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The sole guardian

This could well be the height of interference. A trade union in Britain has come up with the idea of banning high-heeled shoes from the workplace because they are sexy and a safety hazard.

india Updated: Aug 09, 2009 21:53 IST

This could well be the height of interference. A trade union in Britain has come up with the idea of banning high-heeled shoes from the workplace because they are sexy and a safety hazard. Now many women tottering around on impossible stilettos may not toe the line. And then the boot would be on the other foot. No one wants to be down at heel these days. Not even that high priestess of feminism Camille Paglia who felt that a few inches below empowered women and put them on a more equal footing with men.

Should unions not be more concerned about how high salaries should go than how towering women employees may seem in their Christian Louboutins? If some heel of an employer is forcing women to staggering into work on Jimmy Choos of impossible proportions, well then the victims can chose to make short work of them. But, let’s face it. Generations of women who have grown up to images of Marilyn Monroe and her ilk are not averse to being sexy. If they want to wiggle around on these fundamentally unstable structures, then why not? This, as old Paglia said, is about empowerment.

The message is — give us this day our Manolo Blahniks, never mind all the rest of the perks and privileges. But if unions must poke their noses into matters of length, then why not focus on men’s ties. Should ties be long enough to slosh into your soup or should they be short enough to be at chin-level? Should men wear formal long sleeves or leave enough elbow-room to do an honest day’s work? Anyway, be sure, now that women have got a foot in through the door in the workplace, it will not be a shoo-in to get them to conform to some ghastly union-dictated regulation when it comes to matters of the sole.