Poem: High Heeled Bondage (haiku in 11 variations)

https://www.siue.edu/COSTUMES/PLATE60DX.HTML

(This poem is dedicated to feminists, both male and female):

1)

How did it begin?

Was it Benjamin Franklin?

Who invented them?

2)

Torture in disguise

Who invented high heels why?

Chinese foot binding.

3)

Originally

Unisex, gender-less

Meant to avoid mud?

4)

Both sexes wore frills

Make up and embroidery

Powder faced with stars

5)

Crescent moons, diamonds

Silloutte hearts stained regal

During Renaissance.

6)

When did the trend start?

Dividing and conquering

Designated sex

7)

Roles of he and she

Rules, boundaries and borders

Pink girls and blue boys.

8)

Sexual status

Means the clothed one holds power

Naked submission.

9)

Most unnatural

Women’s option is to be

Most uncomfortable

10)

Swollen, twisted feet

Permanently distorted

That’s the role and goal.

11)

Keep us women down

On our knees obedient

To man-child cowards.

24 thoughts on “Poem: High Heeled Bondage (haiku in 11 variations)

  1. Do you know that women have now been wearing heels for centuries and that it is suspected by some evolutionary biologists that it has in some ways become a secondary sexual trait? In that, men view a woman with heels sexier (preferred potential mate) because not only does it make the gait shorter ( which is I guess appealing to a predator? 🙄) but also arches our back and pelvis, making our breasts and butts stick out more prominently and hence contributes to the perception of femininity. The most fucked up thing about it that the trend to wear heels was started by men who loved to show off their powerful social status through the height of their heels! 😒
    Anyway, this is absolutely wonderful, Judy. Read it twice with relish. 😊💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used to follow all the rules: wear makeup, high heels, etc, but started feeling burdened by the pressure to look “feminine”. If high heels exist, they should be genderless, let everyone have painful feet 😄 (it worked for Prince!). I always shudder when I see a woman in stilettos/low cut dress while her male partner is wearing sweatpants and sneakers. Did you know Chinese foot binding deformed the woman’s feet so badly that she couldn’t walk without assistance, (much less run away/escape!). It’s hard to run in high heels too! Hunter=Predator? Yikes. Thanks for your awesome comment!❤️😊

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      1. They were genderless in the middle ages. Eventually they kept going in and out of vogue but in the 1960s in America made a strong come back through…eye roll… porn industry that made them a focal point of sexiness. But you’re absolutely right… Now we need to make them genderless again! If it’s good enough for Prince, it’s good enough for the rest of us mere mortals! 😁
        I first read about lotus feet when I was I think 14. There was a story in our English book that described this old Chinese torture technique in all it’s glory. The protagonist narrated how he met his wife whose feet were broken when she was a seven year old. You know, good ol’ emotional-scarring-of-teen-students so they can get better prepared for the tough world with it’s tougher histories! 😣
        I, personally, have never been able to walk in six inch high heels. I just can’t do it. 4 inch is as high as I can go. And never pencil heels… Block-heeled shoes for me please. 😅 I have nothing but utmost respect for women who can wear stilettos! I won’t be able walk on them if my life depended on it. 🙈

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      2. The porn industry, those slimeballs of misogyny! Did you know the woman from Deepthroat was coerced/forced to do the films by her abusive manager/boyfriend/pimp? I felt sorry for her because people judged her harshly. I digress! Many sexual freedoms gained in the 60s seemed to backfire with more objectification cloaked as liberation. It’s a loaded issue. I like the feeling of height every once in awhile, I like platform shoes because they’re balanced and they’re funny too. It’s just the enforced look that irritates me. That looking sexy/feminine equals heels seems limited and traditional.

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      3. First thing first: I’m sorry I had a total brain freeze when I wrote that it was the 1960s porn industry that brought back heels in fashion. I pressed send and later on realized that that can’t be right…because soft porn was already mainstream by that point and heels were already popular thanks to starlets of movie industry. So I went back and redid my research and yup, I had jumped ahead a century! It was actually the mid-nineteenth century when porn industry began showcasing its women in heels and made them popular again… especially the stilettos became a rage thanks to the slimeballs of misogyny.

