Thoughts About Women, Purses, and Their Place on TV, Film & – OMG! – Real Life

by Elizabeth English

Do you ever wonder how it is possible that women in movies & TV almost never carry purses? Somehow, they go out for the day without a purse, drive a car, talk on their cell phones, use their credit card, and All without a purse to hold them, or pockets.

Even in cop shows, guns, handcuffs, car keys, flashlight, cell phones, etc. arrive in their hands without any place to hold them prior to their use!

Example: Julia Roberts’ character in the Pretty Woman film, dressed in a skin-tight mini dress, spends the day going around Beverly Hills ?in taxis, shopping at all the exclusive boutiques and ?stores, having lunch in a restaurant, & etc., then returns to her hotel room, without a purse to hold her credit card, lipstick, hairbrush, Kleenex, hotel keys, money, or anything else she may need for all of these activities. It’s the fantasy magic of film, apparently!

Think about all the stuff in your purse, women, and try to imagine going out for the day with no purse at all, but when you need something, it magically appears in your hand, like on TV or in movies.

Apparently, as far as the directors know the only women who wear purses are old ladies with a big black patent leather purse over their forearm, or homeless/ mentally ill bag ladies.

A true story: I went on a blind date with a guy from Texas, who, when he picked me up at my house, suggested that I leave my purse at home. I thought he was kidding and just brought it with me. He said I didn’t need it, as he would take care of everything.

When we got to the restaurant, he insisted that I leave my purse in the car, but of course I refused. He was royally pissed off, for some reason.

In the restaurant, he was rude and uncommunicative, hardly spoke at all, and the minute we were done, he stood up & said let’s go, giving me the fish-eye, and saying, sarcastically, “don’t forget your purse!“

When he drove me home he just sat in the car, silently, and looking straight ahead, so I said thank you for dinner, got out and the minute I closed the car door, he quickly drove off.

I could not figure out why he was so angry about the purse, but I finally realized that having a purse means that the woman is independent, and can take care of herself, call a cab, (Uber or Lyft, these days), call 911 if needed, pay for her own dinner, etc. and all that, and the man apparently wanted to be completely in control, with the woman being totally dependent on him for everything, and at his mercy, so she had better act right!


Elizabeth English is the Director and muse of The Moondance International Film Festival and one of the most knowledgeable writers/directors/producers and all around swell human beings we know. You can and should find out more about the Moondance International Film Festival HERE.