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Feb 14 2006

Weekly Shoe Fetish Bulletin

In the fine tradition of sexy aerobics for today’s sexy gal on the go who realizes that sexy doesn’t come without a lot of sexy work, the makers of Cardio Striptease now bring you new Stiletto Strength, the workout that trains you how to walk sexy with painful stilts strapped to your feet.

The gym’s fitness director admits that “your feet will never recover” from wearing heels, but of course has no qualms “training” women how to walk in them.

“They’re businesswomen and they have to wear heels so they want to understand how to look better in them and feel confident.”

Confident and sexy!

That’s right. Today’s confident career woman knows how empowering it is to resemble a sexy stripper as closely as possible. Sexy stilettos aren’t just for prostitutes anymore; they’re required of sexy businesswomen in today’s sexy corporate world of sex! Because women = sex!

[thanks, kitsunikun]

37 comments

3 pings

  1. That Girl

    Im just waiting for the stiletto work-out shoes. Sexy while you slim!

  2. Galloise Blonde

    Business women have to wear heels, in the sense that Chinese girls had to have the bones of their feet broken, and the flesh constricted so that it rotted off. Chinese girls still managed to find husbands after they ended the fashion of footbinding: so dare we suggest that maybe, just maybe, a woman could find a job without having to contort her calves and fuck up her feet? It boggles my mind that these career-juggling, time-prioritising business women find it easier to take a course in how to walk than just wear flat shoes.

    That’s if any genuine business women are taking the course. Note that the only student interviewed bought the shoes for her boyfriend’s party.

  3. kcb

    Another footwear intelligence test. If you have to take a class to wear your shoes, maybe there’s something wrong with the shoes.

    I’m holding out for classes on how to sport around town with my hair on fire. I’m sure it will never be totally pain-free, but if I strengthen my core I could rock that look.

  4. laughingmuse

    What was that about a sucker is born every minute?

    Seriously, people, it’s possible to wear “nice” shoes to work that aren’t bizarre foot-deforming torture devices like stiletto pumps. It’s true!

    But then, what am I saying? Am I actually insinuating that a woman’s job and how she does it is not related to her being a sex object? Gasp!!!

  5. Twisty

    What you’re saying, Laughingmuse, is that you don’t trust women to make footal choices.

  6. LauraBora from Bufadora

    I would rather be painted with the HORRIFYING STIGMA of being “un-sexy” and wear Dansko clogs every day, to every possible event, than have to go to a class that will “teach me” to walk in shoes that don’t support my weight and make it impossible to run away if chased by wild gangs of feral dogs.

    What’s next? A class at Crunch gym about how to wear control top support panty hose and NOT chafe your inner thighs or wish you were dead?

  7. wheelo

    LauraBora I’m wearing Dansko’s RIGHT NOW! They are awesome, esp for high arched, wide footed, gotta job that requires lotsa walking women like me. Comfy heaven and last forever!

    I just found me a pair (my 3rd) ON SALE. Now I have a pair for any occaision (that I would go to anyway)

    And my SO thinks they are the cutest things I wear. Really Really.

  8. jenofiniquity

    But Dansko clogs ARE sexy.

  9. red_braidy

    Well, I’m not so sure wearing high heels can be equated with footbinding. Footbinding was irreversable, whereas it is possible to wear high heels over a lifetime and still run, walk, and wear flats. My mother wore impossibly high heels (4 or 5 inches) daily for many, many years (being in the workforce in the 50s and 60s when that *was* a requirement for women workers) and her feet are not deformed or unusable, nor even particularly unattractive, as feet go. She goes barefoot and wears heels and flats and her calves are fine. But then she did not spend every waking moment in heels, if she wasn’t going to work or to a ‘dress up’ function she wore loafers or tennis shoes. She also wore her proper size in shoes and did not try to shove her feet into shoes two sizes too small. I suspect that is the real culprit, breaking your feet in order to pretend that your feet are smaller than they are, and that, yes, can be equated to footbinding. But it’s not the heels, no matter how high, that are the footkillers, it’s wearing shoes that are too small, and wearing the same style of shoe no matter what the activity.

  10. Ms Kate

    Who said shit about business women? This class is for desperate housewifes, if the “stilletos with tracksuit” look I see amongst the Women’s Day Stepfords I see around here is any indication.

    Geesh.

  11. LL

    “Another footwear intelligence test. If you have to take a class to wear your shoes, maybe there’s something wrong with the shoes.

    I’m holding out for classes on how to sport around town with my hair on fire. I’m sure it will never be totally pain-free, but if I strengthen my core I could rock that look.”

    I’m sorry Twisty, but I have to go make out with KCB now.

  12. Nia

    I like to wear heels occasionally and this class is just an evil way of giving women lower back pain. Seriously! heels cause the pelvis to be in a position that tenses up the lower back. If anyone needs a workout to wear high heels, it’s yoga, or belly dancing, or anything that teaches you to release lower back tension. Strenghtening the core, yeah, right.

  13. bitchphd

    The “business women” rationalization is an obvious and pathetic attempt to dress up sexist bullshit by claiming it promotes women’s advancement. See also: cosmetic surgery, stay-home mothers, the mommy track, career Barbie, “abortion hurts women,” etc. etc.

    I mean, it’s true: to wear high heels, you do need to learn how to walk in ‘em. And fine, some opportunistic asshole wants to offer a “class” in this to a bunch of idiots with more money than brains, whatever. But, much as I like shoes, it’s fucking ridiculous to pretend that learning to walk in high heels is some kind of feminist achievement.

  14. laughingmuse

    Twisty -

    hee hee hee hee hee!

    Footal choices? I would never limit a woman’s footal choices. (I’ve made some mistakes in that realm….) But I do reserve the right to mock others for doing things to hurt themselves that I think is silly.

    Man, I sound like the Queen Bee or something. Of Footwear Choices. Woah.

  15. wheelomatic

    oops, some weird thing happened in IE-hell-at-work- That was me singing the praises of Dansko’s ON SALE.

  16. Sharoni

    My sister-in-law (an awesome woman of 6’2″, also a mechanical engineer) wore high heels for many years. Her feet are deformed. I know because she places them in my hands when she has the chance so I can massage them. Her feet actually look like barbie feet. She wears flat shoes now, but they haven’t relaxed one little bit, as if petrified this way. I like shoes too, and I wear heels when I want to. I also wear flat shoes, clogs, hiking shoes, tennies, flappies, you name it, I’ve worn them. But I would never let my feet get like hers. I blame the patriarchy. She spent too many years having to compete in a field that was mostly men, and I think being as tall as she was and wearing the heels on top of that was an intimidation ploy, but she’s paying for it still.

  17. Hysterical Woman

    What, no pictures? I want to see the monster.

  18. kathy a

    as a shortie who came of age in the dreaded ’70′s, i made some unfortunate footwear choices. then, as a young-pup lawyer in the mid-’80′s, i thought i needed heels to be taken seriously.

    never did these misguided notions result in stillettos, though — couldn’t walk in them, and couldn’t think of why i should try. by the time i got professional, i also knew i needed to be able to stand all day and run in whatever shoes i wore. with only rare exceptions, i went to flats during pregnancy and never looked back. now, almost all i ever wear on my feet are clogs and sandals. and silly sox.

  19. mordo

    While I’m not a “business woman” by any stretch of the imagination, I do work in an office and must pass for a “professional” these days.

    Still, I don’t wear any shoes that I couldn’t kick somebody’s ass in.

    That’s the rule.

  20. metamanda

    I trained for a marathon with a girl who habitually wore heels. As in, the only shoes she owned that weren’t heels were her running shoes. The years of nothing-but-high-heel-wearing shortened her achilles tendon, which made training pretty unnecessarily painful for her.

    I love me a cute shoe. Also, I am short. But too much high heel wearing is really not good for you.

  21. NancyMc

    But it’s not the heels, no matter how high, that are the footkillers, it’s wearing shoes that are too small, and wearing the same style of shoe no matter what the activity.

    I’d like some empirical data on that. And Sharoni’s sister-in-law cancels out your mom.

    There is really no point at all to wearing high-heeled shoes. That’s why men don’t do it. If it was so great, men would be doing it all the time.

