how women’s clothing is sexist

how womens clothing is sexist

I recently had a sexist experience, followed by an epiphany. I was walking into a fancy event, and I was wearing a dress, and I asked someone that was with me to please hold my phone, as my dress didn’t have pockets. He told me “You should have a purse, you’re at that age as a female you need to carry your own personal belongings.” This filled me with a rage; why are women expected to wear purses to carry a phone? Why can’t we just have more convenient clothing? Why is men’s apparel so much more comfortable? With these questions flooding my mind, I did research.

The simple answer to this question: women’s apparel was made to please the man’s eye, whereas men’s apparel was made for convenience and comfortability. 

This roots from the 17th century, where women wore tie-on pockets, as their dresses were puffier and ornate. This hid their pockets, while men were already getting pockets sewn onto their clothing. The next century, trends started to make the dresses slimmer and the pockets soon vanished, as the dresses weren’t as puffy. This style evolutionized into pressuring women into wearing more slim fit clothing, as the fashion industry designed the clothes to do so. This also started the rise of the hand-bag industry, causing pockets to be tailored to men. Society cared more about how the female silhouette looked and less of function, which now shows in skinny jeans and other pants for women. Some might argue that women’s pants are starting to have more pockets, but statistically women’s pockets are 48% shorter and 6.5% slimmer than men’s pockets.

 I know multiple women who get their pants from the men’s section, as their pants are just more comfortable and convenient. It’s a standard now that women have to spend more money on a handbag to hold their necessities while men don’t have to think about it.

This isn’t a new topic, as The Rational Dress Society in the 1800’s was a formation of women that led campaigns for women’s clothing to be more functional in terms of pockets. As women still fight for these equalities, some might wonder where to start. Start at your community; for example, dress codes in public schools. Dress codes are targeted to women, and signal to females that their bodies are inherently sexual. It promotes the idea that if her skin is showing, she doesn’t deserve the respect and human decency shown to everyone else. It also signifies girls that someone else can control your own body and how you design it. Dress codes target women’s clothing, none of the following is something men would typically wear: tube tops, net tops, halter tops, spaghetti straps, plunging neckline (front and/or back)  and see through garments. These items are apparently “offending” and can cause females to have a day of In School Suspension. These regulations clearly attack women’s apparel more than men’s, as men’s tank tops have thicker straps and do not have a “plunging neckline”. 

How is that a coincidence? 

All of  the rules just happen to work around men’s apparel? Women are not allowed to wear what makes them comfortable, because it makes men “uncomfortable” and it’s a “distraction,” why is no one teaching the men it’s not okay to sexualize women’s bodies? Why don’t they go over that in the elementary puberty talks? “Boys will be boys” is an excuse that is overdue and is no longer valid. We need actual answers.

Overall, women’s clothing needs to be less “attractive” to the male eye and more convenient. It is not there for the male gaze, it’s there for comfortability and suitability. Rules and regulations need to be reassessed and more education must be done.