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Marian Keyes: Will the objectification of women ever end?

Marian Keyes has Blade Runner 2049 inspired thoughts on feminism, socialism and this hooded trenchcoat from Zara

The take-home message from Blade Runner 2049 is: a hood is vital, and this trenchcoat from Zara has one

Being a huge fan of futuristic dystopian yokes, I went to see Blade Runner 2049 the day it came out. And it provided plenty of food for thought: will the objectification of women ever end? How come capitalism – a system which benefits the decreasing few – hasn’t been overthrown? If a soul is what makes us human, what happens when ours atrophies and the replicants develop their own?   

But the take-home message for me was this: a hood is vital. In those polyglot outdoor space-age sushi stands, hoods are essential protection from all the extreme rainfall. They’re also handy face-concealing devices whilst you swish about plotting futuristic rebellion or sneak into high-tech laboratories on a counter-rebellion mission. Everyone who is anyone in Blade Runner 2049 has a hood.

Which delighted me, as I was already fully on board with hoods. I love them. It’s been literally decades since I bought a coat without one. Like, why would anyone, considering we live in a country which has 2049 levels of heavy rainfall?

A trench coat that doesn’t cost the earth. And – crucially – it has a hood.

But sadly, in a 2017 work situation, people fear the hooded coat. Would showing up to a meeting in a duffle coat make them seem childish? Would arriving along in a padded North Face-style number indicate a lack of respect? Or, if they wear a parka, could they be mistaken for Liam Gallagher? (It actually happens. I’ve a parka, I’m living proof.)

What is required is a “lady” coat – woollen and tailored and stylish and all that lark – but with a hood, right? And – thrillingly – this year, the shops have some. Max Mara has spendy belted ones, Asos has several less-spendy versions, but Zara has truly excelled. I’ve picked this black trench coat. Because it’s black. And it’s a trench coat. And it doesn’t cost the earth. And – crucially – it has a hood.