    The classic high-heel, with a 3 to 5 inch stick coming out of the bottom of the heel of the shoe, is a device used to hobble women, because a hobbled woman is sexy to the Patriarchy. And it doesn’t matter whether she’s a CEO or a street ho.

  22. ae

    Good one, kcb!

    Still, I don’t wear any shoes that I couldn’t kick somebody’s ass in.

    That’s the rule.

    Right the hell on, mordo. I will never shake the thought that heels are made to hobble women so we cannot run away or — equally horrendous and limiting — so we remain still, passive, and on display.

  23. beth

    I spent a year or two wearing comfortable chunky boots (not stilettos) with about a 2″ heel. I could totally kick ass in them, but then I discovered, as I got back into running regularly, that the muscles and tendons in my feet were too tight for me to be comfortable running! I had to stay out of the boots for many months before I could consider running painlessly again.

    So yeah, lasting damage. Maybe not permanent, but lasting.

  24. Anna Winter

    “There is really no point at all to wearing high-heeled shoes. That’s why men don’t do it. If it was so great, men would be doing it all the time.”

    I had my very first experience the other day with actually feeling a need for heels, and it sucked immensely to realise why business women do feel that they need to wear them.

    When you are short thing like me at a business function in which everyone stands and mingles, it can be very easy for the blokes to ignore you because you are only as high as their elbow – especially when it’s a group of giants, and one woman of lesser height. I felt the desire to tower over them and make them feel insignificant for the night.

    I’m trying to start a campaign to get a new law introduced that anyone over 5’7″ must kneel at business functions. This would eventually be expanded to weddings and parties.

  25. CafeSiren

    Two encouraging voices of wisdom — buried, of course, at the very end of the article:

    Cyrus called in a podiatrist to assess the class, which has been launched in New York, Los Angeles and Miami. “He said ‘You know, the answer is women shouldn’t wear heels,’” Cyrus said.

    Yup.

    “Your feet will probably never recover because it’s not a position you’re meant to be in all day long,” she said. “This class will strengthen your legs and your core, it will make it less painful, but it will never be pain free.”

    And for “Pain is beauty” (tragically, i heard this first from my sister, who said it without irony), I blame the you-know-what.

  26. red_braidy

    I have no data, it is purely ancedotal and as such, I’m a complete idiot who isn’t allowed to have an opinion. ;)

    If you wear heels, and only heels (stilletto or chunky, 2″ or 5″), for all your waking hours, yeah, you’re going to screw up your feet and your leg muscles and your pelvis, etc.. But (again, only ancedotal, so totally wrong) I know more than one person who have rarely, if ever, worn heels, but habitually wear shoes a size or two too small because ‘their feet are too big’. Their feet are pretty nasty looking, and one person has lost some toenails because of it.

    It is possible to wear heels daily for many years and not have tendon problems or foot problems, my mom is an example. Like Anna, my mom wore them partly to be taller–my mom is 5’3′ish, but it was very much part of the dress code of the 50s and 60s, and to a certain extent the 70s. My mom still wears heels, she likes them, and she can move just fine in them and in any of the other shoes she wears. Though she would not consider herself a feminist, she is also not a fembot and does not consider herself in heels to be helpless and in need of a man. So not all women who wear heels would fit the picture that is being presented.

    I personally rarely wear heels, professionally or socially, but I do on occasion because I like pretty shoes, and some very pretty shoes have heels. I’ve never had to take a class in walking to wear them and I don’t wear shoes that aren’t comfortable and I don’t wear shoes that I can’t move in with confidence and speed. I haven’t found that people treat me any differently in heels or flats, but then I don’t dress for teh sex in either instance.

    I’m not saying it’s not a function of the patriarchy in our society that makes heel wearing ‘mandatory’, what I am saying is that it doesn’t have to be the body destroying disaster that people make it out to be. And maybe I’m not in enough solidarity, but the women in the article, well, if you are stupid enough to think that wearing heels is going to change your life, then you are probably not going to be swayed by the argument that it’ll mess up your feet to do so.

  27. Hogan

    “Pain is beauty”

    This is actually inscribed over the entrance to the Ministry of Patriarchal Love.