        I didn’t know the actor was forced to do certain scenes in Deep throat. I just read about it and ugh… it’s sickening to read about the charges she made. She said, and I am paraphrasing, that virtually every time someone watches that movie, they are witnessing her being raped. Now how is that not disgusting? And her accusations about her boyfriend forcing her to do certain scenes by physically abusing her were verified by people who were involved in the making of the movie. I am with you about the sexual liberation 1960s brought and how it still deeply objectified women and ironically, inhibited women’s sexual freedom in more ways. I love high heels too but as long as I am not caught into that idea of “I won’t look sexy unless I am a little bit taller”. But the problem is I do often fall back into that conditioning that wearing heels and make up and being a certain way would be sexier. I don’t wear make up at all but it’s hard not to think that it does make you look attractive. Breaking free from the usual ideas of sexiness and beauty means to keep on questioning your reasons. Am I doing this because society tells me to do it or because it makes ME happy? And, here is a more loopier question: Is my happiness something borne out of years of conditioning or is it something innate to my nature?

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      4. No worries, I’m impressed that you fact checked yourself! Cool. I like how you think, you question your inner thoughts and how they’ve potentially been influenced. Most people don’t question themselves or what society tells them in my opinion.

        It’s sad that the woman who was forced to be in Deep throat was twice shamed for telling her truth that she was forced/raped by her boyfriend/pimp. I used to think porn was harmless, but it’s very shady and seems to be getting worse, more violence/rape culture in it than the silly 70s porn. I think I’ll blog about it soon. Women gained some things in the sexual revolution but also lost. To be honest I think it benefited men more than women and with the Me Too movement it’s sadly obvious that women aren’t treated equally or with respect still!
        I admit, I like feeling taller too but can’t put on those torturous shoes any more! I do still wear a bit of eyeliner & lipstick and it was because I felt I needed a boost now that I’m middle aged. When I was in my 20s-30s I boycotted makeup :)!
        I think everyone should wear/appear as they like without social stigma.

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      5. A happy, loud “Yass!” to people wearing/appearing however they like without any stigma attached! 🦸🏼‍♀️🤗❤️
        I keep trying to write a post on how to be confident in one’s own life choices and how to make space for others who have choices different from your own. Basically, how to be a Queen while letting other women be Queens as well! 😄 Yes, it’s specific to us women, because we are the ones who struggle the most against society’s expectations. But anyway, I just never find myself able to write a post the way I want. I hope you do. 🙂That post on violence in porn sounds interesting. Looking forward to more awesome write-ups from you.❤️😊

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      6. I’d like to read your article about confidence, I think you write well, but I understand what you mean about wanting to write in just the right way. Writing is a muscle, we get better the more we write? Hopefully! I agree, women are so strong, no matter how much we’ve been oppressed, maybe that’s why misogynists are so afraid and hateful. Sometimes I think I upset some men by what I write, but you can’t please everyone! ❤️🙂

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  2. It has to be an entrenched issue; I have to accept your viewpoint, of course. But there has always been something else too. I’ve had perhaps 6-7 serious relationships in my life, all with women who had a special beauty all their won. Not one wore high heels, not one. It feels to me that nowadays one is as free as ever to construct one’s own fashion sense. (Though I admit this condition might be altering a bit in the negative direction in the past decade or so, since the web has subtly dictated it’s compliance with orthodoxies. — not certain.)

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    1. Sounds like you chose smart, self-confident women❤️. I think media still projects beauty propaganda of: tons of makeup, cleaveage, heels etc (Mrs. Trump is a prime example). Film stars, music divas, models and celebrity “influencers” dress like porn stars lately. I guess it’s because sex sells but young girls idolize and are essentially programmed to think that sexy glamour is real beauty but I see it as self-objectification. If both genders presented themselves in high heels, revealing clothing, and in provocative sexualized ways, I see that as equality. Maybe androgyny is the fairest choice.

