I was a feminist prior to the so called “Second Wave”, so I accept now that I have only been a mere ripple. But my compatriot ripples and I feel we made some contribution. For example we fought hard for the right to wear trousers (or slacks). Women no longer have to hide their long pants under academic gowns. Women teachers can wear them while teaching. A friend was the first woman to wear them presiding in court as a judge.

I am reasonably selective when I choose my long pants. I like those which, like men’s trousers, have pockets.

But over succeeding years fewer and fewer pairs of women’s long pants sport pockets. Why? Is it another aim to make us powerless by filling our arms with unnecessary bags? Or indeed is it so we will still have a capacious bag so that male partners have somewhere to put larger items? ( I so hope it is not just for “slimmer lines”). The fight continues.

To my dismay, a further, nastier element has crept up upon us. Look at this photo of three pairs of pants I have bought in recent times. A close look will show all have pockets. The pockets on the middle pair even sport zippers, perhaps “for safety”.

Imagine my dismay when I found each and every pocket was false. None of these pants can hold anything – not even a credit card!

What message is this sending? One a bit like our University days when our welcoming women’s common room was still home to a urinal ( water turned off). A message about a passing fad we thought at that time.

Is it the message that our whims and fads will be tolerated in a friendly fashion but our needs are not to be taken seriously?

And, worst of all, I am sure that there must be many women complicit in this false pocket decision.

If you think you are riding a big wave of women’s rights whilst wearing false pockets just for fashion, listen to the ripples – you may be on a dumper.


About Anne Powles

I am retired from paid employment. During my working life I have been variously and sometimes contemporaneously, wife, mother of four, lawyer, teacher and psychologist. I have also been a serial education junkie. As are we all, I have been an observer of the world around me. Here I have recorded some of my memories, observations and theorisings.
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