Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Anti-Pantyhose Rant

As I was leaving a co-worker's office this morning, the following exchange took place:

Donna: Wow! Evie wore a skirt today! I don't think I've ever seen you in a skirt before.
Evie: Well, if you did, it would have been last summer. I only wear skirts when I can wear sandals instead of heels and pantyhose. I don't mind skirts and dresses. What I can't stand is the footwear that one is expected to wear with them.
Donna: I hear you. I swore off pantyhose and heels years ago.

Perhaps you are wondering, Dear Reader, why I dislike nylons and formal footwear so intensely? Permit me to explicate my position.

I'll begin by discussing pumps and high heeled shoes. To put it succinctly: they are incredibly uncomfortable and downright unhealthy. Many years ago, after spending an entire evening doing door-to-door canvassing up and down the hills of a tiny town in British Columbia (it was Red Shield time, and the town may have been Esquimalt), my black pumps were filled with blood. My shoes had rubbed my heels raw. I won't sicken you with additional grisly details, as I'm sure you get the picture. I had a similar experience when I went on a job interview at a college in Minnesota. Part of the interview included a walking tour of the campus. My feet didn't get bloody that day, but they certainly got blistered. Final shoe story: part of my training as a Salvation Army cadet included a tour of the brand-new (at the time) Scarborough Grace Hospital. A podiatrist looked at all of the women and sternly chastised us for wearing such hideous, deformity-inducing shoes (you know, the ones that are required by TSA regulations). Do you know any man who would wear shoes that scrunch the toes at uncomfortable angles and force the leg muscles into uncomfortable positions (but, golly-gee, those calf muscles sure look sexy when they're stretched like that!) for hours on end, day after day, and pay mucho dinero for the privilege? I don't.

Now, I'll move on to pantyhose and nylons. First, I don't like the way they feel against my skin. That may not be an issue for other women, but it is for me. As far as I'm concerned, wearing nylons is akin to wearing sandpaper. It's an experience I don't need to repeat. Second, they are fragile and can only be worn a handful of times before they run, rip or gape and require replacement. The money women waste replacing their pantyhose could easily pay off the debt of a third-world nation. Third, they are obviously designed solely to appeal to men, with no thought at all for practicality. Do you know any man who would wear socks that are as flimsy as pantyhose, then replace them with more of the same, at the rate that women replace their hosiery? I don't. Nylons are one of the biggest rip-offs, aimed solely at women (and solely for men's pleasure), in the history of humankind. I refuse to be exploited by such obviously sexist, if not downright misogynist, fashions.

In closing, I recapitulate: women's fashion shoes are uncomfortable and unhealthy, and women's fashion hosiery are uncomfortable, flimsy and uneconomical. Those, Dear Reader, are the reasons I hate heels and hose.


Barbara said...

Here here!!!!!

I hate shoe shopping. I hate having to pay a tonne of money for something that is uncomfortable. My life is spent in running shoes and sneakers. All my dress-up shoes have low heel. I learned a long time ago that if my feet hurt, I won't enjoy the event, so I make sure that I'm comfortable.

As fars as nylons, they have the technology to make nylons that don't run ... but they don't because we are stupid enough to accept that they do run and will keep replacing them. It's a big rip-off!

Dave said...

What can I say...I have not basis for judging. That said, I have often wondered how some ladies could walk in some shoes let alone stand in them.

Jenn said...

i hear you!!!! can you believe that nurses used to have to wear such ridiculous things? older patients comment on it all the time and i assure them that i never would have become a nurse had i been forced to wear such a get up

Catharine said...

Another perspective...

I also don't like wearing heels and the older I get the harder it is to squish the toes.

As for pantyhose - the only thing I hate more is the rubbing of the skin between the els, so wearing pantyhose sometimes is a must. I agree with Barbara - the technology is there to have no run panyhose. Women's fashion is a high cost, high grossing industry. Whatever they could do to have women pay more money...

Erik said...

We are no better than the Chinese from before the Revolution, who urged their women feet into foot-"clothing" deliberately intended to misform the feet to what was supposed to please the men. On the one hand, women are always prescribed what to wear by men, in almost all cultures (I'll not mention the cultures but everybody knows what I especially mean) but it's not the other way around, and it's not fair: always either to please men, or to hide their "pleasing parts" (the whole body except the eyes and even this, too). I dont'want to implement unisex fashion, but I find that men and women must decide for themselves what to wear and we live in a culture which makes this possible. Evie you are great!