Feb 22 2006

Ay-yi-yi No. 3

We are not befuddled, here at Patriarchy-Blaming HQ, by the Glamour Stiletto Run. Chicks in high heels waddle-race through the cobbled streets of Amsterdam to win €10,000 in “shopping money.” It makes perfect sense.

[thanks, Hissycat]


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  1. MCH

    May I just say that, as a man, I think high heels in general (and super-high stilettos in particular) are ugly and unattractive? (Not to mention the array of health problems they can cause–they’re cigarettes for your feet!)

    And, if I may, I’d like to blame the patriarchy for other men thinking I’m weird for not being all into the heels-and-streetworker-apparel look, or, similarly, for not enjoying The Man Show. (Ack.)

    I guess that means I’m insufficiently manly enough to them. Fortunately, I don’t really care.

  2. Sharoni

    Jesus goddess almighty! At least they picked someone for the ad that could actually RUN in stillettos. I’d have kicked them off first thing. See, even the patriarchy, which promotes such sucky footwear, couldn’t keep that girl down!

  3. Burrow

    My friend told me that after she had worked as a stripper for awhile she was able to run full force in those death traps. Quite astounding how your body compensates. But I too say ACK!

  4. kactus

    I never understood how come in movies, whenever the heroine needs to get away quickly (from a monster, whatever) she insists on wearing those damn heels! Sometimes the heel will break to give added drama, but any normal woman would either not be wearing them in the first place to run away from a monster, or would have taken them off and gone barefoot.

    Guess I’m just a country girl at heart.

  5. LL

    Kactus, I agree. Whenever I see the sexy threatened girl take off her shoes, I give a little cheer. Of course, that also means you can find me screaming “take off you f**king shoes!!” at my TV on any given night.

  6. LMYC

    If they’re dumb enough to do it, they deserve to. I’ve had it with that crap.

    One of them wins some cash, and the rest of them win broken ankles. And there will be flat-out broken bones. Ha-ha-ha, lookit de dumb chix tryin ta run inna heels. Har har har doit doit doit …

  7. Hattie

    oh my aching ankles.

  8. Liz

    The real miracle is not just that she can run in stilettos. The true sign of the medical apocalypse here is that this woman in the little video clip has zero muscles in her legs! Absolutely no muscle tissue whatsoever. Normally people who are afflicted with such a degenerative muscular condition can’t even walk, much less sprint like the wind through the cobbled Netherlandic streets. I think maybe it’s time for me to go have a stiff drink with Baby Jesus. The End Times are nigh.

    Oh, and will Glamour give us a complete rundown on how many pairs of new stilettos the winner manages to buy with her prize money?

  9. MCH

    I hear ya, LL. Methinks the heels are there mainly to make the hapless (and they’re always hapless, and scantily clad, and ditzy) woman-to-be-victimized fall down “dramatically”. Got to get her roughed up before the monster/killer does her in, or it’s no fun, I guess. Oh yeah, and she has to scream a lot, in that six-year-olds-at-a-birthday-party way all the “scream queens” do. (Where are the “scream kings”? Oh yeah, fear isn’t manly…)

    Even when she manages to get away, half the time it’s becuase of the big stud muffin patriarch she’s the supporting actress for. He’ll either command her to take off the shoes (which she’s wearing because she’s vain, silly and impractical, of course) or he’ll grab them from her and dramatically break the heels off (girly Manolo shoe no match for He-Man Man Power!), or just carry her off, the clumsy hapless thing.

    Yes, I’ve seen a few too many 80s slasher flicks. But funny all the wierd patriarchal “morality” stuff crammed in (how many teens are killed in the direct temporal vicinity of their own sexual activity? hmm… Why is it that many of the female victims are attired in the manner the patriarchs would call “asking for rape”? hmm… And when Stiletto Girl falls, gets back up desperately, and falls again, only to be slaughtered, everyone laughs at what a dumb bitch she was? hmm… and if they survived, would they be also be cinematically expected to fucking apologize to Jason, a la Whittington?!).

    Not to mention, now that I look back and think about it, the female murders are always considered more entertaining, and are often filmed to portray them that way. Why is it considered so damn entertaining to watch images of beautiful women, tarted up just as the patriarchy likes, being killed?? Talk about a can’t-win situation…

    Who’s to blame? Altogether now, on three…

  10. Sylvanite

    Heh. I like it when the woman breaks the heels of the shoes off to run from the monster. And rips the too-tight skirt a little to be able to run full out. The clothing definitely deserves some destruction visited upon it!

