Pocketful of Inequality


Sabrina Abesamis

Sabrina Abesamis, Editor-in-Chief

Ushering in an age of plunging necklines and dresses that seem to grope rather than simply hug curves, women’s fashion has come a long way since the days of stiff collars and modest petticoats. Gowns gave way to bloomers, ultimately leading up to the modern skinny jeans populating the halls of WHS. The idea of girls wearing pants and shorts, as boys have always freely done, is no longer strange. However, there still remains a major oversight in terms of gender equality in fashion: the baffling lack of pockets in women’s pants.
While that statement may seem like an exaggeration—in terms of both truth and injustice—a discerning look at the facts reveals there is a true and disturbing disparity between women and men’s bottoms. While apparently—and rather unfortunately—statisticians seem to be too busy crunching numbers regarding cancer and war to have the time to determine the ratio of pockets between girls’ and boys’ pants, a quick search on Amazon reveals the harsh reality.
As of December 2013, the first three hits on a search for “women’s pants” reveal at total of six pockets. The one for “men’s pants” contains a total of 16. In addition, the space in any pocket of the men’s pants could easily fit the amount any of the women’s counterparts could hold, along with car keys and the actual car to which those keys belong.
Yes, this difference is in part due to men being, on average, physically larger than women. Yes, this difference is in part due to current fashion tastes and women’s modern preference for tighter, slimmer pants. Yes, women typically have purses and may not necessarily use pockets as often as men. But, no, I am still not okay with the subtle assumption that all women share these preferences and somehow don’t own gum wrappers that need to be put away like the other half of the population.
I am not okay when I have spare change or lip balm and no pocket to shove it in. I am not okay when I simply want to kick back, lean against a wall and shove my hands in my pockets, only to shudder and realize they are stitched on. I also understand this feels like a short excerpt from the book of “First World Problems: My Pocket Doesn’t Fit My iPhone,” but it remains a problem all the same.
I am an avid cargo-pant wearer. Nevertheless, even these bottoms specifically designed for soldiers with the express purpose of having multiple pockets for gear and equipment have been transformed into tight-fitting pants that just happen to be olive green with a zipper on the side masquerading as a pocket.
While there are many more insidious attacks on feminism than pathetic pockets and more pressing global concerns affecting us these days, this pocket inequality remains a simple problem with a simple solution. Let’s start encouraging and supporting those few designers who create women’s pants with actual pockets. Maybe then we can face world problems without being weighed down by heavy purses.