"Taking them off feels like an orgasm."
July 30, 2008 10:19 PM   Subscribe

Walking a mile in our heels.

If you'd like to try it yourself, here are some handy pointers.
Just be forewarned: after a few minutes your feet may feel like bloody stumps, but your calves will look irresistably fabulous.
posted by miss lynnster (186 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Here's a handy instructional video too. Meow!
posted by miss lynnster at 10:21 PM on July 30, 2008


owwww.
i just don't get heels.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:22 PM on July 30, 2008


"Taking them off feels like an orgasm."

I feel the same way about the lids of beer bottles. And I don't even need to wait three hours before I can have another one!
posted by turgid dahlia at 10:23 PM on July 30, 2008 [24 favorites]


But anyway, I guess I'm probably one of the few males who hates high heels. They're just so impractical and you're paying a premium to walk unnaturally and stuff up your back.

We also need to ban ties.
posted by turgid dahlia at 10:24 PM on July 30, 2008 [10 favorites]


Also, I should have thought that comment through a little better.
posted by turgid dahlia at 10:25 PM on July 30, 2008


File under: "Vanity so great that I am willing to suffer physical pain to look pleasing to other people."

See also: Piercings, tattoos, waxing.
posted by flarbuse at 10:36 PM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Vans is where it's at. Vans and jeans year round; so I never need to worry about how "fabulous" my calves look.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 10:38 PM on July 30, 2008 [4 favorites]


Yet again, Jezebel brings us the feminist perspective on issues that truly matter to women.

flarbuse said: "File under: "Vanity so great that I am willing to suffer physical pain to look pleasing to other people.""

Well, that's practically part of Jezebel's mission statement.
posted by loiseau at 10:40 PM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thank god for coked-out has-beens. Who else cares enough to tell me what to wear?
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 10:45 PM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


They don't hurt if you've been practicing since you were a kid. Getting an average dude to try walking in heels is totally unfair. It would be like asking me to stuff balls down my pants and wander around scratching them all day--I just don't have the training for that. Obviously it's going to be a great tribulation for me.

But having been trained in the fine art of girlie-girlness, walking in heels is literally a walk in the park.
posted by padraigin at 10:46 PM on July 30, 2008 [4 favorites]


We also need to ban ties.

Only if you're talking about the wearing of them in a "proper public/corporate dress" context. They do come in mighty handy under other circumstances.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:52 PM on July 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


I don't get this.

I mean, nine out of ten women I see in high heels can't walk in them either.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:55 PM on July 30, 2008 [5 favorites]


Well, I went dancing in heels the other night. My date, well he's really obsessed with me wearing them. Halfway through the evening, I had to rip them off my feet and dance barefoot, though.

But hey... as with all girly problems, (male) plastic surgeons can help! Wooo hooooo!
posted by miss lynnster at 10:56 PM on July 30, 2008


Also, I should have thought that comment through a little better.

What - did you type 'hours' when you really meant 'minutes'?
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:59 PM on July 30, 2008


So why do women force this crap on themselves anyway?

Or is it us men who are doing the forcing?
posted by Avenger at 11:08 PM on July 30, 2008


How to carry a purse
posted by hortense at 11:09 PM on July 30, 2008


Wait, what? I have to be able to do a mile in heels to be a girl? The hell with that.
posted by jamaro at 11:10 PM on July 30, 2008 [5 favorites]


We also need to ban ties.
-
Only if you're talking about the wearing of them in a "proper public/corporate dress" context. They do come in mighty handy under other circumstances.


Mostly ties help me determine if somebody is Avril Lavigne or not.
posted by Donnie VandenBos at 11:12 PM on July 30, 2008 [18 favorites]


I like the look and feel of heels for certain occasions and outfits. Otherwise, I've got enough issues without inviting all of the health problems of wearing heels on a regular basis.

Their point - making a straight guy who prefers his women to wear heels give it a go - is one that many women have wished they could share with their (similarly obsessed) mates. I think that makes it a valid exercise.

The way that it was accomplished, however, gives me a weirdly sad feeling for both of them. Him from his eyes going all glassy and confused while they're in the bar (from the pain? I don't know), her from the careworn tone of her voice throughout. The whole "drinking numbs" thing was so woefully delivered.

The bad advice kills it for me, though. Walking on the ball of your foot in heels is more likely to lead to really significant damage or injury, due to instability and over-straining.

Sure, there are going to be shoes so lovely that you'll put up with some pain, but those should be "short distance" shoes (aka "fuck me pumps"). Those are the ones you wear when you can afford to cab and you're going somewhere that being on your feet is unlikely.

Otherwise, choose a shoe where your foot is not crowded or pinched and you can put your whole foot down without changing that situation. Nor should your foot slide around in the shoe. Walking in the usual heel-toe manner is a bit complex at first, but a little practice sorts that out, and it's so much more elegant than the mincing prance of the toe walker or the clomp of the sole-walker.

Anyway! Good idea. Poor (but somewhat whinily entertaining) execution.
posted by batmonkey at 11:16 PM on July 30, 2008


I haven't been willing to to make the sacrifice of hammertoes and shortened Achilles tendons (and all the other potential problems) to look hot, so I don't have the pain override necessary for high heels. These days I'll (reluctantly) wear them under the following circumstances: I walk out of the house and into a car; I enter the party/whatever and find a chair; I sit; maybe I'll walk to the bathroom; I sit; I walk out of the party and into a car; I enter the house and take the heels off. *sigh of relief*

Now that I'm older, I frequently go back and thank my more youthful self for not messing up my back, knees and feet.
posted by taz at 11:16 PM on July 30, 2008


Vans is where it's at. Vans and jeans year round; so I never need to worry about how "fabulous" my calves look.

Amen to that. I don't have to worry about my calves looking fabulous anyway, since they're pale as slugs and covered in hair, but Vans be the comfiest shoes in existence. I wear a pair of almost as comfy combat boots when I want to look especially nifty*, but the rest of the time, if it's cool enough that I have to wear socks, I'm wearing Vans.

*Note: my opinion on the niftiness of my own personal style and reality may well have nothing in common.
posted by Caduceus at 11:19 PM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Mostly ties help me determine if somebody is Avril Lavigne or not.

Do you manage to hold jobs for long? Just wondering.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:22 PM on July 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


Wearing heels makes me a vain, vapid sexbot and a bad feminist, but I do it anyway because I really want to please men. Health is for suckers! Men don't make passes at girls who wear glasses!

OK, back to stumbling around blindly in my new pair of Patriarchy Plaid stilettos.
posted by prefpara at 11:27 PM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


How many men really fetishize heels? I hear lots of women talking about how men love them. I hear very few men EVER mention heels. If they're noticed at all, it's as evidence of whether a woman is likely to fuck us. And there are many easier ways to demonstrate this.

It seems more like that, women-dressing-up-iin-drag-as-women thing, which is more for the sake of other women. Playing Barbies, is really what it is.
posted by msalt at 11:28 PM on July 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


And for the devoted father, there's running fifty yards in high heels. Embarrassing video included. Not recommended for persons "suffering" from "serious injuries".
posted by Rhaomi at 11:34 PM on July 30, 2008



"OK, back to stumbling around blindly in my new pair of Patriarchy Plaid stilettos."

Hehehe :)

I don't understand the need to make a man do this; it's not as though I've ever had a man expect me to wear heels, or complain if I don't. In fact, I was with a male friend recently who shook his head at my choice of footwear. As it happens, I like high heels, I enjoy how I naturally walk in them and how they make me look. But I wear them when *I* want to feel sexy. Does this make me a bad feminist?
posted by thatbrunette at 11:38 PM on July 30, 2008


Oh, I've definitely heard more than a few men talk about preferring women in heels. And I've been told that ankle and/or criss-crossed straps are a particular favorite. (I'm thinking it's the bondage aspect, but I don't know.)
posted by miss lynnster at 11:38 PM on July 30, 2008


Um, that "included" link should point here. Such are the pitfalls of typing URLs on an iPod without the benefit of cut and paste.
posted by Rhaomi at 11:41 PM on July 30, 2008


I think heels look good on most women, but I'd rather see them in knee high boots, and I wouldn't expect a woman to put on either more than once in a blue moon for my sake if she didn't think they were comfortable. But maybe I'm not typical.
posted by Caduceus at 11:45 PM on July 30, 2008


Heels are stupid.

Everyone should go barefoot.
posted by bwg at 11:46 PM on July 30, 2008 [4 favorites]


msalt asked:
"How many men really fetishize heels?"

Lots. Many. Enough to give some ladies complexes about wearing them. Enough to fund many websites focused solely on the wearing of heels with or without intimate congress. Enough for there to be magazines focused on same. Google it at your own risk.

Even if there weren't (but there are), it's a well-known horror for many women to find that one's office dress code strongly suggests (and some even require) high-heeled shoes as part of one's work outfit.

That said, there are definitely women for whom the wearing of heels is a bonding experience or at least a means of friendly competition. And some, of course, like to collect them. But these "playing Barbie" scenarios are generally based on the women who wear heels getting more attention, so that kind of invalidates the posit which followed your question.
posted by batmonkey at 11:51 PM on July 30, 2008


Having a woman wear heels during sex, great! Asking her to walk around in them is kind of lame though.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:52 PM on July 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


bwg: I was going to favourite your comment because, wow, those foot coverings are amazing! ...but I also like high heels, so I didn't want to seem to be calling them stupid. Which means you get this call-out and a thank you for posting that link, instead :D
posted by batmonkey at 11:56 PM on July 30, 2008


While I don't care for the look of high heels as such--an unsteady walk does nothing good for me, and the Ideal Women of my formative years mostly wore cherry Docs and black jeans--I'd take that bet in a second.

I won a similar bet at a party once, the terms of which were: could I run up and down the corridor in a pair of high heels, that the girl who owned claimed she couldn't take three steps in without fearing for her ankles? Yes, I could. Twice. Easily. The trick is, lift the heel and ignore it entirely. Just run on the pads of your feet. For this knowledge, I credit Pamela Anderson, who had explained it in a radio interview that I randomly happened to hear. (I think it was a promo for Barb Wire.)
posted by aeschenkarnos at 11:56 PM on July 30, 2008


So why do women force this crap on themselves anyway?