  11. hedonistic

    I can TAP DANCE in heels. But this race takes the cake. Someone is gonna be hurt, all so the Patriarchy can have some fun at our expense. ARGH.

  12. joy

    It’s totally fucked up. But I’ve got to say, the web page is funny. Go to this part. http://www.glamour.nl/stilettorun/index.php?pag=3
    It explains in pictures, in case you don’t read, or don’t read Dutch, what is *not* a stiletto (false start!) and what *is* (clear for the start!). For the record, the not-stilettos are still pretty brutal shoes, just not quite as sharp and pointy. If you’re still confused, this part
    gives you the measurement guidelines. Heel height no shorter than 7 cm, heel circumference no greater than 1.5 cm. And don’t forget, Shopping=TopSport!

    Wouldn’t the Baby Jesus rather we all just walked in sensible shoes to an Amsterdam cafe?

  13. ae

    I swear to fucking tofu. People are idiots. I read this on Feministe and felt compelled to breathe fire in all directions. Sorry for any inadvertent singeing.

    When, o lawd, when will the wimmins tell the patrifuckry that we’re sick of being its dancing bears? I need some Tater Tots. And crack.

  14. Kate

    I saw it first on Femniste too.

    What really gets me is that women will line for this circus act and if you talked to some they would even think the men cheering them on is wonderful.

    Like I said on Femniste, it takes two to tango and the patriarchy ain’t comin down until the woman stop playing the stooges for it.

    Yes, I’ve had young women friends brag of their or their mothers’ gift to run and clean the house in heels.

    I still say that such an attitude is nothing more than, ” We have no problem dancing to the tune of the patriarchy waltz no matter how much it hurts; we’re REAL women.”

    God damn it all.

  15. Josef K

    So, anyway, I remember that after the Twin Towers collapsed, heels became deeply unpopular for a brief while, because there were so many stories of stilettos impeding women’s escape and costing them their lives. Flats for workwear became very chic.

    Then, of course, several designers created an ultra-high stiletto, supposedly to be worn as a statement telling the terrorists that We Will Not Be Frightened. And women wore it. As a gesture of something-or-fucking-other. It was sort of the terrorist-oriented version of slutty-clothes-as-empowerment; crippling shoes as defiance.

  16. jezebella

    NO! NOOOO! Not *Glamour*! Dammit. That’s the only fashion magazine I can stomach on an occasional basis, and now they’re on the cut list. Damn it all to hell. Glamour usually has at least one good article on women’s rights/issues/important stuff, and their models aren’t disgusting like vogue’s, and they show reasonably priced clothes sometimes, and yes, I know, it’s GLAMOUR but damn: I did not expect something so nauseating from them as they are more literate than the other fashion mags.

    I still love Jane Magazine, however, so don’t tell me anything evil about Jane. Please.

  17. jezebella

    PS: you can write to glamour to complain, if you wish:


  18. kactus

    Joy, I think the baby jesus would rather we all walked to an Amsterdam hash bar and listened to music.

  19. Twisty

    Fashion magazines are the handmaidens of patriarchy and an offense against humanity. I implore all blamers to expunge these Femininity Instruction Manuals–sorry, Jez, that includes Jane–from their midsts with all speed.

  20. bitchphd

    Y’know, I like heels, but that’s just fucking stupid. If women enter the thing, they’ll twist their ankles. Heels are not meant for running (duh).

  21. Lady Ms. Esq.

    Oh, I like Jane too. Sometimes.

    However, Bitch is even better: http://www.bitchmagazine.com/. So is Bust: http://www.bust.com/

  22. guavajelly

    Twisty, right on about the fashion magazines. I wish I had recognized their danger in junior high. In the late ’80s, when I was reading the crap, the mags was especially detrimental to us black girls.

  23. shannon

    Bust is alright,though?

  24. Christopher

    I still don’t get heels.

  25. Twisty

    It’s not a fashion magazine, but I have to say I gave up on Bust a while ago. I don’t know if it’s different now, but at the time it was pretty much just one big ad for the Hitachi Magic Wand. I’m all for orgasms, but I admit I prefer a bit more pith in my toiletside reading material.

  26. Ms Kate

    What I couldn’t figure out about the stilletto-wearing monster lunches is why the hell didn’t they take those dangerous shoes off so that they could 1)run like hell and 2) use them as weapons?

    On that note, Does anybody else remember the old Easy Spirit ads where women in business heels (then 2″ and not spiked) were playing basketball to show how you could actually get around in the damn things. It wasn’t false advertising, either – I bought a pair and they were possible to get around in when I needed to wear business drag.

