Nora Ephron, Gourmet, 2009
Why is there very little utility to women’s clothing? Why don’t we get pockets which actually open? Why do we have to put up with the ‘false pockets’ that are frequently sewn onto women’s jackets and pants to give visual interest without ruining the ‘line’ of the garment? Why, when pockets are actually present, are they so rarely large, stable, or loose enough to accommodate a phone or a wallet? And why, given this is the case, do women go on to cop so much flack for carrying handbags around with them?
Oh wait. Is this one of those double standards which we feminists are always going on about; one of those innocuous little things which everybody just accepts because it is the norm?
Women carry handbags. It is known.
But why? I have watched my male friends get ready to go out. They slip their wallet into one pocket, their keys into another, their phone into a third pocket, and some of them even still have spare pockets large enough to carry a novel for the journey. Those of my friends who wear women’s clothes, though, face an entirely different situation. If they are wearing the right jeans or jacket, they may have up to two usable pockets (not at all guaranteed). However, in most cases they won’t have any pockets at all. Utility and style rarely meet in women’s fashion, so they grab a bag.
Contrary to all the jokes, most women don’t ‘have’ to leave the house with everything they pack in their day-to-day handbag. Most of the items in a woman’s everyday handbag are in there because, if she’s going to have to carry it anyway, she might as well make it worth her while. Excuse us for making use of the one useful item we find in our wardrobes.” —
I had one friend in elementary school who was very manipulative. We had fun playing together, but she was always in charge, and when I didn’t want to do something, we did it anyway; when I got upset about this and refused to let her have her way, she would tell me to “stop sulking.” And then I would do it.
This has stuck with me, one of those things that I revisit and remember all my life because of how much it bothered me. It just happened to me again, and again, I couldn’t think of anything to say to counter it.
Because when someone says that you’re sulking, they take away your right to be upset. It’s hugely invalidating, because it makes it sound like you’re being irrational to feel a certain way, right up there with “Oh, you’re just PMSing.” I’ll be the first to say that I don’t really know how to express myself when I’m angry, but to call it a “sulk” make it sound childish and stupid. Which makes me feel like I should “just snap out of it” and be chipper and pleasant and agreeable instead. Which in turn only pisses me off more. Which I then feel like I can’t express, because then I’ll be “sulking.”
Let me tell you, it can really ruin a person’s day.