They're like a painful but immediately effective diet+. High heels make you look skinnier and taller, and they reduce the apparent size of your big fat feet. As long as men prefer tall, skinny women, women will be forced to wear high heels or to be at a disadvantage to high-heeled women in the looking-good-for-men competition. If sore feet help to catch the right man, I suppose a lot of women think it's a bargain.

But that's just part of it, of course. There's also the looking-good-for-women competition, and that can be worse.
posted by pracowity at 11:57 PM on July 30, 2008


Being rather short, I like having the option of wearing heels.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 12:06 AM on July 31, 2008


How many men really fetishize heels? I hear lots of women talking about how men love them. I hear very few men EVER mention heels.

The men are probably too busy drooling over the root purpose of heels - thrusting out of T&A - to bother looking down at the footwear. They're mostly just a means to that end.

A totally unscientific strawpoll (of myself & some completely imagined responses from male friends) is that we don't particularly care one way or another on heels v no heels, if we're talking strictly whether the footwear itself is sexy. At least, I can't think of any male friends (who aren't gay) specifically commenting on a pair of high-heeled shoes.

Moreover, everything else being equal, a non-heeler makes for a better relationship prospect, because those things are damned expensive if they're gonna look at all nice, and they have an average lifespan of about three outings. And it's rare for a heeler to stop at just one dozen pairs.

None of the above applies to kitten heels, which are wonderfully cute, or cuban heels, which I love to wear.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:08 AM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Heels are kind of lame. Bring back footbinding -- that's my idea of commitment to fashion aesthetics.

Women, you too can have a four inch foot, as long as your parents start fracturing them from the age of 3.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:26 AM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


High heels and dancers legs. Miss Cyd Charisse.
posted by netbros at 12:26 AM on July 31, 2008


It's not that hard, like aeschenkarnos said by way of Pam Anderson, you just walk on the pads of your feet. Definitely not comfortable, but a mile would be doable.

NOTE: THE PRECEDING COMMENT WAS NOT AN ENDORSEMENT FOR THE WEARING OF HIGH HEELS, WHICH MORE OFTEN THAN NOT MAKE THE POOR FOLKS WHO WEAR THEM WALK LIKE GAZELLES THAT JUST BARELY GOT AWAY FROM A CHEETAH OR DRUNK SAILORS WHO ARE TRYING TO STAGGER THEIR WAY BELOW DECK BEFORE ANOTHER ANGRY WAVE WASHES OVER THE SIDE OF THE SHIP.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:29 AM on July 31, 2008


Brilliant: Adjustable High Heels by Marte den Holllander. It looks like someone has manufactured something similar, though I'm not getting how the actual sole works (arch support, etc.) works on any of these.
posted by taz at 12:35 AM on July 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


I've always suspected that high heels and bound feet share a common and hard-for-me-to-understand fetish ancestor
posted by refrigerateafteropening at 12:35 AM on July 31, 2008 [3 favorites]


I couldn't walk 500 meters in high heels, let alone a mile! I'm given a pass by society though, because I'm tall enough to get away with always wearing flats. I honestly don't know how some women spend an entire day in them, though. Jeez, I shudder at the thought of such torture.
posted by liquorice at 12:52 AM on July 31, 2008


OK. No. I don't care if you think they are sexy or not, but I can't wear heels - at all - none. I can't even wear 1 inch heals - they make me want to die. So suck me! Put your fucking balls in a fucking vice and I will wear heals, ok?

Men don't make passes at girls who wear glasses!

What?! So...the last 2 guys that I fucked who told me they loved...LOVED...my glasses with the cute fucking dragonflies were lying? I don't think so! Get a fucking grip woman.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 1:12 AM on July 31, 2008


My friend has a pool.
posted by turgid dahlia at 1:12 AM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


errr.....I mean heels....HEELS! OK?
posted by The Light Fantastic at 1:12 AM on July 31, 2008


What? How is this difficult? I used to do cartwheels in stilettos, for crying out loud.. heels are easy-peasy to walk in.

Going down stairs in'em, however. That isn't always so easy. Sometimes you'll snap off a heel on the second step down, and go tumbling ass over tit down some twenty-odd stairs, fetching up at the bottom with your wig askew, covered in bruises, and a seven-foot tall drag queen walking in and looking down at you saying "Does anybody know why Lucy is swearing?"

Or so I've heard.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:18 AM on July 31, 2008 [14 favorites]


Which means you get this call-out and a thank you for posting that link ...

That's all right. I'm just of the frame of mind that our female friends can wear heels if they like, but heels do evil things to their bodies.

And it's just not worth it.
posted by bwg at 1:25 AM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ah, those edgy, edgy feminist Jezebel women -- not only today's edginess was brought to you by ads for Pamela Anderson's new feminist TV show on E!, but thanks to miss lynnster's kind MeFi linkage the page views count for this pointless stunt has been pumped up enough to beat Jezebel's most-read item, something about a clip of "The Secret Lives of Women" (a video of a dog sleeping is doing pretty well, too, I notice). Nick Denton, that feminist icon, must be delighted.

but it's nice that they interrupted their constant stream of celebrity photos (Jezebel's bread and butter, sadly) to tackle such an important issue -- 25 dollar stilettos hurt the feet of fat guys who don't know how to walk in them! holy shit! what does that annoying ex-Gawker lady who wrote that long blog post in the NYT Magazine, whatever her name is, think of this?

here's another idea: what's lamer, walking a mile in a high heels or getting 12 dollars a post plus a small "bonus" according to the page views your edgy feminist work generates for your millionaire boss? edgy feminist women want to know!

it's not dumber than Gawker (even if it gets close), but Jezebel's mortal sin is that it's simply a celebrity blog without, you know, the ovaries to define itself as such -- literally every other post is a celebrity photo, and without the willingness that actual celebrity blogs have to make fun of famous people (that wouldn't be, you know, feminist). reading Jezebel for the non-celebrity posts reminds of the old school dirty men who insisted they bought Playboy to read their the interviews. Denton knows this, and -- unlike his underpaid employees, feminist and otherwise -- he's laughing all the way to the bank.

but it's all edgy, and Pamela Anderson is picking up the check anyway.
posted by matteo at 2:36 AM on July 31, 2008 [4 favorites]


prefpara: "Men don't make passes at girls who wear glasses!"

Terribly outdated and completely false. A good pair of glasses can draw positive attention, just as can any other properly chosen fashion accessory. It locks us on your eyes, where you can toy with our hearts before we even think of looking at any of your other, *ahem*, assets. For those men who are interested in more than a woman who just looks good, it is a subtle suggestion of the intelligence that may lie beneath the surface, specifically because glasses are not by their function supposed to be anything other than practical. You didn't think those "hot librarian" memes popped out of thin air, did you?
posted by mystyk at 3:11 AM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


This post at Sociological Images has an illustrated chart (click pic for large version) of some of the problems high heels can cause... though as some commenters noticed, despite being all danger! danger! the comparative illustrations show "hot-girl-in-dress-and-heels" versus Miss Dowdy in flats. Strange mixed message.

This all reminds me that I'm old enough to remember Cybill Shepherd, circa "Moonlighting"; she was infamously outspoken about her dislike of heels, refused to wear them on the set except when her feet were in a shot - and made a little stir when she attended the Emmys in evening gown and Reeboks. I remember kinda feeling like you go, girl, except that this was well before "you go" so I was probably more, like, Zounds, milady! Thou art a spirited wench, forsooth!

As for me, I just sort of shifted when I was walking a couple of miles each way to work and back, and felt stupid wearing trainers with my work clothes for the walk (and then switching at work), so I started wearing flats - and spoiled myself for heels, which now seem like torture devices.
posted by taz at 3:51 AM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


I like wearing heels. Then again, I like wearing corsets, so perhaps I am not the one to speak to this topic.
posted by elfgirl at 3:54 AM on July 31, 2008 [3 favorites]


Women do know that they don't have to wear heels, right? That they have that option, yes?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:01 AM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Actually, in New York, I think there's a law. Anyway, why do you think I had to leave the country?

But seriously? There is some pressure about it, sometimes even weird work stuff like this:

I have three questions.
1) I work in a proprietary school (an Accelerated College) My boss is putting in place a new dress code. Part of it states that for women, stockings are to be worn at all times when wearing dresses, skirts and dress pants. I get the rule with skirts and dresses, but pants??? Why not socks? For the men he has that all socks should be appropriate colored. Is that something that he can enforce- the color of your socks???
2) He told me that the flats I was wearing were inappropriate. They are just like high heels, but without the high heel. He stated (specified overweight or medically unable to wear heels)that he would need a doctor's note that states we must wear flats in order to be able to not wear high heeled shoes and that he would contact the doctor to make sure that the note was legit.
This seems so wrong to me.
3) I wear ankle braces every day and he has seen them daily for nearly a year. I have explained that my stockings would be damaged almost instantly if I wore them. Can he force me to wear them anyway?

posted by taz at 4:12 AM on July 31, 2008


Isn't it gay men that want women to wear heels? I know I do. I've hated hated hated the flat ballet shoe fashion of the last few years here in London. But, then, I'm not really invested in this whole conversation, am I?!
posted by Lleyam at 4:16 AM on July 31, 2008


Guardian: Waitresses' war on heels. (Longer LA Times article on the same subject.)
posted by taz at 4:22 AM on July 31, 2008


But seriously? There is some pressure about it, sometimes even weird work stuff like this:

Yeah, undeniably there's stupid social pressures for women to wear heels, especially in some professions. Those aren't the only reasons women wear heels though.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:28 AM on July 31, 2008


Not to be a total downer, but I thought the post was going to be related to this.

And matteo? I'm not going to defend the site as a whole because I find it annoying most days as well, but...you don't spend much time looking at content on jezebel, do you?** Saying, Jezebel's mortal sin is that it's simply a celebrity blog without, you know, the ovaries to define itself as such -- literally every other post is a celebrity photo is all edgy and stuff, but you could just as legitmately say, "Metafilter pretends to be about deeper issues than fark.com, but it's mortal sin is that it's simply a Single Link You Tube + News of the Weird blog without, you know, the ovaries to define itself as such....and without the mean snarky comments you get to say on fark.com that's, like, fun to do."