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      1. I think questions are: is it worse now than 2,3,4 decades ago? And are the opportunities and means for girls (and anyone really) to form their own judgements and then act upon them any more compromised than in the recent past? Then it comes down to education to tilt the odds in favor of individuality against conformity with celebrity/advertising ideals. Androgyny, if by this you mean something enforced (which is the only way I can imagine it becoming de rigeur) strikes me as a reaction in the wrong direction — i.e. against individual expression. Maybe you mean something else? I suppose social media is a radical and unpredictable magnifier. Thanks for compliment. 🙂 I think it is true, but point is, they were not so impossible to find.

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      2. I think in many ways not much has changed from the point of view of what the society would like to tell you is beautiful. Statistically speaking, if you’re physically attractive (and I don’t mean that in a subjective way. Being beautiful, no matter how much we wish it wouldn’t be so, has a certain conventional standard) you’d be more likely to land a certain job as opposed to being plain. So there goes the argument that better education automatically means you’ll have the equal opportunity to land the same job that someone more beautiful than you is vying for as well. Physical attractiveness bias exists in every sphere of the society and no, it hasn’t changed but we are now better aware of it and still entrapped in it. The only thing that has changed is that more and more people seem like they are trying to break that beauty mold that doesn’t fit them. Thanks to internet and advancements in social media, more people are telling their stories and raising their voice against this unfair treatment. But has it transformed our society? Take a look at the popular media images you come across your phone, laptop or tv and you’ll know. Or, just type beautiful women in Google’s search engine and you’ll see distinctly how small that number per page is for Black women, Latina women, Asian women, trans women, plus sized women and so on. But has it made it easier, than, say 2-3 decades ago, for women to say, “I don’t care if a man doesn’t like me for not looking a certain way. I won’t change who I am just to get a potential mate.” Now, that’s subjective. 

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      3. No one argued that educational measures ‘automatically’ ensures any sort of absolute fairness creed within social or job contexts.

        Any group-wise assessment of what is considered beautiful is basically a statistical compilation. Individual assessments are what matter, and individually, people of all kinds have absolutely different ideas about what constitutes beauty in their eyes. Therefore, it is this very individuality which must be championed and not in any way subjected to crowd-enforced or crowd-shamed normalization, according to someone’s notion of what that normalization should be.

        Your final paragraph or so gets to the point I am most concerned with I think. Web culture, social media, and the general attention-fragmented nature of online life, especially as force fed to children and adolescents (as we do) magnifies the barriers one must confront and overcome in order to blossom into one’s individuality. The internet is very much a double-edged sword. I think people who did much of their adult thinking before it existed can see this more convincingly though.

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      4. I agree that individual assessments should matter but I don’t agree that we as a society really follow the “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” concept. Individually we like to believe that we all do. But if that were the case, then we wouldn’t have a limited narrative of beauty which, unfortunately, we do. But again, I agree that it’s the individuality that must be championed.
        As for the internet being a double edged sword – I couldn’t agree with you more!

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      5. Yes the mainstream standard of beauty is not representative of the actual majority of women. Young girls starve themselves to look the models but don’t realize even the model’s bodies have been photoshopped, airbrushed, not to mention plastic surgery. It’s sad but “attractive” people do get preferential treatment, they get hired and all doors open for them. I do think more people are standing up and reclaiming their own beauty and women at least don’t have to get married or have children unless they want to. Things have improved, I just wish they’d improve faster! 🙂

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      6. I wish that too. I think change is happening too slowly in some parts of the world and that just enrages me. But there are a lot of strong women who just won’t back down and won’t stop championing for change and equality and that gives me strength and most of all, it gives me hope – the ye old catalyst of revolutionary reactions! 😄

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      7. Maybe androgyny truly is a fair choice. To choose to be whatever way you want to be. To not be restricted in binary ideals of beauty. To have both traits or none. Or to have some of this or that. As long as it’s something YOU choose to be, and that choice is free from influence or oppression, it is fair. 🙂

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  3. What I mean by androgyny is clothing that either gender (or non-binary) can wear equally without stigma. I’m not suggesting enforcement of appearance at all, I want the opposite. In my opinion we already have enforcement of appearances according to gender and I think it’s sexist and outdated, especially to females who are taught to be “feminine”. Males are definitely not as sexually objectified as females and I think it’s wrong.

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