Monday, February 21, 2011

[[ IN DEFENSE OF THE WALK-LIKE-A-WHORE FOOTWEAR ]]

          If I were a whore and I wore a pair of "decent" flats, will it change who I am? If I were a nun and I wore a walk-like-a-whore sandals, will I be no  different from the girls of the red light district?

          He-who-I-wouldn't wanna name said that he effin' hates girls wearing those sandals. He associated them with whoreness. He said the monster media is to be blamed. He must hate me. I own a pair of the sandals he condemns.

          For a vertically challenged girl like me, another few inches I get from high heels is a big deal already. In a sea of tall people, I gain a sort of "equality" and sometimes more than that. I hate to have to look up and being looked down when talking to tall people. I hate it when it rains and my flats get soaked in the filthy runoff water. Thus, I am so grateful that heels were invented.

         Since ancient times, heels were already in existence. Most of the lower class in ancient Egypt walked barefoot, but figures on murals dating from 3500 B.C. depict an early version of shoes worn mostly by the higher classes. In ancient Greece and Rome, platform sandals called kothorni, later known as buskins in the Renaissance, were shoes with high wood or cork soles that were popular particularly among actors who would wear shoes of different heights to indicated varying social status or importance of characters. During the Middle Ages, both men and women would wear pattens, or wooden soles, that were clearly a precursor the high heel. Pattens would attach to fragile and expensive shoes to keep them out of the mud and other street “debris” when walking outdoors. In the 1400s, chopines, or platform shoes, were created in Turkey and were popular throughout Europe until the mid-1600s. Chopines could be seven to eight or even 30 inches high. The Venetians made the chopine into a status symbol revealing wealth and social standing for women.

          If there was a woman in history who single-handedly made the heels the woman's best friend is Catherine de Medici of the fashionable City of Florence. At the age of 14, Catherine de Medici was engaged to the powerful Duke of Orleans, later the King of France. She was small, not quite five feet, relative to the Duke and hardly considered a beauty. She felt insecure in the arranged marriage knowing she would be the Queen of the French Court and in competition with the Duke’s favorite and significantly taller mistress, Diane de Poitiers. Looking for a way to dazzle the French nation and compensate for her perceived lack of aesthetic appeal, she donned heels two inches high that gave her a more towering physique and an alluring sway when she walked. Her heels were a wild success and soon high heels were associated with privilege.

          Men wore heels too. n the early 1700s, France's King Louis XIV ,The Sun King, would often wear intricate heels decorated with miniature battle scenes. Called “Louis heels,” they were often as tall as five inches. The king decreed that only nobility could wear heels that were colored red  and that no one's heels could be higher than his own. During the course of the century, a cultural kind of foot fetishism manifested itself in various media.

          In the post-modern context of the 1980s, the feminist rejection of fashion started to lose much of its grassroots support. The idea that fashion, specifically sexy shoes, were not simply oppressive but offered pleasure to women became more widely accepted. Critics, particularly feminists in the 1980s, argued that fashion can be an experiment with appearances, an experiment that challenges cultural meaning. This change of heart about high heels perhaps was provoked by counter-cultural street fashion of the early 1980s as well as by feminist debates about pleasure and female desire, which indirectly changed the way fashion was understood. Women now claimed they were wearing high heels for themselves and that heels gave them not only height but also power and authority.

15 comments:

Kcaiyah D. said...

haha. i hate those people who label things. nakakainis. plus, they know nothing about fashion. NOTHING!! gooossssh! I cant imagine being labeled as a whore upon wearing heels. baka nasampal ko eh. haha. literally.

DENASE said...

I wonder why didn't you mention me directly in this post? I guess I owe you a reconsideration with this post. Yes I agree with you this time. I don't hate you.

SPLICE said...

The image of the band "Kiss" comes to my mind whenever I read the words "heels" and "men" in the same paragraph. But that aside, I've always thought that some -- if not most -- men do not fancy some women wearing heels because it tends to pose a threat to their authority. Paraphrasing what you have said, heels tend to give women power and authority that equal, even surpass, the power and authority of men. Of course, it presumes that women, without heels, will always be inferior in many ways.

Kamila said...

NICE NICE NICE! na-excite naman ako ng makita ko palang ang title mo. I mean I totally agree sa lahat ng mga sinabi mo... at nabasa ko din yung post na yun...

iamim said...

actually according to Gaupo who is super super fampus for his statement shoes, statement shoes are the next big thing today... and "it bags" are gonna take the downfall.. those shoes totally work with a fierce attitude.. right gurll!!?

Kcaiyah D. said...

dear. i awarded you in my site. :)
http://www.hijabified.net/2011/02/awarded.html

ayeesha MD said...

@kai... tama! like, pano pala kung nagheels ka lang kasi umuulan at ayaw mong masoak toes mo? what is so whore with that?

@denase... because i wanted to give you the benefit of anonymity and i didn't want to make you look bad. whether you stick up to your beliefs or bend a little towards mine, to doesn't matter to me. at the end of the day, we are entitled to our opinions and nobody is obliged to listen.

@splice... i wouldn't question your idea of man's superiority. after all, that idea is sown in your brain ever since you came into existence. and i as a woman is raised to make you believe in that without doubt. because men may crumble without that belief.

@kamila... thanks. i felt the need to react eh. it's offending every lovely woman i know who loves those shoes.

@iamim... right! fashion is supposed to be fun, not stick-to-a-narrow-standard.

@kai... THHHHHAAAANK YOU!. gotta check it.

ais said...

Hi, I am new to your blog. I appreciated the crash course on history regarding heels. And I am also by all means a feminist.

I abso-fucking-lutely agree with you that NOBODY should EVER be judged and discriminated for their choice of wardrobe. However in defense of splice, you did point out that, "Women...claimed...that heels gave them...power and authority."

So i guess you were insinuating that women who strip their heels off are stripped of power and authority?

ayeesha MD said...

@ais... that is not what i was trying to say. going back to the history of heels, we can see that at one point, feminists condemned heels because they seem oppressive and nothing more than a tool to seduce men. however, post-women lib era, women now wear heels not for men but for their own desires. if you wear a lot of heels, you may understand the pleasure of the experince. and the idea that you wear something for yourself is very liberating.

SPLICE said...

@Ayeesha

That was not what I meant. I may have lost everything I had in mind in translation. I have always thought women have more balls than men, or at least most women I know, at least not personally, including you.

ais said...

i get it.. i stand corrected then. pardoned me. =))

ayeesha MD said...

@ais... pardoned. :D

@splice... ooh! a cherry of compliment to top the ampalaya ice cream. thanks splice. i'm seriously flattered.

SPLICE said...

Alright then, I'll leave it the way you would like to see it.

glentot said...

I was in Denase's blog so I'm sure this is in response to his list of the things he disliked. Yes you are correct. If we apply the theory of association to everything, in this case high heels and prostitution, we'll be jumping to conslusions so much that there will be no time left to catch our breaths after all that jumping.

And I don't agree with Denase but I acknowledge his right to say what he wants. And admit it, posts like his and yours make blogging more interesting.

ayeesha MD said...

@glentot... thank u. i'll take every word you say as a compliment. i couldn't agree more. conflicting views make blogging more exciting, and that he has a right to say whatever he wishes. the old freedom of expression cliche. however, there is a limit to that freedom. that may explain why there is such thing as law against libel and slander. fortunately, the walk-like-a-whore footwear cannot sue. rofl