**If you did, you'd realize that every other article on jezebel is in fact about bodily functions (including STDs) and one night stands. I kid....kind of....
posted by availablelight at 4:30 AM on July 31, 2008 [5 favorites]


Getting worked up about women in heels is like getting excited about what ribbon the wrapping paper on your birthday present is tied with. It's the present inside that counts. The heels - much like the ribbon - are best discarded immediately, only to be found the following morning when you're trying to tidy up before your mum comes over.
posted by tim_in_oz at 4:53 AM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


One night a few years ago, three co-workers and I were going out to a pub after a evening work-related function. The other two females in the party were wearing strappy sandals. I wore flat ones, and so I kept pace with my male (gay) co-worker Andrew while the other two lagged behind. During one of our waits for our high-heeled co-workers to catch up, Andrew fumed, "Why do women wear shoes they can't walk in?"

I said, "Andrew, sometimes it is blindingly obvious that you have never had to cater to the female psyche in order to get laid."

He nodded, and said, "Pretty much."

Yeah, undeniably there's stupid social pressures for women to wear heels, especially in some professions. Those aren't the only reasons women wear heels though.

Totally. I've bought into the whole "heels look nice" thing and I love to wear them at times. It's fun to play with my height. I wouldn't want to walk a mile in them but neither would I want to scrub the kitchen floor while wearing an evening dress, and that doesn't mean I eschew evening dresses. Wardrobe choices are situational.
posted by orange swan at 4:53 AM on July 31, 2008


I have really weak ankles and bunions so no heels for me. I even wore flats to my wedding (and I'm 5'2" and he's 6'3") ... also, I wear glasses, and I could stand to lose a few pounds. Somehow though, I found a man who managed to find me attractive anyway.

Bravo to all the great guys out there who don't give a damn about what we wear.
posted by gudrun at 4:55 AM on July 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


Bravo to all the great guys out there who don't give a damn about what we wear.

Same goes for hair length. My wife asked me and I said: "It's your hair, do whatever you want."

Women have a hard enough time with the fashion industry dictating wardrobe, hairstyles, cosmetics, skin care and weight/body mass without men adding to the problem.

That doesn't mean we can't offer opinions, but why ask her to torture her feet because you like how she looks in heels? If she likes it, fine, but it's her choice.
posted by bwg at 5:10 AM on July 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


Wow, the tone of so many of these posts is eerily familiar: women complaining about wearing heals sound just like men complaining about wearing suits.

(That is not a compliment.)
posted by oddman at 5:29 AM on July 31, 2008


>> How many men really fetishize heels?
>
> Lots. Many. Enough to give some ladies complexes about wearing them. Enough to fund many
> websites focused solely on the wearing of heels with or without intimate congress.

True, but also true of Hello Kitty with or without creamed corn, and anything else you can think of, and almost infinite other stuff you wouldn't think of in a million years (but somebody did--and found he wasn't alone.) Rule 34, no exceptions.

posted by jfuller at 5:33 AM on July 31, 2008


Wow, the tone of so many of these posts is eerily familiar: women complaining about wearing heals sound just like men complaining about wearing suits.

(That is not a compliment.)


For the record: a well-made, tailored suit is very sexy on a man and they should be worn more often. (Bonus fetish points for French cuffs.)


Please feel social pressure to wear them in appropriate settings, oh beautiful men of the world.
posted by availablelight at 5:39 AM on July 31, 2008 [3 favorites]


How many men really fetishize heels? I hear lots of women talking about how men love them. I hear very few men EVER mention heels. If they're noticed at all, it's as evidence of whether a woman is likely to fuck us. And there are many easier ways to demonstrate this.

If worn properly (at least to my eyes) the heels make the movement and posture of the wearer much sexier - lengthening the legs (good), increasing the height of the wearer (very good - I'm over 6' and don't like bending down too far), tightening the legs and bum (good), and curving the spine to both slightly emphasise the bust and to slightly lengthen the neck (both good). And, most importantly of all, the extra leg length combines with the motion they force if you are to wear them well to add a touch more grace to the lady's movement. The shoes themselves are not half as present as the effect they have on the rest of the wearer.

On the other hand, it's much easier to wear heels badly than well. And if the wearer is wearing the wrong heels they (IMNSHO) detract more than they enhance. If they are taller than the wearer can comfortably walk in (or resemble en pointe ballet whoever is wearing them) then they make the wearer appear unsteady and reaching to join the company of the adults. I can see why people have this as a fetish, but I really dislike most fashions that appear to lessen the wearer rather than enhance certain aspects. (By the same token I like seeing minor corsetry but too tight (and I don't even mean extreme) is a pure turnoff). And that's if the wearer tries to look up and not move around much - the other option is to hunch which I find even worse as it ruins the posture lines I like and worse still removes eye contact when standing.

Also most women IME walk badly in heels. If they walk on their heels it is pure clumpiness and detracts from everything. DM boots or the like can enhance this effect and make something of it - but high heels offset it and make it look ridiculous. The other easy option is to walk on the balls of the toes - this makes the wearer look like a skittish colt and I start worrying about the ankles. Walking like that in flats can convey boundless energy and enthusiasm, which is very attractive - but again high heels offset the effect and make it look self-destructive and as if the wearer is going to topple forwards - not attractive IMO. (The right way is, of course, heel-toe).

Also the type of shoe matters. Good stiletto dance shoes seem to force the wearer (if they are trying heel-toe at all) to move properly in them - whereas if the heel of the shoe is under any other part of the foot I think it's positive encouragement to move badly for stability reasons. (I've never worn anything higher or narrower than cuban heels myself so this is analysis rather than experience). Also wedge heels seem to encourage leading with a flat foot and weight on the balls of the feet (but that might just be that I've never seen anyone wear wedge heels who I know can also walk in stilettos). So I'd rather see kitten or cuban heels (but to be perfectly honest am unlikely to notice what the shoes actually look like.

Hmm... does it show that I've never dated anyone with less than five years dance training? (I've also never dated anyone who wore makeup or perfume on a day to day basis - I wonder what both those say about me).
posted by Francis at 5:52 AM on July 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


Kinky Boots, the movie
posted by infini at 6:02 AM on July 31, 2008


So, just don't wear them. Wait, just wear them to bed!
posted by HyperBlue at 6:14 AM on July 31, 2008


I'd like to link to videos of the annual High Heel Race that occurs in DC, but I can't access youtube. Maybe someone else wants to?
posted by inigo2 at 6:16 AM on July 31, 2008


I've worn both heels and flat shoes, depending on the context. Certainly where I was being put "on display" (on-stage performances, face time with VIPs at special events), it wasn't social pressure that dictated heels were a must - I risked being sent home if I didn't wear them.

The creepiest pressure I ever experienced was from an adjudicator at an opera workshop I took part in years ago. She said that when auditioning for a role in an opera, we were to wear good heels, at least two and a half inches long, and skirts no longer than knee length. Her rationale was that since most opera producers were guys, you might as well show some leg to increase your chances of getting the part.

Needless to say, I no longer sing opera.
posted by LN at 6:18 AM on July 31, 2008


in which we make men do some of the more unpleasant accessories of "femininity"

Oh, I get it. They're celebrating the Mad Men season premiere by flashing back to 1962.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 6:21 AM on July 31, 2008


Women who don't want to wear them shouldn't. Simple as that. My wife hates 'em so she never wears 'em. My opinion on it doesn't make a difference to her shoe-wearing.

I ain't forcing anybody to do a damn thing, so keep your indignation pointed in the right direction, folks.
posted by grubi at 6:22 AM on July 31, 2008


How many men really fetishize heels? I hear lots of women talking about how men love them. I hear very few men EVER mention heels.

My partner wears heels once in a while (for fun, not because of a dress code at work or because someone insists) and when she does she gets a lot more attention from men. A few guys will even comment on the shoes (those are probably the fetishists); most just seem to be reacting to the total package.

Everyone on the internet will insist that he is a liberated guy who is not down with the oppression of women's feet... but somehow in real life men don't display massive preferential responses to orthopedic footwear.

I feel really sorry for the (often younger) women I see tottering in too-high heels -- they look like a broken ankle in waiting). But assuming one is choosing heels that are comfortable enough for the amount of walking one needs to do, I think they are just one more choice on a spectrum of shoe styles.

The weird dress codes that insist on nylons and heels and ties for men seem like vestiges of the 18th century to me, and I'm really happy not to have to work in a place like that. I'm surprised that those pass muster with the courts in this day and age (as compared to more unisex dress codes that just mandate "formal" or "casual" or whatever without specifying the gendered clothing choices.)
posted by Forktine at 6:23 AM on July 31, 2008


Get a fucking grip woman.
&
Terribly outdated and completely false.


Ooops... clearly, I should have been explicit, not sarcasitc. Let me rephrase.

I roll my eyes at all of you heel-haters rolling your eyes at me! Yeah, high heels don't do wonders for my body, but that's such a red herring. Everyone does a few things that take a year off of the life expectancy. Quality > quantity, and it's taller too, which makes it feel powerful. I'm so proud of all of you for being so liberated that you can figure out just by looking at a woman's shoes whether or not she's enslaved by the patriarchy. That is a way better game than the "is she a slut" game, which you can also play just by looking, and involves many of the same props.

Raspberry!
posted by prefpara at 6:26 AM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wait, that was a total failure at being explicit and not sarcastic. I hang my head in shame.
posted by prefpara at 6:27 AM on July 31, 2008


I can't get the videos to load but isn't the problem with modest heels (say up to three inches) more about the rest of the shoe than the height of the heel itself. I say that because I can do hard physical work a 2.5" heel all day long no problem at all when said heel is on a cowboy boot. A mile walk is nothing.
posted by Mitheral at 6:43 AM on July 31, 2008


Making a hairy beast like me stuff his tree trunks into a set of high heels and walk a mile in them would probably look like something out of a Japanese monster movie.
posted by The Straightener at 6:48 AM on July 31, 2008


I'm quite surprised there are companies this day and age which actually specifically require heels and nylons. I would have guessed that the landmark lawsuit had already come and gone.

My company specifies "business casual" and then includes a laundry list of unacceptable items (no board shorts, Mr!) which to me seems entirely appropriate.
posted by device55 at 6:53 AM on July 31, 2008


The weird dress codes that insist on nylons and heels and ties for men...

Clearly, I have become very out of touch with formal dress codes. I only have a few ties available.
posted by Drastic at 6:59 AM on July 31, 2008


I can count the number of times in my life I've worn substantially-heeled shoes on one hand, and I'm inclined to keep it that way. They hurt, they're not fun, and I don't see the appeal whatsoever. I value comfort more than what someone else thinks me. I'm very glad that my work's dress code amounts to "wear whatever you need in order to get the job done" - coming out of school, I simply don't have the money to purchase a new wardrobe for work.
posted by Meagan at 7:12 AM on July 31, 2008


> Her rationale was that since most opera producers were guys, you might as well show
> some leg to increase your chances of getting the part.

fuller tries to envision Birgit Nilsson, Kirsten Flagstad, Nellie Melba auditioning in short skirts and heels.

