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  1. outrageandsprinkles
    outrageandsprinkles January 26, 2012 at 2:14 pm |

    I’ve known two people who have said that due to wearing heels so much, it is actually now more comfortable for them to wear heels than flat shoes. If I were even physically capable of walking in heels, and if it ever got to that point, I would probably just keep on wearing them knowing they were messing with my body, than try to wear them less and experience pain and discomfort.

  2. Jiggs
    Jiggs January 26, 2012 at 3:01 pm |

    @outrageandsprinkles Indeed. I knew a woman who wore heels 12 hours a day or more, 5-6 days a week (no joke, she had two jobs and wore them all day at both!)

    Because she always wore heels, wearing any flat shoe made her calves hurt really badly. So she never did. It was a little scary.

  3. samanthab
    samanthab January 26, 2012 at 3:22 pm |

    I’ve read that the best thing you can do for your feet is to change your heel height from day to day. I do this partly because I crave constant variety. As far as I can tell, it works. On the other hand, I have to say that there is a height at which heels become impossibly painful for me. There’s no way I’m going to torture myself by going above a certain height. Fuck that shit.

  4. Donna L
    Donna L January 26, 2012 at 3:33 pm |

    When I asked my feet if they were willing to transition along with me, they agreed to do so only if I promised in return never to wear heels higher than 1 1/2 inches at work, and to do even that only rarely. I have complied with our agreement, and the three of us are very happy together to date.

  5. Jadey
    Jadey January 26, 2012 at 3:37 pm |

    They can pry my Fluevogs from my cold, dead hands.

  6. Comrade Kevin
    Comrade Kevin January 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm |

    Heels fetishize the ankles, calves, and legs of women. They’re also an unmistakable sign of eroticism. Furthermore, heels display power–the power that the effect produces in the mind of the observer.

    But yes, they certainly do put the feet in unnatural positions that cause real harm with time.

  7. Emolee
    Emolee January 26, 2012 at 3:45 pm |

    What is the deal with wanting to be taller? I was just in a full elevator at a NY law firm and there was a woman in the elevator who looked around and then said, “I’m so short! I’m so much shorter than everyone else here. I should start wearing heels.” (I guess she chose to ignore my presence because I am 5’1 ish, was wearing flats, and was shorter than she.) I normally wouldn’t say anything in this circumstance, but this time I couldn’t help it and said, “People come in different heights… it’s ok.”

    If one wants to wear heels to be taller, fine for them. I just hate the widespread assumption that taller is better and the attitude (for example shown by elevator woman) that one *needs* to wear heels because she is shorter than many.

    I understand that not everyone who wears heels does it to be taller, but it was the reason that Caperton mentioned, above. I also note that Caperton mentioned “enjoy[ing]” height, which is different than a *should* try to look taller message.

  8. Katya
    Katya January 26, 2012 at 3:48 pm |

    I wear heels pretty often (I like towering over others and I have really high arches, so heels are often more comfortable than many flats), but I vary heel height and usually take them off under my desk and do lots of foot and calf stretches during the day. I also go barefoot almost all the time at home. I haven’t really noticed any problems or discomfort. As with many things, moderation and common sense seem to be the key.

  9. Donna L
    Donna L January 26, 2012 at 4:01 pm |

    I just hate the widespread assumption that taller is better and the attitude (for example shown by elevator woman) that one *needs* to wear heels because she is shorter than many.

    Personally, I feel that it’s about time I got some benefit in my life from being only 5’2″. Why would I want to change that?

  10. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. January 26, 2012 at 4:22 pm |

    I broke a bone several years ago and was banned from wearing my heel collection for years. Now, I just can’t seem to transition back. Even my “sensible” shoes from my pre-broken stage are too uncomfortable. So I wear boring old pumps which have greatly increased comfort, but still make me sad inside.

    /shallow whining

  11. Shoshie
    Shoshie January 26, 2012 at 4:36 pm |

    Heh, a couple months ago, I became one of those freaky toe-shoe wearers. They look strange, but oh my, do they make my feet happy. But I’ve pretty much always hated shoes in general. The closer to barefoot, the better. My favorite cute shoes of the moment are these awesome ones I got from my mom that are just a thin sole and a wool felt upper. They’re adorable, I get compliments on them every time I wear them, and I can wiggle my toes in them! Wearing boots for a week during our latest snowpocalypse was so so sad.

  12. Me and not you
    Me and not you January 26, 2012 at 4:51 pm |

    I have really high arches, so heels are often more comfortable than many flats

    This, yes, exactly. When I was a kid and I had to wear flats, I hated it – they were super uncomfortable. As soon as I could wear heels, suddenly formal shoes were so much more awesome. I’m really picky about my flats (including ‘regular’ shoes) and they have to have a ton of arch support. Most of my ‘flats’ actually have a one inch heel, which, incidentally, is approximately the heel on my workboots.

  13. Eimear
    Eimear January 26, 2012 at 5:24 pm |

    People with flat feet have to do calf stretching exercises all the time because of tight calves so they should definitely help. (you do them with the toes of that foot lifted to get an extra stretch.)

  14. shfree
    shfree January 26, 2012 at 6:31 pm |

    It really just depends on the shoe, how long I’m going to be on my feet, whether or not I’m going to be doing a lot of walking, what surface I’m going to be walking on, etc. Some shoes is better for walking for a while, some are better for standing for a great deal of time, some are better for when I’m likely to have to chase down a bus. And I’ve found that heel height has little to do with the comfort, it really just comes down to the design of a shoe as a whole.

  15. Emolee
    Emolee January 26, 2012 at 7:12 pm |

    @Caperton, ha, I figured this out, too, when I had to take the subway/walk to the courthouse with three other attorneys who were all tall, male, and wearing what looked like shoes made for walking. I could barely keep up with my short legs, even though I was walking faster than they were (I had to take about three steps to each of their one), and my heels were a definite detriment. My feet hurt for days. Never again. (Yes, I will wear heels again, like out to dinner or something. But not when I have to walk for work and keep up with men in rubber-soled flats.)

  16. EG
    EG January 26, 2012 at 7:32 pm |

    Jadey! My Fluevoguian sister!

    As my feet are size 10.5 (why? why? why do women’s shoes almost always run half sizes to 10 and then skip to 11? what is up with that?) and narrow, Fluevogs are the only shoes I have found that fit, and they fit perfectly and they are gorgeous and I love them and I will never ever ever ever give them up. That said, I love Fluevog combat boots as much as I love my Fluevog high-heeled granny boots, so I think I’m getting a good variety. Of course, one can always do with an even greater variety of Fluevogs in one’s life, although obtaining such variety means either running up one’s credit card or saving up for over a year or both.

    On the subject of heels, I find that ankle support makes a huge difference to me. If I’m wearing boots, particularly lace-up boots with good, tight ankle support, I can wear heels up to, oh, 2.5 inches or so, if I try to wear the same heel in sandals, or even regular pumps, not only do I trip a lot more, but I find myself in pain, which I never am in the boots (Fluevogs! Oh, Fluevogs! How I can sing your praises, my Fluevogs! Ahem.). And I’m talking about the exact same heel, like Fluevog sandals that are using the exact same heel as the boots. So go figure.

  17. Emolee
    Emolee January 26, 2012 at 7:36 pm |

    @EG I also find high-heeled boots much more comfortable than high-heeled shoes that are not boots.

  18. Bridget
    Bridget January 26, 2012 at 7:44 pm |

    When I became a massage therapist, two things happened:

    1. I was on my feet so much that I needed to wear really comfortable shoes, and soon found it hard to convince myself to wear less comfortable shoes like, ever.

    2. I had clients who had worn heels for years and years and saw the effects. I think a lot of women aren’t affected until they hit their 40s or so. It can cause a lot of pain. Not worth it, in my humble opinion!

  19. Shoshie
    Shoshie January 26, 2012 at 7:52 pm |

    1. I was on my feet so much that I needed to wear really comfortable shoes, and soon found it hard to convince myself to wear less comfortable shoes like, ever.

    This happened to me when I started doing labwork. I just can’t bring myself to wear uncomfortable shoes. Life’s too short.

  20. Tamara
    Tamara January 26, 2012 at 7:56 pm |

    I love how high heels look but don’t wear them much. Almost as soon as I first became pregnant my pelvic stability disappeared and I had to stop wearing heels to avoid shooting lower back pain. After that it was pretty easy to stick to low or no heels.

    One peeve though – the much lauded ballet flats and flat sandals have almost no support and are just as bad in their own way. Flats with arch support are quite hard to find (other than sport shoes).

  21. shfree
    shfree January 26, 2012 at 8:26 pm |

    Oh, and so much of it does depend on the surface you spend most of your time standing on. If you walk around on floors that have some give, it’s way easier on your feet. But I have experienced that if I’m on hard concrete all day, the cushiest shoes ever will not stop my knees from aching.

  22. Jadey
    Jadey January 26, 2012 at 8:32 pm |

    So much of it is price, too. I mean, not all expensive shoes are also foot-ankle-knee-etc.-friendly shoes, but I’ve never found a pair of reasonably-priced shoes that I could get away with wearing because I’ve got terribly weak ankles and bad pronation and absolutely require something with arch and ankle support. The one time I had to wear cheap running shoes because they were all I could find to fit a dress code, I ended up with plantar fasciitis so bad that every morning I had to get up early to massage and uncurl my feet so I could walk. I’m lucky that my parents were always able to afford expensive orthopedic shoes for me, and that I’m able to do the same now for myself mostly (also, the shoes my mum bought for me when I was a teen were such good quality that I can still wear many of them!), but I’m pretty sure most people can’t bust out $100-$200 bucks every time they need a new pair of shoes. Fluevogs are beautiful and comfortable and wonderful, but they aren’t exactly affordable enough to populate a wardrobe. I see the flimsy, cheap shoes that most people wear all day and no wonder their feet hurt! :( High heels are much more forgiving when attached to well-made, high quality study shoes.

  23. IrishUp
    IrishUp January 26, 2012 at 8:49 pm |

    FLUEVOGERS REPRESENT!!! (10prs and counting).

    When I was 12ish – old enough to start having more than sneakers and 1pr of dress shoes, my mom told me what, *her* mom told her – never wear the same heel height two days in a row. It may or may not be related, but I’ve kept to that pretty much, and thankfully do not yet have any arthritic or degenerative stuff going on with my knees. My next youngest sis has ALWAYS worn heels, and she needs knee-replacement surgery now. I can’t help thinking I avoided early problems by following mom’s advice.

    I also started wearing Vibram 5-fingers about 3yrs ago. At the time I was having a lot of pain running, and had switched to trail running for lower impact. They took getting used to, but I am a believer now!
    Actually the hardest thing was trying them on in the store and convincing my piggytoes that they had to SEPARATE to put the shoe on, not SQUISH.

    My foot and leg muscles had to relearn walking in them (the store advised starting off with 20-30min stretches). NOW I wear them a lot. I even just ran my first 5k in them, and couldn’t be happier. Everything felt GREAT afterwards – no shin-splints, no pain while running, no bursitis attack the next day.

  24. Wednesday
    Wednesday January 26, 2012 at 9:38 pm |

    Dress shoes are the devil.

    I’ve never worn heels in my life, unless you count riding boots/ When I was buying interview shoes my final year in grad school, I told the store employee that I wanted flats. She kept showing me high heels (and told me that some of the women’s dress shoes I liked were too ‘masculine’ for an interview).

    I finally had to tell her I had back and hip problems to get her to show me the flats. None of which came in widths or had decent arch support. When I started wearing my dress shoes regularly to teach in, I sprained my toe from wearing them all day.

  25. Sandy
    Sandy January 26, 2012 at 9:41 pm |

    Oh god, I love how high heels look so, so much. But I can’t take the pain. I wear heels once in a blue moon, when I’m dressing up to go to a nice restaurant, and I totter in and get seated and totter out to the car afterwards and yet my feet are inevitably killing me when I get home. And I’m like, how?! What am I doing wrong? I only took like 30 steps, ffs! How do people wear these? Good to know that what I’m doing wrong is simply not wearing them enough. That’s one of those things I definitely won’t be fixing.

    I’m a year-round flip-flop person. Of course I’ve read flip-flops cause their own problems, but they’re incredibly comfortable and easy in the here and now, and they’re very much my thing. I wear the kind with good arch support.

  26. Drew
    Drew January 26, 2012 at 9:54 pm |

    Bridget 1.26.2012 at 7:44 pm | Permalink
    When I became a massage therapist, two things happened:

    1. I was on my feet so much that I needed to wear really comfortable shoes, and soon found it hard to convince myself to wear less comfortable shoes like, ever.

    2. I had clients who had worn heels for years and years and saw the effects. I think a lot of women aren’t affected until they hit their 40s or so. It can cause a lot of pain. Not worth it, in my humble opinion!

    Same here (I’m a massage therapist as well). I’ve never been a fan of high heels – I figure walking down an incline all day would be bad on anyones body. I mean, I can understand the “wanting to be taller” thing, okay. But can’t we make shoes that give the “more tall” without the “constant plantar flexion”?

  27. Brennan
    Brennan January 26, 2012 at 10:21 pm |

    Yeah, I’m of the opinion that if you can’t walk half a mile in the shoes you paid for without sustaining an injury, then the shoe company should refund your money. Plus damages for pain and suffering. ‘Cause that’s what shoes are supposedly frickin’ designed for–avoiding injury while walking reasonable distances. This would put most makers of high heels out of business, though.

  28. Jane
    Jane January 26, 2012 at 10:24 pm |

    @ Sandy — same here. I really like the look of high heels, and I want to be fashionable, I really do! But apparently I have a stunningly low pain tolerance in my feet/unrealistically high expectations for shoes. I think part of it is that most of the times when I had reason to wear nice shoes I also was walking 5-6 miles a day (I’m cheap! it was worth it to me to save $2-4 a day by not taking the subway!), which means that all my shoes had to be not just comfy but DAMN comfy. I tried once or twice to carry nicer shoes along to work/class with me, but when I was already carrying my laptop. . . urgh. I’ve pretty much limited myself to Converse, Birkenstocks, and my running shoes on a daily basis now. (I do want to try those Vibram Five Fingers though.)

    The only “cute” shoes I can afford are cheap and cheaply made, which means little arch support, little selection for wide platter feet, and rather weak seams. I feel like shoes should come with a mileage estimation . . . “You can walk thus far before the soles fall off and/or the fabric stretches out and they no longer fit.” :(

  29. KristinMH
    KristinMH January 26, 2012 at 10:59 pm |

    As a teen I wore heels constantly because I was insecure about my height (I’m also 5’1″/5’2″ ish). By the time I hit 19 or so and accepted that I was never going to get that growth spurt, I decided it wasn’t worth the pain, as even in 3″ heels I was still below average height. I only wear heels – low ones – for specific occasions, never in daily life. But then I don’t have a corporate job that would require me to.

  30. Tori
    Tori January 26, 2012 at 11:21 pm |

    I became one of those freaky toe-shoe wearers. They look strange, but oh my, do they make my feet happy.

    Me too, Shoshie, me too. I started out thinking, “Well, maybe I will just get one pair to replace my worn out running shoes.” Now, they are almost literally all I wear. (As in, I own other shoes and wear them for special occasions. But on any given week, I am in FiveFingers 7 of 7 days.)

  31. gidget commando
    gidget commando January 27, 2012 at 9:39 am |

    I have an artificial joint implant in the ball of one foot because of too many years in my 20s wearing high heels and ill-fitting shoes (I have weird feet). I usually wear flats, boots with low heels, or kitten heels now. If I’m going to something formal, I discovered a great trick: order shoes online from dance shoe suppliers, then have the soles covered at a local cobbler. Some dance shoe places do custom work for $100 or less, but others have a really wide variety of sizes, widths and heel heights in stock. That way, I get shoes that REALLY fit, at a heel height I can tolerate, and they’re made for moving around.

