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12th February 2021

A pocket-sized problem, a modern-day inequality

Ever tried to put your phone in the pocket of your new jeans and found it to be fake? Or your dress pocket is hardly big enough for a phone? There’s a reason for that.
A pocket-sized problem, a modern-day inequality
Photo: Karley Saagi @ Pexels

Graceful walk, delicate hands, cheerful demeanour. These are just a few of the gender stereotypes that women face. But the reality? We have places to be, things to carry, and can be moody bitches at times.

There are many ways in which society is sexist towards women, from cultural traditions such as being ‘given’ to her husband at a wedding, to controlling their personal choices by dictating pocket size. Yes, you read that right: pocket size. Because pockets are a modern-day inequality.

For starters, very few of women’s clothes actually have pockets. Leggings and jeggings have FAKE pockets (fockets), t-shirt pockets only offer room for a tissue at most, and it’s impossible for crop-tops to have them.

What’s more, items of clothing that do have pockets are disastrously affected by them. Take, for example, dress pockets: if one were to put even a small, everyday item such as a key into this pocket, the fine equilibrium of the piece would be ruined. Bye-bye perfect silhouettes, hello uneven sides and bulges.

Even jeans which, by design, have numerous pockets, fail to meet the simplest of standards. Too shallow for a phone, too slim for a purse, not even long enough to cover the (most essential) figure of a sanitary pad.

Photo: Couleur @ PIXNIO

By contrast, when we look at men’s clothing options, a myriad of pocket opportunities are available. From suit trousers to chinos, a four-pocket rule seems to apply. Even shorts have ample room for this novel creation!

There is also a notable difference when it comes to jean pockets, and men’s pocket-size in general -men’s are so deep you could even put your hands in them if you wish! A luxury for us women!

There are even styles of men’s trousers dedicated to storage space! Army-style trousers and work pants have pockets covering the legs, from hips and thighs to ankles. So why is there no alternative in women’s clothing?

“But women don’t need pockets, they have handbags”

Another example of sexism! Sure, some women prefer to use handbags, but a woman should be able to choose whether she wants to carry one or not (just as men can). Yet society takes away this choice as fashion-house big-wigs don’t give equal amounts of pocket space to women as men, in the same way that women are denied equal rights.

Photo: pics_pd @ PIXNIO

Isn’t it evident how many problems pockets cause? Call it a first-world problem if you wish but they affect women everywhere. The solution is a simple fix: use our noggins to make women’s clothes fashionable and practical.

“There is no way we can combine fashionable and practical.”

But it’s simple! Pockets are so versatile they can be made into a statement piece on an item of clothing (for example, patch pockets) or even be hidden. By simple strategic placement of pockets, we can ensure that the ultimate goal of combining style and practicality can be achieved.

Want another positive? Incorporating better pockets into women’s clothes wouldn’t just benefit us women, but the whole of society. It would mean one less inequality and less stress for women, not to mention the men who are forced to sacrifice some of their pocket space to carry women’s belongings as they are rationed on pocket space. In turn, if you think about it logically, this small adjustment would give women more independence.

“But what about companies that manufacture handbags?” 

These too would feel the benefit! In this consumerist society, there will always be a need for products such as handbags, as some women would no doubt choose to use handbags instead of, or as well as, pockets -but at least we’ll have that choice to make!

Capitalism and sexism may thrive on this inequality, but that doesn’t mean we can’t change it? Let’s fight against this modern-day inequality, disguised within pockets, rather than being content with our limited choices and rights. Even if it’s only a pocket-sized problem.

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