Nope, sorry, try as I might the images just won't form.
posted by jfuller at 7:17 AM on July 31, 2008


Enough to give some ladies complexes about wearing them.

And perhaps 'some ladies' need to own their own shit? I daresay there are plenty of ladies out there who fetishize six packs and buns of steel, but I don't know many men who lie awake at night, crying about the fact that they've got a beer gut instead of washboard abs and how it's stopping them from picking up the chicks.

The only women I've ever known who wore heels did so because they pleased *them*, not because they pleased some hypothetical man. And in my experience, women have always cared more about what other women think about how they dress, rather than what some clueless man thinks about the subject. Most of us are too busy trying to visualize what's underneath to spend any time worrying about what's on top.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:21 AM on July 31, 2008 [4 favorites]


is Nellie Melba making a voodoo doll?
posted by kuujjuarapik at 7:25 AM on July 31, 2008


So suck me!

I hear they're a lot less uncomfortable if you only wear them while you're kneeling.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:28 AM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


The reason I hate heels (besides the fact that they fucking hurt like hell) is the assumption by all makers of women's dress pants that the pants-wearer will be wearing them. Which means I either have two-three inches worth of extra pant leg flopping down the back and top of my foot or I have to go to the expense of hemming the pair. I've tried getting pants for petite women (I'm 5'7), in the hopes of avoiding this problem, but then the torso is too short.

*really not a fan*
posted by longdaysjourney at 7:28 AM on July 31, 2008


Another man against high heels. Heels with really sharp pointy toes look like monster hooves to me and when I see women teetering on stillitoes like foot-bound princesses I am turned off. Also if a woman needs heels to make her legs look good, to emphasize her calves, etc, then that means her legs aren't in good shape.

PROTIP: If you want awesome legs, take up riding a bicycle and learn a movement art like yoga or tai chi.
posted by fuq at 7:30 AM on July 31, 2008


fuller, that's the point. It was a ridiculous assertion on the workshop presenter's part, on so many levels, and implied that a singer's looks and her ability on the "casting couch" overrode any actual singing or acting talent she might have!

I actually felt pretty nauseous after that workshop. I got into Irish music after that, where a girl doesn't need to wear high heels unless she really wants to! :)
posted by LN at 7:31 AM on July 31, 2008


If I have to wear heels, I wear dance shoes. The height isn't much, only a couple inches, but the stability is perfect. Heck, I've walked the dog (a very tuggy pit bull) in those shoes.

Luckily, I'm a librarian, and I can wear flats without comment.
posted by cereselle at 7:40 AM on July 31, 2008


As a leg man, I can only get serious about girls who look good and move gracefully in high heels. My last girlfriend had Betty Grable legs, and wore dresses all the time. Just thinking about her legs makes me wanna call her up!
posted by autodidact at 7:43 AM on July 31, 2008


I gave up high heels when I gave up working in cubicles, both of which are unnatural. I do like looking at pretty shoes tho', even though I normally buy slides and flip flops. Just trying on a pair of high heels is enough to make me remember years of nightly foot cramps after getting home from the office at the end of the day.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 7:48 AM on July 31, 2008


I honestly don't know how some women spend an entire day in them, though.

I don't think most women who wear them wear them all day- I rarely see women roaming the street in high decorative heels. I bet most of them do what I do- wear flip-flops, carry the heels, put on the heels right before going into (work, fancy event, etc), hide flip-flops in purse. This also answers the question on why purses are so big nowadays- to carry shoes!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:57 AM on July 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


I agree with whomever compared high heels to suits, though heels can certainly be a bit more painful. Men think high heels are hot. That's (one of the reasons) why so many women wear them. Women think expensive suits are hot (I'm sure income/wealth plays a subliminal factor there).

Amongst my friends (and wife), I don't see a lot of high heels; but when I go to work in downtown SF, there's always a fair number of women in heels. And, sure, a few of them look silly because they can't walk, but most of them are pros, and they look much sexier than they would in flats, imo. Call me a victim of popular culture. (I also think trim/toned women are much sexier than too skinny or fat/flabby women.)

At my job, an Internet company, many of the women dress in t-shirts (or muumuus), jeans, and vans/sneakers. There are probably 10-20% of the women who wear high heels, and certainly not all of them are salespersons.

The truth is that some women like to wear high heels because they (personally) think they look good. See prefpara above. Other women might wear them because they know men like them and they're looking for action. Other women might be forced or pressured to wear them my male bosses. That's very unfortunate.

As for walking mile in 4-inch heels, I've done it. I wore them a whole night. Was it slightly painful. Yes. Torture? Hardly.

"Taking them off feels like an orgasm."

Isn't that part of the fun?
posted by mrgrimm at 7:59 AM on July 31, 2008


What about the environmental impact?? He must have dug up that track. I remember in high school our math teacher got us to compare the pounds per sq. inch pressure made by an elephant and a woman in high heels. Yes, the high heels won easily. They totally destroy nice wood flooring.
posted by binturong at 8:08 AM on July 31, 2008


Wow, the shoes in that video are the worst.

I like heels. I have walked several miles in heels, run in heels, loaded heavy music gear in heels. But HELL NO not in cheap gross hideous pointy toed plastic torture stilettos. I wouldn't walk a mile in those for fear I might be seen in such abominable footwear. Death to pointy toed shoes. Death in fire.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:16 AM on July 31, 2008



>> How many men really fetishize heels?
>
> Lots. Many. Enough to give some ladies complexes about wearing them. Enough to fund many
> websites focused solely on the wearing of heels with or without intimate congress.

True, but also true of Hello Kitty with or without creamed corn, and anything else you can think of, and almost infinite other stuff you wouldn't think of in a million years (but somebody did--and found he wasn't alone.) Rule 34, no exceptions.


jfuller, you're way off here. Do a quick search, if you haven't already, comparing "Hello Kitty" adult sites vs. high-heel fetish sites. I'd say it's at least 1:1,000, if not 1:10,000.

High heels are the world's No. 1 fetish (at least according to the University of Bologna in 2007).
posted by mrgrimm at 8:17 AM on July 31, 2008


I work in an internet company, and all my female coworkers dress to the nines and wear impossible heels. They lightly tease me for my casual apparel, and I remind them that not one of us has ever even once met any of our clients.
posted by katillathehun at 8:19 AM on July 31, 2008


This looks more like a stunt than a practical way of getting men into high heels.

If you want your man to look hot and walk well in his stiletto-heeled boots, start him off right. Here is a very good source of information. Get him to exercise for a while before you let him put his shoes on and don't insist he walk too great a distance the very first time. Some guys are shy about appearing in public in their heels so give him lots of encouragement (be creative about the encouragement). Warn him about hazards like sidewalk gratings until he can plant the tip of the heel right on the Xs in the gratings. It won't take long for the motivated man to walk like a pro in his slutty come-fuck-me heels.
posted by jet_silver at 8:45 AM on July 31, 2008


Uhm. Notwithstanding the facts that (1) there are doubtless no high-heeled shoes that would be the proper size for most men and (2) not to mention the stares he must've inevitably gotten...

What exactly is this supposed to prove? That high-heeled shoes are uncomfortable? Didn't we already know that?

How hard is it to just not wear them? It's not as though you're going to get arrested for wearing work shoes or sneakers or something.
posted by Target Practice at 8:48 AM on July 31, 2008


jfuller:
"Rule 34, no exceptions."

It's true. Visiting a full-service explicit periodical shop or searching any damned thing at all without the "safe search" filter applied will at least make sure you never think of anything innocently ever again.

PeterMcDermott:
"And perhaps 'some ladies' need to own their own shit?"

Ya think?

Also: why so angry?

"I don't know many men who lie awake at night, crying about the fact that they've got a beer gut instead of washboard abs and how it's stopping them from picking up the chicks."

You are a fortunate person. You should buy lottery tickets.

There are many guys worried about this all over the world, to the degree that male anexoria and other severe eating disorders are on the uptick. And the over-exercisers, who spend all of their time in the gym and want you to know about it, so that you don't judge any squidge as of out of line, since they're "working on it". Then there are the ones who have simply stopped at the crying part, and if they get one drink over the line while out, they'll do it out in public, too.

Thing is, lots of people (regardless of gender) have been trained to freak out about appearance at this point. Those of us here are more likely to have rejected those mores or at least have a more reasonable view (or appear that way for the extent of a thread, anyway). And you're likely to know more people like that in person, too.

availablelight:
"Not to be a total downer, but I thought the post was going to be related to this."

I kinda wish it was, now. Thank you for pointing us to something so deserving of our attention.

It's been fascinating to me in the past couple of months how much cross-traffic there is between MeFi & Jezebel. Clearly, these are two very different sites, but the quality people from one who happen to be on the other seem to have a consistency of perspective that I enjoy seeing flexed in the two different conversation styles between them.

jet_silver:
"It won't take long for the motivated man to walk like a pro in his slutty come-fuck-me heels."

! I'm not going to get that phrase image out of my head aaaaaaaaall day. The fella is now officially damned lucky I've got wee little bear paws and my shoes won't fit him.
posted by batmonkey at 8:50 AM on July 31, 2008


Women also buy bathing suits that can't be submerged and pay good money to have somebody NOT clip their fingernails for them.

They waste thousands straightening curly hair, lengthening short hair, bleaching dark hair, darkening blond hair, and curling straight hair.

Just go to the grocery or drug store. thinking rationally, how many feet of shelf are taken up with completely unnecessary stuff?
posted by Megafly at 8:54 AM on July 31, 2008


If fashion made sense it wouldn't be fashion, it would just be stuff.
posted by tommasz at 8:59 AM on July 31, 2008


Uhm. Notwithstanding the facts that (1) there are doubtless no high-heeled shoes that would be the proper size for most men

There are shops that cater to men who like to wear high heels, you know.
posted by katillathehun at 9:01 AM on July 31, 2008


Men think high heels are hot.