  32. Christine
    Christine January 27, 2012 at 10:32 am |

    Eh, I decided to stop wearing heels a couple of years ago because I just don’t find them comfortable (not that I ever wore them that much before). Plus I got into barefoot running and wanted to wear only shoes that had thinner and more flexible soles. I wish I could do year-round flip-flops, but with cold weather and working in an office it doesn’t work.

    I do find it interesting that none of my friends had thought about not wearing heels before I brought it up. I told them I thought heels were uncomfortable and I couldn’t walk in them, and they were like “oh, so you just don’t wear them?” It’s like they never realized that they could just not buy heels if they didn’t like them.

  33. damigiana
    damigiana January 27, 2012 at 10:41 am |

    I only ever wear <1" with healthy support (sports shoes, plus some slightly more dressy, masculine ones – my dress shoes are actually male shoes). I never liked heels and never could walk in them; when I gained a shoe size (two pregnancies) I just didn't buy heels again.

    To be precise, I have a pair of 2.5" I bought at Filene's Basement for 15 USD, which I've worn maybe three times in six years. You know, for those special occasions.

    I know women who had surgery for bunions and it was bad, so I mostly wear Birkenstock-shaped soles in the desperate hope I can avoid that.

  34. Shoshie
    Shoshie January 27, 2012 at 11:08 am |

    Tori- I’m the same way with mine, except that I wear aforementioned Mary Jane shoes during times when my feet need to look nice and I still haven’t found a way to comfortably wear them in the cold and wet, which is a problem in Seattle. I find that they soak through the second that I step on wet concrete. I’ve been thinking about buying the Treks, but they’re so expensive. But then, they’ve become my go-to shoe, so maybe it’s worth it? I got my current ones in the REI garage for $17, so I’m feeling stingy when it comes to my toe shoes.

  35. groggette
    groggette January 27, 2012 at 11:30 am |

    I wear heels sporadically but for the most part live in my chucks, or Fluevog Angels if I need something dressier. Even so I’m missing my heels right now (Fluevogs! Pretty 5″ers that were cheap & covered in glitter and suprisingly not that uncomfortable!) because I’m still getting over back pain from a car accident and don’t want to set back the healing process.

  36. Theora23
    Theora23 January 27, 2012 at 11:51 am |

    Shoshie, have you considered getting Dr Martens Mary Janes? They have a lot of cute styles and they are impervious to Seattle weather. I wore mine through the most recent Snowpocalypse; the soles had good grip against the icy streets, the salt and sand everywhere did them no harm, and I could still show off my adorable winter socks. While they seem expensive initially, they last for years and years.

  37. seisy
    seisy January 27, 2012 at 11:56 am |

    Everything in moderation, I think. I’m lucky in that I can wear heels without too much discomfort and don’t have trouble walking in them. So I do, on occasion, as I feel like it.

    I’ve got a pair of high heels that I just love, even though they’re in the current fashion of ridiculously excessive height (they’re 4 inches, albeit with a bit of a platform on the toe). I couldn’t wear them standing on my feet all day, but for the purposes of an office job where I spend most of the time sitting on my rear end, well, they are pretty and I like them. I don’t wear them (or my other heels) every day- hell, I don’t wear them all winter, because of the ice- but I’m not really dedicated to any type of foot wear. If I could, I’d go barefoot all the time.

  38. IrishUp
    IrishUp January 27, 2012 at 11:59 am |

    Shoshie –
    I got my treks on Ebay for about $40 less than they go in the stores (including shipping).
    Lurve them, btw.

  39. Bellatrix
    Bellatrix January 27, 2012 at 1:58 pm |

    I can remember when my mum had foot surgery. It was partially due to her wearing heels daily from the 70’s until the 90’s. She no longer has fat on her feet and cannot even walk barefoot anymore. She no longer wears heels, except on the weekends or for occasions. she has not recovered from her high heel induced injuries. She lives everyday with chronic foot pain as well as fibromyalgia. I am glad to see this information brought to the public, it might help some people keep their feet pain free.

  40. Drew
    Drew January 27, 2012 at 3:10 pm |

    I sincerely love that in comments on a piece about how seriously–and potentially permanently–damaging high heels are, a good two-thirds of us are talking about how much we love them anyway.

    These were my female colleagues, mind you, because none of the men were ever expected to wear shoes you could only walk 20 feet in. What the crap?

    Years ago I was talking to a female friend and I made an offhand comment about how, if I ran an office, I’d discourage high heels (based on how anatomically disastrous they are). She replied by gushing about how much she *loves* heels and would *hate* to work somewhere that she wasn’t allowed to wear them.

    To be honest, I’m just a little uncomfortable with the fact that women “love” high heels so much, but also seem to be agitated that men aren’t encouraged to wear uncomfortable shoes as well.

    I mean this as a sincere question, Caperton: If high heels cause discomfort, and you’re opposed to the double standard, why the love for heels?

  41. ahimsa
    ahimsa January 27, 2012 at 3:15 pm |

    I sincerely love that in comments on a piece about how seriously–and potentially permanently–damaging high heels are, a good two-thirds of us are talking about how much we love them anyway.

    One possibility is that lots of folks who don’t wear high heels are either not reading this thread or not commenting on it.

    Speaking only for myself, I did not post any comments before now because I did not want to look like I was saying that I was better/smarter for not wearing heels. Last time I wore high heels I was in high school. I’m 51 now. What useful information could I share about high heels? (heh, heh, I almost typed “high hells”)

    However, I can share a product suggestion. For the person who had trouble finding shoes with arch support that aren’t sports shoes, I have a pair of black Ecco slip-on shoes (http://www.thewalkingcompany.com/ecco-shade-black/247) that have good support. I wear them almost everywhere and they’ve lasted for years. But I think many of you would find them ugly (my fashion sense is non-existent!).

  42. groggette
    groggette January 27, 2012 at 3:30 pm |

    but also seem to be agitated that men aren’t encouraged to wear uncomfortable shoes as well.

    Well, the oft mentioned Fluevog complany is doing it’s part ;)

  43. Drew
    Drew January 27, 2012 at 3:38 pm |

    When I said I “sincerely love” it, it was my way of saying “am, in fact, horrified by it.” In retrospect, “sincerely” wasn’t the best way to express “not sincerely.” I have sarcasm issues.

    Awwww, dammit. I always hate when I miss sarcasm. Now I feel like a dummy. lol

    It’s that I want women to not be encouraged to wear them as a matter of course, and not to have it be a career-limiting decision to not wear them.

    I fully support this.

  44. Alara Rogers
    Alara Rogers January 27, 2012 at 4:31 pm |

    My personal feeling is that the wearing of high heels should be reserved entirely for circumstances in which the motion of the wearer is going to be almost entirely horizontal, and the heels will never actually be resting on the floor for any reason other than perhaps providing enough height to cause certain body parts to line up correctly with a partner’s corresponding parts.

    They belong in the same category as skimpy lingerie. Wear them when you’re alone with a partner and you’re about to get laid, or you’re sending a very strong signal to that partner that you would like to get laid, right now. They don’t belong in public any more than a lace teddy does.

    I actually think they are on a continuum with foot-binding, and the only thing that makes them not a screamingly awful human rights violation like foot binding is, is that it’s *possible* to use them in moderation without permanent damage, and it’s *possible* to limit their use to adults over the age of consent. But they’re a form of body modification to turn feet from useful instruments that transport you, into sexual display objects that make you more attractive to partners, while causing you pain and severely damaging your ability to use them for their actual biological function.

    Now, humans engage in extreme body modification all the time, often for sexual reasons, and since high heels *can* be taken off, they’re less extreme than some bodily mods. But I find it appalling that they are *taken for granted.* If women wore them the way we wore edible underwear or breastless corsets, I’d be fine with them… but we’re expected to engage in an extreme body mod for sexual display purposes *all the time*, in everyday life, when the signal we’re actually trying to send is “I am a professional, please take me seriously” and not “I am hot and horny, please take me now.”

    High heels should be verboten in professional contexts; women shouldn’t be engaging in sexual display when they’re trying to reconcile the books or prosecute a case or sell insurance, professional people should not be in a distracting level of pain when they’re trying to work, and people who think it’s right and proper that professional women should be in pain in order to be sexy during the workday, just because that’s the way it’s always been done, are asshats.

