Thursday, February 22 , 2018, 1:36 am | Fair 37º

 
 
 
 

Tom Purcell: Guys, Don’t Let ‘Gender-Fluid’ Fashion Leave You Holding the Bag

They won’t relent until every red-blooded American male is toting one.

I speak of the fashion industry’s newest attempt to persuade men to carry pursues.

In a new Chanel advertisement, a fashionable fellow named Pharrell shows, or tries to, that it’s hip for a man to carry a purse.

The guy’s full name is Pharrell Williams. He’s a singer, record producer and fashion mogul who, according to Essence, is a “leader in disregarding societal norms when it comes to style.”

In the advertisement, Pharrell walks into a warehouse with a heavily ornamented purse strapped around his shoulder. He rides industrial carts with wheels and dares to walk on a dangerously narrow steel beam.

How manly!

In the spot, the 44-year-old fellow is wearing stylish tennis shoes, the way kids do, black-and-yellow striped socks, the way teenage girls do, and a dainty, high-design shirt, the way women do.

At first glance, his choice of clothing might suggest he is a casual, free-spirited fellow. But there is nothing casual about the duds he sports or the purse he carries. The purse is named “Gabrielle” and its price tag is a ridiculous $3,600. It’s part of a larger strategy for fashion executives to push “gender-fluid” clothing on an unassuming public.

Chanel executives are surely betting big that the ultra-hip Pharrell — Chanel’s first male handbag model in its 108-year history — can get millions of confused males to spend zillions of dollars on man purses.

If you’re a male who thinks you need a purse to carry your high-fashion junk — hair goop, jewelry and whatever other feminine items you shouldn’t be carrying — you’ve got to come to your senses.

Look, it was bad enough when male-focused magazines began running the same sort of headlines as female-focused magazines: “How to Trim that Belly to Improve Your Self-Esteem and Win Her Affection.”

It was bad enough when men began getting so self-absorbed with their looks that they began doting on their skin, figure and clothing the way women do.

But purses for men? Oh, where to begin.

Let’s start with a biological fact: On balance, most women are very different from most men.

According to Psych Central, a study led by Marco Del Giudice Ph.D. of the University of Turin, made a shocking discovery: There are significant differences between the sexes.

The study used “new and more accurate methods to measure and analyze personality differences” in men and women to assess 15 personality scales, such as warmth, sensitivity, perfectionism and so on.

By assessing multiple traits, rather than individual traits as prior male-female studies had done, the researchers identified several differences between men and women.

Why are we different? Michael Gurian, author of What Could He Be Thinking?: How a Man’s Mind Really Works, says survival is the reason.

He explains that evolution thousands of years ago geared the male mind toward open spaces (the ability to track animals), whereas evolution geared the female mind to enable multitasking (the ability to manage numerous details that were needed to keep the family alive).

And though we no longer need many of the instincts and impulses that are built into our DNA, the unpleasant fact is that they’re still there. The unpleasant truth is that our biological makeup is the reason men and women are so different.

Here’s another truth: Men and women are at their best when they celebrate, rather than obscure, their unique qualities — in actions, manner and dress.

So if youre a trendy male who is dumb enough to spend $3,600 on a lousy purse — if you want to be the willing dupe of the fashion executives pushing the gender-fluid trend — here’s something you’d better keep in mind.

Women carry purses. Men don’t.

Tom Purcell, author of Misadventures of a 1970s Childhood and Wicked Is the Whiskey: A Sean McClanahan Mystery, is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist, syndicated by Cagle Cartoons. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter: @PurcellTom. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >