Every single day millions of people are walking the earth totally unaware that they’re wearing little symbols of gender inequality on their chest.
No… not boobs… buttons.
You see, the buttons on men and women’s shirts sit on opposite sides. To the person wearing them, men’s shirts or jackets have the buttons on the right side, while women’s shirts have them on the left.
This isn’t just a weird little coincidence, it’s a tradition that’s been passed down for generations – for a few different reasons.
For men, the reason buttons were historically on the right side had to do with weaponry. Wealthy men traditionally carried weapons, like swords, in their right hand so it was easier for them to unbutton their shirts with their left hand.
We’re not quite sure why they would be unbuttoning their shirt while still carrying a sword… but OK.
As this Quora forum explains “it was more convenient and quicker to use their left hand for unbuttoning”.
You can even trace this tradition further back in history.
“To ensure that an enemy’s lance point would not slip between the plates,” curators write in The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “they overlapped from left to right, since it was standard fighting practice that the left side, protected by the shield, was turned toward the enemy. Thus, men’s jackets button left to right even to the present day.”