    It’s true that many high heeled shoes provide better arch support than many flats do, but this is a problem with a poor variety of flats being offered, not a problem with high heels being superior to flats in any way. Men can get arch support in flat shoes, and women shouldn’t have to destroy one of the functions of their feet in order to support a different one.

    I understand that because our society does treat them as a basic necessity of fashionable female dress, not as the sexual display and constraint that they actually are, that women are generally encouraged to think of them as fun and cute, not as fuck-me-now dress-up accoutrements. But when six year olds dress in makeup and bikinis, because they think it’s fun and cute to dress like a fashionable grownup, most of us are appalled at how society is pushing a sexualized body image on them… yet many of us adults are perfectly happy to accept a hyper-sexualized set of bondage gear for our feet as fun and cute things that don’t actually mean “screw me” at all.

    High heels are for sex, and sex clothes should stay out of public. In my ideal world, high heels would be appropriate anywhere that assless chaps, studded leather collars, and lacy underwear are appropriate for a person to be seen in… and not anywhere else.

  45. Katya
    Katya January 27, 2012 at 4:50 pm |

    I honestly don’t think I’m brainwashed to wear heels. I’m 5’10” and my wearing flats gets no comments, whereas if I wear heels, I’m likely to get comments about it. I’ve had people ask me why I wear heels if I’m already so tall, etc. I could wear flats or very low heels (1″-1 1/2″) for the rest of my life without personal or professional pushback. My husband would not care, and in fact finds it mystifying that I wear high heels at all.

    But I like wearing heels. I don’t wear shoes that hurt or that I can’t walk more than a block in. I wear heels of varying heights (most 2″-3″, and at most 3 1/2″) in styles that I find cute and that I can walk in. I limit how often I wear them to protect my feet. But I like how heels look. I like the lines on a good pair of heels. I like that they make me even taller. Wearing heels doesn’t have to mean being in constant pain all day or being unable to walk.

    Maybe it’s that I have relatively long feet, which means that a 3″ heel creates a gentler slope to my foot than the same heel height would create on a woman with smaller feet. My feet just aren’t jacked up at as steep of an angle as a woman who wears a size 6 or whatever.

  46. quartzpebble
    quartzpebble January 27, 2012 at 6:12 pm |

    I almost never wear heels over an inch these days, mostly because I strongly dislike feeling hobbled–I want to be able to run if I need and I don’t like having to shorten my stride. I did discover a few years ago, though, that wearing them doesn’t always feel super feminine to me; being able to look my 6′ coworkers squarely in the eye made me feel more substantial.

  47. seisy
    seisy January 27, 2012 at 9:50 pm |

    @quartzpebble- I agree with you about the hobbled stride- it drives me crazy if I want to move quickly (the reason all my shoes are easy to kick off, haha. I wait for the day every action-movie heroine wearing ridiculous stilettos first takes them off before chasing down badguys and engaging in hand-to-hand combat).

    And I also agree about able to look even tall men directly in the eye. And towering over my much-shorter colleagues. It’s an instant confidence-boost, which is probably why I wear heels when I’m facing something that makes me nervous.

    @Alara-

    I’m not really convinced by the heels-as-sex-wear argument. For sure, there are fetish shoes…and the current fashion does bear some resemblance to what I remember being referred to as “stripper shoes” but I don’t think that makes all heels sexy. As quartzpebble pointed out, there’s definitely a reason to wear them that has little to do with looking sexy and a lot to do with the psychological advantage of being taller. And I seem to remember historical periods where men wore heels, too, but not as a sexy thing? Just because it was considered cool?

  48. Donna L
    Donna L January 27, 2012 at 11:38 pm |

    And I seem to remember historical periods where men wore heels, too, but not as a sexy thing? Just because it was considered cool?

    Men sometimes wore shoes with heels in the 17th century, certainly. Here’s a link to the famous painting of Louis XIV pulling up his robes to show off his shapely legs; note the red slippers with what heels that aren’t particularly high, but are certainly higher than most men wear now: http://redslipperdiary.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/louisxiv.jpg

    Was it intended to be sexy? Powerful? Both? I don’t know enough about the iconography of 17th century French painting to have any idea.

  49. Donna L
    Donna L January 27, 2012 at 11:50 pm |

    OK; here’s some more on the Sun King’s penchant for heels:

    http://wtfarthistory.com/post/5361387982/red-high-heels-for-him

    http://www.sassybella.com/2011/05/history-of-red-high-heel-shoes/

    I’m pretty sure I’ve read before that the reason he decreed that nobody was allowed to wear heels higher than his was that he was quite short.

  50. EG
    EG January 28, 2012 at 6:27 am |

    I have to say that I disagree that my heels are sex wear and should be confined to the bedroom like assless pants; they seem to me to be no more sex wear than a fitted shirt with a v-neck or a shortish skirt. Wearing them certainly contributes to an image of a certain kind of attractiveness, but so do lots of things I wear. Unless we’re defining everything short of a gunny sack and earth shoes as sex wear, it’s just not a category that seems apt to me.

  51. EG
    EG January 28, 2012 at 6:31 am |

    Oh, and as to being brainwashed…sure, if we’re defining brainwashing as being socialized into a given culture. That’s true for anything we find attractive, though. So, sure, of course the reason I wear heels is because of the way I’ve been socialized to like the way they look and the way they make me look and what they signify within this culture. Of course, the same is true for my combat boots as well.

  52. Nonny
    Nonny January 29, 2012 at 4:22 am |

    I worked at a job that required me to wear heels because of height issues. At 4’11, I

  53. Nonny
    Nonny January 29, 2012 at 4:27 am |

    Grr. Please ignore the above, hit the wrong key by accident.

    I worked at a job that required me to wear heels because of height issues. At 4’11, I literally could not reach most of the stuff in the restaurant. Everything was laid out for someone several inches higher, and heels were the only way I could manage. (Despite this, I nearly got written up for said heels, because they didn’t fit the dress code, and when I requested accomodations like a stool I was told to just drag a chair around instead. Lovely place.)

    I was working several days a week, and I was on my feet all the time. I had no idea the medical impact of wearing heels and then taking them off when I got home. Basically, I was constantly shortening and then lengthening my tendons, and I ended up with tendonitis bad enough in my Achilles tendon that I still cannot walk for very far without extreme pain eight years later. (I had no insurance and the job I was at made you sign a waiver opting out of workman’s comp, so I didn’t have ANY recourse for medical treatment beyond letting it heal on its own. Which, it never has.)

  54. Tori
    Tori January 29, 2012 at 5:04 pm |

    Shoshie — admittedly, living in the desert, “cold and wet” is less a problem for me. (I do step in puddles with them, and they do get wet, but they don’t seem to hold water — i.e., they dry out fast here.)

    I have some Treks, and they do offer a little more wet resistance. (The sole is a little thicker, so the puddle has to be deeper before I get wet.) They’re made on the same platform as the KSOs, so sizing is pretty well the same for both. I scour eBay listings and other online sales, so I don’t have to pay near full price.

  55. L
    L January 30, 2012 at 3:23 am |

    I’m 6 feet tall so I’m pretty happy to be basically left out of the heels discussion, as it’s never a question of “to wear heels or not?” with me. I’ve never worn heels in my life and I doubt I ever will. It’s not like the flats I wear, or chucks, are great for my feet either…I wear like the flattest flats ever….but I do feel that they’re better than heels.

    I remember when I used to peruse Perez Hilton’s gossip site, and he had a picture up of Susan Sarandon at some awards show, wearing flats. And people were going on and on about how inappropriate it was of her to not wear heels. I found the whole discussion pretty disgusting. Shouldn’t women be allowed to wear flats if they want?! And like how old is Susan Sarandon and how long has she been in show business? Ridiculous.

    What is the deal with wanting to be taller? I was just in a full elevator at a NY law firm and there was a woman in the elevator who looked around and then said, “I’m so short! I’m so much shorter than everyone else here. I should start wearing heels.” (I guess she chose to ignore my presence because I am 5’1 ish, was wearing flats, and was shorter than she.) I normally wouldn’t say anything in this circumstance, but this time I couldn’t help it and said, “People come in different heights… it’s ok.”

