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Posts Tagged ‘feminism’

Today, a minor exercise in venting, over-the-top opinionation, with a bit of history on the side.

This is a photo of me this morning, about to head out to the wilds of Costco:

sure, that fits.

Yes, that’s my phone, perched precariously in my woefully inadequate pocket. (And off screen, Mr. Man is laughing at the mismatch between the two.)

* * *

Dear fashion industry: Pockets matter. 

You know this. Jeans for men have perfectly adequate pockets. Mr Man carries a wallet, pass, and iPhone 12XS Max in his pockets just fine. And don’t get me started on the differences between men’s and women’s suit jackets. There was a reason I borrowed my father’s suit jacket as a teenager. (Ok, the fabric shifted between green and bronze and cool doesn’t even begin to describe it, but yeah, also functional outside pockets and actual inside pockets. So many pockets!)

I could carry my phone in my back pocket. It still sticks out, but would stay in place just long enough for me to walk at a more-than-geriatric pace and break the thing. And purses? I find purses deeply annoying, not least because I know for a fact that they are often a solution to a problem that doesn’t need to exist.

There is a time and place for bags. For example, I spent two weeks traveling through Latin America with a backpack, and took a portable bag for my round-the-world tour. And if I had kids, I’d definitely rock a backpack. That’s what bags are for! For all else, pockets.

* * *

Now, there can be downsides to keeping things in your pockets. Mr Man has sent more than one USB key through the laundry, and you can bet this woman will never keep anything important in her pockets ever again:

Lottery jackpot ‘winner’ says she destroyed $26m ticket in laundry wash

Still. In case of emergency or just plain forgetfulness, I want everything critical with me at all times. No “Where’s my phone, I need it to find my AirTag-enabled wallet.” No “Goodness, where did I put that handbag with all my cards and cash?” while the flames encroach. No “Wait, a zombie apocalypse? Like, now now?”

No, thank you.

* * *

I’m hardly the first to make this observation (and this isn’t the first time, either), but sadly, I doubt I’ll be the last. More reading on the long and sexist history of pockets, because it’s good to show your work:

When it comes to women’s pockets, size really does matter

The Bewildering and Sexist History of Women’s Pockets

* * *

On the plus side, women no longer have to climb mountains in a corset and skirt!

Lucy Smith and Pauline Ranken of the Ladies’ Scottish Climbing Club climbing the Salisbury Crags in 1908.

* * *

Progress, it can be made!

* * *

Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash

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We’re losing all our Strong Female Characters to Trinity Syndrome

This excellent piece by Tasha Robinson sums up a lot of the problems mainstream storytelling has with “Strong Female Characters.”

For the ordinary dude to be triumphant, the Strong Female Character has to entirely disappear into Subservient Trophy Character mode. This is Trinity Syndrome à la The Matrix: the hugely capable woman who never once becomes as independent, significant, and exciting as she is in her introductory scene.

If you are interested in learning how not to bury your SFC’s light under a bushel, I recommend this article. It highlights on-point questions creatives should ask themselves, like:

03. Could your Strong Female Character be seamlessly replaced with a floor lamp with some useful information written on it to help a male hero?

:p

In many instances, what starts out as an interesting character is hobbled in order to provide the male hero with whatever thing he needs (knowledge, motivation, etc.) to make it to the finish line. There are exceptions, of course, and I’m pleased to say that Emily Blunt’s character in Edge of Tomorrow was one such.

So maybe all the questions can boil down to this: Looking at a so-called Strong Female Character, would you—the writer, the director, the actor, the viewer—want to be her?

Like Tasha Robinson, I loved Cate Blanchett’s character in How to Train Your Dragon 2 and was as disappointed when the role for this supremely kick-ass woman who was willing to live in exile for twenty years to uphold her principles just sort of… fizzled out. I hope to see more from her in a third installment. In fact, I hope to see more Strong Female Characters across the board.

Who knows, one day we might even just call them, oh, I don’t know, “Female Characters.”

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