Let me preface this post. I love high heels. I own a closet full, I’m not lying…my flats are shoved under the bed so that my heels can have the space they need. There’s something about putting on a pair of heels, they just make you feel good. You can conquer anything, you feel pretty, nay, sexy wearing them! I could go on and on for days about heels. So I’ll stop myself.
What I don’t agree with are some extremely antiquated rules still floating around out there. Below is a prime example regarding uniforms in the work place.
U.K. Unions dig on heels.
The week of September 16, 2009 the above line was a headline on MSNBC.com. At a large union convention in the U.K. all unions and their members are gathering to express their opinions on possible changes in a variety of topics concerning work. One of the topics that arose is how women in certain job sectors are being forced to wear high heels at work. Medical studies have proven time and time again that wearing heels constantly for long periods of time is detrimental to woman’s physical health, causing lower back pain, and even pinched nerves. There is now a movement in the U.K. to ban laws within businesses or companies requiring women to wear heeled shoes. I find it shocking that in the 21st century there are still antiquated laws out there requiring women to wear high heels. It is a fine line, yes many women enjoy wearing heels from time to time. However it is ridiculous that organizations are still playing into the old stereo types that women should wear heels to work, it’s like saying men should be in a full suit when they are at the office, including hat and polished shoes. It’s just not the way western society works any more. With a substantial amount of people working from home for part of the week if not full time why are women in some corporations still required to fit into that role of the ‘secretarial look’.
I thought as a western society we had grown out of this phase of life. Forcing a sex, or race to do certain things. To me this is no different than in the 1950’s and 1960’s when segregation was running rampant in America; when African Americans weren’t allowed to use the same water fountain or toilet as white Americans. The fact that this is just coming up for debate in 2009 is shocking. Especially in the U.K. which today is much more forward thinking and liberal then the United States has been over the past decade. I hope that the outcome of this protest was positive and that the unions enforce a law forbidding companies and businesses to require women or men for that matter to partake in any sort of fashion that would be harmful to their health and well being.
Personally I love high heels and I wear them often, this is by choice. I love how they make me feel, empowered, and sexy. Yes this is buying into a stereotype but there are days when I just want to lace up my sneakers and not have to worry about teetering around four inches taller than I truly am. What makes this situation wonderful is that I get to choose when and where I wear high heels. It isn’t being forced upon me. As I say often, I hope with the upcoming generation entering the work force more things will start to change and we will create and equal playing field where men and women are not seen for what sex they are but for who they are. Judged on positive personality traits and characteristics then what they choose to wear to the work place.
In months since then the UK unions are taking action to make it illegal for companies to require women to wear high heels at work. The strange thing is the way the press has taken hold of the problem now it sounds as if the UK unions want to ban high heels altogether, putting the fashion industry in an uproar. This is not what the union is trying to do. They are simply making it illegal to require women to wear heels at work. If they prefer to wear heels they are welcomed to.
Here’s the website with the video link: http://www.videonewslive.com/view/374676/video_unions_dig_in_on_stilettos