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Women tell the NFL: Go bag the bag ban

Tuesday, 20 Aug 2013 | 10:44 AM ET
A security checkpoints at an NFL preseason football game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Tennessee Titans
AP
A security checkpoints at an NFL preseason football game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Tennessee Titans

The NFL thought it had problems with the players union, a boring preseason and head injuries.

Now it's spawned an angry mob made up of half the population of the United States.

A new policy at NFL stadiums this year limits the size of purses to "small clutch bags, approximately the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap." A clutch the size of a hand means you can carry an ID, money, one lipstick and an iPhone. Anything more has to be carried in a large clear plastic bag, like the ones you use for liquids to prove to TSA agents you are not an underwear bomber.


Does anyone know a single female out there who can go anywhere for more than 30 minutes with only a hand-sized clutch?

Women fans showing up to NFL preseason games unaware of the new policy have had to go back to their cars to stow their purses. One claimed she had to throw hers away. "If I were a thief, I would show up to a @nfl game. I would say at least 50% of all cars will have a purse in it. #ihatefootball," tweeted one woman quoted in USA Today.

Obviously the NFL is run by men unaware that a woman's purse is an extension of herself. Sure, the league says it's about fan safety and moving lines at the entrance along, blah blah blah, but force a woman to leave that 25-pound shoulder suitcase behind, and you might as well cut off her arm while you're at it.

This is bigger than purses. This is about freedom, choice, women's rights. Are you ready for some (political) football?

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Two women have hit YouTube with a hilarious video that makes fun of the new policy by making fun of themselves. They equate the NFL purse ban with Roe v. Wade in "My Purse, My Choice."

How dire is it when you can't take all your belongings into the stadium with you? "You can't see if you have anything in your teeth, because you don't have at least three Sephora mirrors you got with gift cards," complains one woman in the video. (Watch it here.)

The two women, dressed dramatically in black, go on to point out that purses carry items "essential to our freedoms and securing our future." What kind of items? "Gum. My aviators, my tortoise-shell Ray-Bans, my cheap sunglasses. A smaller purse," along with trash, Groupons, a weapon, someone else's smaller purse and my favorite, "17 J. Crew receipts."

As for carrying extras in a large plastic bag, the women dismissed that as "disgusting, because I don't want strangers to see what's in my purse."

Their campaign has only merely started. The two have created a #MyPurseMyChoice hashtag on Twitter. Yet even as they shout into the camera that the NFL should "Come and take it," it's clear as they lift up shoulder bags heavier than loads most firefighters carry, they were a lot more comfortable without their purses.

Come to think of it, if you can carry a purse heavier than a small Fiat all day around a stadium, why aren't there any women on the offensive line?

—By CNBC's Jane Wells. Follow her on Twitter: @janewells.

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  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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