  27. emjay

    I remember those! “Looks like a pump, feels like a sneaker.” Yet still not as good as a pair of trousers and loafers to make all parts of my body happy at work.

  28. Kate

    yes Ms., I remember the ad.

    The shoes might have worked but the ad made me livid. Good girls never go out without high heels and a proper skirt!


  29. Catharine

    I think the starting blocks kind of make the whole thing for me. I don’t know why… it’s a visual thing with the heels… the starting blocks…

    Okay. It’s 6pm and I’m tired and it doesn’t take much.

    (But… is it wrong if I think her shoes are cute?)


  30. ae

    Twisty @ 25 = Bwwaahaa! ‘Tis true. For a minute there, Bust went all — who was that woman in the 70s who gave orgasm how-to seminars? Betty Dodson! Early days of Bust were good. And post the knitting book, I think it’s picked up again. But we’ve got choices; let’s do the young’uns a favor and get them New Moon. Start the blaming early.

  31. kathy a

    i think i have some of those easy spirit type heels, for those “gotta look like a grownup” occasions. for about ever, though, my shoes of choice have ranged from aersoles to clogs to walking sandles, and that is about it [except for snow and camping situations, which i don’t encounter much]. i can walk or even run in my chosen shoes. my feet don’t hurt in them.

    stilettos are named after a weapon, and their potential defensive use is the only potentially positive aspect of that shoe style. in my opinion. they are hell on hardwood floors, too.

  32. Scarpediem

    I wonder what’s next, the world’s fastest Brazilian wax?

  33. thebewilderness

    I got hooked on easy spirit pumps in my business drag years too. I got a pair for my mum and she wears them to this day when she gets ‘dressed up’. She’s 81

  34. kactus

    This is how I knew that young women considered me officially middle-aged: about five years ago I took my oldest daughter shoe-shopping. I was only 41 at the time. Kat picked out a pair of cute shoes and I was admiring some cute shoes for myself when the salesgirl tried to direct me to the “old lady loafer” section of the store. Oof! Officially too old to wear cute shoes!

  35. Violet Socks

    I guess I’m out of touch. I haven’t worked in a business office in 3 years, and back then women weren’t wearing stilettoes. Seems like fairly low, chunky heels were in. And the only woman who wore huge heels was ridiculed for it. This was a very fashionable office, too, in the city.

  36. Tapetum

    When I was in college I could have competed in one of those things – though I hope I wouldn’t have been stupid enough to. I could (and did) rock-climb, dance the Galliard, and run down a flight of stairs carrying a mini-fridge in heels.

    These days I only own one pair – and I never wear them. Heels may not have to distort your feet, but they’re far from healthy for you.

    Besides, I never want to repeat the rock-climbing incident. Climbing over large rocks at night in heels and a short skirt to get away from someone harrassing me. Ever since I’ve followed a simple rule-of-thumb. If I can’t climb a tree in it, I don’t wear it.

  37. M

    All the posters who said about kicking off your heels when runing away – don’t! I know it’s the weirdest advice every, but if you wear high heels all or most of the time, and you suddenly kick them off to run you are likely to snap your achilles tendon. The achilles tendon shortens when you wear heels – going from heels to runing flat foot gives it no chance to stretch back, so you risk serious damage.

    This is most emphatically patriachy blameable.

  38. TP

    Note the carefully chosen outfit, pink, with bustle. It makes her look like an ostrich.

  39. TC

    Burrow> I knew a stripper who couldn’t walk, let alone run, WITHOUT heels. She’d created some Barbie-legs for herself. Yeech.

    re: Bust magazine.
    Being in the UK, it’s rare I find a ‘feminist’ magazine, so I was quite pleased when I happened upon Bust in my local Borders. Of course, flicking through it soon cured me (quotes from Courtney Love about how Larry Flynt helped her out, but Gloria Steinem didn’t).

    The next issue also had Peaches on the cover, which really put me off, since I saw her supporting Marilyn Manson a few years back and it was possibly the worst half hour of my life.

  40. monika

    Haven’t they picked this from the Gay Games? Or some other less serious gay sports event?

  41. Sharoni

    Hey Kactus! Any sales”girl” that directed me to the “little old lady” shoes would be (a) losing a sale and (b) losing my daughter’s sale and (c) figuring that I had lost my mind because I’d be giving her what for. The last time anybody did that to me was some 23 year old child optometrist who told me “when WE reach a certain age, the muscles in OUR eyes lose their elasticity” when I had to get bifocals – WHAT “WE”???? I didn’t give her what for, but the next one to cross my path sure got it, and all the rest. That was about, uh-oh, 15 years ago. I think I’m just becoming a crabby old crone. I blame the patriarchy for that as all else.

