The Murse Project Part 二, Shanghai

I started posting about the prevalence of “murses” in China a while ago, but I think I might have been too judgmental at first… I used to think that the average Chinese guy who totes around his girlfriend’s bag was doing it because he liked the feeling of carrying around a purse, but on second thought he may in fact be doing it out of chivalry, or because he was brought up to do so… I saw this little boy carrying his mom’s bag for her, and it made me see this trend in a whole new light.

This little boy was just trying to be helpful it seems…

…as was this little boy:

But the Gen-Y-ers seemed to carry their murses differently, like the intent or motive were different… I think this guy really wanted to carry his girlfriend’s purse because it matched his outfit:

And I feel like this guy wanted to carry his girlfriend’s ruffly, pink purse because it provided an interesting and stark juxtaposition with his sportswear:

And it seemed like this guy wanted to carry his girlfriend’s purse so he could make himself feel big and make her feel small and weak… I mean, who pats someone on the head like that…??

…and then laughs so insanely about it?! At least she was laughing too, but she didn’t look so pleased in the picture above…

But Gen X is not to be left out of this trend… I’ve seen some old-timers sporting murses before, and this man was equally precious.

Is it just me or does it seem like Gen X and Gen Z carry their murses totally differently from Gen Y? I mean, I guess the intent or reason for a Chinese guy to carry a murse is less important than the end result, which is a sartorial culture that is less concerned with traditional gender boundaries and more androgynous, but I’m still suspicious of Gen Y… I think they get a real kick out of exploring their feminine side.

Best Dressed Generation:
Gen X – 80 points + 10 points = 90 points
Gen Y – 50 points – 10 points [for questionable intent in carrying a murse] = 40 points
Gen Z – +30 points for being helpful and getting in touch with their feminine side at such a young age = 30 points


About chinesepeopledoyoustyle

The emergence of style in China
This entry was posted in Androgynous, Bags, Best Dressed Generation, Chinese People, Gen X, Gen Y, Gen Z, Kids, Masculine vs. Feminine, Murse Project, Old and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Murse Project Part 二, Shanghai

  1. Susan says:

    I think it’s part of Shanghai culture. I mean Shanghai only. The status of women in shanghai is higher than men, superficially at least. So it’s men’s duty or honor to do such things for women. They find it natural because their father has done it before and also they were taught to do so when they were little boys.

    • Hi Susan

      Thanks for your insight. I definitely agree with you that woman enjoy a much higher status in Shanghai than in most other major cities. I like that men and women are very equal in Chinese society (one of the best things about Communism), and I also think androgyny is always a good thing… I shouldn’t rag on these guys too much, it’s just their culture, and we should all appreciate and respect that.

      Happy reading!

  2. Pingback: Great Blog Post on Man Purses in China « Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

  3. Lisa Lin says:

    I don’t really understand this ” oh carry my bag darling” from these chinese women, The major part of women like to have a bag to accessorize, to match, me personally I feel like a bit naked without one, unless I’m just going downstairs for garbage. Are they really that tired? They are too parents and boyfriends in my opinion.

    • Yes, they may be a bit spoiled, but what girl doesn’t like to be? And if they are an only child, chances are they are even more spoiled… But I think it’s usually the guys who WANT to carry their girlfriend’s bag, not the girl wanting the guy to carry it for her…

  4. Ann says:

    oh , can’t you see they just want to be a gentleman in front of their ladies? Men carry women’s murses cos they love and care for them,and for the little boys, it’s their mothers tell them to do so and it makes them feel like a man.

    • I initially thought that they wanted to carry the bag, but as I mentioned in this post, I think the guys really are just trying to be nice… But some of them definitely like the feeling of toting around their girlfriends’ bags… I guess it just depends on the guy.

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