Wow, The History Of Women’s Shoes Is Really Insane And Patriarchal

All right, ladies, collaborate and listen.

1. To start, in Ancient Greece, strappy sandals were used to confer females to sexual objects.

The act of putting on and lacing up ones sandals symbolized — quite literally — the “step” an unmarried virgin took to become a wedded sexual woman.

2. Prostitutes back in Greece B.C. wore sandals with marked soles that left seductive messages for their clients.

Apparently one account found the markings on the ground to read “ΑΚΟΛΟΥΘΕΙ AKOLOUTHEI,” or “follow me.”

3. In imperial China, the tiny steps and swaying of women with bound feet aroused their men.

The ideal shoe during the Shang Dynasty was made of silk and was only 3 inches long. Chinese men also fantasized that the careful trot would strengthen vaginal muscles.

4. Clogs from the Middle Ages immobilized women with platforms upward of 30 inches tall.

THIRTY INCHES TALL. Although these are a pretty killer pair.

5. The original Cinderella was actually a tale of fetishism and hegemony.

The story debuted in late 17th century and reflected the ideal beauty standard at the time: Small feet symbolized inborn appeal, and Cinderella fitting the tiny shoe was a metaphor for finding the perfect emotional and sexual compatibility with someone.

6. Seventeenth-century law instated a heel-height limit to prevent pregnant women from falling and aborting their babies.

7. Seventeenth-century law then changed its mind and increased heel height to keep wives from roaming freely and having liaisons with random men.

8. The Puritan Massachusetts Colony banned women from wearing heels to seduce men, assuming women wore heels to seduce men.

Mainly because of the fear that they would be tried for witchcraft.

9. Catherine de Medici made shoes the it thing because she thought herself too short and had a crush on the Duke of Orleans.

10. Then Louis XIV threw a fit and imposed a strict rule that only he and his court were allowed to wear red soles.

Thus, the famous red component became a symbol of privilege and power.

11. But Napoleon had them banned after the French Revolution because he didn’t like their noble exclusivity.

12. During World War II, women wore platforms to buoy the soldiers’ spirits.

13. Sigmund Freud believed that high heels were a vessel to a woman’s genitals.

In his essay “Fetishism,” Freud says, “…the foot or shoe owes its preference as a fetish — or a part of it — to the circumstance that the inquisitive boy peered at the woman’s genitals from below, from her legs up, fur and velvet — as has long been suspected — are a fixation of the sight of the pubic hair, which should have been followed by the longed-for sight of the female member; pieces of underclothing, which are so often chosen as a fetish, crystallize the moment of undressing, the last moment in which the woman could still be regarded as phallic.”

14. The religious community also chimed in, claiming heels were a device to bewitch a man into loving her.

15. The almighty high heel became a point of contest during the 1960s when a bond of women claimed men created it to slow women down.

16. Then, in the ’80s and ’90s, the “Girl Power” movement argued that the sex appeal of heels was powerful, not passive.

HBO / Via weheartit.com

17. And funny enough, the once-controversial high-heeled shoe was first invented for men on horseback to stay in their stirrups.

18. Props to Shoes: A History from Sandals to Sneakers for inspiring this post.

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