Is this true? It seems to me that the fashion industry is run by gay men and women. The idea that straight men are sitting around planning the hemline of your skirt and this season's footware is pretty silly and a self-serving conspiracy theory.
posted by damn dirty ape at 9:02 AM on July 31, 2008


> There are shops that cater to men who like to wear high heels, you know.

I'll have to trust you on that, but surely you have a non-pedantic side that understood my point. I doubt the women who held this bet went into Tranny Trish's Podiatric Paradise and got this McInnes guy a pair of size 12s, or whatever.
posted by Target Practice at 9:12 AM on July 31, 2008


Screw those stupid shoes. I am not even wearing heels this Saturday and it's my wedding.
posted by nev at 9:16 AM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


I find it endlessly amusing that some posters, faced with a mate-getting device such as heels, grumpily ask "why can't wimmenz be logical??!" Peacock's tails and bowerbird bowers aren't logical either, but they get the chicks. For human males, so does good hair, a chiseled jaw, sports proficiency, and money. Many men strive for these things, just as some women strive to look skinner, leggier, and bottom-wigglier by wearing heels (and younger by wearing makeup and long hair).

Mate-attracting is not logical, anymore than advertising is. We can choose to play the game differently (looking for less shallow attributes like intelligence) because we aren't bowerbirds, but so long as a strategy works, it will stay in play.

From a feminist viewpoint, the goal is to get enough women to refuse to play the game as is (because it's unfair) and get them to change the rules to more favorable ones. Women in general have to suffer more for standard fashionable attractiveness than men in general--a tie is no match for pushup bras, hose, and heels in the discomfort department. And have you ever priced makeup? Or women's haircuts and hair products? Manicures? It takes much more money to try to look like Angelina Jolie than it does to try to look like Brad Pitt. There are lots more alternatives than there used to be, but there are still lots of clothes designed for women that only look good with heels--the "model strut" you see on runways is an artifact of that. You wouldn't prance like that in flats or boots or Vans. You would stride, like a man does.
posted by emjaybee at 9:26 AM on July 31, 2008


I have such a big heel fetish, I ask my dates to use stilts.
posted by Dr-Baa at 9:40 AM on July 31, 2008


> From a feminist viewpoint, the goal is to get enough women to refuse to play the game as is
> (because it's unfair) and get them to change the rules to more favorable ones.

I'm confused as to how this is different from my "stop bitching about it and just don't do it" argument.
posted by Target Practice at 9:42 AM on July 31, 2008


there are doubtless no high-heeled shoes that would be the proper size for most men

Au contraire...

I love weraing heels, completely illogically. My boyfriend is the same height as me; I don't need to be any taller. However, I have big feet! Size 11 or 12! I think they look TERRIBLE in flats, but since I do have great gams, in heels I feel very feminine and kicky. It's throwing a glamour. Anywho, it's hard to find cute shoes in my size. Very, very hard.

Back when the internet was new, finding cute shoes in my size was one of my top search engine priorities. I found a reference to a catalog that offered "large size women's shoes," and ordered it. It came, chock full of the tartiest shoes I'd ever seen. Squeeeee I was delighted! The basic shoe was a black pump, and then there were patent pumps, and ankle strap pumps, and gladiator sandal pumps and see through pvc thigh high stripper boots!! All in my size, and bigger!! I thought "Awesome! My size is practically the smallest one they offer!! I must not be such a freak after all!"

And then I noticed - there was something funny about the legs in the shoes. Something too angular about the knees. And they were so muscular and straight...
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:46 AM on July 31, 2008 [15 favorites]


I'll have to trust you on that, but surely you have a non-pedantic side that understood my point. I doubt the women who held this bet went into Tranny Trish's Podiatric Paradise and got this McInnes guy a pair of size 12s, or whatever.

My point is that if they didn't try to find shoes that fit the guy, this whole challenge wouldn't have exactly been fair. Women don't typically wear shoes several sizes too small unless they're idiots. So, asking a guy to wear shoes he can't even squeeze his feet into is not exactly proving that men have unfair expectations of women.
posted by katillathehun at 9:58 AM on July 31, 2008


In the first video, they took him to a shoe store to specifically buy him a pair of shoes that fit his feet, though.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:14 AM on July 31, 2008


Tsk, heels have been used as men's shoes for far longer than women have worn them. Men have worn them exclusively dating as far back as ancient Egypt. In 12th century Europe horse riders wore them to prevent their feet from sliding through the stirrups- and then it became popular to wear "at court." Women didn't really wear them, and when they started it was mainly to increase height - those long layered skirts didn't exactly show off their shapely legs. Fashionable heels for women as we know them didn't really become the standard until the 1950s.

There are plenty of reasons why I chose to wear heels, albeit infrequently. Same for makeup and other 'dressy' things. Personally, I can't say I do it for attracting men's attention, which is easy enough to get sans heels even if I wanted it. Honestly, I just like to look good around my female friends and co-workers, and appear more professional. Even so, I don't wear them more than once a week since they are just a bother most of the time. Office dress codes that require heels? I've never heard of that, but there are plenty of ways to wear short heels or pointier flats without tripping over yourself.

Anyway... I guess I can concede their point is valid, but in terms of global treatment of women, I'd say the footwear choices of first world white ladies is pretty effing low on the list of issues needing consideration. That is all.
posted by wowbobwow at 10:16 AM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


My dress code at work is "one step above sweatpants." Nothing that I wouldn't mind having covered in snot, drool, cheerios, and the occasional yogurty vomit. Needless to say I don't wear heels. I actually wear some shoes that are so overly-practical and comfortable that they're actually rather unattractive and I wouldn't wear them out in public in any situation where I didn't have a baby as camouflage.

I've worn heels plenty. They're uncomfortable, but pretty. The only shoes that I absolutely will not wear because walking in them is akin to, as the man says, "having the first third of my foot being eaten by a bear" are pointy toe shoes. I modeled in a fashion show and had to walk down the runway in a pair of pink pointed-toe high heel boots that looked fabulous, but had I needed to walk more than 20 feet in them, I would have fallen right on my face and cried in agony.

I also think they look ridiculous. Rounded toe shoes just look more natural. And cuter.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:07 AM on July 31, 2008


For human males, good hair, a chiseled jaw, sports proficiency, and money get chicks. Many men strive for these things, just as some women strive to look skinner, leggier, and bottom-wigglier by wearing heels (and younger by wearing makeup and long hair).

Except: it's good to challenge these stereotypes, or you can make mistakes. When I divorced at 43, I was convinced I'd never get women because I'm balding. I also don't have much money or job prestige or a hot car and I'm not good at sports.

Guess what? For many women, being 6'2" and in shape trumps all that. And for a certain set of bright, usually very pretty women, being articulate and witty -- hell, just being able to spell -- is almost devastatingly hot. Not trying to brag, but when I was young I was crippled in my dating by misunderstanding the reality of what attracts women. Also, by assuming that all women have the same taste.
posted by msalt at 11:26 AM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


(1) there are doubtless no high-heeled shoes that would be the proper size for most men

There's a funny anecdote in the documentary Weird Sex and Snowshoes, which is about Canadian film, about this. The director had hired an actor, thinking that the actor was a drag queen (which was the part he was filling), so when he phoned the actor up to say that the actor had gotten the role, he mentioned that the actor should bring his wardrobe. The actor hesitates, and says: "You... you want me to bring dresses?"

the director then realized that the actor was just very good at pretending to be a drag queen, and went into panic mode trying to find wardrobe, as shooting began the next day. The clip ended with this quote:

"It is surprisingly easy to find size 16 men's high heels, overnight, in Halifax [population: roughly 400 000]."
posted by flibbertigibbet at 11:33 AM on July 31, 2008


I like the look of a woman in heels. However, I also know that they can be painful and a bad idea health wise, so I never ask - I just enjoy when it happens.

One of the local groups that works with abused women uses the idea of men walking in high heels as a yearly fundraiser.
posted by never used baby shoes at 11:38 AM on July 31, 2008


How many men really fetishize heels?
Enough to fund many websites focused solely on the wearing of heels with or without intimate congress. Enough for there to be magazines focused on same.


I'm not necessarily disagreeing that lots of guys like girls in heels, but God help us if "there's lots of porn about it, so it must be something most guys like" were even remotely true.
posted by straight at 11:38 AM on July 31, 2008


Also: why so angry?

I'm completely at a loss to figure out how you're reading anger from the post you quoted. Perhaps it's the same sort of unreliable divination that leads some ladies to think 'nobody will love me unless I wear heels'?

There are many guys worried about this all over the world, to the degree that male anexoria and other severe eating disorders are on the uptick.

This article estimates lifetime prevalence of anorexia in men at 0.2%. Lifetime prevalence of bulemia estimated at 0.4%. When you say 'many', I think you mean 'not very many'.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:12 PM on July 31, 2008


I saw the movie Tootsie. Most of it. Well, the first twenty three minutes. But the point is: So I already know exactly what it feels like to be a girl. Thank you Dustin Hoffman.
posted by tkchrist at 12:15 PM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


I saw the movie Tootsie. Most of it. Well, the first twenty three minutes. But the point is: So I already know exactly what it feels like to be a girl.

That's the stupidest thing I've ever hear. You have to watch Mrs. Doubtfire too, before you really know.
posted by msalt at 1:21 PM on July 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


What thread about women would be complete without four or five guys telling us exactly what they want in a woman (well, physically at least), practically down to her exact bra size.

Thanks, guys! How could I get dressed without you!
posted by sondrialiac at 2:03 PM on July 31, 2008 [4 favorites]


there are doubtless no high-heeled shoes that would be the proper size for most men

There are. I've run into them (without looking for them) in San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Reno. I'm sure lots of other places have them, too.
posted by small_ruminant at 2:14 PM on July 31, 2008


I like heels, even though they've flecked my feet with battle scars. However, I find the assumption that women wear heels because men like them hilarious, as shit like this makes me want to chuck everything but my $2 Target flipflops. *shudder*
posted by granted at 2:43 PM on July 31, 2008


I am thankful, as ever, that I was born taller than most men, and therefore had a ready-made excuse for never wearing heels. Men don't really like women to be significantly taller than them. I recently wore my first pair of heels in ten years for a very fancy wedding. Mind you, they were only about a one inch heel.

And yet, somehow I still have ankle, back, and knee problems. World = unfair.
posted by threeturtles at 2:54 PM on July 31, 2008


sondrialiac writes "What thread about women would be complete without four or five guys telling us exactly what they want in a woman"

Isn't the hook of the linked pages that it's a man in the heels. Kind of making the thread about men?
posted by Mitheral at 3:03 PM on July 31, 2008


What thread about women would be complete without four or five guys telling us exactly what they want in a woman (well, physically at least), practically down to her exact bra size.

