Why Dropping My Phone Down The Loo Is A Feminist Issue

I just dropped my phone down the loo for the FOURTH time this year. Yes, that’s right folks! The same iphone has taken a trip to the bottom of the loo for the fourth time in 12 months and survived YET AGAIN. I have no idea how it does it. I am impressed. Drying with a towel and turning it off and leaving it for 48 hours straight in a bag of rice does seem to help. My phone case also needs to take some of the credit.

What does NOT need to take any credit, however is a) me and b) my jeans. Every time this happens it’s for the same reason; my phone being kept in my back jeans’ pocket. When nature calls and I suddenly need a wee…usually when I’m in a rush trying to get the kids out the door (or similar), I run to the loo, whip down my slacks and PLOP, I hear the fateful sound of my phone hitting the water.

Every time this has happened I vow to never keep my phone in my back jeans pocket again. I succeed….for a while….then I get complacent and the same thing happens yet again. “How come this never happens to my husband?” and “why is this happening to so many of my friends?!” I thought. The answer is simple. He keeps his wallet and phone in his SIDE jeans pocket. Much safer there. But none of my jeans have side pocket. But WHY?!

Designer Christian Dior once said “Men have pockets to keep things in, women for decoration.” *eyeroll*

Can this attitude REALLY still exist? I did a bit of research and apparently the reason why women’s clothes are so lacking in pockets goes back a few centuries. Women did used to have pockets of sorts in the 1660s. They were separate linen pockets that they’d tie to the underneath of their skirts. But during the 1880s they started to disappear (a bit like how they’ve all disappeared now we’re all wearing skinny jeans these days). Instead, the purse and handbag were born, and became much more popular for women than pockets. Booooooo! These small purses were called “reticules” (a word FAR too similar to “testicles” in my mind) and apparently the smaller it was, the higher in society you were considered. This was because large reticules suggested a woman needed to work; highly frowned upon back then!

The early 20th century saw a rebellion and a return to pockets – hurrah! The V&A Museum say that dress patterns started to include instructions for putting pockets in to help if they wanted more independence. Women started to wear trousers again, and women needed more practical wear what with the World Wars on their way, along with the need for everyone having to pitch in with practical work, whether male or female.

Once the wars were over fashion became obsessed with being thin. This brought with it a requirement to be as slender as possible. Pockets *shock horror” only add volume to the outline of one’s shape and were therefore ruled out. I know….what a load of tosh. The 70s through to 90s saw some progress on the pocket front. Many women’s clothes were privileged to be adorned by them. But where did it all go wrong again?! It seems we still haven’t won the right to pockets. No doubt it’s still a hangover to all the above reasons. The requirement for women to still be slender in society. The fact we apparently STILL don’t need to carry practical stuff with us like phones and keys, like men. Perhaps it’s simply that we haven’t made enough fuss about it? I must say that it’s taken me a long time to be aware of the problem. Jeans having proper side pockets wasn’t previously on my list of requirements. It is now. Viva the pockets (and viva my iphone)!

This blog was written by Sally Bunkham, founder of Mum's Back; luxury hamper gift for mums focussing on the yummy stuff denied in pregnancy. Need some insight into what to buy new mums a a gift? Check out our gift guide.