I have read that "poskim" say that carrying an item will alleviate the problem of walking between two women. Does anyone know the names of these poskim or seforim that say this?
The source for this is no doubt an interpretation of P'sahim (111a); the source for not walking between women in the first place:
הני תרי נשי דיתבן בפרשת דרכים חדא בהאי גיסא דשבילא וחדא באידך גיסא ומכוונן אפייהו להדדי ודאי בכשפים עסיקן מאי תקנתיה אי איכא דירכא אחרינא ליזיל בה ואי ליכא דירכא אחרינא אי איכא איניש אחרינא בהדיה נינקטו לידייהו בהדי הדדי וניחלפו ואי ליכא איניש אחרינא נימא הכי אגרת אזלת אסיא בלוסיא מתקטלא בחיק קבל
These two women, who are sitting at a crossroads, one on this side of the road and the other on the other side, and they are facing each other, they are certainly engaging in witchcraft. What is the remedy for one who walks by? If there is another route, he should go by it. And if there is no other route, if there is another person with him, they should hold hands and switch places. And if there is no other person with him, he should say as follows: Iggeret, Azlat, Asiya, Belusiya are killed by arrows. [These are names of demons invoked by witches. Rashi] (Sefaria).
That is, if one is scared that women are witches plotting demonic mischief he can hold his friend's hand. Presumably this is then generalised to other cases. The idea that holding something alleviates the problem of walking between two women, is quoted by the Nitei Gavriel here. As is mentioned here.
- Tiv Yehoshua 2:12
- Beis Baruch vol. 1 page 402
- Zichron Tov letter 29
- Lev Eliyahu Bereishis introduction page 27
"Some maintain that if the man passing in the middle carries an article such as an umbrella or a sefer, he is not considered to be passing alone between the two women and the warning does not apply. [citations above.] This is, however, not unanimously held - Responsa Vay'varech Dovid 122 and Chazon Ish quoted in Shemiras Haguf V'Hanefesh page 334"
-R'Eliyohu Falk in Modesty, an Adornment for Life, p. 505