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Bags, Pockets and a Broken Heart

Section Editor Nilab Siddiqi recalls how a lack of pockets led to disappointment at a concert.

It is the 5th of February, the night before my long-awaited Phoebe Bridgers concert, and I am pacing around my room, stressing out about what to wear. I plan to line up one or two hours before the doors to the venue open and it’s set to be a scorching day, so I have to wear something breathable, otherwise I run the risk of suffocating before I even make it to the mosh pit. Dress it is. There strolls in the issue of the pockets. Stupid fucking pockets. Wait. Let me not get ahead of myself.

Where was I? Ah, yes. I pick the outfit, sleep sweet and sound, lounge around the next day, pack my bag, and head out. I immediately encountered a few issues.

Issue 1: The line is fucking astronomical.

Issue 2: I have no pockets, so I was forced to bring a bag, so now I have a son-of-a-bitch tote bag sliding off my shoulder every minute, while I line up for hours in 30ºC temperature.

Issue 3 is where I really start to get peeved. After waiting for hours in an infernal line: alone, sweating and standing in uncomfortable platform Doc Martens (as was absolutely everyone else), I came across a bottleneck in the entrance, split into two different sections: express and non-express. I very quickly found out that, as I did not have an itty-bitty petite little clutch, and had taken a tote bag instead, I was being thrown into the non-express lane (after being yelled at by an attendant for bringing a bag so big).

Why is this annoying? Well, after hauling my ass over to the city and standing around for hours on end, I was now being punished by God and thrown into the back of the mosh all because my dress had no fucking pockets and I had to take a bag. Pockets. Pockets were the reason I was stuck in the back of the mosh, pushing one foot on top of the other to give me some more height and barely seeing Phoebe Bridgers. The lack of pockets on my stupid dress was the reason all my lining up had gone to waste.

What made it worse was that there was a guy in front of me in the non-express line who pointed and giggled at the woman in front of him for wearing a backpack to the concert. A man with plenty of pockets might I add (which he obviously did not use, as he was thrown into the non-express line as well), because apparently identifying as a man awards you with the rights to ample pockets on all your clothing

While bags are a staple accessory for the masses now, regardless of gender, it’s important for us to remember that for women they’re usually the only option you have if you plan to carry anything other than your phone. Oftentimes the very rare pocket included on an item of women’s clothing won’t even have room for a phone, let alone anything else.

Although the issue of pockets may not seem very important in the grand scheme of things, and, well, it isn’t, it is still very important to consider. The lack of pockets on women’s clothing is no coincidence; it all stems down from the heinous gender conventions which have been restricting and burdening women for centuries now.

It all boils down to the idea that women dress for beauty, while men dress for utility, as posited by chelseagsummers[1]. This also explains why the pockets that are included on women’s clothing are borderline useless, or in many cases, simply an aesthetic façade, as men’s pockets are made to aid them, while women’s pockets are made for decoration. I can’t even begin to count the amount of clothing items I have with fake pockets, or pockets so small that nothing fits into them except my hand.

Logically, I know that there were multiple reasons that contributed to being stuck in the back of the mosh pit, but never in my life did I suspect that the lack of pockets on my dresses would be one of those reasons!

Frankly, after being snubbed at a Phoebe Bridgers concert, of all places, I’m tempted to pile together all the clothing I have with no pockets or shit pockets and light them up, but sadly I would then only be left with one pair of denim overalls. Maybe I should’ve worn those to the Phoebe Bridger’s concert?

So…pockets. Hate ‘em, or love ‘em, they serve a purpose. They also serve as a reminder of how far our society has to come in liberating women from the silly centuries-old gender norms holding us down till this day.


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