Let’s say you’re a lady, working in the business world. You want to get ahead but doing so by conventional means like working hard is such hard work and we live in a patriarchal society that will always value the penis over performance. Just what’s a girl to do? The Wall Street Journal suggests putting on a pair of stilettos, because “high heels indicate power,” so much so that you might even morph into a man.
But it’s not just the added height that’ll get you to the top of our next bonus bumper. It’s that high heels offer an “inherent contradiction” (am I tall or am I short, I do not know). According to the Journal, ‘lettos “make us more fragile, but conquering them to stride alongside men in their sensible flats creates mystique.” This is not a joke—men will marvel—yes marvel— at the fact that you can walk just as fast as them—if not faster— in those things. Some—the ones who believe that hobbits are real—will scratch their heads and say, “She must have magic feet.” Ca-ching.
Kristen Bentz, who worked at Lehman Brothers for several years, recalls a senior executive stepping into an elevator, staring at her chocolate-brown crocodile four-inch pointy-toe pumps and asking, “Where do the toes go?” He was confused, scared and turned on. Ca-ching. (What he—Dick Fuld, one presumes—didn’t know, was that Ms. Bentz does not in fact have toes).
At the insurance brokerage where Darla Brunner works in Los Angeles, high heels were once unacceptable due to their “alluring” connotations. One might have even referred to them as a “distraction.” But, Ms. Brunner says, with what one can only assume was a devilish laugh, “in this day and age when it is more accepted that females are capable in the business world, those same high heels now command more business respect." You see how that works? Yesterday, when women were dumb and incapable, heels were inappropriate, probably because the girls were so incompetent that they’d be all, “I’m at the office but I’m wearing ‘come fuck me’ shoes so does that mean I can blow of this model that I haven’t the slightest idea of how to do anyway and go nail some dudes in the handicapped bathroom? I don’t know I’m so confused, would someone please tell me what to do?” Today, women are smart, so they know that the answer is yes, “come fuck me” shoes at the office are still “come fuck me” shoes and it would be insulting to the shoes to not use them as properly directed. And men will respect you for it.
Susan Dresner spent the past several months recovery from foot surgery because she wore Charles Jourdan heels all day. But did a few hours under the knife and countless weeks in physical therapy turn her off to the risers? Hell no. Those things paid for her last vacation to Cozumel and she’ll be damned if anyone’s going to take them away from her, podiatrist or otherwise.
And speaking of foot physicians, Dr. Robertozzi just doesn’t seem to get it. He, the Journal intuits, is “immune to the magic power of the heel,” and quotes him as saying “It throws out your back. Your butt's going one way and your stomach's going the other way.” Or maybe he does get it.
Bottom line: when addressing the board of directors, “There is simply nothing that makes you—[or your bank account, or job title]—feel better than walking…in a pair of very high heels."
Then again, you could, alternatively, save yourself a lifetime of blisters and looking like Medusa (pictured above, right) and just fuck a few well-placed men and go on about your day. But this tactic is funner!
Heelpolitik: The Power of the Stiletto [WSJ]