This man is a bit of a twat.

I don't like to judge people that I don't know, but this article of his indicates quite strongly to me that he just actually might be, in fact, a bit of a numpty.

The story is this: Charlie Porter, Freelance Fashion Journalist, was heading to a meeting in Canary Wharf. He had with him a red bag, in which he was carrying an iPod, Kindle, and a few other bits and bobs. The bag itself is very similar to handbags which are popular at the moment, and (And herein lies the crux of my argument) USUALLY carried by women - Looking at pictures, it even appears to have rings to which you could attach a strap.

So, Mister Porter, on his journey through Canary Wharf, is stopped by a Security Guard, who would like him to prove that the bag is his, owing to a large number of handbag thefts that have happened recently.

I would like to point out at this juncture that I am in no way criticising mister Porter for carrying a bag (I am deliberately not using the phrase "Man bag" as I know he doesn't like it), and I don't think that carrying a bag is 'gay', 'girly', or anything else. However, the fact is, in today's society, a man carrying a bag of this design is a little unusual - And in an area where there have been a lot of handbag thefts recently, a man carrying such a bag could reasonably expect to be stopped, if the situation was looked at from an independent perspective.

"Have you got any ID?" I gave him my cashcard, from the front pocket of the bag.

"What are your middle initials?" he asked. I told him. It was only then that he believed it was mine.

Did he think it was a women's bag? "You can't be too careful."

Does this sound any more disconcerting than being asked for ID at the bank, or post office? This security guard likely sees a few hundred people a day, and if men carrying bags often turn out to have stolen them, they're going to check you out.

Charlie then complains that the guard had considered him 'effeminate' for carrying the bag.

It looks like the sort of bag that women carry far more often than men do. He wasn't judging you or insinuating anything, he just wanted to check that it was yours. Why don't you understand this?

I know that in today's tolerant society, people should be allowed to wear and carry whatever they like, but the fact is, some people wouldn't know a James Long bag if they fell over one, and 99% of the time, a red patent bag is a woman's bag.

Charlie finishes his article by saying:

It made me sad too, that the codes by which we interpret clothing are so entrenched, and that something away from the masculine norm can cause such an unexpected reaction.

Are you honestly criticisizing a security guard for picking on something out of the ordinary? That's his job, for Christ's sake! He's seen something that even by your own admission, isn't usual, and he's checking up on it to make sure it's not a problem! He didn't hurt you, or physically detain you - just asked you to prove your identity (And he could have been a dick about that, if he liked - It's private property, after all), and then let you go on your way. No-one was hurt, no great injustices occurred, a man with a bag just got upset when asked to prove it was his.

One can only hope he never meets an airline check-in person.

1 comment:

  1. I do hope he meets an airline check-in person, and by 'airline check-in person' I mean 'malicious and violent homosexual rapist dressed as an airline check-in person because it's the 21st century and we can all wear what we want now because fashion says so' and then spends a good three months chained to a wall in a semi-waterproofed cellar in East London being violated with literally any spare piece of wood or metal said maniac can get his hands on. But what would I know? I'm a convicted paedophile.