Pockets

Well, Christmas finally arrived. We lurched towards it in a frenzy of wrapping, carols and market shops and when it finally arrived, the day long naps were punctuated by pauses in which we ate roast veggies and pudding.

I spent Christmas in Maldon with family. Australia’s first notable town. In the last couple of days I enjoyed meandering into town, buying a few bits and pieces from the funky shops that have sprung up on Main Street.

One purchase, my ‘comfy dress’ (sounds inelegant, doesn’t it?) has large pockets. Of which I heartily approve. It always makes me chuckle, finding pockets in a dress, because it takes me back to my old arts honours days, finding little gems on microfilm during the winter weeks I was holed up in Battye Library. It takes me back because of this comment piece from the Westralian Worker in 1914:

WE OPPOSE POCKETS FOR WOMEN.

1. Because pockets are not a natural right.

2. Because the great majority of women do not want pockets. If they did, they would have them.

3. Because whenever women have had pockets they have not used them.

4. Because women are expected to carry enough things as it is without the additional burden of pockets.

5. Because it would make dissension between husband and wife as to whose pockets were to be filled.

6. Because it would destroy man’s chivalry towards woman if he did not carry all her things in his pockets.

7. Because men are men and women are women. We must not fly in the face of nature.

–”Public.”

I located the quoted section in the cached archives of my now husband’s uni blog. He was at the time studying the coverage and political positioning of the Westralian Worker between the wars. I was studying Irish female migration to WA. Both of us spent most of the year crouched over microfilm archives in the state library.

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