I know a woman who owns a pair of ‘kinky boots’.
As you might expect, the kinky boots are black, PVC and thigh-high with seven-inch heels.
When she turns up at her fella’s house in her kinky boots, he knows they are ‘ON’.
She cannot walk in the kinky boots, or drive in the kinky boots, so she pulls them on once she’s parked outside his place.
She does not wear the kinky boots to work or to the shops, or even out with her mates because they are not footwear, they are sex accessories – and very effective ones from what I gather.
(I would like to make it clear that, unfortunately for Gwyneth, this woman is not secretly me. I am married with kids. I wear slippers. If Gwyneth and I are ‘ON’ it is because we have saved up for and planned for an incredibly long time, a night in a hotel on our own where we try really hard not to fall asleep for twelve straight hours).
I do like a heel though.
At 5ft 2″ tall, a couple of extra inches is welcome when standing up at a party and not wanting to be bollock-height to all the tall fellas.
At 5ft 2″ and a smidge plumpish, a heel works wonders on the legs and the gait, making one feel elevated not just in height, but in mood. I wear them like a costume; a party costume.
When I was seventeen, I got a job in a bar in the small market town near my village. The joint was new and had aspirations of drawing a trendy-yuppy clientele. (It was 1990).
My uniform was a crisp white shirt, black cigarette pants and a white lap-apron (not French maidish, more French waiterish). It was practical, durable and I was happy to wear it for the arduous twelve-hour shifts where I would serve food and work behind the bar.
On my first day, the manager (old enough to be my Dad) said I looked like a dyke.
He said I needed a red lip.
He said I needed some ‘heels for fucks sake – so you look like a woman’.
He said the punters needed something nice to look at.
What did I do in the face of this degrading misogyny ?
I got in my car, drove the five miles back to my house, put on some red lippy and some heels and drove back to work.
For the next five weeks, I was sexually harassed more than at any other time in my life. Even more than when I worked in catering for big events like weddings (where the rate of drunken lecherous uncles is exceptionally high in my experience).
As you can see, I’ve never forgotten the words of that manager. For years afterwards I rejected any job which required me to wear heels. These included: in a bank (not in a customer service position, just in the office), admin assistant for an accountancy firm, hotel bar staff and as a receptionist at a swimming pool.
I was not making a stand (ahem), or a point of principle. I was genuinely so upset by my experiences in that bar, that the thought of attracting the same attention at work was too awful to contemplate.
In short (sorry), heels tend to sexualise us gals. They shouldn’t, but they do.
In the privacy of your own home, or sex-club, or wherever, this sexual biz is exactly what you’re after. And hooray for that.
And at a party, if you want to, it’s kinda nice to feel sexy, a bit out of your ordinary.
But at work? That is where we want to be WORKY, not sexy.
Also, Piers Morgan (you’re having quite the week misogyny-wise, aren’t you?) I totally agree that fellas shouldn’t be forced to wear that oppressive symbol of matriarchy – the tie. Do please share your stories of all the times you’ve been sexually harassed to the point of tears, groped and stroked and flicked (yep – one customer at that bar had a thing about flicking my nipple as I walked by), roared at and goaded and sexually interrogated because you were wearing a tie.
C’mon Piers, let’s have a balanced debate!