Saturday, December 8, 2012

The American Female’s Endemic Addiction...

...gets the attention of Ann Althouse:

Why shoes? There's some discussion of how shoes "will transform you into someone else" — special shoe magic. (See "The Wizard of Oz.") There's oddly little reference to sex. Roiphe ignores Freud, who famously saw shoes as vagina symbols. [Katie] Roiphe wants — or wants "you" — to be daunting, sylphlike, free, and invulnerable....

So, maybe, why shoes? Why not dresses, jackets, jewelry, sweaters? I think it's that you've got to specialize — unless you're actually rich — if you're going to shop in the really expensive places. You can trick yourself into thinking you've been indulged. Still, why specialize in shoes?

As my own beloved wife might say, “This is a question?

It’s got nothing to do with Freud. The shoe is the quintessential outward expression of female sexuality, at both its highs and its lows. Note the trend in shoe purchases by any woman of ordinary means, married or unmarried: the more interested in (and amenable to) sex she is, the more shoes she’ll purchase per unit time, and the more overtly sexual they’ll be. When she’s “on the prowl,” she’ll go for the highest heels, the most daring cuts, and the most eye-catching materials. Once she’s mated, her shoe choices on any day will signal her man to what extent she’ll be receptive to his amorous advances. As she ages and her interest in sex wanes, she’ll take to wearing ever less sexy shoes, regardless of what her Significant Other might have to say about it.

Certain scholars (?) have opined that the adoption of shod feet was the beginning of the separation of the sex drive from the reproductive instinct – i.e., that when Mankind went barefoot at all times, the only reason we succumbed to the urges of the flesh was to procreate. Really! Yes, of course they’re out of their minds. Still, we cannot deny the correlation between women’s shoe selections, both at home and at the mall, and their sexual interest and accessibility.

Of course, tastes do vary, and a woman who’s turned one too many ankles from a five-inch height will be less inclined toward open-toed high-heeled sling-back sandals than others of happier histories. However, we have yet to address the relation between the female sex drive and the frequency of foot injuries, which appears as strong as that between female amorousness and a penchant for sexy shoes. Of course, the whole thing could be a grand plot to persuade us menfolk to do all the lifting, carrying, and fetching of drinks, but that’s far too important a subject for a casual screed.

UPDATE: Ladies: Methinks thou dost protest too much. The cat's out of the bag and can't be persuaded back in. Learn to relax about it.
Gentlemen: It's okay to "let on" that you know. Socially beneficial, really. Keeps 'em on their toes, if I may. The lesser sex needs to be reminded every so often that we're not as clueless as they'd like to think!


  1. As one who almost never notices socially exhibited footwear it often puzzled me regarding my mother's near obsession with noting people's shoes. In later life I learned that her early childhood spent in extreme poverty and shoelessness was probably the reason for the fetish. Nevertheless, only last Monday after 4 years of nearly daily use, I finally polished my shoes for the first time.

    I can claim the excuse of going unshod for the 23 years of living aboard a cruising sailboat. Except of course for having to occasionally go ashore. Go figure.

  2. "As she ages and her interest in sex wanes, she’ll take to wearing ever less sexy shoes,"

    Dude, no no no, it's not about the sex. It's about the aging body and the sore feet. And the increased common sense of middle age. Getting old hurts.

  3. Flashy, you promised that you wouldn't tell!

  4. I hate to tell you ladies, but most men probably might notice if you showed up in combat boots, but otherwise we don't know what you have on your feet. This is just another one of those female to female competitions that you engage in, telling yourself it's for us guys, who are, for the most part, oblivious to what you think you are doing.

    Toenail polish is another. And hairdo's a third.

  5. "Getting old hurts."

    From shoes or from sex?

  6. Either you're visually impaired, Codeburner, or the ladies are a lot wiser about us menfolk than you.

  7. Women regularly say they do things for men that are actually all to do with female-vs-female competition.

    Walk down the street with your woman on your arm if this is news to you, and keep track of how many women start subtly adjusting their clothes/hair/shoes/etc.

  8. Oh I don't know about that. Shoes are probably the last thing I'll notice on a woman. But then again, if I notice them at all, it's to sneer at heels.

    As to whether the womenfolk are the wiser, I've always wondered why women's foot fashions, from heels to Chinese footbinding, always seem intended to cripple a woman's ability to run, perchance to escape... Who told them that was a good idea, and why do they buy it?

  9. I'm with Codeburner. I've told the "women paint their toenails for other women" story for years and I stand by that explanation.

    Women: most of us men couldn't care less about your shoes. Heck, I don't think it matters to me that much whether or not you have feet!

  10. Odd, it seems to me that women are more attractive without shoes.

  11. "Bare foot and pregnant" is the classic recipe for female happiness.

    "Well-shod and frigid" hasn't seemed to catch on.

  12. I'm a woman with a high sex drive and this thing about shoes is not true, at least in my case. :)

  13. Of course, the whole thing could be a grand plot to persuade us menfolk to do all the lifting, carrying, and fetching...
    --Francis W. Porretto
    It's not the whole thing, but it's a big part of it.

    Long painted fingernails are a purer form of signaling that she intends to be seen as an object to be provided for rather than a doer who can take some responsibility for her own care.

  14. I'm enjoying figuring out where pink fuzzy slippers fit into this theory.

  15. "Conventional" fuzzy slippers, of whatever color, seem to express the woman's desire for a cup of tea, prepared and brought to her by her Significant Other. At least, that's what they appear to mean here at the Fortress of Crankitude.

    (Concerning fuzzy bunny slippers, research continues.)

  16. @Seerak - "Women were designed to be caught." John Norman


Comments are moderated. I am entirely arbitrary about what I allow to appear here. Toss me a bomb and I might just toss it back with interest. You have been warned.