    I feel this. People just can’t seem to not comment on how they feel soooo short around me, and it’s really awkward. I usually just say “don’t worry, you’re closer to average height than I am” haha. I try not to make a big deal out of height but people. are. always. commenting. What makes it worse is it usually comes off as half jealousy/half feeling sorry for me, which are two feelings I do not want directed towards me.

  56. EG
    EG January 30, 2012 at 7:18 am |

    What is the deal with wanting to be taller?

    I imagine it’s like wanting straight hair or bigger boobs or a smaller nose, but with a side dish of practicality. I’ve had enough friends and strangers ask me to get things down from high shelves for them that I can see how being on the shorter side can be inconvenient, and that’s not even talking about the psychological effects on other people–if you need to exert authority over them, for instance, and they all loom over you, I can see how that would be unpleasant.

  57. Emolee
    Emolee January 30, 2012 at 11:27 am |

    if you need to exert authority over them, for instance, and they all loom over you, I can see how that would be unpleasant.

    I’ve never had a problem with exerting authority over people taller than me. Most people are taller than me, so that’s good for me. I don’t mean to imply that some people wouldn’t have this problem, just that I don’t. I don’t feel my authority as coming from my body at all. However, I could likely have suffered disadvantages from being short that I have attributed to other things.

    Tall people do get advantages- I remember reading something about 14% of men being over 6 feet, but 58% of Fortune 500 CEOs being over 6 feet. I’m sure there are psychological and even evoluntionary reasons for this. I also think height bias/tall privilege is something worth interrogating and eliminating.

  58. Datdamwuf
    Datdamwuf January 30, 2012 at 4:29 pm |

    Whether the heels you wear are meant to be sexy is not really the point, any heel of 2″ or more makes your legs and butt look different, and yes it looks sexier. wear them nude in front of a mirror, then look when you take them off.

    I wear flats and clogs anymore. I cannot believe I used to dance all night in 3 or 4 inch heels without killing myself! After I broke a toe I have never been able to stand wearing heels again.

    I have been careful about heels since I was 17 yrs old. A friend who was only 4’10’ wore heels constantly. I took her on a raft trip, for those that don’t know, you jam your heels (not shoes, yours) under the raft tube to help you stay in. After 2 hours on the river, she literally could not walk. Her doctor told her that she had shortened the tendons in her ankle with the heels…that is some pretty serious damage.

  59. jorge
    jorge January 30, 2012 at 5:16 pm |

    What is the deal with wanting to be taller?

    I’d imagine it’s not really about being taller, but more wanting to preen herself for the males (or females if she is a lesbian or bisexual)… Commonly in animal species one sex will be a performative sex while the other will be active… In peacocks the male peacock shows of its tail thing. In humans, the women are well suited to the high-heeled shoes while the active males are more suited to shoes that don’t inhibit their movement.

  60. Shoshie
    Shoshie January 30, 2012 at 5:20 pm |

    In humans, the women are well suited to the high-heeled shoes while the active males are more suited to shoes that don’t inhibit their movement.

    Bwuh?

  61. L
    L January 30, 2012 at 5:45 pm |

    Tall people do get advantages- I remember reading something about 14% of men being over 6 feet, but 58% of Fortune 500 CEOs being over 6 feet. I’m sure there are psychological and even evoluntionary reasons for this. I also think height bias/tall privilege is something worth interrogating and eliminating.

    I can see how height bias is an issue with men, but I really have problems teasing out “tall privilege” for women. I’m not sure on the statistics for tall women in the workplace, and would be interested to know. But beauty standards for women, as far as I can see, emphasize being tiny and taking up as little space as possible; whatever allowances are made for lots of height have to be made up for in other ways. As in, you are only allowed to be tall if you are extremely thin and beautiful. Otherwise you are thought to be taking on masculine characteristics, you become “scary” or “manly” which we are all aware is a big no-no for women in our society.

    Or maybe for women, being taller is advantageous to a certain point, then after that certain height, it stops being a good thing. A problem with it is that it’s so ambiguous….what is “tall” and what is “short”?

    Sorry if that’s a derail!

  62. Li
    Li January 30, 2012 at 5:49 pm |

    I’d imagine it’s not really about being taller, but more wanting to preen herself for the males (or females if she is a lesbian or bisexual)… Commonly in animal species one sex will be a performative sex while the other will be active… In peacocks the male peacock shows of its tail thing. In humans, the women are well suited to the high-heeled shoes while the active males are more suited to shoes that don’t inhibit their movement.

    Men’s genders are performative too. “Active” men are performing, by virtue of the definition of the word performance. The fact that we’ve made those performances as invisible as possible doesn’t stop them being performances. See also: projecting universal human traits from the footwear fashions of a tiny block of human history amongst a minority of human women (and yes, I’m going to guess that the majority of women in the world currently do not wear heels).

  63. jorge
    jorge January 30, 2012 at 6:10 pm |

    See also: projecting universal human traits from the footwear fashions of a tiny block of human history amongst a minority of human women (and yes, I’m going to guess that the majority of women in the world currently do not wear heels).

    Well the footwear choices are just one manifestation of this “female” inclination. It will manifest itself differently depending on the culture. But I think you’ll find in most cultures women are the “sex objects”.

  64. jorge
    jorge January 30, 2012 at 6:11 pm |

    Well, in terms of evolution… The pregnancy length of humans and the long dependency of the child on the mother means that human females are probably evolved to be better at that kind of stuff. While males are evolved to be more physical. You can see this in the fact that males are on average stronger and taller than females. Therefore it makes sense for males to have a natural disinclination from wearing shoes that would inhibit their physicalness. Females on the other hand are probably inclined to preen and attract a male or multiple males for protection.

    This trait probably survives to modern day times, where it is no longer so necessary, and makes women more inclined to wear ‘hot’ shoes to the detriment of their physical well-being. (Because they’re not physically inclined.)

  65. jorge
    jorge January 30, 2012 at 6:18 pm |

    Men’s genders are performative too. “Active” men are performing, by virtue of the definition of the word performance. The fact that we’ve made those performances as invisible as possible doesn’t stop them being performances.

    If you’re referring to posturing and homoerotic bonding and such things, then then yes. But the active I’m talking about is the pragmatic, no the performative. I mean the stuff they need to survive in the savannah. The reason why we’re here billions of years later talking about it on the internet.

    1. Jill
      Jill January 30, 2012 at 7:04 pm | *

      If you’re referring to posturing and homoerotic bonding and such things, then then yes. But the active I’m talking about is the pragmatic, no the performative. I mean the stuff they need to survive in the savannah. The reason why we’re here billions of years later talking about it on the internet.

      Ah yes, billions of years ago, when human beings were frolicking with the prokaryotes in the savannah…

  66. Emolee
    Emolee January 30, 2012 at 6:21 pm |

    @ L, I agree the implications of tallness in women is more complex than in men. And I completely agree with:

    beauty standards for women, as far as I can see, emphasize being tiny and taking up as little space as possible

    I am short and fat, so I take up space in the “wrong” way and am diminutive in the “wrong” way, too. But at the end of the day, almost all (if not all) women’s bodies are shamed for something.

    I really like and agree with a quote I heard recently: “There is no wrong way to have a body.” (I can’t remeber the source!) But often it feels like just the opposite, sadly.

  67. Li
    Li January 30, 2012 at 6:27 pm |

    Well, in terms of [essentialist bollocks]…

    I fixed that for you.

  68. Jadey
    Jadey January 30, 2012 at 7:01 pm |

    That’s it! I’m voting jorge off the island. Who’s with me?

    Switching gears, this thread is starting to remind me of one of my favourite Tim Minchin songs (youtube) lyrics here

  69. shfree
    shfree January 30, 2012 at 7:10 pm |

    …Yeah I’m not even going to quote Jorge.

    I tend to believe that women’s bodies are mostly designed not to convince men to have sex with them, but to both gestate healthy offspring AND to be sturdy enough to survive rough conditions in order to care for said offspring until they are weaned, which depending on the environment, can take a couple of years or more. And generally, there isn’t such a strength gap between men and women that something that could seriously threaten a woman wouldn’t seriously threaten a man as well, so I call shenanigans on the idea that men provided “protection” in an evolutionary sense. But that is all so off topic it’s absurd.

