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Helpless Women Are More Attractive | Boxy Bag Clutch Purses

Updated on July 20, 2010
This woman: Completely useless in anything but a make up emergency.
This woman: Completely useless in anything but a make up emergency.

Purses never cease to amaze me. Actually the whole fact that women's attire is still designed in such a way that the woman is functionally defenseless continues to amaze me. You might think I'm exaggerating here, but lets look at the model in this article by Guardian Fashion correspondent lady, Jess Cartner-Morley. (This article was going to be about purses, but it got hijacked by my brain, so we're just going to roll with it.)

This lady is dressed in a pretty dress and high heels, the basic accepted outfit for a well dressed woman. Though pants are now acceptable as women's wear, its fairly rare that a woman wearing pants is depicted as being classy or desirable in the 'going out' sense. Women wearing dresses do better in clubs and other such locations where the emphasis is on feminine rivalry than their pants wearing counterparts, and women wearing high heels are almost always seen as more desirable than women wearing flats.

The original article was actually about restoring a little functionality to a woman's wardrobe, but in spite of the fact that the model's got her little boxy bag swinging from her neck like a cartoon carrier pigeon, she still looks largely helpless. She's certainly not running anywhere in those shoes, is she? And that dress offers absolutely no protection from the elements whatsoever. If she gets cold, some man is going to have to offer her his coat.

The fact that she has a purse at all is an improvement on the traditional clutch, as Jess Cartner-Morley's article correctly points out, but what she has is still a vulnerable, dangly, shiny and pretty much outright silly thing capable of carrying a little bit of cash and some make up.

Femininity apparently = being dressed so ridiculously that if you were abandoned by your mates or some terrible event left you the sole survivor of your party, you would probably die of exposure if some kindly strangers didn't take pity on you.

Men's fashion is quite the opposite. Even the most well dressed man could probably still scale a small building in his dinner suit and the idea of a man carrying his valuables dangling around at the end of some flimsy chain for anyone to steal is quite laughable. Men's fashion emphasizes action and reliability, women's fashion emphasizes dependency and inaction.

It's these little social cues that tell us equality has yet to arrive in a real sense, our basic idea of attractiveness always seems based on these cues of inequality. If you want to look good as a woman, you need to do your best impression of Bambi in high heels.


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      Reginald Q. Jones 

      8 years ago

      I certainly agree with you. Despite my interest in panties and other feminine things, I do still consider practicality to be very important in clothing choices. This is probably in large part due to my being a field biologist. In my line of work, impractical clothing and equipment choices can result in substantial discomfort, and in extreme situations, injury or death. As a result, I find a woman who wears jeans and hiking boots to be far more appealing than a woman in a tiny dress and heels.

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      8 years ago

      I sometimes carry a purse , it's small and kinda of manly looking ! It's a Coach Purse ! It's pretty

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      8 years ago

      I totally agree. Wearing a dress or skirt tends to make me feel more vulnerable than I would wearing pants or even shorts, although I've noticed that wearing tights or pantyhose seem to lessen that effect. As for the purse comment, I get nervous when my valuables are not more secure. You constantly need to put a purse down somewhere, whereas men carry there wallets in there pockets at all times.


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