I am a woman.
I carry a handbag. I have several of them. I never understood how I could accumulate so much stuff, but hey, I’m like a Girl Scout: always prepared. I have my wallet, sure. I have keys, I carry around a sample of Advil (not for me, necessarily, but for other people. Because you just don’t know). Tissues. Gum, mints. I have emergency supplies of feminine products. Because trust me, no woman should be without access to that stuff. I have a hairbrush, maybe some lip gloss. My phone, charger (both car and traditional electrical outlet). Diffferent types of passes, like my Metrocard or even a ZipCard in case I need a car.
When I go to a sporting event, I usually have a smaller bag with me, one that’s across my body, and not a shoulder bag in the traditional sense. One that doesn’t weigh like 90 lbs, but one that is able to give me basic needs. Like a small wallet, my keys, my phone, a charger if it fits, and my tickets since of course you can never get into your section without a check or interrogation, depending on the section you are seated.
In case you were not aware (I am aware, I just didn’t give a shit enough to write about it at first), the NFL across the board prohibited traditional handbags or types of carry-alls that typically women (let’s be fair, some men do too) bring into stadiums. I guess the people who implemented this fabulous idea (note: sarcasm) didn’t really think that up to four hours is a long enough time to go without certain items, like tampons or maxipads. Oh, sure, people can bring in clear bags. But who wants all their personal shit out in the open? I mean, they are called “discrete” products for a reason.
I have not been to a football game this year, I plan to, but I am not sure how successful or unsuccessful this practice has been. But I’m guessing that if it does save the time, aggravation and “security” aspect of the games, perhaps this can be implemented across the board in all sports.
I say FUCK that. It’s more than just “where will I put my tampons” issue. It’s for anyone who wants to be remotely comfortable at a sporting event for several hours. I’m standing up for everyone who has ever brought a bag into a stadium setting. And not just one to carry personal belongings. There are bags that carry cameras and other items that are not banned in games. Where do you plan to carry these items?
The rule is flawed for several reasons. I’ll try to enumerate each of them, if I can. But I’m sure I’ll forget some.
2.) It provides the bias that most fans are coming straight from home. How many people do you know, in a major metropolitan area, are able to have enough time to go from work, to home, to a game, being able to safely put their items in a place before going? Not many! I carry a large city bag, as I call it, since I work for myself and go from meeting to meeting. Sometimes, I don’t have time to go home before going to a game. Someone like my husband travels somewhat of a distance via mass transit. He certainly wouldn’t have enough time to drop his stuff off and change. Like many folks, we carry stuff via bag to work. Where the hell do we plan to leave these things if we don’t have a car and/or time to do that? You’ll have more people opting to go straight home, and staying there.
3.) Sure, this rule unfairly targets women, who usually carry some kind of handbag…but men carry bags too. I’m not talking about “murses,” my husband, as an example, carries his lunch, reading materials, keys for work, and maybe some other preparatory stuff. What’s he supposed to do with that stuff? If there are restrictions on bags, then the things we are allowed to bring into the stadium, like water, snacks, soft drinks, aren’t too far behind. Most people do not have lockers they can leave their stuff in overnight, either. Some days I work, and have a big bag that I carry with me. If I can’t lock it up anywhere, I have no choice but to bring it to a game with me. I don‘t like it, but what else can I do?
4.) Cameras. I have friends who have like professional looking cameras and like taking pics at sporting events with different lenses. Sure, we’re just regular Joe Schmoes, but they’re called spectator sports for a reason. I don’t see anything contrary, but if this rule applies to people with cameras, they’re screwed.
There seem to be looser restrictions on those who need to carry diaper bags, as an example, or even medications. But I truly believe these rules, overall, serve one segment of the population: the glorified Paul Blarts who work one fucking day a week and don’t want to do their jobs. Quicker lines, my big fat ass. They’ll still manage to take their sweet ass time making sure fans get in for kickoff. Here are two novel ideas: go in a little earlier, or have more people at the bag check (there are express and “local” lines at entrances…they were working fine). I can’t tell you, even at a baseball game, when they have basically two people wanding people or patting down and one person doing bag checks. PEOPLE DO BRING BAGS TO GAMES. Stop being cheapskates and pay more personnel to do their jobs.
Lastly, look at the type of items I numbered that we typically use bags for. Soft drinks, blankets, sweatshirts, snacks. You know what I think? It’s a profit thing. You can’t bring things into the stadium? BUY THEM SUCKAS!!!!! They’ve been doing it for years at baseball games for water and drinks, why not extend it to basically anything else? Seriously, where the fuck else you gonna go?? You can’t leave and get re-entry. (I also find it very telling that they suggest logo bags for the clear bags. Really, guys?)
I know I may jump to conclusions, and perhaps if more people complain about the restrictions, they’ll knock it off. Chances are, if successful, it could be implemented across the board for all sports. That’s bad. It unfairly penalizes people who HAVE LIVES, and often can’t make a handoff. I feel like if more people aren’t talking about this, Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, among others, could easily follow suit. Problem here, is that they have more than 16 games per year.
And it unfairly penalizes the fan who wants to spend their discretionary income at sporting events.