So Mary dear, did you hear all that nonsense about the young gal who turned up for work in the wrong shoes?
No Agatha, I don’t think so.
Oh, but darling, it’s caused quite a sensation. It’s all about a dress code which has probably been created by some pompous old codger who has absolutely no idea about all the running around the poor gal had to do.
You’re probably right Agatha dear, although of course in my day we didn’t work, so we could wear what we liked. But, I must say that I’m not sure my maid, Jenny, would survive all day in heels no matter whether they’re Manolo Blahniks or Clarks.
So, what’s the real issue here then Mary? Is it to do with an out of date dress code, or are we talking about women not being treated the same as men?
Well of course dear, what is sauce for the goose is certainly not sauce for the gander. Don’t you remember when poor Ethel got arrested and then force fed?
Oh my goodness yes Mary, but we don’t really want to talk about all that unpleasantness over a plate of cucumber sandwiches do we?
Maybe not darling, but it does just put things in perspective and although the Suffragettes achieved vast amounts, we’ve still got a long way to go.
So Mary dear, forgive me as I think I’ve had a senior moment, but does this mean that this shoe furore is more about freedom of choice and equality then?
Of course, dear heart. But if this dress code also applied to men, then we wouldn’t be getting into such a lather. Quite frankly, I love a man in heels – Louis XIV for instance, he started it all and realised that the extra height gave him authority over his subjects. Then of course there were all those lovely young men in the ‘70’s in their high heels and Ossie Clark outfits, David Bowie, Elton John. Nowadays we’ve got Eddie Izzard, he looks wicked in a pair of courts.
Oh, but I absolutely agree darling, with the right outfit any man can look good in a pair of Jimmy Choo’s. Although, apparently, a pair of high heels like those young fillies wear today puts you in a virtual corset. Young Emily tells me you have to have a strong core and lean slightly backwards when you wear them.
It sounds dreadfully painful Agatha, I’d rather stick with the whale-bone corsets than hobble about in towering heels; I should imagine they make your bottom look like pigs fighting in a blanket!
You are so right, but do you remember when I needed an extra confidence boost? I had to meet that dreadful chap from the Golf Club, Muirfield I think it was. Anyway, I wore my four inch Bally Patents, it did the trick; although I stopped short of agreeing to marry him just to become a member!
So, Agatha, are you saying that heels give you authority?
Yes, Mary, but they are also symbols of subjugation and sexualisation, exploitation and that seedy world of pornographic films that we don’t talk about.
Those are terribly long words. Have a sip of tea dear! So, let’s just clarify that when we talk about high heels the subject is so steeped in different meanings, many of which go back hundreds of years, that it turns into a colossal ding-dong!
Quite. Another crumpet Mary?
Oh yes, lovely, with lashings of butter too.
So really we just need a dress code that treats gender equally?
I think so Agatha dear, we should get rid of all that stuffiness and those dreadful dress code policy things and just let people be adult about it; after all we’re not in the school playground any more.
Oh that reminds me Mary, young Algie needs to be picked up from rehearsal at four. I’ll get John to bring the car round, and we can drop you off on the way.
Super idea Agatha. Next time you must come to me – cook makes a wonderful Angel cake, you’ll love it, simply divine.