Wednesday, January 11, 2006

A feminist rant against Coveralls!

I've been off for a week but I'm all revved up. Spent a few days at the farm. Got really frustrated with my coveralls. First, a note to catch you up: coveralls are so necessary. You put this garment on over your real clothes to keep you from getting dirty. This of course reduces the natural fear of dirt. In a good pair of coveralls you are almost indestructible. Second, you will stay warmer. Also good.

So I'm wearing a pair of substandard coveralls merely because they're all I could find. I'm not very big. I'm 5' 1" only if wearing some pretty seriously thick socks and I might weigh 120 but most of that is my long luxurious mane of hair. And my ample-in-proportion backside. Most of the 11 yr olds in my daughters class tower over me- and have bigger chests which I find totally disturbing but that's another day's rant. Bottom line: it's hard to find work wear.

(note: i promised Smart Guy a "no faces" rule here so as not to embarrass him with my blog, but you have to see these coveralls to understand my rant, so please, try not to remember what my handsome horse's face looks like, ok? Thanks. And yes, thank you, he is gorgeous.)
These coveralls are wrong. No hood. No zip up collar. Not enough pockets, no inner pockets so you can reach your jeans pockets, which you never know when you'll need to reach. The pants are not wide enough to fit over your boots, in order to keep stray bits of hay out of your socks. Above all they are UNFLATTERING AND UGLY. They're all wrong. But they're all I could find in this size.

So I checked out a few websites this morning. Here's what I found for guys:
Again, lacking a hood but otherwise very good.

Now here's what I found for women:
This is one of the more tasteful examples of useless garments. Then I noticed that there actually is no category for "workwear" in the women's section.

OUTRAGE! We female types are not supposed to work? Sexist! Supposed to wear frilly pink things? Looksist! They don't even have kids workwear for me to wear? Sizeist! Ageist! We women and children are not supposed to do physical labour? Lazyist!

My mother always worked in the barn when they were farmers. In fact my sister and I spent many evenings in the barn; we went out to work as a family. My kids love the barn. I've always been able to find thrift store snowsuits for them in winter and rather shabby play clothes for summer, but this is ridiculous. Even in my teens, we found boys' coveralls and my mom hacked off a few inches of pantsleg length so they'd fit me. Now I can't even find that.

My grandmothers both worked in the barn. What did they wear, back in the 50's and 60's? Dresses. They were nice Mennonite ladies who never wore pants in their lives. They wore dresses out to the barn.

It is 2006, people, and somehow we have still not figured out that some of us like to get dirty, pick horseshit out of the shavings, pick up hooves, and heave hay bales. It feels good to work! Being an enlightened woman is supposed to be about choices, right? And who has decided for me that I can't have comfortable, well made, well fitting outdoor wear? I am a feminist and I want coveralls that fit, with a WAIST and room for my CHILD BEARING HIPS!

And like most things, it appears I will have to do it my damn self. I need to go find somebody with an industrial strength sewing machine.


Smartypants said...


Some of the best (and worst)times of my childhood were spent down at the stables. You haven't lived until you've had a horse apple war with your best buddies.

Yes. I have no trouble picking up dried-out horse crap with my bare hands. Yay me.

Xtin said...

Gads. Someone please get that pink thing off of her ... it clearly has malevolent plans to crawl up into her brain.

Xtin said...

Also? I'm kinda loving these. And they come in petite. But don't look in the "capri" section. There are other malevolent pink brain-eating things in there.

No hoods, either. But I like the WWII motivation.

Heidi the Hick said...

Ohmydog, Xtin, I cannot believe you found those! I am stunned with happiness!! (Except for the whole 'capri coveralls" concept, that's just plain stupid. Yeah I had to look.) Everything else is brilliant. I bookmarked that sucker, thank you very much!

Smartypants, yay YOU! When will people understand that the dried crap won't kill you? Real women can sling it, am I right?