Don’t call it a man-bag

I’ve been here for years! (Sorry, that’s terrible.)

Recently I bought a briefcase. It is made of thick, coffee brown, full-grain leather, and it looks like something a cowboy might strap to his horse. Yet it happened anyway.

“Oh Derek, is that a new man-bag?”

Ugh, call it a purse if you have to. Yes, I am willing to call it a purse. This is my purse. It is a leather bag with a long strap in which I keep notebooks and a coffee mug and chapstick; it can totally be called a purse. Purse purse purse. I am not afraid of the purse.

But don’t call it a man-bag.

We don’t need male versions of nouns that are perceived as feminine. No more man-bags. No mandals, no moobs, no mankinis. Certainly no murses (which can either be a man-purse, or a male nurse). These are not unusual objects in any way, and we need to stop this now because some day breezy see-through shirts could become a popular men’s fashion item and we’ll have to go around pretending mlouse is a word.

The purse in question

Recently, a female friend of mine was dismayed to find that a certain male public figure got around town. “I just never thought of him as a man-whore.” No no, not a man-whore. A whore. You are calling him a whore. A bag is a bag, and slut-shaming is slut-shaming.

This gender-modification thing is a tiny, stupid, insidious piece of sexism. Its only use is to label a behavior as not conforming to gender norms in an accusatory fashion. It is sometimes innocuous but always ludicrous. So just stop.

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