Kerri Jarema is the creator and editor of Lydia Magazine. She was born and raised in New York City and still calls it home. When she isn’t busy writing and editing she can usually be found with her nose in a book, watching way too much TV, fangirling on Tumblr, singing very loud when no one is around, obsessing over everything British and exploring her favorite neighborhoods. Find her on Twitter @kerrajar.
NFL PURSE POLICY: Anti-Woman or Just Annoying?
Attention football fans: bags are no longer allowed in NFL stadiums. If you’ve been paying attention to the news surrounding the NFL you’re probably already aware of this change – but this article has got me thinking more about the implications of the change recently. I made the mistake of reading the comments on the piece (Never read the comments! unless you’re reading them here, of course. The only debates we have are friendly and well-informed ones, natch) and I was blown away by some of the ridiculous comments made about women’s desire to keep their private items private and be able to lug everything they need… for which a hand-sized clutch just will not do.
Argument 1: Women can carry everything they need in their pockets just like men do. And if they can’t put it in their pockets, they don’t really need it.
Okay, fellas, I’m going to have to stop you right there. Because the truth of the matter is, women’s clothes do not have never-ending depths of pockets like men’s clothes do. Even the almighty cargo pant, which is basically like wearing a giant pocket around your legs, are not made the same for women. The pockets are smaller, more narrow and definitely not as deep as men’s pockets. And while many men feel comfortable wearing baggy clothes, most women do not.
In order to get enough space in a pair of pants to carry a wallet (women’s wallets are also much bigger than their male counterparts, FYI), a cell phone, house keys, feminine care products like pads and tampons, medications like birth control, Midol or aspirin, cosmetics, child care items including diapers, change of clothes, children’s toys, nursing wraps, etc. we would need to buy pants that are three times too big for us. Never a good look.
Heaven forbid we decide to wear a dress or skirt – even wearing one with pockets, all that’s fitting in there are the tickets we spent a fortune on and maybe a lip gloss. Add a hoodie and you still only have room for a cell phone and a tiny pouch for money. Besides which, everything you put in a hoodie pocket is in danger of falling out – one touchdown celebration and your phone is on the ground in three pieces.
And sure, we might not need to bring cosmetics into the stadium. They aren’t a necessity. But no one should be told that they can’t bring face powder to freshen up with because it can’t fit into their non-existant bag.
Argument 2: Men can’t carry bags anymore, either! Don’t make this an anti-woman issue!
I agree. The no bag policy sucks for men who carry bags, too. But the truth is that most men don’t carry them and can easily leave home without one and still have everything they need while out at the game – keys, cell phone, wallet – safely on their person. For fathers who are bringing their kids to the game and need to have diapers, toys, change of clothes and snacks on their person, the no-bag rule is just as ridiculous.
But, really, how many men do you see taking care of young children at the stadium when you’re watching games on Sunday? Not many. Either the kids are old enough not to need so much extra, or the mom is out of her seat, missing half the game, waiting to get to the solitary changing table in the bathroom. Should women simply stay home because they have too much stuff to carry? Are football games no place for women to begin with? That reeks of “women’s place is in the home” and even entertaining that notion makes me so angry I could scream. And it makes me think twice about shelling out my hard-earned cash for those special women’s jerseys the NFL has been spending lots of time advertising lately.
Even the NFL released info graphic showing what bags are approved and no-approved shows a woman showing the acceptable bags – not a man with a backpack full of essentials that he can’t leave home without. Why? Probably because women are the ones who will be most concerned by this new rules. That’s why.
Argument 3: You can just buy the stadium approved clear plastic bag and move on with your life.
Everyone should be angry about this, honestly. The NFL already costs an absolute fortune – from buying that team jersey for $90 to paying for astronomical tickets that can run up to $200 a piece for nosebleeds, to spending a week’s worth of lunch money on one day’s meals with $6 hot dogs and $5 bottles of water. Now we have to buy an ugly, plastic NFL-approved bag that we will definitely only wear when we go to games? What if we only go to one game a year? So not worth the extra cash.
Even if you want to argue against the discriminatory nature of this new rule, you can argue that the NFL is just trying to get even more money out of all of us than they already do. Which is just ridiculous.
Conclusion: If almost all men can get by with just their pockets, but almost all women cannot, this is clearly a bigger problem for women than it is for men. Not cool.
Solution?: At every NFL game I have been to prior to this season all bags were inspected and everyone was passed over with metal detectors and got the pat down from security guards. Yes, even the women. At MLB stadiums my bags have always been inspected before I entered the game. If this is really about the safety issue, then bags should be inspected properly by stadium security upon entering. For those who want to have faster entry into the stadium, there can be separate lines for those with bags and those without. It seems to me that there are probably plenty of ways to ensure better stadium security without forcing me walk around with tampons in my bra.