Guest columnist Mariel E. Addis: The Jeans Party

  • Mike Watson Images Mike Watson Images

Published: 7/29/2022 5:45:42 PM

I have been writing pieces for the Gazette for some time now. Sometimes the pieces describe my experiences as a transgender woman, sometimes my views on political issues, and sometimes to highlight discrimination issues. This essay will cover all three.

I would like to launch a new political party in this country, open to both cis-gender and transgender women, and select men by special permission. We women all face major discrimination and we must identify it, have it addressed, and fixed, once and for all. I have a name for this new party: “The Jeans Party.” Certainly, Women's Rights are central to this party, but the key plank in our platform is “pockets.”

In my male life, I was very used to jeans with generous pockets. The denim used was tough, and it could take a lot of abuse. Even the most slim cuts of the jeans I would buy for the male me were easy to slip on with their generous leg openings. There were occasions where one of my beloved cats would climb my leg if he saw I had a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos (I know they’re not good for cats, but he didn’t know that), and I didn’t have to worry about his sharp claws cutting my leg to shreds under my heavy denim jeans. Then, I transitioned to female, wanted to wear gender-appropriate clothing, and discovered another reality.

In my personal experience, and through interviews with hundreds of good, law-abiding American women, one item comes up time and again: the size of pockets in women’s jeans. We pay good money for jeans and the pockets we get aren’t even as deep as the average woman’s forefinger is long. Men can put their whole hand in the front pocket of their jeans; women would be lucky if they could put a quarter or a house key in theirs without worrying about it falling out. We women are getting less than half a pocket for every pocket a man gets — it is wrong, it is discriminatory, and it MUST change! And don’t get me started on the puny foot openings on jean legs on skinny jeans and skimpy denim fabric.

The women I've talked to said these denim issues have been like this for years — and it is a total disgrace!

I guess the question comes down to why these nagging issues with women’s jeans persist, but I think I the answer is clear: men. The outlandishly cruel Supreme Court Opinion on July 23, decided by five conservative men and one out-of-touch woman, drove this point home to me and made me adjust the focus of this piece. I think the diminutive size of the pockets in women’s jeans is due to the ongoing male need to control women, and while it may sound like a joke, I’m beginning to firmly believe that.

It is probably safe to assume that the vast majority of large clothing companies are no doubt headed by men. They probably can’t probably understand why women would need pockets at all, let alone tiny ones. The CEO’s probably wrongly assume that women don’t do hard work and aren’t interested in clothing that is stylish, but also durable and functional. Rarely are all three of these qualities taken into account in the designs of women’s jeans and women’s clothing in general. If women want decent pockets and durable fabrics, they need to look to men’s clothing, clothing that is not cut for the unique shape a woman’s body. Further, these male corporate heads likely don’t care if it takes women five to ten minutes of struggling just to get into their jeans — or if their cats claw up their legs.

Perhaps, these male corporate heads don’t trust women enough to have full-sized pockets. They probably think:

“What would the women put in their pockets? Giving women decent sized pockets might give women too much power, too much control. These women might put something actually useful in their pockets, or maybe they’re hiding something in them. It’s probably better for us to keep the pockets small…”

Mariel Addis is a native of Florence. She left the area for 16 years but returned in 2013 and loves being back in the Valley.


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