Recently a male friend put forward the proposition that high heeled shoes were the equivalent of Chinese foot binding. This is not an uncommon notion generally put forward by men and militant feministas. But it’s not the same at all. Although both have an erotic aspect to them – Chinese men got off on women’s tiny little feet and there’s something very sexy about a pair of high heeled pointy toed stilettos – Chinese girls had no say in the matter. At age 4 they would have their toes broken and forced down to their soles and then tightly bound. A hideous practice to keep women subjugated (they couldn’t walk very far on those little deformed stumps) and marriageable. The smaller the feet the more marriageable the girl. Not until the early 1930s did this practise stop.
High heels on the other hand are entirely optional. Women can choose to wear them or not. They can choose to wear them all the time or some of the time or just occaisionally. I have a huge selection of shoes and boots with varying heel heights, from ballerina flats, flat sandals, loafers, brogues, to boots on low heels, chunky platform shoes, mid- size heel stilettos to high heeled pointy toed Louboutins. Nobody is making me wear these ridiculously high heeled pointy toed shoes. I wear them because I like them and I think they’re sexy.
The other myth perpetuated by men and feministas is that women wear these shoes for men. Also not true. Women wear these shoes for themselves because they feel good in them. And as for the assertion that these foot crippling shoes are designed by men for their own satisfaction, that might well be true but at least these men have a good sense of style and design. Personally, I think there’s nothing more gorgeous than a well made pair of pointy toed stilettos. We fashionistas do have choices. Oh, and by the way, Jimmy Choo is headed up by Jimmy Choo’s niece, Sandra Choi.