Thinkin’ about heels

On Sunday Lexy and I went to see Germaine Greer in the Festival of Dangerous Ideas. Ah, Dr Greer. Incidentally, I didn’t like Ellie Harvey’s piece on her talk in the Sydney Morning Herald. One sentence in particular irked me: She defended the decision of women to walk away from bad marriages. I didn’t realise we still had to defend that decision.

Anyway, on the way there Lexy said she was going to wear heels but didn’t want to get into trouble for wearing symbols of subjugation. Unsurprisingly, we got into a discussion about heels and feminism. I don’t buy the argument that heels are about male control over women; that making us wear shoes we can’t walk in means we can’t run away from them. Or perhaps we’ll be so focussed on the pain in our feet that we won’t notice being raped. Which frankly, sounds daft. No one makes you wear heels. And not all heels are uncomfortable. So telling women that if they wear heels they’re being controlled by men sounds a lot like telling women what to do. And that ain’t that different to men telling women what to do.

So I asked Lady A, who is a seven foot tall goddess and loves wearing heels. She said with a pair of 6 inch red peeptoe heels you can get into a club in jeans and a t-shirt. Plus they make you walk differently – which feels sexy – make your legs look longer – ditto – and they are frivolous and fancy so you feel special wearing them. Lexy wears heels because she’s short. And they make her legs look longer. I wear heels every now and then. Not the stilettos that are impossible to walk in because I look silly enough without adding crippling shoes. But when I wear heels it means I’ve dressed up. That I’m off to somewhere special, like a wedding or a party. They’re celebration shoes. And is that any different to wearing celebration clothes?

5 responses to “Thinkin’ about heels

  1. I don’t think you can separate heels from gender politics, actually. One thing to ask is what are the men wearing? Cos if it’s something totally different then there’s your answer. There isn’t any difference between a male and female foot, yet the footwear that is marketed to women often doesn’t even look like it’s meant for humans.

    • True, but you can choose not to wear heels. You can wear flats/Cons/Vans/Blunnies/any other unisex shoe. I also have two pairs of mens shoes that I often wear. And there are heels for men – albeit scary ones that only drag queens wear, but still, if a bloke wants to wear them he can.

  2. Lexy wears heels cos she’s short! hmm…. I was the 7 foot goddess before years of oppression wore me down 🙂

  3. Pingback: Long weekend bullet point special « the news with nipples

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