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Is the iPad making men effeminate?

A report suggests that sales of manbags are soaring, because men need somewhere to put their iPads. At the same time, women's bags are getting smaller. Is this logical?

Yes, the word "manbag" seems to have entered the lexicon. Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Purses are a sensitive subject. Murses even more so.

The other week, I was in a restaurant when my friend Ariane ballistically assaulted a man because he had placed his clutch on the bar. It was a very expensive clutch.

"Men," she huffed at him, "shouldn't carry clutches."

She spent the rest of the evening bemoaning: "A clutch? A clutch?" She's Belgian. She therefore has strong opinions, especially about men.

Still, there seems to be evidence of a sort that men are carrying more purses and that technology is to blame.

Today's Daily Mail, for example, reveals that sales of manbags are up 2,700 percent, a rise attributed to iPads and other slightly larger gadgets that men need to carry around.

The Mail goes on to emote that as manbags have proliferated -- and become heavier than women's -- the size of women's bags has decreased by 61 percent.

This it puts down (in so many ways) to women's gadgets becoming smaller.

I confess to being a little confused by this analysis. The Mail is normally so very clear about what it's trying to say.

And yet the implication here seems to be that men feel the need to carry iPads around in large girlie bags, while women don't feel the need to carry them around at all.

Might it be that women's bags are getting smaller, because they, too, have separate bags for their iPads and other vital tech paraphernalia?

There is something peculiar, though, about the need to carry all this gadgetry around.

Some will be feel that men with large leather bags tossed around their shoulders offers a fetching fashion statement.

Others will recoil at the thought.

However, when the dependency is so great that people feel the need to walk down the street staring into their iPads -- as I witnessed only last week -- then surely society ought to be concerned.

It is less worrying that men might allegedly become more girlie. It is far more worrisome that men will become even duller than they are now.