  28. sunny in texas

    the most appalled i ever was about the high heel issue was at an acquaintance when she kept insisting that she actually had more power while wearing heels.

    more power to fall on your ass and break something, i thought to myself.

    “business women HAVE to wear heels to get respect”, and “short women simply MUST wear high heels to be taken seriously”, in every possible permutation fell from her lips.

    i happen to now have a white collar job, i also get to wear steel toed biker boots. and i’m 5’1″.

    take THAT you pink-wearing barbie-wannabe psycho.

  29. Nancymc

    When you are short thing like me at a business function in which everyone stands and mingles, it can be very easy for the blokes to ignore you because you are only as high as their elbow – especially when it’s a group of giants, and one woman of lesser height. I felt the desire to tower over them and make them feel insignificant for the night.

    If you’re that tiny then even 5″ heels aren’t going to make you tower over anybody.

    The high heels may give you the illusion of height, but you’ll still be short. Short with painful feet and a tottering hobble when you walk. I don’t think that’s going to help foster an aura of competence and authority to the giant business persons.

  30. hedonistic pleasureseeker

    (slaps hand on forehead, groans) My guess is this new fad will last one week. I have faith in the good sense and intelligence of women!

    Sexy in the office? These days, when I get too many unannounced office “visits” from certain men, I don’t take off my adorable Manolo heels; rather, I take off my WIG. It scares them.

    Unfortunately, if anyone out there thinks their flat “sensible” shoes allow patriarchy-loving men to “respect” them, well, I’m just sorry. They don’t respect you and they won’t, not ever. So wear what makes you happy and comfortable, even if it’s stillettos. It just doesn’t matter.

  31. Sharoni

    I work in a professional environment. I wear heels, sometimes. I wear flat shoes, sometimes. I am short, and it doesn’t really matter what kind of shoes I wear, the people I work with see me as I am, not as the shoes I wear. So, if it’s a matter of comfort, wear what you want, I say, because the patriarchy doesn’t take you seriously if you’re female, no matter WHAT you wear. I blame the patriarchy daily, and I know. Twisty, hope you’re doing okay, and we all hope to see the downfall of the patriarchy.

  32. Frumious B.

    For data, try searching the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association. I searched on “high heels” and got these results

    http://tinyurl.com/9axue

    the first couple look interesting. I leave further searches as an exercise for the reader.

  33. Kat

    I tried to wear a pair of 3″ heels a few months ago for a job interview. It was so painful, I just shuffled along like a lame mule and leaned on the wall so I wouldn’t fall down. Had to bin them and wear flats instead. I don’t know how other women manage it.

  34. hedonisticpleasureseeker

    Sharoni, I agree, and that is why I still wear my 200 pair of comfortable-but-extremely-femmy shoes.

    I’m a feminist with much radical rustling in my brain. I could easily go the Twisty route (I’m bald, even!): Pack my shoes away in a dark closet, cleave to my birkenstocks and pack boots (I’ve got ‘em) and say “Fuck it, I refuse to appear in any way pleasing to the Patriarchy, on Feminist Principle.”

    But I know if I toe some imaginary radical feminist line, sensible shoes and all, I ain’t gettin no fucking tiara at life’s end. And unless we remote patriarchy-blamers take up a collection, Twisty ain’t gettin no tiara either. Patriarchy will fuck us all over regardless.

    So, given reality, why deny myself the – - ahem, excuse me – - hedonistic pleasure of 200 pair kick-ass pair of heels?

    And for the love of god Twisty, what’s your shoe size? If you are a 6 1/2 I’ll buy your 1000 pair offa ya.

  35. Twisty

    What you wear on your footsies (and why) is your own beeswax, of course, but I’d just like to say that I’m not bucking for a tiara when I reject the trappings of the feminine construct. I just feel personally icky when I capitulate to the sexbot mandate. Like the patriarchy has just come on my face.

  36. LMYC

    Okay, I have worked in high-tech and business ever since getting out of grad school. I DO NOT KNOW A SINGLE CORPORATE WOMAN WHO WEARS VERY HIGH HEELS. Not one. Not in the entire state of California.

    The closer to the front desk a woman is, the more likely she is to wear nylons and heels. That’sd the way it is. Heels are a way of apologizing for being female and “trying to fit the mold” in a business context, or at least any heel over about 1.5″ is.

