Every payday, some female workers might notice that men’s pockets are deeper…
No, I’m not directly talking about gender inequality here, there’s enough politics in your life already. And I’m not talking about money here either, I’m talking about an actual pocket size! And Gerard Butler, the Scottish actor who has been labelled as the next Sean Connery, noticed this discrimination, too!
On Instagram, the scruffy actor shared a photo with Morena Baccarin, his co-star in the upcoming disaster movie “Greenland.” Morena was looking up at him, with one hand on her hip, and a quizzical expression on her face. Gerard had a water bottle stuffed in the front pocket of his dark denim. The caption read: “I think I know exactly what @morenabaccarin is thinking here – ‘WHY are men’s pockets so much larger than women’s pockets??’ 🤣 Throwing it back to set life on #GreenlandMovie. More coming soon!”
While Morena could have just as easily been wondering why Gerard was stuffing a water bottle in his pocket and what he hoped to achieve, the ugly truth remains: women’s pockets are actually smaller in size than men’s! Sometimes, that can be kind of inconvenient. If Orwell was to write about this issue, he might say: all pockets are equal, but some pockets are more equal than others.
One Gerard Butler fan, a self-described European traveler, shared her own experiences in a comment: “I know that’s what I think when handing my husband objects to hold in his pocket, and he’s also cursing women’s small or non existent pockets when he’s forced to carry things for me”
Gerard’s co-star, Morena, made the gender inequality observation with a comment of her own: “Duh, because you guys earn more. You need somewhere to put all that cash” She followed that up with a shrugging emoji, a cool face, and a laughing one.
Should women’s pockets be more useful? Or should we use these useless pockets as the perfect excuse for collecting handbags, and preserving our silhouette? Better yet, should we get guys like Gerard Butler to carry our stuff around for us?
Maybe men think they have a superior edge with all their deep pockets, when they’ve actually turned themselves into helpful horses or mules.
The Pudding, a digital publication that explains ideas debated in culture with visual essays, actually took on this cultural question and issue. They published an analysis proving it. They evaluated men’s and women’s pockets in the 20 most popular American blue jeans brands, including Calvin Klein, American Eagle, Levi’s, Guess, Gap, H&M, Ralph Lauren, and Tommy Hilfigher.
Their analysis showed that “on average, the pockets in women’s jeans are 48% shorter and 6.5% narrower than men’s pockets.”
You might be thinking: yeah, but what about those skinny jeans?
They thought about that, too: “Predictably, skinny jeans, which more closely hug the hips, have smaller front pockets for both men and women. But the gap between women’s and men’s jeans is still noticeable in both skinny and straight styles.”
You know how guys can fit everything in their pockets: a wallet, a smartphone, a pen, home keys, car keys, headphones, etc.? The Pudding reported that only “40 percent of women’s front pockets can completely fit one of the three leading smartphone brands.” The struggle is real. Hollywood action stars can shove a bottle of water in their front pockets, while less than 50 percent of women’s pockets can fit even a mini wallet.
This pocket discrimination seems to be deeply rooted in history. As I found out from this article posted on the website of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, women used to hide their pockets. From the 17th century to the late 19th century, “petticoats had openings in the side seams so a woman could put her hands through and reach her pocket. The pocket was invisible but accessible.” Meanwhile, the men had pockets sewn into the linings of their coats, waistcoats and breeches.
Pickpockets viewed these various compartments as treasure, and they devised techniques for accessing pockets without being noticed!
Records from the Old Bailey Courthouse describe a typical occurrence, where a thief would come up behind a woman, thrust his hand up her riding-hood, and pull her pocket off! Other thieves would cut the pocket strings and grab the pocket or slash the pocket itself so that the contents would fall out. When people went to bed, many of them tucked their pockets under their pillows for safekeeping.
Obviously, clothes today look very different. It’s unclear who decided that women need bags instead of deeper pockets but as Christian Dior allegedly remarked, “men have pockets to keep things in, women for decoration.” And the 49.35 billion handbag industry is definitely happy about that.
And as Gerard Butler’s character from the movie “The Ugly Truth” said: “Rule #4: Never talk about your problems ’cause men don’t really listen or care.” Ladies, don’t worry, Littlepinktop will always hear you out! And we’re gonna get to the bottom of this pocket situation.