The Education Philosophy of 0=50
Book Review: Love for Grown-ups

The War on Women: Foot First

Sure, a woman’s ability to not get pregnant, stop a pregnancy, care for her body-mind-soul, feed her children, support herself, house her partner, tend to her parents is being undermined, curtailed and impinged upon, but at least she can buy all the guns she wants!

And a woman’s ability to be judged fairly, without any bias based on what she doesn’t have between her legs is being thwarted, but at least she can understand her place and not fight against the little men with their little fill-in-the-blank who inhabit the hollow—I mean hallowed—chambers of representation across the land!

No, my indignation is directed toward the real War on Woman, namely the War on Women’s Feet. How on earth have women agreed—paid of their 77-cents-to-the-dollar-earnings—to be strapped to five inch heels? What does this say about us that we have let this happen—that we have not forced shoe stores and shoe-sites to return these woman-hating shoes back to their designers with the heels sawed off! (A shoe castration, if you will.)

What is attractive (read sexy) about a woman taking itty bitty steps and needing to hold onto a man who is wearing quarter-inch heels because otherwise she couldn’t even attempt to walk straight to the nearest seat? (I know the answer to this is obvious, but still, for my soul, I need to cry out the question in protestation.)

I have to admit, there was a moment in the middle of a DSW when I thought that perhaps I was wrong—one of those “if everyone’s doing it, it must be right” moments. But then I attempted to try on a pair and came to the rapid conclusion that this style is yet another form of disempowerment.

I took off my well-worn black flats and prepared myself to mimic the stars on their red carpets and us ordinary women at the mall. With one five-inch shoe on, my other foot hovered above the ground—I held onto the shoe display for dear life. It felt like I was training to walk on stilts, only there wasn’t a circus performer there to instruct me how to maintain my balance. Quickly, before I should fall and be expelled permanently from the Woman of the World department, I put my shoeless foot back on terra firma, put the stilt-shoe back in its box and said goodbye to extreme fashion, goodbye to thinking that high heels are what defines a woman’s sensuality.

Was I not woman enough for this or was I too much a woman? Why is this the style now, now when women’s rights are being rescinded law by law? Why, when it had seemed passé to even talk about feminism (my teenage daughter mocked my even discussing it) is this backlash coming at us—first our wombs, then our feet? Why are they trying to manipulate us back to the times of bound feet and cobbled expectations? Why, when so many men and women respect each other as equals, is this undermining happening?

Is the extra height an extreme message that we have forgotten what we’re really valued for—or what we should value about ourselves? And why has walking on stilts come to be equated with one’s sexiness?

Women—let’s show those shoe purveyors and trendsetters what we think of their attempts at objectifying us into some kind of uber-stilted-Barbies and put our two feet down on the earth, walking right to the voting booth.

(I wonder if the Koch Brothers are investors in Louboutin?)



Elisabeth Stewart

I gather these 5 inch heels are meant to make women's legs look sexier - as well as putting our spines out of alignment. My spine's been wonky since my late teens - hence I've avoided this torture. Nor would I have ever wanted to subject myself to it.


I get the high heels=sexy legs on some level, but these super-high heels, I just don't understand how women have allowed themselves to so work against their own bodies--wonky spines--just to look a certain way--and one that does not work toward showcasing strength and intelligence.


Laura, I don't get this at all. And you see it over and over, women wearing ridiculously high heels. They're not practical, they damage the woman's feet, back, joints. You name it. It's akin to foot binding.

I'm guessing most of the women who wear them weren't involved in the struggle for women's rights.

The things we do for vanity. Shaking my head over this one.

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