  70. Shoshie
    Shoshie January 30, 2012 at 7:16 pm |

    The pregnancy length of humans and the long dependency of the child on the mother means that human females are probably evolved to be better at that kind of stuff.

    Right, ’cause it’s super easy to wear high heals while pregnant or lugging around an infant. Those things aren’t physically demanding at all.

    And you were saying on the other post that women are less inclined towards logic? You make me giggle.

  71. Donna L
    Donna L January 30, 2012 at 7:27 pm |

    Therefore it makes sense for males to have a natural disinclination from wearing shoes that would inhibit their physicalness.

    I don’t know; I seem to recall that Louis XIV wore his red high-heeled shoes all the time when he was frolicking on the savannah.

  72. Past my expiration date
    Past my expiration date January 30, 2012 at 7:29 pm |

    Actually, I think that the point is that women’s survival depended on not walking while they were pregnant and/or their children were longly dependent on them, on the savannah, billions of years ago. (Fortunately, jorge explained the reason for this on another thread — it’s because men have a hormone called “testosterone”, and women have some other hormone.)

  73. shfree
    shfree January 30, 2012 at 7:36 pm |

    I don’t know; I seem to recall that Louis XIV wore his red high-heeled shoes all the time when he was frolicking on the savannah.

    Also there are crakows, really long pointy toed shoes that were worn by primarily men. They made it very, very difficult to run.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crakow_%28shoe%29

  74. jorge
    jorge January 30, 2012 at 7:40 pm |

    Well.. If one accepts there are physiological differences between men and women due to natural selection, one should logically accept that there are probably some psychological ones too.

    Also Louis XIV was French.

  75. shfree
    shfree January 30, 2012 at 7:41 pm |

    Actually, I think that the point is that women’s survival depended on not walking while they were pregnant and/or their children were longly dependent on them, on the savannah, billions of years ago. (Fortunately, jorge explained the reason for this on another thread — it’s because men have a hormone called “testosterone”, and women have some other hormone.)

    Except women DO walk while pregnant, and with children in the savannah. In hunter/gatherer cultures you don’t see pregnant women or women with infants lounging around idle, they are working or on the move, just like everyone else. To say that because a woman is pregnant or is caring for a small child she is now utterly useless and entirely dependent on whichever man is nearest is complete bullshit.

  76. Jadey
    Jadey January 30, 2012 at 7:44 pm |

    Also Louis XIV was French.

    This is the only thing you have ever said that I agree with.

    Of course, I’m not sure that anyone was disputing this particular fact…

  77. Valhallie
    Valhallie January 30, 2012 at 7:48 pm |

    I’d imagine it’s not really about being taller, but more wanting to preen herself for the males (or females if she is a lesbian or bisexual)… Commonly in animal species one sex will be a performative sex while the other will be active… In peacocks the male peacock shows of its tail thing. In humans, the women are well suited to the high-heeled shoes while the active males are more suited to shoes that don’t inhibit their movement.

    Umm, no. I think that high-heels being particularly for women is kind of a twentieth century thing. Before that, they were for fancy aristocrats of any gender, at least during those times when looking like a fancy aristocrat was in fashion. I don’t know if the women’s heels were usually taller than the men’s or not, but the men were definitely wearing heels tall enough to inhibit movement. Also, peacocks aren’t “inactive”. They’re just pretty. They still take care of their shit. Also, I read an article suggesting that peahens actually don’t care about plumage when choosing a mate, and that they probably evolved it to scare rivals and/or potential predators.

  78. jorge
    jorge January 30, 2012 at 7:51 pm |

    To say that because a woman is pregnant or is caring for a small child she is now utterly useless and entirely dependent on whichever man is nearest is complete bullshit.

    That’s nothing like what I said though. I’m sure plenty of women survived alone with a child, but I’m also sure that more women survived who had a man around to protect them (who knows what kinds of wolves and such roamed in such a time). Also this isn’t some essentialist thing. If a non-pregnant woman was protecting a mother and a child that would also increase the likelihood of the child surviving. This is why humans have tendencies to group bond homoerotically.

  79. Li
    Li January 30, 2012 at 8:05 pm |

    This is the only thing you have ever said that I agree with.

    Of course, I’m not sure that anyone was disputing this particular fact…

    Damn, and there I was thinking that he was Roman. You know, because of the numerals.

  80. Donna L
    Donna L January 30, 2012 at 8:08 pm |

    who knows what kinds of wolves and such roamed in such a time

    The man does know how to turn a phrase.

  81. Shoshie
    Shoshie January 30, 2012 at 8:31 pm |

    I don’t know; I seem to recall that Louis XIV wore his red high-heeled shoes all the time when he was frolicking on the savannah.

    This is the most fantastic image EVER.

    And, jorge, your TOTALLY LOGICAL mansplanations are hilarious. Please keep ‘em coming. Though my weak ladybrain that has difficulty with science may not be able to keep up. Clearly I have too much of some hormone that is not testosterone.

  82. Past my expiration date
    Past my expiration date January 30, 2012 at 8:32 pm |

    I’m sorry, shfree, I should made it clear that I was giggling at the idea of immobile pregnant women on the savannah, billions of years ago. (I’m giggling even more now that I know that Louis XIV was French.)

  83. jorge
    jorge January 30, 2012 at 8:41 pm |

    Maybe Louis XIV had more feminine genes? I’m not saying that all men are x and all women are y, but just that men are more likely to be x and women more likely to be y. Also the French barely know what day it is and Louis XIV was a little down the lane and into the Mace if you know what I mean.

    Also I feel a bit like a straw man with all these ad hominoid attacks.

  84. LotusBen
    LotusBen January 30, 2012 at 8:42 pm |

    Louis XIV is only the start of it. I want to know how Jorge reconciles his theory that women are just inherently sex objects, probably because of evolution, with the existence of codpieces, which were essential accessories for men in high fashion for centuries. Huh Jorge? What about the codpieces?

  85. LotusBen
    LotusBen January 30, 2012 at 8:49 pm |

    Also I feel a bit like a straw man with all these ad hominoid attacks.

    LOL. What?! Who are you?

  86. jorge
    jorge January 30, 2012 at 8:55 pm |

    Well the codpiece may be the exception that proves the rule. Or it is a symbol of phallic dominance? I mean most people I’ve seen wearing codpieces are hard metal musicians, who almost certainly aren’t doing it as an act of feminist gender non-conformity.

    And an ad hominoid attack refers to people attacking a person’s character instead of their ideas. That’s what has been inflicted upon me.

  87. Jadey
    Jadey January 30, 2012 at 9:04 pm |

    LOL. What?! Who are you?

    MYSTERY SOLVED.

  88. shfree
    shfree January 30, 2012 at 9:08 pm |

    I’m sorry, shfree, I should made it clear that I was giggling at the idea of immobile pregnant women on the savannah, billions of years ago. (I’m giggling even more now that I know that Louis XIV was French.)

    Oh, no worries, then. I just get all het up at the whole concept that the male was central to the survival of the structure of the prehistoric human society, and thus all evolutionary changes have been made to solely meet his needs and keep him happy.

    So…if he has to be responsible for keepin’ those lions at bay, those wimmens better want to be pretty for him!

  89. Valhallie
    Valhallie January 30, 2012 at 9:17 pm |

    Well the codpiece may be the exception that proves the rule. Or it is a symbol of phallic dominance? I mean most people I’ve seen wearing codpieces are hard metal musicians, who almost certainly aren’t doing it as an act of feminist gender non-conformity.

    Dude. Codpieces were not an exception. Lots of men wore high-heels and make-up and wigs and other things which are today considered the province of women. Not just one French guy. Lots of guys in lots of different cultures in lots of different times. The idea of men not giving a shit about fashion or their appearance is a very modern one, and touting “evolution” to argue for the status quo borders on nonsense.

    But seriously, I agree with jorge about the ad hominoid attacks. They have got to stop. Monkeys are our friends.

