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 First they came for the stilettos1…
  Just before Christmas the media were agog with an allegedly brand-new trend: women throwing away their high heels in the wake of the flurry of revelations of entertainment-industry sexual harassment.2 The idea wasn’t simply that women can run faster to escape from Hollywood predators if they’re wearing Allbirds Wool Runner sneakers instead of four-inch Jimmy Choos.3 It was that flat-heeled shoes enable women to “reclaim control,”presumably from men in general. “Ditching heels can be a way to show that they value their own well-being over men’s desires,” Business Insider’s Kate Taylor wrote.
  Taylor’s article, like many a piece of reporting produced in this pre-Yule anti-high-heel frenzy, featured photos aimed at proving that flat shoes can be glamorous, too: Gal Gadot in an evening gown and gold thong sandals(as if Gadot wouldn’t look good with her feet wrapped in cleaning rags) and some exceptionally ugly furry and wooden-soled Puma slides said to be favored by Rihanna.4 There was also the obligatory much-mocked photo of that princess of political incorrectness, Melania Trump, her feet clad in black patent-leather five-inch pumps as she boarded Air Force One with her presidential husband this past summer to visit Hurricane Harvey-ravaged Texas (never mind that Melania switched into more practical sneakers before she got off the plane).5
  In a similar vein, New York Times fashion reporter Bonnie Wertheim published a December 16 article, “Are High Heels Headed for a Tumble?,” that included photos of still more politically correct (and certifiably hideous6)“comfort shoes” that are supposed to replace the high heel in this sexism-alert age: Crocs (yes, they’re still around), Dansko clogs (for just $135 you, too, can look like a medieval peasant), and Birkenstocks (you have to be Heidi Klum to get away with cork-rimmed hippie sandals that make your Size 10 feet look like Size 15’s).7 Wertheim quoted Northwestern University psychology professor Renée Engeln: “Why do the things we do for ourselves have to hurt? Why do the shoes we choose for ourselves make us less able to run away if we need to run away?…Why do the things that we do supposedly for ourselves cause us long-term physiological damage?”
  And as if that campaign against actual stilettos weren’t enough, Florie Hutchinson, a self-described arts publicist in Palo Alto, California, has a campaign against stiletto emojis. Incensed not just at the teetering heel height on the virtual shoe that pops up on smartphones but at its “vixen-ish” bright red color, Hutchinson has asked the Unicode Consortium,8 the nonprofit that approves standardized emojis across platforms, to substitute a ballet flat instead. “The high-heeled stiletto is highly suggestive,” she wrote. “[Stilettos are] most often associated with fetishism and seduction” Hutchinson complained to the media that the stiletto emoji promotes a “sexualized” image of women that could negatively influence her three young daughters.

 If the point of all of this were solicitude9 for women’s comfort, it might make sense. There’s no doubt that wearing ultra-high heels day in and day out for extended periods of time can damage not just your feet but your kneecaps and the muscles in your calves as well.10 A 2012 article in the Journal of Applied Physiology reported that the long-term wearing of even two-inch heels (“kitten”-height) for forty hours a week could lead to muscle fatigue and greater risk of strain injuries11. And that’s not to mention the pain of standing in four-inch heels for a couple of hours at that wedding reception. If you’re a chef or a surgeon or a scrub nurse12 who’s required to spend extended time on your feet, a pair of Danskos is obviously preferable to a pair of Christian Louboutins13. Still, most office jobs for women—the kinds of jobs where a pair of modestly high-heeled pumps might be de rigueur14 for a professional appearance—don’t require a huge amount of standing, and there are entire brands of shoes that specialize in dress pumps designed for maximum workday comfort. Contrary to what the photos in the recent anti-high heels media flurry suggest, women don’t really have to choose between spikes15 and Crocs when it comes to buying footwear.
  The real goal of the war against high heels seems to be to make wearing them—or being required to wear them at workplaces—socially unacceptable. Hence the periodic declarations in the media that high heels have gone out of style (women are “ditching” them!) and Birkenstocks are in. Or the fanciful pronunciamentos from social scientists that wearing running shoes could help you flee the Harvey Weinsteins in your life.16 There has also been a flurry of antihigh heel legislative bills that would ban employers from mandating17 dress codes for their female employees that include even two-inch heels. British Columbia now has such a law, and Ontario is considering one—although the British Parliament recently rejected such an effort.
  The most serious obstacle to the anti-high heel campaign—and the reason that high heels keep returning to the fashion and office scene, as they did even during the early 2000s, when it was said that women wearing flats descended the burning towers of 9/11 faster than their sisters in heels—isn’t a male patriarchy leering at the hobbled gait of stilettoed females.18 It’s women themselves. Studies in journals of evolutionary psychology indicate that members of both sexes simply find women wearing high heels more attractive than women in flats. The heel height not only creates an illusion of longer, slimmer legs but changes her walking style and the tilt of her hips. As a 2015 article in Psychology Today explained, “What these shoes do is make women walk even more like women.”And the women who wear high heels regularly know that, and they’re obviously willing to put up with a certain amount of discomfort to get that effect. It’s going to take more than a ballet flat emoji or a breathless article in the New York Times to persuade women to stop wanting to look and feel like women.

