Men have made bold and often misguided forays into fashion, but none as shocking as the one into leggings/pantyhose (mantyhose). A perfidious bald-faced liar is what you’re likely to be called if you tell an average Ugandan man that some of his peers wear leggings. You’ll lose all credibility with him if you don’t quickly provide an internet link to a website with pictorial evidence to back you up.

The man purse or murse isn’t nearly as shocking, but it comes a close second in the list of trends men are following that have made some people marvel at the amount of self confidence/ sheer insanity that they must possess. This purse is not really bad looking and is only good for a couple of sniggers. This is mostly because the only other demographic that carries purses for no apparent reason is 9-13 year old girls; the kind who’re partial to T-shirts that scream ‘Girls rule boys drool’ in diamante.

A man-purse is not a satchel or a little backpack. According to the urban dictionary, it’s an over the shoulder bag worn by men who live in the more urbanized areas. It’s not too popular and the unfortunate holder of the bag will almost certainly be picked on, whispered about or deemed the honorary ‘fag of the day’. It’s far more common in the European nations (especially France) where people aren’t so silly and suspicious of doing things that will make them seem fruity.

After quickly googling it, Raymond says, “I think I just might do a man purse. It looks cool and seems like a handy way to carry around things like pot and associated equipment but leggings?! Not even when I’m dead.”

Jerolyn’s problem with this purse is it implies that the man wearing it is the type to wake up in the morning, drawl ‘good morning beautiful’ at his reflection , have a bubble bath and then spend an inordinate amount of time trying on clothes. She says, “It just seems like a whole lot of effort is being made and that’s just weird.”

Jackie, like Raymond has to google man-purse first. She says the closest she’s seen to a guy holding one is when Brian, a classmate of hers moves around clutching his pencil case. “It’s like he’s saying ‘I take my pens and pencils more seriously than you do, you careless female’”.

Can a woman-in good conscience-let her boyfriend wear a pair of leggings? Rose is a firm believer in ‘size’ and says that if he can wear leggings with no real embarrassment, she doesn’t want to be dating him in the first place. She’s got no problem with guys holding purses because, “girls are always making their boyfriends hold their bags for them. It’s nothing new.”

Some people like Sam Otea think there is a ploy to feminize the human species. He says, ‘There are mantyhoses? Wow. I’m not against chicks, but I’ve had my share of limp-wristed males without having a Victor’s secret for all men. As for those murses, they’re unnecessary accessories that will make men even more bird-like than before because now when a boda guy snatches your murse, like he does a lady’s, you’ll be tempted to scream, “My purse! My purse!” which is not a very masculine thing to say, let alone scream, whether you like pansy-hoses as King Julian would put it- or not’.

Is this the skinny-jeans-on-men controversy all over again? Won’t men’s leggings will explode in the world’s face (wardrobe) the moment Kanye or Lil weezy or whoever is popular at the time frames his nuts in a pair of spandex tights in a spanking new video?

Adonyo says, ‘No! I don’t copy weird celebs but yes, I own a purse. My girlfriend chose it for me and I just love it! It’s a real simple one, plain with flowery detail at the back. As for leggings on men, I’m too principled for such. I don’t even like them on girls, ok; maybe I can stand them at parties, but not as a dress code!’

Kabanda would use a man-purse if it looked like a small laptop bag but leggings are a strong no go area for him. ‘You say they’re comfortable and will make my ankles look sexier? What about all the poor leg hairs that will get caught in that stocking material?!  Then there’s the issue of breathing space. Certain appendages of men fluctuate in size during the course of the day and I’m not interested in being neutered by fashion.”

If the ladies’ opinions are anything to go by, men who’re comfortable with purses and leggings are weird because they’re breaching some sort of diva line. If even harsh public opinion can’t stop them donning leggings and clutching cute purses, a time is surely coming when girls will be fighting for mirror space with their boyfriends, and even worse, for their attention.

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