  42. amaz0n

    TC: quotes from Courtney Love about how Larry Flynt helped her out, but Gloria Steinem didn’t

    I think that quote was intended more as an indication that Courtney Love has, in fact, lost her freaking mind.

  43. BC

    Bitch! Bitch is a great magazine (with a hobby of ridiculing Jane), and I think, better than Bust (although I’ll admit that I don’t know Bust that well). Everyone here should have a Bitch subscription.

  44. Stella

    I admit it – I wear them. Sometimes.

    But I am 5′ and I HATE having to look UP at EVERYONE. ALL THE TIME. I usually wear a pair of stylish and comfortable black leather boots, with sensible heels – I can wear these for hours and hours and hours and have no foot pain or leg pain. I can only wear the ‘stylish’ heels at work where I get to sit down most of the day – no going to the grocery store afterward.

    I need to get some of those cool boots that are semi-platformed… you know, the ones that are like 2″ heels, but filled in, with a solid sole along the bottom… ? Those will give me a bit of a lift and still be comfy.

    I have to ask, though – if you NEVER wear heels, what do you wear when you have to ‘dress up’? And don’t say a tux. Those of us who live in East Texas can’t make fashion statements like that.

  45. Burrow

    I hate Bust. And magazines everyone should subscribe to: as ever, off our backs. And I’m not just saying that because they published me.

  46. Ron Sullivan

    I suspect that pink-tulled tootsie’s ability to run in stilettos is to some extent a product of video editing. Notice how much time she spends behind identical cars, and how long the camera’s focused on her head and shoulders?

  47. Liz

    When i took an IMPACT self-defense training class last month, one of the things we learned is that when you’re down on the ground fighting full-force against an attacker, your shoes evetually tend to go flying off. Even good running shoes with laces. You learn to just keep fighting, with bare feet. Glasses fly off too. Maybe some clothes. This happens. But when the adrenaline is flowing, you don’t even notice. As soon as you get a break to run, you back away then run, barefoot or with one shoe, or whatever. You don’t feel the pain until it’s over and the adrenaline lets up. Neat little fact of physiology.

    But speaking of running: how many women are actually fit enough to run any distance? To sprint really fast? If you can’t run away in comfy shoes, it doesn’t really matter if you wear stilettos. And I’m willing to bet: that skinny half-starved little waif in the video clip probably doesn’t have enough strength or stamina to run more than 20 feet before she collapses, out of breath, stilettos or Nikes.

  48. Frumious B.

    Sorry, Stella, shoes with inflexible soles are also bad for you.

    Does anyone remember Moonlighting? Cybil Shepard *always* took her shoes off to run. I liked that about that show.

  49. emjay

    Stella: flat sandals.

    Any shoes that carry with them the potential of snapping a tendon should not be worn by anyone, ever.

    I am also five feet tall. However, when you have a loud mouth like mine and no fear, no one realizes that you barely clear 60 inches. Tonight I chased off two teenage boys who were beating up on a younger boy, in a marginally-sketchy neighborhood of our nation’s capital. It didn’t occur to me until afterwards that maybe that wasn’t the brightest idea I’ve ever had. All’s well that ends well. I hope the little patriarchs-in-training ran home scared.

  50. littlem

    NEVER too old to wear cute shoes. NEVER EVER. And the cool thing is they can be FLATS and you can RUN in them (although I will admit to a few “Easy Spirits for business drag”, as Ms. Kate so eloquently put it).

    You can even kick patriarchs with the pointy-toed ones (in self-defense, of course).

    Say it with me: Sigerson Morrison! Stuart Weitzman! On sale! At DSW! At working woman prices!

    Go forth and stomp!

  51. jezebella

    What is DSW? They have comfortable professional-looking shoes at prices I can afford? Weitzmans, even? Where do I find this?

    Why I do not wear flats every day: I am short of leg, round of stature, and I have always had, even in my thin youth, the cankle. Flats just make me look and feel stubby. Like the other shorties around here, I get sick of having to look UP at everybody all the time. People find it easy to dismiss the shorty.

  52. jezebella

    and, PS, lest I forget: The shorty is taken less seriously than the tall because, yes, men in general are taller than women in general. The tall and the deep-voiced are granted automatic authority. I wonder why that is? Is it, perhaps, the patriarchy? I beliee so. Yes.

  53. Jenny M,

    Your comments about breaking the heels off shoes reminds of a good yet partriarchal movie “Romancing the Stone”.

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