  90. Valhallie
    Valhallie January 30, 2012 at 9:33 pm |

    Ugh. Hominoids aren’t monkeys. Duh. In my zeal to mock I made a taxonomic boo-boo.

  91. jorge
    jorge January 30, 2012 at 9:37 pm |

    Oh, no worries, then. I just get all het up at the whole concept that the male was central to the survival of the structure of the prehistoric human society, and thus all evolutionary changes have been made to solely meet his needs and keep him happy.

    No they’re both central. Otherwise one would have evolved away and we’d be a single sex species. The male needs to produce the spermatozoa and keep the wolves at bay, so to speak, and the female needs to do the childbirth and other important things. We’ve obviously evolved physically to optimize this process. So there’s probably some psychological optimizations too. ‘enough said.

  92. EG
    EG January 30, 2012 at 11:59 pm |

    Jorge, the phrase is “ad hominem.” Not “ad hominoid.” The first time I read you doing this I felt sure you were making a joke. Now I am not so sure, I must say. Either way, nobody is directing any of them at you. We are pointing out that your arguments are stupid and make no sense: the French evolved in the same way everybody else did, so noting that Louis XIV was French is so absurd that I cannot even deal with it. Codpieces were not exceptions. They were a standard part of male costume. And back in those days, men used to wear padded stockings to emphasize their calves, because that was considered super hot for them. Seriously, try to understand: men historically have gone and continue to go to great lengths to look hot and sexy for ladies. This is not an aberration. This is fairly standard. It’s only in the past 20 years or so that not giving a shit how you look has become some kind of mark of masculinity.

    Whether the heels you wear are meant to be sexy is not really the point, any heel of 2″ or more makes your legs and butt look different, and yes it looks sexier. wear them nude in front of a mirror, then look when you take them off.

    Um, OK. I agree, if I wear my heels while naked, then I am certainly using them to enhance my sexiness. It’s a good thing I never do that, and that the image they work with the rest of my self-presentation to project is a trifle more complicated than that.

    Commonly in animal species one sex will be a performative sex while the other will be active… In peacocks the male peacock shows of its tail thing. In humans, the women are well suited to the high-heeled shoes while the active males are more suited to shoes that don’t inhibit their movement.

    Yep, and in every single species I can think of, the male performs to attract the attention and desire of the female. You do realize, right, that when heels were first invented, men wore them? And that you have the causality reversed? Men are more active in large part because their clothing is far less restrictive.

    The pregnancy length of humans and the long dependency of the child on the mother means that human females are probably evolved to be better at that kind of stuff. While males are evolved to be more physical. You can see this in the fact that males are on average stronger and taller than females. Therefore it makes sense for males to have a natural disinclination from wearing shoes that would inhibit their physicalness. Females on the other hand are probably inclined to preen and attract a male or multiple males for protection.

    Yep, men have evolved to be more physical, all right, because there’s nothing physical about pregnancy and childbirth. Also, physical strength, such as might be needed to lift and carry multiple people under the age of five, would be completely evolutionarily useless to the ladies. And being able to eject a 6-12 pound creature from one’s genitals requires no strength at all. That’s why we’re so delicate and weak and stuff.

    Given that women are in more danger from men than from other women, it would make more sense for us to evolve to attract men for sex, and then to immediately fade into the background, attracting a bunch of other ladies to help us through pregnancy and childbirth.

    I will give you this, though. When you say that women have evolved to be “better” at pregnancy and childbirth than men, that is, in fact, true.

    but I’m also sure that more women survived who had a man around to protect them (who knows what kinds of wolves and such roamed in such a time).

    Who knows what kind of wolves were roaming around with some other hormones in them, billions of years ago?! Totally different wolves from the ones we have now, obviously, which avoid humans if at all possible. I’d love to see the carefully calibrated predator, though, that can be fought off by a man but easily overcome a woman with a small child. And what about the notion that a mother animal protecting her young is the most dangerous kind of creature to cross? Surely I’m not the only one who’s heard those stories, am I?

    Wolves that can take down a mother can take down a man, because wolves attack in packs, because wolves are not fucking idiots.

    So there’s probably some psychological optimizations too. ‘enough said.

    No. “Probably” is neither evidence nor a logical argument. There is no evidence that men “evolved to keep the wolves away.”

    That’s it! I’m voting jorge off the island. Who’s with me?

    Can I vote twice? That is, if I have the upper body strength to raise both hands at once. I’ll exert myself to the utmost and try.

  93. Li
    Li January 31, 2012 at 1:04 am |

    Louis XIV was a little down the lane and into the Mace if you know what I mean.

    I actually have no idea whatsoever what that means. But given that you’ve now used it twice, I’m dying to know.

  94. thinksnake
    thinksnake January 31, 2012 at 1:11 am |

    Well, if we are still talking about the French, the near-featureless suit that stands for men’s formal attire these days is also French, directly traceable to the formal wear of the third estate (the sansculottes).

    So… yeah. Interesting factoid.

  95. LotusBen
    LotusBen January 31, 2012 at 4:59 am |

    Can I vote twice? That is, if I have the upper body strength to raise both hands at once. I’ll exert myself to the utmost and try.

    Genius, EG. Personally, I wish I had three arms right now.

    Well the codpiece may be the exception that proves the rule. Or it is a symbol of phallic dominance? I mean most people I’ve seen wearing codpieces are hard metal musicians, who almost certainly aren’t doing it as an act of feminist gender non-conformity.

    Okay. Stick a thermometer in me, baby, because I’m done.

  96. jorge
    jorge January 31, 2012 at 10:22 am |

    Trying again:

    Mace refers to a ‘convenience store’ in Ireland and possibly other places I’m not sure. But anyway… On holiday there, some friends and I were walking down this lane that had a Mace on it, and then we came to a bigger road with a Tesco on it. Tesco is a shop they have in Ireland and possibly other places I’m not sure. But it’s considerably larger than a Mace with a wider range of products and lower prices. So I suggested that one would be mad to go down the lane to the Mace when there was a Tesco right there.

    Hence down the ‘lane and into the Mace’ means such like ‘mad as a dry goose’ or a bit of ‘connectile dysfunction’ or a bit ‘thick and fast’, ‘the elevator doesn’t go to the top floor’. But in the context of Louis VIX I meant to more imply that he was a bit ooo la la.

  97. B
    B January 31, 2012 at 10:24 am |

    First, I told you so. (Caperton has heard this warning from me before.)

    I am tall and used to love the heels ’cause I intimidated people at that height. I intimated lawyers who opposed me. I intimidated swarmy men who hit on me. According to my mother, I intimidated would be molesters as well as possible love interests. I don’t know. I certainly dated men shorter than me. When you tower over people they have a difficult time ignoring you. And yes, I can get that off the high shelf for you. But try finding pants that go all the way to your ankle, and suddenly petite sounds pretty good. Sometimes I relish being tall; sometimes I don’t.

    I quit wearing heels when they started to cause me pain, at about 25. I see fashion spreads and the fantastic wild shoes they wear and I understand their appeal, but I will not lose my ability to walk comfortably for fashion, for male attention and admiration, or for the ability to intimidate by my mere presences. I love walking and hiking and climbing and moving and living and I’ll not give it up if I can prevent it. I love my feet and I own no shoes I couldn’t walk a mile in.

    I will admit my occupation required physical exertion; walking a mile (or more) was frequently expected of me in my job so the comfortable walking shoe was easily accepted. I truly wish that was true for all occupations.

    The idea that woman should accept physical limitations in their activities because of footwear seems very wrong.

  98. Li
    Li January 31, 2012 at 10:50 am |

    Solid gold.

  99. Shoshie
    Shoshie January 31, 2012 at 11:54 am |

    I did a quick Google search of “down the block and into the Mace” and you are the only person who has ever used that phrase on the Internet.

  100. Emolee
    Emolee January 31, 2012 at 12:19 pm |

    The male needs to produce the spermatozoa and keep the wolves at bay, so to speak, and the female needs to do the childbirth and other important things.

    LOL. And yuck. Everyone has already attacked this so well, I have nothing to add, really. I will second it that it is complete bull crap that women needed men to fight off “wolves.” As someone pointed out, what women needed most protection from was men themselves. But I do wonder what he means by “other important things.” On the other hand, I don’t really want to know.