    Any woman who thinks that wandering around in stilettos will get her “respect” is kidding herself. She’s been brainwashed into believing that if she just plays the game even harder and is a good girl like Daddy says, that the patriarchy will finally approve of her. It won’t.

    Stop worry about your fucking SHOES and do your fucking JOB. If these wannabes worried half as much about how to ask for a raise at they do about whether they should wear the slingbacks or the stilettos, their careers’d be a lot better off, even buried by the rubble of the patriarchy as we all are.

    I mean, I know the patriarchy blows chunks for us all, but can we PLEASE lose the bullshit that says that if we’re just good enough little girls and play by the rules that Mr. Sir will like us at last?

  37. Kate

    “The classic high-heel, with a 3 to 5 inch stick coming out of the bottom of the heel of the shoe, is a device used to hobble women, because a hobbled woman is sexy to the Patriarchy. And it doesn’t matter whether she’s a CEO or a street ho.”

    Exactly and that’s why I will not wear them or have a job that requires that I do. I do not understand why it is so hard for women to understand that if their job requires that they go around crippled and effectively unable to defend themselves, or run from a burning building that maybe something is wrong with that job.

    Dress and high heels: the precription for total vulnerability, discomfort and potential harm just to give ‘eye candy’ to some asshole.

    I have known plentry of women throughout my years that have stood there and told me they ‘love’ wearing heels and it doesn’t bother them. In fact, the last person to profess this to me also said to me one day, “You’re not like other women, you’re not as feminine and are pretty low maintenance.”

    Fuck yeah. I ceased thinking I had anything worthy to do with someone who would question my ‘femininity’ based on what I wore.

    I have a career, my own business mind you, in which I don’t have to wear anything but what I damn well please to wear and it is comfortable along the lines of steel toe boots or Doc Martens and if I need to kick some ass I will and most men know I am not an ‘ass’ to be played with.

    hedonistic says:

    “I’m a feminist with much radical rustling in my brain… But I know if I toe some imaginary radical feminist line, sensible shoes and all, I ain’t gettin no fucking tiara at life’s end. And unless we remote patriarchy-blamers take up a collection, Twisty ain’t gettin no tiara either. Patriarchy will fuck us all over regardless. ”

    (sorry girl you asked for this ass whippin’ to set you straight)

    Girl! Let lose and live!

    1) Who the fuck wants a goddamned tiara? Isn’t that something that princes and kings put on good little princesses for being such good obedient quiet princesses?

    Crise, when I got custody of my three kids (my ex had my generosity so he could play parent for two years), the godbag bitch girlfriend of my godbag husband gave my youngest daughter a tiara and had her parading around in it, all the while calling her ‘princess’ all the time. She couldn’t speak up for herself and had a horribly low self image, promulgating the princess myth didn’t help things. First order of business: Throw away the tiara thing pronto!

    No thanks.

    2) There is no imaginary radical feminist line to tow girl. That’s what the patriarchy wants you to think; ‘oh what a bunch of foolish girls they are, playing their little games and making up all that-a fuss like that.’ Women don’t just image their radicalness, it is borne of the reality of the patriarchy.

    I mean being sick and damn tired of the majority of the population being abused, objectified, raped, villified, starved, humiliated, held hostage, killed or whatever just because they are women and knowing the social construct you live in (as a woman) supports and condones it kinda gets you radical if you think about if very long.

    3) “Patriarchy will fuck us all over regardless.” So you don’t believe in making small change by example? You’d rather suffer and give in to the powers that be and support, by your complicity, the very activities and idealogies you claim to not support? That by your very actions you hold yourself out as an example to young women and girls everywhere that supporting the patriarchy is the way to go?

    I guess you’re also one of those women who always secretly amazes that I’m in a non-traditional field — and how they couldn’t do it because, well, I’m different than them. In other words, us ‘radicals’ and those of us out to make change have sacrificed our womenhood that you still hold onto.

    Only because you hold so tenaciously and fearfully to an ideal of womenhood defined by generations of men who want to control you and me.

    Now there, stop it and be true to yourself and be radical.

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