Stuff Mom Never Told You
Seeing beyond pink and blue to decode the mysteries of men and women.

Category RSS Feed

Podcast Transcript | Listen to the Podcast Now

Why do women carry handbags? | October 13, 2010

 
Molly

A just in case bag?

Cristen

Yeah.

Molly

Well, the topic for the day is hand bags, purses, it bags; what women carry and what it means.

Cristen

Yeah, because before we started researching this and Molly found so many great resources for this article, I had no idea that purses have such an extensive history. For instance, they have paintings dated from 480
BC that show people carrying bags. They’re not necessarily like Louis Vuitton purses, but still they’re the predecessors.

Molly

Exactly, and guess who was carrying all the bags in those early paintings.

Cristen

The guys; kinda like how men were the first to wear high heels.

Molly

Exactly.

Cristen

Yet again -

Molly

It was not like we’re confusing suitcase versus purse. The men were carrying these little purse-like pouches. And these little pouches were always very useful, like for example, one of these paintings shows a farmer carrying seeds from one side of the country to the other. So it’s always had – the purse and the handbag’s always had this idea of being of use, of helping you out when you are getting from one place to another, but at the same time, like you said, it’s got this long history, but now it’s got all this loaded metaphor symbolism in it as these handbags have taken off. And now they cost as much as a year of college. So we’re gonna unravel all that.

Cristen

And one thing that I didn’t think about was the – one of the main reasons why purses, this idea of bags, these utilitarian bags have such a long history too is because they preceded pockets. It took a long for us to figure out that pockets would be a really great idea in clothes.

Molly

But it seems like even now that we’ve figured out pockets, men have been like, “Okay, we’ll use the pocket. We’ll put the Blackberry in one pocket; we’ll put the wallet in the other pocket.” And women, despite buying these jeans with all these pockets – we could buy the really cute sundresses with pockets now – we’re still lugging around the bags.

Cristen

Oh yeah.

Molly

Why is that?

Cristen

Well, I don’t know. Maybe it goes back to say the 15th century.

Molly

The 15the century does have one of the sweetest tidbits of handbag history.

Cristen

Yes, men used to give their new brides these elaborately decorated purses and they were usually embroidered with an illustration of a love story.

Tags: , , , , ,

 
 

Comment Now

Recent Postings by Category