Opinion: Clothing disparities reveal work to be done in fight for gender equality

Andrea Hefferan | Staff Writer

Every day men are granted overwhelmingly greater benefits compared to their female counterparts. Their masculine privilege extends beyond advancement in the workforce and elections to public office. Women face a monumental injustice every day, one which government leaders and the remainder of society are unwilling to address.

Women’s pockets are significantly smaller than men’s.

Every day, women must struggle with inadequate pocket sizes. Getting our phones to fit inside these microscopic holes is a mental and physical trial. Even if by the power of a greater being, we do manage to fit an item inside, the pocket is often too shallow to safely contain it, and we are plagued with the fear of the phone falling out with even the slightest movement of our bodies. And forget about a wallet or keys. Chances are, if what you are trying to stow away is wider than your index finger, it will not fit.

That is, if there are any pockets at all. Companies love to trick women with fake pockets. Women are elated at the sight of a pair of pants that seemingly have pockets, but alas, they find it is just an outline of a pocket sewn on the pants. Designers will literally cut pockets just to sew them shut. For me, it is always a game of chance as to which of my pants have pockets and which do not, and when I end up with the latter it comes as a nasty surprise every time.

Compare this to men’s pockets and you will notice a huge difference–literally huge. While women’s pockets only go down about half a hand length, a man can comfortably fit their entire hand and forearm into their pockets. Forget a phone, those pockets are so big you could probably fit an iPad in there. No man has to carefully plan what they absolutely need and what they can leave at home if they are equipped with those pockets. Any random knick knack, paper, or spare change can find a home in man’s pocket.

Ignorant individuals tell us to quit whining, that we do not need pockets because we have purses. There are many flaws in this so-called solution.

Pockets are conveniently attached onto pants so people’s hands are free to do other things besides carry a plethora of random items. Purses, however, are simply another, albeit larger object women have to haul around. Women must keep track of the purse, and if they lose it, all of their valuables are lost with it. No one can lose their pockets, but since women do not get the luxury of using them, they are forced to rely on purses. Yes, some people may appreciate them, but others such as myself find them an unnecessary burden that really is only a cute accessory for parties and such. Being someone who loses anything not on my body, remembering to lug around an extra item will be a struggle. Besides, purses are expensive. They can be upwards of 100 dollars and need to be replaced every couple of years.

It is quite unfair that women are condemned to this fate while men get off scot-free with those roomy pockets. We have remained silent on this issue for too long and it is time to let clothing manufacturers know what we want. When women wearing pants became commonplace, everyone expected that the pockets would catch up with the times as well.

It is the 21st century; this has gone on for far too long. We must speak up. Women deserve equal pockets as men, and the fact that they do not have them after all these years show how far we still have to go in the fight for gender equality.