American manhood has never been more threatened at any time in human history. There is a conspiracy afoot to get all of us to carry shoulder bags. I call this conspiracy: the international man bag conspiracy. It exists to tempt American men into carrying purses. With all the cell phones, netbooks, tablet computers, iPods, and other electronic gear in the marketplace, it’s tempting to get something convenient that can carry it all. For example, the laptop bag followed the laptop into the marketplace and provided a convenient bag with pockets for all the software and accessories that accompany a portable computer. All those conveniently accessible pockets have practically killed the hard-sided leather briefcase.
Now, that the laptop is shrinking towards ever smaller netbook and tablet form factors, it’s only logical that the laptop bag can shrink as well. For example, my Augen GenBook 74 has a 7.4-inch screen. It doesn’t need a big laptop bag. It needs a small laptop bag. My Augen GenBook 74 would fit into something that looks like a purse! Heck, I could easily throw in my RCA Small Wonder digital camcorder and lots of other gear. But, I’m on to the conspiracy, I’m not ever going to carry a purse. If anything, I’m tempted to go out and get an old-fashioned leather-sided briefcase just to be a rebel. We must all man up and resist the international man bag conspiracy.
It won’t be easy. The international man bag conspiracy is sophisticated. Over the years, they’ve introduced a variety of “macho” purses in an attempt to get American men to accept purses. The first such attempt was the “Israeli Paratrooper Bag.” It preceded the laptop bag by several years and consisted of a sturdy, desert tan, canvas bag with a single flap and closure and a shoulder strap. It had militaristic Israeli Paratrooper insignia on the flap and looked tough. After the Israeli’s successful Raid on Entebbe, what could be more macho than an Israeli Paratrooper bag. Fortunately, a few Americans stood up to the paratrooper bag from the outset and greeted early adopters with “Nice purse, dude!” I haven’t seen any American paratroopers carrying purses.
The Israeli paratrooper bag faded from the scene for awhile and American men thought they could rest easy. But, the international man purse conspiracy struck back with an insidious and unholy alliance with Hollywood. The Birkenstock wearing, tofu eating, vegans of Hollyweird got Kiefer Sutherland to carry a “messenger bag” that looked suspiciously like an Israeli paratrooper bag on the hit TV-series ’24’. As a secret agent, Kiefer Sutherland’s character, Jack Bauer, became the embodiment of American male machismo throughout the run of the popular show. It’s not surprising that many Americans made the connection between shoulder bags and manliness. However, even the Jack Bauer shoulder bag of ’24’ fame is still a purse! If Jack Bauer wore a pink shirt, would you wear one? Men don’t wear pink shirts! If you own a Jack Bauer man bag, it’s time to man up! We know. Your friends know. And deep down, you know that it is still a PURSE! Even if you fill your shoulder bag with manly reading material, it will still and forever be a purse!
Beyond the mall ninja man bag and the made-for-TV man purse, the international man bag conspiracy has moved on to the serious survivor set with a one-two punch. With criminality threatening at many levels of society, millions of American men went out and got concealed weapons permits so that they could legally carry pistols. These men were then cruelly set up by the international man purse conspiracy with one of the goofiest, emasculating gear, ever devised: the fanny pack. The fanny pack was initially envisioned to enable joggers, photographers, tourists, and parents to carry a small number of essentials. Then, gun owners started using fanny packs to carry full-sized handguns.
It was a major victory for the international man bag conspiracy. The vile cabal made millions of macho American men look like jogging tourist housewives. When they were done laughing, the international man bag conspiracy followed up with a second punch: the tactical shoulder bag. The conspiracy made a variety of small bug-out bags (often called versipacks) which could carry a firearm, some ammunition, and a few essential supplies. While bug out bags are a good idea, bug out bags that look like purses are a bad idea. Of course, these small tactical shoulder bags sling over one shoulder with a single strap–exactly like a purse. Since we all know that a tactical shoulder bag might contain a firearm, let’s not mention the obvious around anyone who owns one. However, we all know that any small bag with one shoulder strap may actually be a purse!
As American men, we all need to man up and stand strong against the international man bag conspiracy. Purses are for girls and will destroy your reputation more quickly than girly whining on Facebook. Sure duffle bags, brief cases, backpacks, and full-sized laptop bags are O.K., but beyond that beware of purses. Don’t let them tempt you with satchels either. In America, we must make sure that purses remain the exclusive domain of women. If you absolutely need to carry your “tactical gear” in a purse, just bring your wife along!