Pocket sized problems


My friend posted a picture on facebook of a new pair of pants she’d bought with fake pockets, with the caption “WHY, FASHION INDUSTRY. WHY? Sexist bastards, give me my pockets.”

This led to a discussion/complaining session in the comments about how pockets on women’s pants are always annoyingly tiny or nonexistent. One guy in the comments posted, “What’s wrong with guys carrying your stuff for you? Wouldn’t you rather us carry them?” I explained that no, we really would not rather have to ask a guy whenever we wanted to use our phones, buy something, etc. His response was, “It’s called a purse?” I said, “purses suck. you have to carry them around and then they get stolen,” because in my experience, purses have largely just been a huge pain.

He answered, “I believe that’s why humans created purses. Get over it. If your that frustrated with your pants not having pockets, go major in fashion, and start your own business that sells pants and shorts for women, with pockets.”

I guess pocket sexism is Our Fault, We’re Female. #MFIF



39 Responses to “Pocket sized problems”

  1. sitakali Says:

    Yes, every time we see a sexist flaw in our culture, we must start our own business to fix that specific flaw.

    • Uly Says:

      I’ve had that comment in regards to book reviews.

      If I review a picture book that has a large cast but few, if any, non-white characters, I mention it. Why? Because this is important to me.

      “Well, why don’t you write your OWN book?!?!?!?” Because I don’t fucking want to…?

  2. H Says:

    Wow, unfortunate to be friends with such assholes.

    I totally agree about the ‘pocket sexism’, btw (great phrase! I like that it indirectly sums up how this seems insignificant and small – ‘pocket’ – but is actually a slight on women.) You’d never get fake or pretend pockets on men’s clothes.

    The cynic in me – and cynicism is usually justified when it comes to fashion – says that small pockets in clothes mean manufacturers sell more bags.

    • Enoon Says:

      Sports coats often come with pockets that are sewn shut, but can become functional with alteration. I didn’t understand why an manufacturer would even bother with fakes, but that’s a great point: if a company makes bags AND pants. it IS in their best interest to force the purchase of both– fiendish.

    • H Says:

      Oops, I just noticed that I wrote ‘fake’ and ‘pretend’, I meant that to be ‘fake’ or ‘tiny’. Because otherwise I’m just repeating the same word.

      & yes, fiendish is the word for it!

    • PB Says:

      Actually, I have – at least in regard to the segment of men’s clothing that fits “smart”,”cerimonial”,”elegant” and/or “sportly classy” – to disagree : my father couldn’t find a sigle jacket with Real Pockets (his expression of disgust once he realized that they were fake – priceless) in the last 10 years.

      A stylish-savvy acquaintance said it was due to “pockets ruining the fit of the clothing”.
      I say that the poor stylists are clearly too underpaid to come up with anything remotely close to “useful”.

    • Grafton Says:

      Indeed. Fake pockets on suit jackets is commonplace. The reason being that you cannot actually carry much of anything in those lower front pockets without disrupting the line of the suit, but they’re a traditional design detail.

      The bit that’s probably revealing is the fact that these fake pockets only occur on men’s clothing that is very much about being seen in. Less formal men’s clothes are about function, and have pockets. But evidently almost all women’s clothing is about being seen?

      • H Says:

        Ah, I didn’t think about suits, thanks for refining my point somewhat. I guess the implication is that men are only expected to put up with impractical clothing on special occasions, whereas women’s everyday clothing is meant to be about aesthetics rather than usefulness.

        PB, I agree about lack of pockets often being cost-cutting, but then, I agree with your stylish friend too, full pockets do often look scruffy and ruin the fit…

  3. Trix Says:

    So where the hell is HIS purse?

  4. The Heff Says:

    I did not realise that women’s trousers don’t come with pockets. Reading this blog is very enlightening. I knew there were a lot of idiots out there who hassle women, but you don’t even get pockets on trousers? That’s taking the piss.

    • Jen Says:

      Oh, do go away.

      • SkyHawk Says:

        Wait, what? “Taking the piss” is a colloquialism for “That’s bullshit”.

      • Jen Says:

        Thanks, I’m aware of that. I think The Heff is rather enjoying leaving sarcastic comments on many posts here, which is what I’m referring to…

    • Julian Says:

      Not only do women’s trousers very rarely come with pockets, but where there are pockets they’re often purely for show (bit of material stitched on with a button) and don’t actually have a real pocket underneath.

  5. Axiomatic Says:

    That’s why I love pants with extra pockets on the knees. I need so many pockets.

  6. Katie Says:

    And then people get all disgusted when I put stuff down my bra for safekeeping. Sorry, would YOU like to keep track of my purse all night?

    • H Says:

      On a similar point, I also really hate it when I read or see in shops that bags without straps are in fashion. Clutch bags look cute, but you can’t fit much in them, they’re easy to lose (your bra trick is smart, don’t know if I’d dare try it though!), and in a similar way to high heels, are a way of restricting women through fashion, since they essentially disable the use of one of your hands.

  7. Morjanne Says:

    Ha, I have money in my bra when I’m out, too 🙂
    Most barkeepers are quite surprised…

    On Topic: Why, God, why don’t you give us pockets? You’re not really implying just because fashion doesn’t want me to have my own wallet, I should find a man to carry it for me, are you?

    I think it is not the purse-industry that decided so, but lazy men 🙂 Cause whenever we’re out and I am the one with the giant purse for my money and keys and make up and so on (and on…) my boyfriend gives me his stuff, too, and asks “Do you mind…?”

  8. A Different Sam Says:

    I love the “I believe that’s why humans created purses” line. The guy makes it sound like purses are some natural law handed down from heaven for this divine purpose.

