I know this is going to be tough for a lot of you to hear, but I don’t give a shit about pockets. A coat should have pockets, for cold hands, but pockets on a dress are as useful to me as an electric can opener. Except that an electric can opener will increase in usefulness as I grow older and my joints deteriorate and I yearn more and more for soft peas. A pocket on a dress is a droopy, drape-ruining cotton-poly scrotum at any age.
I mean, pockets on a dress are great if you need to carry one fingernail clipping. Pockets on a dress are great if you’re living that two-dimensional tesseract life and need to transport a line. Finally! I don’t have to carry a purse when I go to the faerie market to trade this daisy for a hummingbird’s kiss! At last, portable storage for my single red acetate fortune-telling fish.
But put a wallet and keys and concert tickets and a lipstick in there—i.e., the things that would make a pocket useful—and, congrats, you’ve grown two great clonking thigh cysts, a feast for thieves.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve been drawn into the old dance, both parts: someone compliments my dress, and I announce, “It has pockets!” as though “pockets” were German for “a time machine to go give Mitch McConnell’s dad a condom.” Or, I compliment someone else’s dress, am informed of pockets, and squeal like Mitch McConnell’s dad dooming the future of humanity with one squirt. I participate; I am complicit. But this is a post-#MeToo society, this is International Year of the Woman (is it? I don’t know), this is my time, down here, and I do not care to do it anymore.
“Thank you—it has pockets!!!!!!”
“Yes, I can see that, as you look like you have chunky Mr. Tumnus hocks under there.”
Pockets in a dress are so Zooey Deschanel can always have a crystal nearby. Pockets in a dress are just in case Maggie Gyllenhaal finds a four-leaf clover. Pockets in a dress are for baby girl who is best fwiends with a bee and need one sugared violet for dinner in case she get wost chasing dandelion fuzz. That should be a niche market at best, not a foundational trope of womanhood.
The feminine directive to love pockets is a cheap simulacrum of gender solidarity where none really exists. They are used to distract us from harnessing our real power and I, for one, am no longer willing to be in the pocket of Big Pocket! Brag to me about your pockets when they’re filled with union pamphlets and free tampons for the homeless.
Excerpted from the book The Witches are Coming by Lindy West, to be published on November 5, 2019 by Hachette Books, a division of Hachette Book Group. Copyright 2019 Lindy West.
This article originally appeared on ELLE.