With the prevalence of public transportation in urban Japan, going out on the town means having to lug any belongs you’re taking with you around for the day. This adds a bit of a complication for couples out on a date. Assuming things are going well and the lovebirds are spending several hours together, at some point the woman’s purse is going to start feeling heavy, but how many Japanese guys are willing to step up and shoulder the task of carrying their girl’s bag for her?

Nico Nico News recently polled its male website members, asking them, “Are you the kind of guys who would carry a girl’s bag for her?” Of the 233 respondents, roughly one in three, or 34 percent to be precise, said they were, expanding on their policy with the following statements.

“I don’t really make a conscious decision to, but I just sort of do it.”
“It’s the chivalrous thing to do.”
“If we’re shopping and she has a lot of stuff to carry, I’ll hold it for her.”
“I want to let her know ‘I’m a considerate guy.’”
“It’s a chance, as a guy, to show her some kindness.”
“Men and women are different, and I think it’s a greater burden for a woman to have to hold heavy things.”
“Helping out a woman who isn’t physically strong is the obvious thing to do.”

On the other hand, 66 percent of those surveyed said they’d rather not hold their companion’s purse for her. Some said they found it embarrassing, as even though it’s common for Japanese urbanite men to carry some sort of messenger bag or pouch when they go out, their designs still aren’t as feminine as a full-on purse.

Looks weren’t the only thing that made men averse to carrying a woman’s bag though. Other explanations included:

“People should be able to carry their own things.”
“A bag is part of a woman’s fashion and outfit, so it’s weird for a guy to hold it.”
“If you can’t handle carrying it, don’t bring such a heavy bag.”
“We aren’t their manservants.”

All else equal, it seems like most woman would appreciate a guy who’s at least willing to carry her bag for her. Some men feel there are deeper factors at play here, though, and by their calculations, not carrying a woman’s bag makes a better impression. “A surprising number of people don’t like others carrying their belongings,” explained one respondent, “so I don’t want to pressure her to let me carry her bag.” Another member of the non-carrying camp had multiple layers to his philosophy, as he’s not opposed to helping out per se, but still said “I don’t want her to think I have ulterior motives.”

That would sound like a pretty clear case of overthinking things, except that over on the other side of a debate, one respondent who said he’s happy to carry a woman’s bag readily gave his reason as “I have ulterior motives.” Another said his impetus was “I want to win her over,” although in total less than five percent of those polled were hoping that carrying a woman’s bag would improve themselves in her eyes.

Honestly, we never had any idea that this was such a weighty psychological issue.

Source: Nico Nico News via Jin