Monday, November 19, 2012

The clutches of evil?

I don't know why, but somehow, it's a big deal to people that Mike Fisher held his wife's purse at some pseudo-awards ceremony yesterday.

Am I too idealistic, or perhaps too grounded, to understand why this is a big deal? He has no hockey to play, so he actually has time to spend with the woman he married, who happens to be just as successful as he is (if not more.) Maybe the fact that he was her arm candy was the first strike? Is it hard for sports fans to see athletes treated like Rita Wilson? A woman didn't want her purse to fall on the floor, so she handed it to her husband. This is not weird, people. 

I don't understand why men think purses are so weird and girly and foreign, when they see them EVERY DAY. They're not portals to Narnia. They're just bags.

There have been a few times when men in my life (not even guys that I was dating! Just friends or relatives or guys from work! You know who you are) scored the Purse Hat Trick: 
  • commenting on how big my purse was, 
  • needing to put something in my purse because they couldn't put it in their pockets, 
  • asking for gum/a pen/hand cream, which obviously is the kind of stuff that I keep in my purse.
Hypocritical, much?
Anyway, the whole incident is quite reminiscent of this weak-sauce commercial:
The makers of this stuff would probably be shocked to know that guys like the ones in this commercial aren't the only people who drink whisky. Heck, I drink whisky. So does Carrie Underwood. I don't think either of us drinks this specific brand, but that's okay, since their target audience seems to be middle-class, lily-livered white guys who don't have any friends. 

Let's break down everything that's wrong with this commercial: 
1- It promotes the "women be shoppin'" stereotype. Even though, you know, the couple is an a shopping mall, where people go to shop, unless this dude thinks that a food court A&W is a really romantic place to have lunch. 
2- The woman says "There's that dress I love," which implies that she knows what she's going to look at and isn't about to start an impulse shopping rampage and walk out of there with a pile of bags like she's a character from Clueless. 
3- She lets her boyfriend wait outside the store so that he doesn't have to follow her around like a lost puppy, bored and confused by all of this clothing made for bodies that aren't shaped like his. If he wants to, he can go to another store. Or he can pull out his phone and play a game or call a friend or look at pictures of steaks, or whatever it is that manly men do. (As a girl and an owner of purses, I obviously have no idea what this is. Maybe an app that plays Wisers commercials whenever a man feels emasculated? Pocket-sized strippers? Help me out here, guys.) 
4- Despite the fact that women be shoppin', she asks him to hold her purse while she is in the store. Guys, do you know what girls keep in their purses? Their wallets. We do not have deep back pockets on our jeans, so we keep our money in our purses. If this girl leaves her purse with her boyfriend, she's not bringing any money into the store. Thus, she cannot spend any money while she's in there. She probably isn't going to spend much time in there anyway.
5- By now, most people in modern society know that a man holding a purse is probably holding it for a woman. And they do not care.
6- Yes, the girlfriend's purse is pink and has a flower on it (because it had to be a really girly purse, to drive the point home) but it is not on fire. It is not made out of live poisonous snakes. Boyfriend will not die if he holds it for ten seconds.
7- He came prepared with a bag to hold the purse in? And the commercial refers to him as an "uncompromising gentleman." Uh, no, narrator, the expression you're looking for is "man-child." This dude is a rejected supporting character from a Tim Allen sitcom. An uncompromising gentleman would politely tell his girlfriend that he is uncomfortable holding her purse and he feels emasculated when he does. But something tells me that the dude in this commercial thinks that "emasculated" is an awful big word.

I might not be the kind of girl who needs her boyfriend to hold her purse all the time, and I have a very good reason for it: I keep lots of stuff in there, and he probably wouldn't want to carry around that much extra weight. Mike Fisher probably wouldn't care if this hadn't happened on TV, where all his manly friends and fans can see him (holding a purse that he can hide against his suit or INSIDE HIS HAND because it was a damn tiny clutch.) so let's all just move on and not be scared of bags, okay?

Stick-tap to fellow Habs bloggers Mike Obrand and Andrew Berkshire for inspiring this post, and for not being the kind of guys who are terrified of purses.

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