You must be in the wrong thread, because I don't think a single person did that - at least, not nearly to even a quarter of the extent you claim. Projection, much?

Aside from that, what would you expect in a thread about impractical, painful beauty accessories? A bit of chitchat about the weather? Or people discussing what turns them on or not in their preferred gender?

You're being massively disingenuous, and almost trollish, to complain that a thread about beauty would include comments about beauty.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:41 PM on July 31, 2008


Years ago a friend pointed out to me that women wearing pumps looked like they had hoofs. I've never been able to get that image out of my head ever since.
posted by amusebuche at 3:49 PM on July 31, 2008


> What thread about women would be complete without four or five guys telling us exactly what
> they want in a woman (well, physically at least), practically down to her exact bra size.

Hey, thanks for asking. I really dig anime chix, tho I wish their boobs weren't so balloonish. Footwear absolutely doesn't matter, they can wear heels or flats or Space Marine combat boots. Women with Asian-size breasts, with or without cosplay drag.... fuller sighs, smiles.

Sticking to the subject--I do think being comfortable in heels and stockings (and the other austere tailored garments that these imply) is a useful life skill for ladies; they're a form of armor that will get you through situations where even space marine power suits won't help a bit, and worth mastering for that alone. Being at ease in a navy suit and a bankers' tie has come to my rescue many times when dealing with all sorts of authority figure, and I can't imagine why a female wouldn't want to have the option of deploying the same weapon and operating it per the manual of arms. Deadly!
posted by jfuller at 4:11 PM on July 31, 2008


What thread about men would be complete without four or five women telling us exactly what they want in a man, practically down to the size of his bank account?

Yeah, men and women are capable of being shallow. It's human nature. Big deal.
posted by illiad at 4:46 PM on July 31, 2008


To look at? Meh. Take em or leave em.

To have to wait for, because she can't even keep up a decent walking pace? NO.

Please for the love of god put on some practical footwear.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:10 PM on July 31, 2008


Fuck heels. I wore these "reception" slippers during my entire wedding last year. Best decision ever.
posted by chiababe at 5:17 PM on July 31, 2008


Flat Facts about High Hells
posted by bwg at 5:22 PM on July 31, 2008


availablelight: For the record: a well-made, tailored suit is very sexy on a man ... Please feel social pressure to wear them in appropriate settings, oh beautiful men of the world.

Loophole! Woo-hoo!
/returns to gym shorts, t-shirts, and total lack of any social life whatsoever
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:43 PM on July 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


amusebuche - nice to see you here after all this time! Check your MeMail (up in the top RH corner of the screen)
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:26 PM on July 31, 2008


Speaking as a dude, I've never understood the whole high heels fixation (or the female fixation on shoes, or some people's foot fetishism). It's one of those things women think they're doing for men, but I suspect they're really doing for eachother.
posted by jonmc at 6:47 PM on July 31, 2008


Don't listen to me though, back in college I briefly dated a girl with a voice exactly like Rocky The Flying Squirrel. She was cute, but during sex, I kept expecting her to flap up to the ceiling and say "...and now for something you'll really like!"
posted by jonmc at 6:52 PM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


great. now i have a mental image of jonmc thinking "Hey Rocky! Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat" as he undresses.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:59 PM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


As long as we're on the subject of Bullwinkle and sex: what the fuck was up with Mr. Peabody and 'his boy' Sherman? Sounds like one of those modern relationships to me...
posted by jonmc at 7:05 PM on July 31, 2008


i've been trying so hard to get used to wearing heels (tiny ones, even!) and have failed, failed failed. any suggestions? everyone keeps telling me that you magically get used to them but after an hour or two i want to die and start clip clopping around like an idiot. perhaps i should consult askmeta.
posted by fillsthepews at 7:35 PM on July 31, 2008


High heels writ large are something I see out here in college town.

Basically, in the winter it gets cold out. Pretty chilly, like I'm wearing my moderate jacket or even my heavy jacket. Even at this temperature, on weekend nights I will see many girls, of a type, out in miniskirts and sundry other skimpy attire, with no overwear, suffering in the cold.

This is not attractive. Wearing skimpy clothes in appropriate temperatures? Fine. Subjecting yourself to danger of frostbite? The unattractiveness of idiocy hugely overwhelms any attractiveness of showing skin.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 7:37 PM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


I am thankful, as ever, that I was born taller than most men

That must have been a difficult birth.
posted by idiomatika at 8:11 PM on July 31, 2008 [5 favorites]


I don't like wearing heels. I find them very painful. Just about the only time I ever wear them is if I'm in a play. Amusingly, I thought that I was incapable of wearing them without stomping around like a hippo until about two years ago when I was in a shoe shop and saw a pair of really high-heeled boots which I thought looked gorgeous (they were on sale too which was a good thing because I also hate spending gads of money on shoes). I decided to try them on and it was like a miracle! I could actually walk in them! All those years of stomping around on stage had actually taught me to do something that I still thought I couldn't do.

I bought the boots, wore them out twice and discovered that being able to walk in heels did not stop them from turning into horrible, horrible torture devices after a very short time.

I have friends who insist that they can do absolutely anything in high heels that they could do in flats, but they're very short and have obviously been practising for a long time.

I'm with the crowd who says you should wear whatever shoes you want, regardless of societal or peer pressure (hooray for free choice!)
posted by h00py at 8:25 PM on July 31, 2008


I'm with the crowd who says you should wear whatever shoes you want, regardless of societal or peer pressure (hooray for free choice!)

Damn skippy! Now having said that and being all supportive of women who don't want to wear high heels, I'm as supportive, if not more so, of women who DO want to wear heels. Heels make legs look longer, and they force the caboose and boobs to stick out more. For most men, heels are appreciated because they exaggerate female sexual characteristics. There's no "fetish" in visually appreciating that basic result.
posted by illiad at 8:34 PM on July 31, 2008


I am thankful, as ever, that I was born taller than most men

This image in my mind...I...I don't like it. Make it stop, Mr. Tanqueray!
posted by turgid dahlia at 8:57 PM on July 31, 2008


Even at this temperature, on weekend nights I will see many girls, of a type, out in miniskirts and sundry other skimpy attire, with no overwear, suffering in the cold.

This is not attractive. Wearing skimpy clothes in appropriate temperatures? Fine. Subjecting yourself to danger of frostbite? The unattractiveness of idiocy hugely overwhelms any attractiveness of showing skin.


They may be underdressed, but they aren't dumb. If the high heels and short skirts didn't produce the desired results, they would wear something else.

(The much more interesting question, I think, is for whom are those skirts and heels worn? The default expectation here seems to be that it is for men, but I think that underestimates the importance of gynosocial expectations and performance.)
posted by Forktine at 9:06 PM on July 31, 2008


Forktine, well said. Women compete as men do, but socio-biologically they're the gender that get to do the "choosing." And women know that showing off sexual characteristics brings the men. It all comes down to telegraphing "I'm a desireable mate, and more desireable than the other females."

I'm often bemused by the flood of posts from males that decry typical sexual signalling behaviour by women. "Heels aren't sexy." "Big tits aren't attractive." "That's just slutty, not appealing." They say all that flying in the face of millions of years of evolution and centuries of fashion that play up those very same characteristics. Slutty IS appealing, big tits/small waists/round cabooses ARE attractive and heels ARE sexy for the vast majority of males, or these traits/enhancements simply wouldn't be so prevalent.

I'm willing to buy that there is a tiny sliver of a percentage of hetero men who aren't twigged by the typical female sexual characteristics, but I think the rest of them are just putting on airs to look all noble and "evolved." I'm sure you see the irony.
posted by illiad at 9:32 PM on July 31, 2008


illiad - there's more to being a desirable mate than dressing like a tramp.

And while it is true that straight guys will typically have a visceral, lizard-brain reaction to an attractive figure, it's still a subjective matter as to what kind of figure pushes each individual guy's buttons.

But that's only a part of it, because on top of the evolutionary biological factors you put forward, humans have developed a thing called culture, which also informs our decisions. So while a subjectively attractive figure might be somewhat necessary for mate selection, it's by no means sufficient.

At this point, the cultural signification of clothing plays a big part. The very same woman dressed in different guises (let's say, elegant, sporty, casual & slutty, for example) could be the hottest thing ever in one outfit & a total no-no in another, quite simply because people choose partners for more than just secondary sexual characteristics alone, and clothing is one of the main ways for people to signal their broader cultural or lifestyle choices & aspirations (at least on a first-impressions or across-a-crowded-room basis).
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:35 PM on July 31, 2008


"Heels aren't sexy." "Big tits aren't attractive." "That's just slutty, not appealing."

I love how you put big tits in this list, since it's the only thing that isn't optional. While I appreciate your appreciation of all things round and bouncy, I find myself a bit annoyed that one's body parts can be added to the list of sexual arsenal. Trust me, it's entirely accidental - we didn't grow these puppies for you.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 12:43 AM on August 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


They say all that flying in the face of millions of years of evolution and centuries of fashion that play up those very same characteristics. Slutty IS appealing, big tits/small waists/round cabooses ARE attractive and heels ARE sexy for the vast majority of males, or these traits/enhancements simply wouldn't be so prevalent.

This is simply wrong. As recently as the '20s women were binding their breasts to be fashionable (think flappers). Pre-Bollywood India fetishized the corpulent as a symbol of wealth, as did the Nauru of the Pacific, the Azande of Africa and the Chinese at various period, notably the Tang Dynasty. Closer to home, a l908 article in Harpers Bazaar (US) advised readers on "how to get plump," saying "fat is force and stored up fat is stored up force."

Ideal Body Image is fashion, plain, simple and transitory.
posted by Sparx at 1:16 AM on August 1, 2008


I'd heard that Brazilian women used to have breast reduction surgery to meet Brazilian aesthetic standards.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:43 AM on August 1, 2008


Pre-Bollywood India fetishized the corpulent as a symbol of wealth

Pre-Bollywood?!?? Nothing has changed. Bollywood starlets themselves are typically rather bouncy.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:54 AM on August 1, 2008


I like heels, even though they've flecked my feet with battle scars. However, I find the assumption that women wear heels because men like them hilarious, as shit like this makes me want to chuck everything but my $2 Target flipflops. *shudder*

Do whatever you like. I'm only going to care if it looks as if you are damaging yourself or are likely to break your ankle. And that above post boiled down to the statement "If the wearer can't move easily and comfortably in them then I don't find they make the wearer more attractive. Here are the normal ways they, to my eyes, fail. And often doing things badly is worse than not doing them at all."

