So, first things first, there’s nothing particularly ‘womanly’ about the bright blue pants I picked up while thrifting (which are perfect as a base for a bunch of costumes or when I want to go out dancing). The pants don’t contour fit into a vagina, or inject hormonal birth control into my thigh, or somehow cut my pay by 25%. They are just pants and they serve their essential pant functionality regardless of gender. And even if that wasn’t true, even if they were emblazoned with a giant ♀ over the crotch or if they featured a large, neon ‘Lady Pants’ sign on my bum there’s still the classic Eddie Izzard line that ‘They’re not women’s clothes. They’re my clothes. I bought them.’ That said, there are a couple of things different about this particular article of clothing.
The Pockets are Bullshit. I’ve heard my female friends talk about the inadequacy of girl pants pockets before, but now I understand this as a lived experience… I have walked (technically danced) a mile in someone else’s pants. The shallow slits claiming to be pockets are fucking lying; they don’t even warrant a pocket ‘participation’ ribbon. I’d almost prefer for there to be no attempt to made at ‘pockets’ so the pants could stop kidding themselves. Instead though, I do my best to shove my essentials into those thin fabric ditches and have to keep pat checking myself to ensure that my keys haven’t done a barrel roll out into the darkness; flipping me the bird as they sail by. When my dress shirt pockets afford greater utility, I know my pants have failed me. And I have to say, of all the ways we as a society have decided to be cruel to women, denying them their basic human right to functional pockets seems like the most petty.
Zipper + Button Orientation is Gendered. I had no idea that for dude clothing, buttons go on the right and for women’s they go on the left. Here’s an article this phenomenon. http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/03/the-curious-case-of-men-and-womens-buttons/388844/ This doesn’t mean anything necessarily, but it’s always fascinating to find another way traditional notions of gender are hard coded into damn near everything.
The Pants are Nice to Move in. I don’t know what the fabric is made of (some kind of polyester/synthetic blend would be my guess) but the pants fit snuggly without constricting my movement. They have an enjoyable level of stretch that absolves me of worry that I’m going to rip them. As someone who has blown more than my fair share of crotches, I wouldn’t trust pants with this good of a fit in my traditional fabric choices (denim and canvas-like khaki) so I dress baggier than is flattering. Although, I think there’s probably greater options available for guys, and I simply need to learn where to look.
In summary, I like the pants. Now I need to figure out some way to compensate for the so-called ‘pockets.’ I don’t think a bag/clutch is the option; not because it isn’t manly (though the phrase ‘man-purse’ makes me roll my eyes) but simply because I’ve got a real bad habit of putting down whatever is in my hands whenever possible and then wandering off at earliest opportunity. Really, I need some kind of de-militarized web gear.
And so, the adventures of a 32 year old man learning how to dress himself continue. Until next time!