Monday, March 20, 2006

Outlawed stilettos make Scarpediem mad. Say whaa?

A staggering piece of news (bear with me, you will soon be apprised of my ironic twists of words) has been making the rounds on the internets, for example here and here.

In short: a woman in Mobile, Alabama, caught her high heel in a sidewalk grating, falling and injuring herself. She sued the city for negligence, and as a result, the city passed a law making it "unlawful to wear women's pumps with sharp high heels."

I've only been able to find accounts of this on blogs, although the law is documented, together with other examples of governance stupidity, on this site.

Now, assuming this is, in fact, true, I must give a Steve Colbert-ian wag-of-the-finger to the woman who should have sued her own bruised ass for being ditzy enough to wear, in all probability, Pleaser USA 5" heels outside the bedroom. Hello! Somebody please explain her that stilettos were invented in order to entrap and fetishize women's feet rather then aid them in performing their natural function, such as, oh, I don't know, walking?

One of the astonishing achievements of modern fashion, style magazines, and overall culture of advertising, is making women believe they can only be sexy if they were stilettos, or that wearing stilettos equates sexiness, a fallacy so outrageous I won't even dignify it with a scoff.

It would have been funny to see the woman sue, say, advertisers, image makers, shoe designers, or the fashion industry as a whole for compelling her to wear precarious footwear that endangered her life. Or her heinie, we're not sure at this point.

Suing the city for negligence is only proof, alas, that not enough oxygen got to her at the dizzying heights achieved on her stiletto, causing grave impairment in judgment--judgment which, as we've already established, was not that sound to begin with, as proven by the choice of shoes.

That being said, the counteraction taken by the city council is equally stupid, and even more dangerously so. I am opposed to ANY sort of attempt to control what people do with their bodies (including attire!), even though it means they may make, um, unwise choices. What's next--outlawing body piercings or tattoes because they might get infected? long skirts and/or scarfs because they may get caught in doors? (Remember Isadora Duncan's story? She died when her long scarf got caught in the wheel of the car. Hm. There's another wasted opportunity for litigation and/or stupid law right there.)

This law makes just as much sense as the law passed by another city in Alabama that says that it is illegal for a husband to beat his wife with a stick larger in diameter than his thumb. Oh, I wish I was making this up!


At 7:37 PM, Blogger The Bargain Queen said...

I completely agree. You know what it's called when the government protects you from everything that could possibly be bad for you? Fascism.

Really, people have to take some responsibility for their own mistakes, because the alternative really isn't pretty.

At 4:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A quick search of the Mobile Code of Ordinances ( shows this to be untrue.

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