Out of curiousity, are you objecting to the fact that I've noticed what I find sexy, that I've analysed it (and most of my other preferences) in great detail, or that I'm prepared to say so?

I find myself a bit annoyed that one's body parts can be added to the list of sexual arsenal. Trust me, it's entirely accidental - we didn't grow these puppies for you.

At an individual or a gender-level? Massive sexual dimorphism in terms of breast size is rare in the animal kingdom, and lumps of fatty tissue there are certainly not necessary for the body's effectiveness. This leads at least some evolutionary psychologists (a field I find riddled with the post-hoc ergo propter-hoc fallacy so haven't bothered to learn in much detail) to believe that they are a secondary sexual characteristic.

Or in short, one theory that explains why women have breasts of a more than necessary size is that they are for the purposes of attracting a mate. That, of course, doesn't mean that you in specific grew them for that purpose. And (other than in cases of breast surgery) judging someone's personality by their cup size is simply wrong. But cup sizes larger than those necessary for milk production were probably evolved as a part of the sexual arsenal.
posted by Francis at 3:10 AM on August 1, 2008


The much more interesting question, I think, is for whom are those skirts and heels worn? The default expectation here seems to be that it is for men, but I think that underestimates the importance of gynosocial expectations and performance

but socio-biologically they're the gender that get to do the "choosing." And women know that showing off sexual characteristics brings the men. It all comes down to telegraphing "I'm a desireable mate, and more desireable than the other females."

Massive sexual dimorphism in terms of breast size is rare in the animal kingdom, and lumps of fatty tissue there are certainly not necessary for the body's effectiveness. This leads at least some evolutionary psychologists (a field I find riddled with the post-hoc ergo propter-hoc fallacy so haven't bothered to learn in much detail) to believe that they are a secondary sexual characteristic.

ugh. I hate it when it gets to this point in the conversation.

1. We're right here. We're not baffling exotic lab animals; we're people, about 50% of the population. And we're right here. You don't usually stand around in conversational groups talking about the physical characteristics of one of the people in the group, or evolutionary theories regarding why he wears socks with sandals, wondering why he has a third nipple, and evaluating the size and significance of his penis.

Or do you?
posted by taz at 8:06 AM on August 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


You don't usually stand around in conversational groups talking about the physical characteristics of one of the people in the group, or evolutionary theories regarding why he wears socks with sandals, wondering why he has a third nipple, and evaluating the size and significance of his penis.

Not unless that person has specifically brought it up first. But once it has been put on the table, I'll either discuss it, change the topic, or leave the conversation. If someone says they have a third nipple in the middle of a conversation they IMO obviously want it talked about unless they specifically say otherwise (in which case I wonder why they brought it up at all).

Primary rather than secondary sexual characteristics being discussed would probably cause me to either leave or freeze the conversation.
posted by Francis at 9:04 AM on August 1, 2008


This is simply wrong. As recently as the '20s women were binding their breasts to be fashionable (think flappers).

You're right, Sparx. And in parts of Africa very large (read: fat) women are considered desireable, etc etc. I didn't mean to come across as definitive in my list; I just wanted to put the lie to the rampant "OMG heels look teh awful!" to most of the detractors here.
posted by illiad at 9:19 AM on August 1, 2008


At an individual or a gender-level? Massive sexual dimorphism in terms of breast size is rare in the animal kingdom, and lumps of fatty tissue there are certainly not necessary for the body's effectiveness. This leads at least some evolutionary psychologists (a field I find riddled with the post-hoc ergo propter-hoc fallacy so haven't bothered to learn in much detail) to believe that they are a secondary sexual characteristic.

Try wearing these puppies for a while and you'll understand that you did not get what I was trying to say. Adding tits to a discussion over shoes just illustrates the idiotic nature of the fetish. I might pick my shoes for effect, but the effect my tits have over other people is nothing I chose. Regardless of how they evolved ( and I love how men attempt to take credit even for our anatomy) they are not worn for you. They are not a thing to be complimented or critiqued like a jacket.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 10:13 AM on August 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


One thing I'd like to address...

Could people PLEASE stop talking about "big tits" being there only for the purpose of looking like a whore to attract men???? Because that fucking pisses me off. That's really no different for some of us than if people were saying, "Bald guys are impotent" or "Blue eyed people suck at math." Some of us really cannot HELP what our bodies are, it's how we were born, and that does not indicate our sexual behavior or any other inherent quality of our nature. They are two mounds of fat that are attached to our bodies and we had NOTHING to do with their size. It seriously, seriously, seriously makes me want to slap people very hard when I hear those blanket statements. It actually made me go to a doctor a few times to look into getting them reduced, solely because I was uncomfortable with the projected judgments that come with them. (Mine didn't show up until I was about 18-19. They weren't expected and the attention they drew was very unwanted.)

Speaking for myself, I cannot help the fact that I am buxom so do not project your ridiculous sexual perceptions upon people like me just because we are. WE are people who did not purchase our jugs. We did not add them on to attract men or feel more like a woman. We did not have some kind of secret witchcraft ceremony to summon them so that we could get you into bed. They just showed up, and they're who we are. And frankly, there's a Hell of a lot of you we REALLY REALLY don't want in our beds. We also don't want you walking up to us, never having met us before, staring at our chests. We also do not want you thinking you have the right to walk up to us in the grocery store to tell us what big tits we have -- it's not going to make us want to be naked with you, on the contrary, it's going to make us feel really, really icky.

So please... quit flattering yourselves and implying that those two mounds of fat alone immediately imply that we're sluts on display for you... quit thinking you're so superior and can judge people and label them when you don't know anything about them. The slut in the room could very very very easily be the girl standing next to us in the tight jeans and a t-shirt... despite being flat chested, she may very well be a nymphomaniac who sleeps with anything that moves. You don't want to miss that, do you? So go bug her and quit staring at us just because we're stacked.

Okay, end of topic. Thanks for listening.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:29 AM on August 1, 2008 [5 favorites]


You're being massively disingenuous, and almost trollish, to complain that a thread about beauty would include comments about beauty.

illiad - there's more to being a desirable mate than dressing like a tramp.

Ubu, the irony of you calling someone else a disingenuous troll wasn't enough. You had to twist the knife by demonstrating how "comments about beauty" can be chock-full of fucked-up value judgments.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:37 AM on August 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Bless you, miss lynnster - I will join your army.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 10:42 AM on August 1, 2008


Slutty IS appealing, big tits/small waists/round cabooses ARE attractive and heels ARE sexy for the vast majority of males, or these traits/enhancements simply wouldn't be so prevalent.

Jesus. If I were this ignorant (and/or myopic) about history, fashion, and evolution and what it can tell us about what body types are attractive to which culture in which century, I wouldn't be so quick to announce it.
posted by rtha at 10:55 AM on August 1, 2008


Speaking for myself, I cannot help the fact that I am buxom so do not project your ridiculous sexual perceptions upon people like me just because we are.

Good heavens, would you relax? I'm not projecting anything, just pointing out how the majority of straight males act around big-breasted women/women in heels/women who dress provocatively. Nowhere did I equate women with "large bazongas" with slutty behaviour. For fuck's sakes.

rtha: Jeez, if I knew I was so ignorant about it, do you think I'd be flaunting it? Kinda silly. But heck, thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt.
posted by illiad at 12:22 PM on August 1, 2008


I'm not projecting anything, just pointing out how the majority of straight males act around big-breasted women/women in heels/women who dress provocatively. Nowhere did I equate women with "large bazongas" with slutty behaviour.

Wow, you're thick. You. just. did. Right now. I even made it bold so you can find it easier. You just equated big boobs to women in heels to "slutty behavior" (whatever the fuck that is). It's so fucking entrenched that you don't even know your doing it - believe me though, women know your doing it, and it sucks.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 2:28 PM on August 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


grrr...can't type when I'm annoyed...sorry.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 2:29 PM on August 1, 2008


I suppose you could misunderstand "/" to be an "=", but beyond that you've got nothing. I'm getting the distinct impression you're just looking for someone to crap all over for whatever rough time you've had as a woman. So go ahead, crap all over me for something you think I did, even if I didn't do it, or mean to do it. It's no skin off my nose and it seems to assuage your bile. I'm okay with that.
posted by illiad at 2:45 PM on August 1, 2008


Good heavens, would you relax? I'm not projecting anything, just pointing out how the majority of straight males act around big-breasted women/women in heels/women who dress provocatively. Nowhere did I equate women with "large bazongas" with slutty behaviour. For fuck's sakes.

Huh. Why on Earth would you believe that I was only speaking to you? I was directing the issue and the exact judgment that you were pointing out. Because there are many men (and women) who DO make those judgments.

As someone who apparently has nothing whatsoever to do with this issue, having declared yourself innocent of being either a male gawker or a female gawkee, I'm wondering why you would get so uptight? Perhaps it's you who should relax if it's not even a social phenomenon that involves you, according to you.

P.S. -- Typing "large bazongas" doesn't exactly help the case of anyone claiming to have respect for women, btw.
posted by miss lynnster at 3:09 PM on August 1, 2008


> Try wearing these puppies for a while and you'll understand that you did not get what I was trying to say.

Oh, I got what you were trying to say. But like it or not, contrary to your assertions, breasts are part of the sexual arsenal. They are simply a part you were born with rather than one you chose. Being annoyed about breasts being added to the sexual arsenal makes no sense at all - although being annoyed about the emphasis placed on them is something I sympathise with.

> > I'm not projecting anything, just pointing out how the majority of straight males act around
> > big-breasted women/women in heels/women who dress provocatively. Nowhere did I
> > equate women with "large bazongas" with slutty behaviour.
>
> Wow, you're thick. You. just. did. Right now. I even made it bold so you can find it easier.

Not by my reading. He's saying that the three patterns are alike on one axis - one he mentioned, you quoted, and I have made italic so you can find it more easily. All three of them have a distinct sexual impact on many males. In that way they are alike. This does not mean they are entirely alike, merely that they have at least one overlapping characteristic and one that is explicitely mentioned into the sentence.

