Pocket Sexism

I write this piece because of a daily habit that has become part of my life at the hill. Every day, as we step out, among the group of friends I have, my female friends have usually asked me to keep their mobile phones or room keys in the pocket of the pants or shorts I am wearing. It even reached to a point where one day I would not want to walk because of the weight of items in my pocket.

And that is when I think, why is it that women do not have pockets in their clothing? I mean it’s not like I don’t want to help, but how tough can it be to make pockets to keep stuff in. And they do have pockets, but when I mention the same to my friends, they agree that this does exist as a problem. It may be that there are no pockets, or the pockets are too small that it is impossible to even keep a phone inside it for easy use and instead they have to go on a treasure hunt in their bags. However, I casually dismissed the idea thinking it might be quite silly discussing pockets of all things but on a random google search I discovered how big a deal it really is in the fashion world.

Turns out, this problem had recently come to light again as most women protested to the fact that the new iPhone 6 or the recent Samsung Galaxy devices do not fit in their small pockets and are difficult to carry. The talking point which started from whether pockets really are necessary went to the fact that the fashion industry, even today, remains to focus on glamour and quality rather than necessity and use. Camilla Olson, CEO at Savitude, one of the big fashion firms at Palo Alto says, “Fashion looks selectively at who they let in and keeps women at a certain place. It’s not helping women move forward in the workplace.” Olson says that some designers have deemed pockets “too ugly” for clothing, while others simply don’t think women need them. And these decisions, she says, have created a chasm in women’s fashion, and hold women back.
We have plus size clothes, change in modelling habits in terms of size zero models and even the existence of fashion labels selling clothes at common man prices, yet we don’t know why women’s pockets are almost non existent as compared to the men.
It is seen that fast and big fashion labels are not adapting to normal people which may not be the biggest problem of the world but is a minimal problem women have to face at various moments in their daily lives.
History suggests that as the fashion industry developed, the lack of pockets actually led to the invention of satchels and purses which became a necessity in the hands of women as they had no other available option to carry their basics. The domino effect of ‘no pockets’ has led to bags and purses having a huge market in the world over the last few decades as well.
Humans are more often than not superficially and aesthetically driven in terms of appearance and body related items. However, we do see a change in the way perceptions have worked, but if the small little things keep on existing, we may never be able to solve the larger problem. So let’s hope any budding and future fashionistas can help us making one of the biggest changes in the industry, but till then, don’t doubt the fact that your friends are always there for you with their pockets when you need one.