The soft sexism of functioning pockets

One interesting annoyance of my gender transition was the surprise that many jackets and pants for women do not have functional pockets. Chelsea Summers delves into the politicized history of this phenomenon:

Writing for The Spectator in 2011, Paul Johnson offers a witty, thumbnail history of the sartorial convention of the pocket, and he caps his piece with a 1954 Christian Dior bon mot: "Men have pockets to keep things in, women for decoration." Tease apart that quote and you get a fairly essentialist view of gender roles as they play out in clothing. Men's dress is designed for utility; women's dress is designed for beauty. It's not a giant leap to see how pockets, or the lack thereof, reinforce sexist ideas of gender. Men are busy doing things; women are busy being looked at. Who needs pockets?

Even more annoying, sometimes there's actually a pocket, but the designers deliberately sewed it shut. Here's a HOWTO from on how to open one.

Next time you see a cargo-short-wearing dude manspreading on the subway or in the wild, silently judge him and his excess pockets, many simply sewn on to lord his sexism over women.

The Politics of Pockets