If you chose to ignore the context a statement is placed in then that's your own issue. But to then call the person who made the statement thick simply because you have chosen to ignore an important clause is throwing stones from a glass house.

> believe me though, women know your doing it, and it sucks.

Extrapolating a statement beyond what was written and into whatever prejudices the reader wishes to project onto the other person? It's not just women who 'know' people are saying things that were never said and were deliberately counteracted in the statement. And such misreadings based on bad faith do suck.
posted by Francis at 3:13 PM on August 1, 2008


PeterMcDermott:
I was agreeing w/ you but trying to figure out why you sounded so grumpy about the whole thing.

Are you okay? You seem to have some kind of thing going on with your knee.
posted by batmonkey at 3:21 PM on August 1, 2008


I feel like it's painfully obvious that the source of offense here is the negative terminology of "slutty" and "tramp" and "bazongas" being used alongside more value-neutral qualities as "wearing high heels," "large-breasted" and the sort of value neutral but still super-irritating to me personally "women who dress provocatively" and "sexual arsenal." Weaponized sexuality. Awesome. *EYE ROLL*

Using those words poisons the well, whether they're explicitly equated with these appearance issues or not. The appearance of "being slutty" does not need to enter this argument, which is a blessing, because at best, its a condemnation of taste, and at worst, its a veiled slur against women who enjoy sex.

I tend to think people who deliberately present and deride euphemistic assessments of women's bodies out into the open- "And in parts of Africa very large (read: fat) women" - are the ones likely to pretend their later PC word choices effectively conceal harsher, judgmental meanings.

It seems to me the women in this part of the thread are saying with one voice that being large-breasted, wearing heels, short skirts, etc. are traits often conflated with something BAD, sluttiness. It would be a more productive result to that hurt to simply state that you don't think this is true, rather than complain that you're being unfairly picked on by combative women.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:50 PM on August 1, 2008 [4 favorites]


They say all that flying in the face of millions of years of evolution and centuries of fashion that play up those very same characteristics. Slutty IS appealing, big tits/small waists/round cabooses ARE attractive and heels ARE sexy for the vast majority of males,

Sorry Iliad, This was the original claim, and those arguing against it have the righteousness.

If you were to argue that there have been - over time - very different ideals of beauty and the current one holds some sway in both male and female mindsets as we can see in pictures in magazines, and TV and the net, which create expectations, both male and female, for what the Ideal Body Image is, then I'd have to agree with you.

I'm not projecting anything, just pointing out how the majority of straight males act around big-breasted women/women

Possibly true. But a different claim.

somebody else said: As a leg man, I can only get serious about girls who look good and move gracefully in high heels.

I can't understand this. I like the song Jessamyn introduced me to, IYKWIMAITYD but my last gf had none but was just awesome anyway.

Anyhow I have shared too much.
posted by Sparx at 4:34 PM on August 1, 2008


BTW, I have a hot date tonight. Yep, me AND my big breasts. All three of us. And I will be wearing high heels. And possibly a form-fitting dress. But, funny enough, none of that will be done to attract men... see, cuz I'll already be with one and he actually likes me in jeans. Thing is, I just don't feel like wearing jeans tonight, nor do I feel like shamefully hiding the feminine wiles that I was born with. Why should I? Life is short and I'll be on a hot date.

So I shall dress like a girly girl tonight, and I will be comfortable in my skin. And anyone who sees me out tonight and decides to feel superior by making blanketed moral judgment calls based upon my bazongas, my heels, or my outfit from afar? Can suck it.

Perhaps some individuals would be better served by spending quality time looking in the mirror and considering their own reflection instead of morally judging people (who aren't even interested in you) solely for the crime of appearing attractive to the opposite sex. Just sayin'.

When big boobs are a crime... only criminals will... oh, nevermind.
posted by miss lynnster at 4:49 PM on August 1, 2008


It seems to me the women in this part of the thread are saying with one voice that being large-breasted, wearing heels, short skirts, etc. are traits often conflated with something BAD, sluttiness. It would be a more productive result to that hurt to simply state that you don't think this is true, rather than complain that you're being unfairly picked on by combative women.

And I don't recall having objected when they say that they are sometimes (or even often) conflated. However when they pick case studies which I either know or read as being untrue then I start wondering exactly how much of the rest of what they are complaining about is caused by their misunderstandings.

And to fire what should hopefully be my final salvo on the weaponised body parts issue: It is hardwired into most women that they grow lumps of fat round the mammary glands to produce breasts. It is hardwired into most men that they find breasts sexually attractive. And this is probably the purpose of the additional fat. All pretty well supported, so denying any of that is counterproductive.

On the other hand is not hardwired into women to deliberately draw attention to those lumps of fat. Doing so falls under a type of behaviour that is generally frowned on and often called slutty or tarty - and it is easier to draw such attention (both deliberately and accidently) if you have bigger lumps to draw it with. And it certainly isn't hardwired into men that they must focus their attention on those lumps of fat, and doing so when the owner of those lumps of fat doesn't want you to is simply obnoxious (and is usually either slimy or creepy).
posted by Francis at 4:56 PM on August 1, 2008


On the other hand is not hardwired into women to deliberately draw attention to those lumps of fat. Doing so falls under a type of behaviour that is generally frowned on and often called slutty or tarty - and it is easier to draw such attention (both deliberately and accidently) if you have bigger lumps to draw it with.

Actually, if you want to go on about hardwiring... human beings were originally walking around butt naked but funny thing... nobody calls those women slutty for it.

Sometimes judgments say more about the issues of the person making them than the person being judged. A lot of times, actually.
posted by miss lynnster at 5:16 PM on August 1, 2008


And it certainly isn't hardwired into men that they must focus their attention on those lumps of fat, and doing so when the owner of those lumps of fat doesn't want you to is simply obnoxious (and is usually either slimy or creepy).

I think repeatedly calling breasts "lumps of fat" and women "owners of those lumps of fat" is a lot more obnoxious and creepy than just looking at the damn things.
posted by Forktine at 5:26 PM on August 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Actually, if you want to go on about hardwiring... human beings were originally walking around butt naked but funny thing... nobody calls those women slutty for it.

In the tropics, yes. You can try doing it in Scotland if you like - but I really wouldn't recommend it. And a complete absence of clothing doesn't really accentuate anything.
posted by Francis at 5:28 PM on August 1, 2008


I think repeatedly calling breasts "lumps of fat" and women "owners of those lumps of fat" is a lot more obnoxious and creepy than just looking at the damn things.

That was meant to be a tongue in cheek reflection back to this post where Miss Lynnster implies that they are simply mounds of fat attached to her body. I should have known better than to attempt such humour in this discussion.
posted by Francis at 5:35 PM on August 1, 2008


It is hardwired into most men that they find breasts sexually attractive.

On the other hand is not hardwired into women to deliberately draw attention to those lumps of fat.


Your idea of reproductive biology posits men as sexual agents and women as sexually passive. That's fucked up. All people are "hard wired" to draw attention to their attractiveness as well as to be attracted.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:37 PM on August 1, 2008 [4 favorites]


human beings were originally walking around butt naked

Also, looking through that gallery, I was really struck by how the men weren't actually fully naked. Instead, they were wearing a string around their waists, to which they tied their foreskins. You can see it here (nsfw, obviously, unless your workplace makes penis-tying string for export to the Amazon).

It's a good example of how even the most minimal attire draws the eye, whatever we might want to say about hardwiring.
posted by Forktine at 5:38 PM on August 1, 2008


If you chose to ignore the context a statement is placed in then that's your own issue. But to then call the person who made the statement thick simply because you have chosen to ignore an important clause is throwing stones from a glass house.

I utterly, emphatically, strenuously disagree with you. In fact...I'm incredibly fucking angry. But you don't get it. The person I was replying to doesn't get it, and I'm really, really, really tired of having had to explain it for almost 30 years.

So, how about this - you give me the benefit of the doubt for having a good reason for being offended - and I go away and join a thread that doesn't give me a stroke - and you can all go on talking about gazongas and heels.

Fair? great.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 5:41 PM on August 1, 2008


Your idea of reproductive biology posits men as sexual agents and women as sexually passive. That's fucked up. All people are "hard wired" to draw attention to their attractiveness as well as to be attracted.

Nonsense - it makes an action/reaction split that in this specific example goes the way you indicate. All people are hard-wired to want to draw attention to their attractiveness - but it is their own choice whether to act to draw such attention and their own choice whether to act in the cases where they are attracted. Desires are largely hard-coded. Actions seldom are.
posted by Francis at 6:07 PM on August 1, 2008


lumps of fat

Is it wrong to think, upon seeing that phrase, "Mmmm, a BLT would be good right now" ?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:32 PM on August 1, 2008


Ubu, the irony of you calling someone else a disingenuous troll wasn't enough. You had to twist the knife by demonstrating how "comments about beauty" can be chock-full of fucked-up value judgments.

Fair enough point, AV, but I was trying for different rhetoric for different points. The tramp comment was intended to have shock value, and was putting a strawman into illiad's mouth. You're right about the contradiction, though, and the trollishness of the tramp thing.

In other news, there was a woman at the pub last night in a classic & unrevealing 60's kind of twinset, but in high black patent stilettos & those patterned-down-the-calf stockings, and I completely take back the claim that guys don't get hot under the collar about such shoes. Every single one was taking every chance possible to have a subtle (or not so subtle) ogle.

Still, it won't be the last time I'm completely wrong about something.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:39 PM on August 1, 2008


I don't know whether or not I'm a breast man, but give me an ice cream scoop and a can of crisco, and I can ogle some fat lumps all day. I kid
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:30 AM on August 2, 2008


I had a lovely date by the way. Only bad part is that I now have a huge blister on one of my toes from my high heeled shoes. But hey, what price victory? The pain's totally worth it since I was able to lure yet another poor innocent male victim into my evil web of femininity. Heh heh heh. Sucker. I'm sure he's quite upset about it all, too.

Although probably not. My feet do hurt, though.
posted by miss lynnster at 2:48 PM on August 2, 2008


^^this is how women actually think.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:00 PM on August 2, 2008


Yes. You got it! I'm every woman. It's all in me. I can read your thoughts right now. Every woman, whoever made ya say... Whoa whoa whoa.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:00 PM on August 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


If you can read thoughts too, I won't need to write *mashallah* for your successful hunting.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:14 PM on August 3, 2008


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