Why is there very little utility to women’s clothing? Why don’t we get pockets which actually open? Why do we have to put up with the ‘false pockets’ that are frequently sewn onto women’s jackets and pants to give visual interest without ruining the ‘line’ of the garment? Why, when pockets are actually present, are they so rarely large, stable, or loose enough to accommodate a phone or a wallet? And why, given this is the case, do women go on to cop so much flack for carrying handbags around with them?
Oh wait. Is this one of those double standards which we feminists are always going on about; one of those innocuous little things which everybody just accepts because it is the norm?
Women carry handbags. It is known.
But why? I have watched my male friends get ready to go out. They slip their wallet into one pocket, their keys into another, their phone into a third pocket, and some of them even still have spare pockets large enough to carry a novel for the journey. Those of my friends who wear women’s clothes, though, face an entirely different situation. If they are wearing the right jeans or jacket, they may have up to two usable pockets (not at all guaranteed). However, in most cases they won’t have any pockets at all. Utility and style rarely meet in women’s fashion, so they grab a bag.
Contrary to all the jokes, most women don’t ‘have’ to leave the house with everything they pack in their day-to-day handbag. Most of the items in a woman’s everyday handbag are in there because, if she’s going to have to carry it anyway, she might as well make it worth her while. Excuse us for making use of the one useful item we find in our wardrobes."
Oh lord, don’t get me started on this. This is a little thing that highlights a big equality problem between men and women. We need the same supplies as men to do the same job. When I stocked shelves it was impossible to find pants that would hold my wallet, my box knife, my badge, my keys, my gloves (I worked dairy/frozen) and my phone. I actually ended up not carrying my wallet or keys at all. Fuck if I’m carrying a purse *ever* but that certainly wouldn’t have helped on the job.
My husband? He holds all of that plus his insulin, packets of honey in case his blood sugar drops (or a vial of glucose tablets), glucometer, headphones, markers, and pencils. With plenty of room to spare. I’ve even seen him slip paperback books into empty pockets.
I remember watching I think it was Project Runway and the contestants had to design a new uniform for female postal workers. The one designer put utilitarian pockets on her design, and the judges yelled at her for it. They said something about it not being flattering, because you know, the key part of any uniform is not that it works for the job, but that it shows off your body in the best light possible.
Lady Feminists we all owe Charles Clymer of Equality for Women a big “Thank You”!
I especially like his telling women what words they can reclaim or not reclaim, almost as much as I like straight people telling me not to use the word queer.
Also he’s right, I should be exceedingly thankful for my period. After all it’s only 5 days a month (~900 days so far) of sometimes crippling pain and the hundreds of dollars of added expense for pads, tampons, pain medication, and stained underwear.
And it’s true, reminding male feminists/allies that they have male privilege is totes disrespectful.
And promoting classism and dismissiveness to women are surely the ways to do feminism right.
And If I was being sarcastic in this and actually have nothing but contempt for men like Charles Clymer, well I’m just one of those 1% feminists who has nothing better to do then foam at the mouth.
Plus I’m totally a misandrist.
I rang the literary editors of a few ‘respected’ papers and asked them how much space they were giving to women writers in their ‘review’ sections. Perfectly predictable response. They all said the allocation was fair. One said it was equal, and one prominent editor went so far as to say women are dominating the reviews!
… What happened when I asked who was doing the talking in mixed sex conversations? Well, it was the women of course. And then when you get to measure it you find that women get to talk about 10-20% of the time in conversations with men. A woman who talks about a third of the time is seen to be dominating the talk.
And what happened when I asked teachers who got their attention in class? Well, it was all equal, wasn’t it? No preferences there. And you measure it and find that girls get about 10-20% of the teacher’s attention. Any more, and the boys think it unfair - and go into revolt.
So what do you think I found with the reviews?
I would have predicted about 10-20% of the space went to women’s books. Well, it is less than 6% of the column inches. And the reasonable editor who thinks that women are getting more than their share is one of the worst offenders. Poor boys! It really tells you something when they think only 94% of the review section is not enough, doesn’t it? When 6% for women is too much you get some idea how much men think they are entitled to - as a fair deal."
— Dale Spender, correspondence, in Dale and Lynne Spender, Scribbling Sisters (Camden Press, 1986), pp. 31-32 (via radtransfem)