    • Alibelle Says:

      Not to mention purses were created before women wore pants, so it seems that it’s more likely clothing designers thought “ladies love them some fucking purses” and don’t put pockets on because of that. Not the other way around.

  9. jesurgislac Says:

    This is why I buy jeans designed for men. True, they don’t fit as well as jeans designed for women would: but I can’t *live* with the teeny tiny ickle pickle pockets the stupid manufacturers put into the jeans designed for women.

    I resent the non-existence of pockets in clothing designed for women pretty much every day I have to put it on.

    “The guy makes it sound like purses are some natural law handed down from heaven for this divine purpose.”

    Bet he doesn’t carry a purse.

  10. Meghan Says:

    I hate women’s pockets so much! They are shallow and therefore useless when I want to just grab my wallet and go. When I was in Jr High I would buy boy’s cargo pants because it was ‘out of style’ in girl’s/women’s wear. Once I bought a pair of women’s pants that did have a pocket on the leg, but I later found that it was a sectioned pocket for pencils or something, very impractical.

    I also hate purses because I am a ‘tomboy’ and it’s just not my style, on top of the theft argument.

    • Jessy Says:

      I also only wear men’s jeans. It’s the only way I can ever carry my phone around where I can hear it if it rings. Also I find that many women’s jeans seem to be made of cheaper material and aren’t as durable as men’s jeans. And the sizes make sense! I know exactly what size to get in men’s jeans which give you both the legth and width in units of measurement I understand, but with women’s jeans I just get one number with maybe a long or short? In units of measurement from what planet?

  11. Amelia Says:

    I like my purse. It’s big enough to hit someone and do some damage.

    • jesurgislac Says:

      *shrug* I just pull my mobile out of my pocket and call the police. That way I don’t need to resort to violence. And I always know where my mobile is.

    • Alibelle Says:

      That’s not really the point is it? You like purses so not having pockets isn’t an issue for you, YAY! Women who hate purses are still getting fucked over by not having pockets, your like or dislike of purses has no impact on that fact.

      And honestly, despite the fact that I often carry a purse, I need pockets to slip my phone or whatever I will need for the next ten minutes or so into. When I know I’m getting a call and I don’t want my phone constantly in my hand it sucks that my only other option sometimes is to drop it back into my purse where I may never find it again.

  12. Zee Says:

    Up until high school I refused to wear girl pants for that reason. Then my mom forced me to start wearing jeans (I guess she was ashamed of my fashion sense XD) so I made it a point to always find girl pants i could fit my phone and wallet in. Then I just made it a habit of not carrying anything but those two objects. It’s worked well. Purses can go eff themselves, I like freedom of my hands and carrying crap around all day is not fun.

  13. Jonathan Says:

    Does anyone know manufacturers of womens clothing that DO include decent pockets? As a guy i don’t have any suggestions since i don’t wear womens pants, but this would be a great place to gather together a list of makers to look at.

    • artsynomad Says:

      Old Navy jeans seem to have decent pockets. I only wear the
      “classic rise,” though, and I suspect that the low-rise jeans have smaller pockets.

    • Larcley Says:

      New York and Company often has decent-sized pockets (even on their jean leggings, they’re usually real and usable). The brand Vigoss also seems to have consistantly usable pockets. Both of these brands are relatively cheap, as a bonus.

    • Flutterby Says:

      I just got an excellent pair of cargo pants manufactured by Unionbay. I’ve tried wearing men’s pants, but as a small woman with narrow hips and a protruding ass, I just can’t find any that fit me at all. Not sure if Unionbay makes pants for average or larger sizes, but for us slender-and-curvy-in-inconvenient-ways types, they rock.

  14. Amy Says:

    Funny how your male friend asked you what was wrong with just getting a guy to carry your stuff for you.

    Has someone not broken the news to him yet that women sometimes go out… gasp… whisper it… on their own?!

    Pocket sexism really makes clubbing stressful too. Unless you want to ‘dance round your handbag’…. *eye roll*

  15. Anne Says:

    Or Amy, pay god knows how much to have it in the cloakroom.

  16. Nika Says:

    Maybe pockets are the one bonus to plus-size jeans. I’m a jeans and t-shirt kinda girl, and Deb jeans have always had decent sized pockets on the pairs I buy.

    I have huge issues with the treatment of mens v/ women’s clothes too though (like why do women’s plus sizes cost more than reg. sizes, but men’s plus sizes are the same price as reg. sizes.)

  17. Dude Says:

    Clearly, if an industry is sexist, it’s your fault for not running that industry.

  18. pope suburban Says:

    I’m all for changing things, actually. It solves problems and stymies people who still want to pick on you or treat you like you’re just a whiner. Plus, come on, one could clearly make some money on women’s pants with sensible pockets. It’d be pretty cool to make all those people happy and change how we as a culture think of pockets, pants and gender.

    I’m not thick enough to think it’s okay to blame and name-call, though, so I suppose that’s the difference between this guy and me. Well, one of them, anyway.

    • Flutterby Says:

      I don’t think OP was mad at the guy for suggesting that changes should be made to the industry, but because he essentially said, “If you’re not going to go into the industry and claw out equality with your own sweat and blood, STFU.”

  19. Arsen D. Says:

    Useful pockets are a fashion faux pas. When things are put in them (Especially the ones on the side), they bulge out and some people think they look bad. But there is a genius solution to this problem. Those that want to be fashionable and not have the bulge can opt not to use the pockets. What brilliance!

    The idea that most women literally need to have their pockets sewn up to enforce fashion laws is cras. The only time I have seen men’s fashion enforced like that was when Target had Keenan Duffy’s “David Bowie” clothing line. A spiffy vest (One of which I and my female roommates all own) has more than three buttons, but only one button hole, because that is just the fashion these days. Also, the pockets are sewn shut there.

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