Archive for the ‘women’ Tag

Standing up against spikes

I’ve got a gripe, and it has nothing to do with this blog. But it’s my blog, and I have eight wonderful RSS subscribers who may by now be used to my flights in all directions, so I’m gonna ‘shout out’ about this issue.

(Now, I’ve been posting here with regularity 3-5 times a week for nine months, and so you may ask why I have just eight subscribers. Reasons may be many, but one for sure is that my viewpoints and voice are fairly peculiar, and perhaps not shared by huge numbers of people. Why do I keep writing? Just practicing scales, like any composer. I may be crazy, but I know this tool is here for my use however I see fit, regardless of the number of fans it attracts. I’m just that selfish.)

Here’s my gripe: spike heels.

I’m a compassionate person, and I don’t like seeing others in pain. The other day, we attended the graduation ceremony at a large university. Nine out of ten women (amongst the 1,000+ graduates) wore spike heels to accessorize their graduation gowns.

Of course, the same phenomenon can be observed on any city street, in restaurants and offices, any place where fashion matters.

Every time I see a woman wedged into these instruments of torture, I feel her pain. I am a woman, I know what it is to wear these modern imitations of the ancient Chinese feet-binding practice. I wear lipstick, low heels, and short skirts. But I simply cannot understand why women, who definitely choose the mutation, continue to patronize the tyranny of spikes.

(To be fair, I see the continued wearing of ties by men in this same anachronistic light. Note, however, that ties pose little health threat, while spike heels threaten the backbone, the core of our vitality.)

Okay, it’s the sexiness factor. Spike heels draw the eye to your butt, and their shiny pointy-ness lends an air of sado-masocism that awakens an excitement residing deep in us all, let’s go ahead and admit it. I understand the allure.

But they are painful to wear and walk in, they cause a dangerous sway in the backbone, they make one unsure of one’s footing, and they perpetuate the pedestal notion of the female. The pedestal notion keeps a woman on the shelf, an object to be used only when the real humans, the men or the masculine, have the whim to activate you.

A few years ago, I watched a high school choral presentation, and the same medieval oppression pervaded there. The girls wore tight dresses and high-high heels; the guys wore loose clothes, and sneakers. It made me so sad. I wish women would be more proud of who they naturally are, instead of accepting pain for the sake of fashion.

So I guess my gripe is not against spike heels themselves, but against the ignorance or weak will or paranoia or fashion slavery or bad education of the wearers. Haven’t decided which possible culprit is most to blame. The fact that these two events – a high school choral performance and a university graduation – were part of the education world certainly suggests our training does not counter this cruel habit.

If you ask a woman who’s wearing these stilettos if she enjoys the experience, she will probably gush eye-rolling thrill about it. But soon as she hits the car, the shoes are torn off with a deep sigh of relief. She thinks she enjoys wearing them, but the truth is she’s horribly uncomfortable.

The potential strength of a full population of comfortable women is not to be underestimated. We must get there, for the continued health of humankind! The reluctance of women to express their true selves, to get beyond vanity, slavery to the patriarch, and the mindset of second-class citizens retards our evolution.

OK. Enough already. Thanks for listening.

Business and THE FEMALE

I grew up with sisters, no brothers, and though my own child is male, I still have many moments of utter disconnection with the male of the species.  My wonderful honey, for example, has no idea where it hurts when he’s sick: he just feels bad, and leaves it at that.  Or if he has a disagreement with his partner, it’s never an option to talk it out, one simply lets time callous over the injury.   I’ve had male bosses who will suffer huge losses rather than get to the root of interpersonal problems.

It’s a sort of Klingon thing, our inherited culture of mastery and dominance making such phenomena as tenderness and sensitivity verbotten in the most highly respected power circles. 

It doesn’t work anymore, of course.  Our world is now so complex that we must admit to all subtleties of the human condition or lose miserably in the business arena.  The female influence at very long last is taking hold and transforming the ways we structure working world relationships and decision-making. 

How do you synthesize efficient production with a dedicated attention to personal health and growth of your staff?  The revived respect for female viewpoints makes the job of management much more complex; but also, ultimately, much more profitable because it creates work scenarios featuring well-adjusted, confident, and energetic employees.

A particularly world-changing aspect of the power of the female in business is the value placed on listening.  I’m going to focus on this capacity over the next few days here, to get a better hold on what is meant by the term.