  101. Donna L
    Donna L January 31, 2012 at 12:21 pm |

    in the context of Louis [XIV] I meant to more imply that he was a bit ooo la la.

    That’s what I was going to guess, given that 98% of those sorts of peculiar metaphors are intended to refer to homosexuality/lack of masculinity, and given the apparently popular notion in some circles that Frenchman = poofter. (Of course, many people in the USA think the same of Englishmen; a bit light in the loafers, am I right?)

  102. Donna L
    Donna L January 31, 2012 at 12:24 pm |

    PS: “Mad as a dry goose”? I can’t say I’ve heard that one, either. But if Jorge is Irish, well, you know what they say about the Irish, they have the gift of gab they do.

  103. Donna L
    Donna L January 31, 2012 at 12:31 pm |

    OK, it seems that Jorge is gone, so — never mind.

  104. Jadey
    Jadey January 31, 2012 at 1:33 pm |

    I don’t care if he’s gone – “down the lane and into the Mace” is going to live on as meaning whatever the hell I feel like it means at any given moment.

  105. LC
    LC January 31, 2012 at 1:45 pm |

    Seriously, try to understand: men historically have gone and continue to go to great lengths to look hot and sexy for ladies. This is not an aberration. This is fairly standard. It’s only in the past 20 years or so that not giving a shit how you look has become some kind of mark of masculinity.

    Actually, I thought that was more of an Industrial Revolution thing? I seem to recall a book called “The Great Renunciation” or some such, which was about the shift away from sumptuary status markers. Obviously, they’ve never really gone away for men, but they dropped to a more subtle look and mostly switched over to the “men in boring suits, women on display” that you have now.

    And on that note, I’m a little amazed no right winger in the US or Canada has proposed bringing back sumptuary laws.

  106. EG
    EG January 31, 2012 at 2:03 pm |

    I was thinking less of the idea that women are on display and men wear boring suits than the way slobbishness and caring about your appearance at all seem to have become markers of masculinity in the past couple decades, and that any attention to personal grooming or appearance at all makes you kinda gay. But you’re no doubt right that the trend started long ago.

  107. Donna L
    Donna L January 31, 2012 at 2:52 pm |

    any attention to personal grooming or appearance at all makes you kinda down the lane and into the Mace.

    It really does fit if you insert it just about anyplace, doesn’t it?

  108. groggette
    groggette January 31, 2012 at 2:54 pm |

    wait wait wait, what other thread did Jorge infiltrate? I need more laughs today.

  109. Jadey
    Jadey January 31, 2012 at 3:04 pm |

    wait wait wait, what other thread did Jorge infiltrate? I need more laughs today.

    He started shooting off his mouth on the Transformative Links post as well, which led to him being banned by Jill.

  110. Andie
    Andie January 31, 2012 at 3:07 pm |

    But the fact is that no matter what’s going on on women’s feet, a man will almost never be asked to wear that kind of towering, dangerous footwear in any context.

    Unless he happens to play bass for KISS.

  111. groggette
    groggette January 31, 2012 at 3:08 pm |

    ahh, thanks. I was just about to start reading that post.

  112. Andie
    Andie January 31, 2012 at 3:51 pm |

    Down the lane and into the mace was awesome.. did anyone one else laugh at ‘The female needs to do the childbirth’.

    I think I want to use ‘do the childbirth’ in day to day speak.

  113. Sam
    Sam January 31, 2012 at 6:57 pm |

    Besides the Ergonomics of posture, and muscle shortening due to excessive use of High Heels, FIT is a huge part of the pain experienced. People come in all different sizes, widths, thicknesses of feet, and everyone’s feet are not mere mirrored duplicates of each other.

    Also, shoe stores carry mostly B widths in women’s High Heels, a standard that was adopted in the 1930’s, as the “Average” width, but women’s feet have grown in average size since then.

    So we are really trying to put a Square Peg in a Round Hole!

    I built a pair of custom shoe stretchers for my fiancee ( who managed a shoe storeLOL)…..a matched set of L&R that exactly duplicated her feet……and they did wonders to help her. I spent a year figuring out how I could do this for other people, anywhere, and now am trying to see if there is interest. Take a look and let me know what you think……www.HeavenOnHeels.ca

    Nothing beats a pair of flat, well fitting shoes, but to some, High Heels are just who they are…..I am hoping I can help.

    Sam
    Heaven on Heels

  114. William
    William January 31, 2012 at 8:03 pm |

    Also I feel a bit like a straw man with all these ad hominoid attacks.

    From this day forward I will argue only ad hominoid. Kinda like I was a great ape or something.

  115. LC
    LC February 1, 2012 at 12:54 am |

    Down the lane and into the mace

    I should get my friend who is into such things to analyze the meter of this phrase, since it is so wonderful for everything.

    I was thinking less of the idea that women are on display and men wear boring suits than the way slobbishness and caring about your appearance at all seem to have become markers of masculinity in the past couple decades,

    There has definitely been a push there. I was going to argue it as a pendulum swing from the metrosexual panic of the 90s, but thinking back, it does seem more of a new thing. Slob as style doesn’t seem to fit any previous era.

  116. Andie
    Andie February 1, 2012 at 10:06 am |

    As much as a lot of shit sucked in the past.. I do miss the days when men more or less dressed like grown-ups.

  117. LC
    LC February 1, 2012 at 12:46 pm |

    I’ve taken to Waistcoat Wednesdays at work, as an excuse to dress up. One co-worker has joined in. The rest of the male staff – the production/programming team in particular, has actively resisted.

  118. Jackie
    Jackie February 6, 2012 at 6:22 am |

    Doesn’t wearing heels too much give you permanent Barbie doll feet? I mean like, where your feet look like her’s in a permanent high heel position.

  119. Mztress
    Mztress February 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm |

    “I meant to more imply that he was a bit ooo la la.”

    SERIOUSLY, bro? And on top of all your logic fails? Gtfo.

  120. Mztress
    Mztress February 6, 2012 at 1:02 pm |

    I have a deep-seated hatred for all shoes, anyway. I like being barefoot as much as possible. And high heels are a definite “hell no.” I’ve had lovers waste their money buying me heels; all so that I can twirl around in them for about 10 minutes (maximum) before sex.

  121. Mztress
    Mztress February 6, 2012 at 1:03 pm |

    “Doesn’t wearing heels too much give you permanent Barbie doll feet? I mean like, where your feet look like her’s in a permanent high heel position.”

    Lol. I’d be so horrified if I ever saw that on a live person…

  122. Andie
    Andie February 6, 2012 at 1:09 pm |

    I’ve taken to Waistcoat Wednesdays at work, as an excuse to dress up

    That’s a great idea. I had a co-worker who was trying to bring back the pocket-watch.

  123. LC
    LC February 6, 2012 at 2:04 pm |

    That’s a great idea. I had a co-worker who was trying to bring back the pocket-watch.

    My pocket watch is broken, but once it is fixed I might just try that to up the ante a little.

    (I am afraid that if I don the contacts and then affect a monocle, I will feel obligated to try and take over the world, though.)

  124. Tomek Kulesza
    Tomek Kulesza February 10, 2012 at 5:18 am |

    “I am tall and used to love the heels ’cause I intimidated people at that height. I intimated lawyers who opposed me. I intimidated swarmy men who hit on me. According to my mother, I intimidated would be molesters as well as possible love interests. I don’t know (#102)”

    This: it’s often very subtle thing, but height gets interpreted as power – it’s known in psychology. I can see my own underlying emotional attitude – despite knowing it, shifting almost unnoticeably according to whether i’m interacting with someone taller or shorter. This is gender neutral, by the way, even though it is similar to that part of maleness that gets the people pay more attention to what you say and want.

    (granted, that doesn’t stop being too tall meaning that you’re deviant enough to get some disadvantages. For maximum bonus, you want to be higher than somewhat higher than the average, but not by much)

    Long story short, it’s no surprise people love high heels. I bet men would wear them en masse if it wasn’t considered unmasculine. Well, they did.

    Also, Jorge was fucking hilarious :D

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