  假如这一切都仅仅出于对女性舒适与否的关心,那情有可原。毫无疑问,常常性地整天穿戴恨天高不只会对脚形成损害,膝盖骨和小腿肚的肌肉也会遭到影响。2012年宣布在《使用生理学杂志》的一篇文章就指出,哪怕穿戴只要两英寸高的高跟鞋(小猫跟),一周穿40个小时,也会引起肌肉疲劳并添加肌肉拉伤的危险。更别提在婚宴上穿戴四英寸高的高跟鞋站好几个小时的那种苦楚。假如你是一个像厨师、外科医生或许助理护理那种需求长时刻站立作业的人,很明显,比较于名牌高跟鞋,平底鞋是一个更好的挑选。不过,大部分女性从事的办公室作业——便是那种因为交际礼仪,穿恰当高度的高跟鞋会显得更作业的作业—— 一般不会要求长时刻的站立,而且还有许多鞋的品牌会为了最大极限的舒适作业体会而专门规划作业高跟鞋。与最近的反高跟风云报导中的相片所显现的观念相反,女性在买鞋时并不是只要高跟鞋和洞洞鞋这两种挑选。
  1. stiletto: // 细跟高跟鞋。
  2. agog: 振奋等待的,急于了解的;flurry:骚乱,不安。
  3. Allbirds: 美国闻名运动鞋品牌,Wool Runner sneaker指其系带运动鞋款;Jimmy Choos:吉米·周,是闻名高跟鞋品牌。
  4. pre-Yule: 圣诞节之前;Gal Gadot:盖尔·加朵,以色列女艺人、模特,在《速度与热情4》中出演了人物Gisele;thong: 人字拖鞋;sole:鞋底;Rihanna: 蕾哈娜,美国女歌手,曾多次取得格莱美奖。
  5. obligatory: 责任的;patent-leather:漆皮的;pump: 浅口高跟鞋。
  6. hideous: 可怕的,丑恶的。
  7. Crocs: 闻名鞋类品牌,以洞洞鞋著称;Dansko: 邓肯,闻名鞋类品牌;clog: 木底鞋;Birkenstocks: 勃肯鞋,闻名鞋类品牌,以双条拖鞋著称;Heidi Klum: 海蒂·克鲁姆,德国模特、艺人;cork-rimmed: 软木边的。
  8. incensed at: 被……激怒;vixenish:凶横的,桀的;consortium: 联盟,联合企业。
  9. solicitude: 关心,挂念。
  10. day in and day out: 废寝忘食地;calf(复数calves): 小腿肚。
  11. strain injury: 肌肉拉伤。
  12. scrub nurse: 助理护理。
  13. Christian Louboutins: 闻名高跟鞋品牌,以赤色鞋底为特征。
  14. de rigueur: 法语,指礼节需求的。
  15. spike: 本意为长钉,可用来指代高跟鞋。
  16. pronunciamentos: ,指宣言,声明;Harvey Weinstein:哈维·韦恩斯坦,美国电影制作人,2017年年末爆出大规模性骚扰丑闻。
  17. mandate: 规则,公布。
  18. patriarchy: 父权社会;leer at: 色眯眯地审察;hobbled: 踉跄的;gait: 脚步。 勃肯涼鞋

作者:By Charlotte Allen

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