I try to keep an open mind. I do. Totes for men, however, is a bridge too far.
I check out Esquire about once a week, and although I still find things to appreciate (Billy Bob Thornton railing against Cupcake Wars, for example), the gulf seems to be widening.
I'm sure Max Berlinger is a wonderful man who calls his grandmother once per month and volunteers at the local food bank, but when he advises us to consider 10 Tote Bags This Summer, we should ignore him. Nay, we should DISPUTE him.
If you are a man and you want to carry a tote, I can't stop you. It's a free country, and I suppose your tote is none of my business. I, however, will not. I will not do it. I will not carry a tote. And damnit, neither should you.
If a man has things to carry he stuffs them into a suitcase or a duffel bag. An honest duffel bag, and not a fussy one. When you join the Army what do they give you first? A duffel bag. When you go to the gym what do you cram your clothes into? A duffel bag. When you go to the range what do you take with you? A shooting bag. What is that really? A duffel bag.
A man carries things. He does not "tote" things. One exception: if you roam the mountains with a flintlock in search of beaver pelts, you may "tote" things, but only because it's part of the vernacular. When you tote said things you will tote them in a "possibles bag," or a "haversack." You will not carry a tote bag.
I know, I know. You're evolved. You're modern. When Faith Cummings tells you to wear pineapple print trousers to inject some "timely excitement" into your "fashion arsenal" you do it. Never mind that the words "pineapple print trousers" have no right to be associated with any sort of self-respecting "arsenal." Maybe you take Esquire's advice to love Anna Faris even more because she wants to lock her husband in a room and force feed him Kentucky Fried Chicken. Maybe it matters to you that Eva Green's Sin City poster was censored. Perhaps you even know who Eva Green is! And maybe you think that Cameron Diaz might be the Second Coming. Certainly she's better than you, that's a given.
Fine. Fair enough. To each his own. We can have a beer and talk it over. But I draw the line at totes.
No totes. Not for me, and not for you.
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Actually, this one's OK. This is the only tote bag you may own.
Image 2 is believed to be public domain.