Pockets are a feminist issue

Pockets are a feminist issue.

I found the perfect pair of trousers in Penny’s recently. Black velvet, long enough for my legs, and most important, with pockets. I got home, tried them on and they were comfortable and flattering. So I went right back to Penney’s to buy another couple of pairs.

Grabbed them off the rail and took them home in triumph. I was sorted for the next six months.

Put one pair on this morning and discovered they didn’t have pockets. Only the first pair did. Still, they looked good, felt great, so no problem?

Until I picked up my phone, a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and some cotton wool balls (we have a badly trained lurcher, don’t judge) and headed down the stairs. First problem. No pockets meant my hands were now full, and I was going down the stairs without being able to use the bannisters. And that badly trained lurcher had left hair brushes, a hot water bottle, a pine cone and a couple of plastic bottle strewn on the stairs. I did make it downstairs safely, but only just.

And throughout history, this has been a factor for women. It’s not too bad now, when we can wear trousers, and stairs are built with steps all the same size, but for a woman in a long skirt, it’s essential to have a firm grip on the stair railing or you risk breaking your neck. And if you have anything in your hand, you have to chose between holding your skirt up, or holding the railing.

Hence the necessity for pockets.

Every woman is aware of how difficult it is to get clothes with decent pockets. Even jeans which come with five pockets, tend to have ones so small that they are fashion details and totally useless. “Putting anything in the pockets will spoil the line of the garment,” the fashion guru says. “You don’t want to look lumpy, do you?”

jeans-no-pockets

Actually, I’d put up with a few lumps if to be able to carry my wallet, phone and keys in safety.

Oddly, men don’t seem to have the same problem. Lumps are not a deterrent to masculine pockets. They have pockets that can hold their stuff, as well as a decent hanky, and if you are American, even the odd hand gun.

One of the funny things at fetish events is seeing men coping with the lack of pockets, often for the first time in their lives.

Even babies’ clothes have better pockets than most women’s clothes.

iphone-6-in-womens-jeans-pocket-1

It’s not just a minor inconvenience. It can put women in danger. Everyone has to carry the same stuff – phone, money, credit cards, keys, perhaps medication, tissues, a comb, a pen. Nothing big, but all stuff that’s necessary. Without pockets that will hold those items, you need a bag. This effectively means that women are functioning with one and a half arms, since keeping hold of the bag takes attention.

A bag which holds your valuables is a magnet for thieves. So you have to be aware of security at all times. You can’t just walk through the streets, swinging your arms and enjoying the exercise. That bag is makes you a potential victim.

When you go shopping, you have to mind your bag. Trying on shoes while minding your handbag, that’s fun. In a cafe, you have to pull out your special little hook to hang your bag under the table in case someone tries to steal it. And don’t get me started on what it’s like going dancing in a club….

Notice how men don’t have this problem. They put their stuff into their pockets and off they go.

suit-with-pockets

It’s interesting that the clothes which are deemed most feminine and attractive rarely have functional pockets, while the ones that do, cargo pants, dungarees, overcoats, all have butch overtones. Opting for the functionality of pockets is almost an admission that you are opting out of femininity. You’re sacrificing desirability for practicality.

Except it’s nonsense. So demand pockets. Refuse to buy clothes that don’t have decent pockets. Don’t let some idiot’s vision of fashion restrict your life.

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About Eileen Gormley

Writer
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