Those 5-inch inseam shorts some men like to wear probably don’t offer much room in the pockets. Where, then, is the male thot supposed to keep his necessities? Not just his phone, keys and wallet, but his film camera, copy of Sean Thor Conroe’s Fuccboi and bottle of hibiscus water?
Well, in a tote bag, of course. Like a slut.
Perhaps something as unsexy and mundane as the tote bag doesn’t immediately scream “slut” to the uninformed, but those attuned to the tendencies of the metropolitan male know it as a clear sign of their promiscuity. At very least, this is the opinion increasingly being voiced online by the women who know them.
On Twitter, there are dozens of tweets from women expressing the sentiment. “He’s a slut if he owns a tote bag,” tweeted @watchyourhe4d yesterday. “Men who carry a tote bag as their school bag are sluts,” @nearwi1dheaven wrote back in February. “Men carrying their belongings in a tote bag is ran through behavior,” @almondtiddies posted in January. Similarly on TikTok, @ramenrams made a video with the caption, “If he’s one of them creatives with a tote bag,” along with the audio, “I can tell you, that bitch is a hoe.”
The main question is, what business do you, as a man, have carrying around enough items to necessitate a tote bag? Most would just use a backpack or a lowly plastic bag, but a man with a tote bag is either trying to make a statement or has been turned on to the tote bag by a previous partner — i.e., both slut behaviors.
The whore aspect is multiplied depending on the tote bag itself. At the lowest tier of sluttiness is the unmarked reusable grocery bag, followed by the branded but still relatively anonymous tote from, like, a dentists’ office. Then we have the NPR or New Yorker totes, which are just mainstream enough to go unnoticed but still signal one’s media habits. From there, you have the totes for more niche media outlets, brands like Aimé Leon Dore or a friend’s startup mezcal company. At the peak of whore behavior is the tote they designed themselves.
In other words, the tote has become a sign of sluttiness for men because it’s clearly a means of making a statement. And as with prior discussions of what constitutes male aesthetic thotiness, it’s intention above all else. What is slutty, in this context, is the desire to express oneself with clothing and accessories for the purpose of attracting attention. And so, lest he ruin his fit by bulking up the pockets with his essentials, he carries a tote to preserve the look, signal a message and accommodate the other unnecessary objects he carries around to further demonstrate his cultural cachet.
Like being a slut writ large, there’s nothing wrong with that. Just know we see right through that chaste little layer of canvas.