Japan’s #KuToo movement — from the words “kutsu” (shoes) and “kutsuu” (pain) — arose in response to dress codes requiring female workers to wear high heels, a workplace policy the Health and Labor Minister declared “occupationally necessary and appropriate.”
Similar requirements have ignited protests elsewhere.
Aside from the unabashed sexism these policies represent, even less woke old-school health promoters will be concerned about health risks linked to high heels. According to a report conducted for the UK Parliament, these include:
- long-term changes to gait, which cause knee, hip and spine problems and osteoarthritis;
- stress fractures in foot bones;
- Morton’s neuroma;
- ankle sprains, fractures and breakages due to trips and accidents;
- hallux valgus (bunions);
- blisters and skin lesions;
- enduring balance problems which persist into old age;
The report also cited psychological distress reported by female workers who were required to wear high heels against their will.
Meanwhile, in the US, HuffPost exposed a prominent professional services firm that set us all back with one of its women’s leadership trainings. The training’s handbook insisted that “the most important thing women can do is ‘signal fitness and wellness.’” ?
It advised trainees to have a “good haircut, manicured nails, well-cut attire that complements your body type.” Then it warns:
“Don’t flaunt your body ― sexuality scrambles the mind (for men and women).”
Read the full HuffPo article and to view the employer’s “leaked” video response: