Pockets: utilitarian or fashion statement?

Based just on my observation, men in Japan carry bags much more frequently than men in the U.S. Businessmen carry briefcases, students carry backpacks, but in general, I don’t think many American men carry bags. They keep their essentials (money, smartphone, keys) in their pockets. Women, on the other hand, almost always carry bags or purses. Is it because they have more essentials? Fewer pockets? Maybe it’s both.

This is a short article about pockets, gender, and politics:

The Politics of Pockets (from Racked)

A few things I thought were interesting:

  • Hillary Clinton’s pantsuits don’t have pockets. But she does keep hot sauce in her bag.
  • Pickpockets were one reason people started using pockets instead of bags.
  • The things women used to keep in their bags hasn’t changed that much over the years. Even something like “writing materials” could now be included in your smartphone. I don’t suppose anyone has carried a sewing kit in his or her bag for at least a few generations, though?

Throughout history, men’s fashion has been largely functional, while women’s has been largely decorative:

“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?”

What do you think about this?

There’s also a video at the bottom of the article from Vox about why the color pink is associated with girls. I’ll embed it here, too:


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