not sure about that. "Gay" means homosexual to most people, homosexuals included. "Effeminate" usually implies "behaving in a homosexual manner" to people, whether or not it's PC. Most heterosexual men would naturally shy away from using a manbag. Horrid word, anyway. The fact is that most husbands refuse to hold their wives' handbags for even a moment in public. So there's a very strong sensitivity about that sort of thing.
I had a male friend who, briefly, started carrying a man bag round with him. He explained it was really useful, he didn't bulge out his pockets any more. Then he left it by mistake at a petrol station. He had to ring them and explain he'd left his bag there, and the guy on the other end called it a handbag.

He stopped using it after that.
Most gay guys i know have too much taste to act like metrosexuals. Only straight guys who're getting trashed on their own stash can dress like fops. Not that I'd EVER generalize, of course...
This isn't to anyone particular I just wanna make sure things are clarified on my part.

I don't remember who brought up gay here, but just for the record. I never brought up having a man purse was gay. Someone else did I suppose. I said to me, it seems "feminine". A man doesn't have to be gay to be feminine or sissified. It's just a trait. Some straight men have feminine ways and some men do not.

Just wanted to make sure everyone keeps in mind I never brought up gay. That had nothing to do with what I said. I just don't want this funny and delightful discussion to turn into a gay bashing thread. We need to remember to respect everyone here. Being gay has nothing to do with having a man purse.

There are a lot of GAY men I know that wouldn't carry a man purse as well. LOL.

I wish the guy well with his story but he needs to get a thicker skin if he hopes to be published.

Best Wishes!


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