In case you missed it this week, it’s Donald Trump’s fault if North Korea uses the missiles they've been building for the past umpteen years, and if the Band Journey splits up,and if your coworkers come into the office this morning with a pissy attitude. Yep. All Trump’s fault.
And now, it’s the Trump women’s fault if we all get shuffled into systematic gender-based slavery and forced to procreate like brood mares for rich white men. Why? Because they wear high heels.
Newsweek magazine featured an article, written by one Nina Burleigh, criticizing the Trump women for wearing fashionable high-heeled pumps – and, in doing, so, tromped in its clonky man-shoes out of the Village of the Overly Critical and straight into the Land of the Pathetically Absurd. This was their actual tweeted headline:
Newsweek argues that by daring to sport stilleto-heeled shoes, the Trump women have publicly declared themselves to be high-browed women of power whose slender ankles have never born a day’s worth of actual labor, but whose sexual prowess-yet-simultaneous-weakness displayed through their fashion choices somehow signal our nation’s investible demise.
Yep. They got all that from a freaking shoe.
Feminists have long grappled with the high-heeled shoe, and whether the stiletto telegraphs power (sexual or otherwise) or self-hobbled weakness. Stiletto pumps are the ultimate test of a certain type of femininity. They signal the taut combination of power and weakness that conservative women must cultivate in order to survive among ideologues who are crafting our tax-free “Handmaid’s Tale” future.
…Historically, the Trumpian women’s shoe of choice was invented not for women but for aristocratic men, men who would never have to work, and who didn’t have to walk much but were carried in litters or carriages. Paintings of Louis XIV, the Sun King, show him sporting red-soled heels, posing with one foot forward and pointed out— much like Ivana and Ivanka Trump in countless photographs over the years.
Pulling from the “expert” opinion of a random male British psychologist, Newsweek declares with certainty that by wearing high heels, “They [the Trump women] are just buying into traditional binary views of male and female,” projecting a world in which women are powerful sexualized lionesses, pathetically oppressed slaves, upper class debutants and cheap whores, somehow all at the same time.
Of course, if this Newsweek author is so embarrassingly dense as to think the Trump women are the only women to sport a pair of sky-high pumps, then it’s likely she who’s never spent a single moment of her life gainfully employed. Or in New York City. Or in the liberal bastion of Hollywood. Or just about anywhere else on the Earth Planet.
Heck, half the shoes in my closet are high heels (because unlike Melania Trump, I’m 5-foot-two and need all the help I can get.)
Of course, all of this is to overlook this obvious question: Isn’t criticizing another woman for her fashion choices a monstrous no-no in Feminism 101? Or does that only apply to shrews like Lena Dunham, who can sit naked on a toilet and it’s somehow a signal of the utmost bravery? But Melania Trump wears a classy pair of Loboutins and she’s suddenly attention-seeking hooker. Got it.
Of course, Michelle Obama wore plenty of heels during her eight-year stint as First Lady. (I searched high and low for Newsweek’s article decrying her open embrace of the Patriarchy. Funny, couldn’t find it.)
I could write a book explaining the 4,576 reasons why an article slamming women in the Trump family for wearing high-heels is perhaps the dumbest, cheapest, laziest argument against a presidency in human history. It’s so ridiculous, I’m shocked it made it into the pages of even a left-leaning publication without some watery-eyed editor thinking, “You know, this kinda makes us look like idiots. So maybe we shouldn’t.”
But then, the fact that this flaming dumpster fire of an “article” has already been launched into the public sphere is bad enough, and it’s probably not even worth the time I’ve already given it.