Bag it, you sexist pockets

I have written and re-written this piece more times than Ekta Kapoor has produced flop films and I am still nowhere close to figuring out why us damsels are devoid of appropriate storage space in our clothing. Okay that’s not completely true; I have somewhat figured out the reason behind this sexist facade and that’s what this blog post is about.

Before we begin though, go have a good, long look at your wardrobe (this statement is addressed specifically to women; men don’t feel left out). Exactly how many items do you own that have pockets? Now, how many of these pockets can actually fit stuff into them?

The answers to these questions practically sum up the entire article. Everything you read from here on is just my frustration strung together in words. But if you, like me, feel the fingers of exasperation enveloping your heart every time you put on that pair of Zara jeggings, then read on.

The problem starts with something as simple as buying a pair of jeans. As I step into a denim store (my favourite being Levi’s), excited to try on a new style they have launched, my mind is flooded with images and videos from their latest TV advertisement. I imagine myself in a skinny-fit that makes my ass look spectacular as I strut around town with my girlfriends. I am brought back to reality by a hoarse but nasal voice that seems to be coming from a stick-figure of a guy who has apparently invested all his earnings into getting highlighted spikes in his hair. Ignoring this minor distraction, I proceed to ask for the latest pair in my size and head to the trial room—the fit is perfect, it hugs my curves perfectly and even hides that little paunch that I haven’t been able to get rid of despite months of yoga sessions.

 Fashion week - but no pockets

Considering that denims are the most common pair of clothing covering the lower half of my anatomy, it should be infuriating that it is so difficult to find a piece that can fit my five-inch phone. And it is! Only, not while I’m actually making the purchase. Under the spell of the store lights and the look of picture perfect denims, it is easy to forget the most important aspect—function. I am only reminded of it when I try to put my phone in my pocket and have half of it jutting out. Even then I continue about my day, till the phone suddenly drops on the floor with a loud smack as I bend to pick up my bag from the couch. THEN, I curse the existence of all clothing companies and mutter a few cuss-words under my breath because the lack of pockets has once again put the life of my very expensive phone in jeopardy.

I feel like I should put a disclaimer before we go further. With the internet Nazis—I’m gonna call them iNazis—on the loose, I’m slightly scared of discussing something that might be termed as a first world problem. After all if so many people can’t even afford clothes, how can we discuss the “frivolities”? Dear iNazis, ask yourselves this question the next time you are criticising your mom’s food.

Back to the topic. Turns out all this hullabaloo about women’s clothing being more “fashion” than “function” isn’t just an obsession of the current generation. It is probably as old as mankind. And let us not even get into traditional Indian clothing. The whole idea of the drape of the fabric on a female form being of paramount importance isn’t about to change anytime soon. So, you can continue to dream about having bigger pockets (or in some cases, just pockets), but patriarchy has one-upped you again and that dream probably won’t get realised anytime soon.

It is astounding that engineers have been able to create a tiny device to fit over 1TB of data, but they can’t bring themselves to create a pocket big enough to fit that device!

Bags vs pockets

All in all, this might even be a hidden agenda; a conspiracy between fashion labels and handbag makers. After all if we did have decent pockets in all of our outfits, the idea of carrying a bag wouldn’t make much sense at all. I sort of sound like a hypocrite saying this because pocket or no pocket I tend to buy bags every time I go out shopping!

In a larger context, some argue that this is just another symbol of the continued objectification of women and there is a larger gender bias at play. However, to be completely honest, we are victims of capitalism and would continue to buy something that makes us look good, even if it means compromising on some essential features. I obviously have a substantial number of clothes without pockets and I am not going to throw them out even as I go on complaining. The real question is, do I have a choice?

If you made it till the end, you deserve a dress with pockets. Hope you find it soon 😉

Cheers!

A.

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