By Crabby McSlacker
There are some ways in which I definitely have a girl brain, not a boy brain. But in other ways, I am a dude. I sometimes find my own gender to be an alien species, incomprehensible in its motivations and reasoning and habits.
(For a more complete elucidation of my cluelessness about female behavior, I wrote a much longer post years ago about Women and the Quest for Beauty. Like so many ancient Cranky Fitness posts, it lingers undisturbed in the archives, gathering dust and long forgotten, yet it's better than the stuff I write now. Which makes me a little sad. Though not sad enough, apparently, to devote more time to current blog efforts).
Anyway, this is just a brief and pissy rant on a small subject of the topic: high heeled shoes. And since so many of you wear them, either grudgingly or enthusiastically, I'd love to hear your vocal defense of your choices in the comments.
But let me get you good and riled first!
What Instigated My Melt-Down Over High Heeled Shoes
I went shopping and came across these. I wish I were a better photographer. More specifically, I wish I had taken this picture with one of my own gargantuan shoes next to this one so that you could see that it is sized for a very little girl. It looks almost like a grown-up shoe in this picture, right? But be assured, it is not.
And sure, its not a pair of six inch stilettos. But still. I need some help here women: in what way does wearing a high heeled shoe that makes it more difficult to run, jump, frolic, or even walk in a normal manner reflect "girl power?"
The packaging attempts to say: "we get it that girls get treated as though they are less than boys! More power to girls!" And yet this vision of power? It totally acquiesces to the expectation that girls should be decorative, not active. That even pre-adolescent girls should put fashion over function when it comes to footwear.
Yet a new generation of girls is getting the message: You need to look "pretty." Get used to it. Time to trade in those comfy sneakers the boys get to wear.
Do You Need Another Naggy Reminder that High Heels are Bad for You?
Well, you get one anyway. There are many cautionary articles out there, I'll just be lazy and crib some highlights from this one at Health.com:
- Women have four times as many foot issues as men, and podiatrists attribute most of this to high heels.
- Half of all women even though the 71 percent of them say the shoes hurt their feet.
- These shoes can cause calluses, hammertoes, bunions, plantar fasciitis, neuroma, shortened achilles tendons, muscle spasms, and strains to lumbar spine, hips, and knees.
- The higher the heels, the greater the strain.
I'm Done Blaming Men for Objectifying Women Until Women Stop Doing It To Themselves
Men do not feel the need to be perceived as "sexy" in a work setting. They want to be taken seriously, perceived as competent, effective, powerful. They do not worry how their ass looks in their slacks or whether their hairstyle is sassy enough.
This is not to say that wardrobe and grooming are irrelevant! And no one wants to look ugly or disheveled. But, to be crude, "professional" does not have to mean "fuckable." And I still think most women are loathe to ever be seen solely as the former and not the latter.
I think women's constant preoccupation with looking desirable perpetuates sexism. It plays right into the unconscious narrative we all carry as members of a sex-biased society: Men are Normal People Who Do Things, Women are Decorative Other. We are accustomed to seeing the world through male eyes, and we perpetuate this by dressing for it.
What if women started to give just a little less of a crap about their appearance, and made a few more choices that made health and comfort and mobility more of a priority? Is that such a radical notion? I fear it is, alas.
So, did I get you annoyed enough yet? Tell me how insane and ridiculous I'm being! Defend those high-heeled shoes you love so much ladies, I'm all ears!