Get rid of high heels rule

A petition in the UK against high-heels dress codes at companies has gathered 100,000 signatures. It was launched by 27-year old Nicola Thorp, who was not allowed to start work as a receptionist at Pricewaterhouse Coopers after she refused to wear high heels. Are high heels an anachronism?

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The Irish Independent (IE) /

Height as a key to power

Many women wear high heels to appear more powerful, columnist Carol Hunt writes in The Irish Independent:

“What we should really be asking is why so many high-powered women, in politics, media and elsewhere, all feel the need to wear high heels. I suspect it's not just because of the sexual connotations, but because in our macho world height is associated with power. Ambitious men who are lacking in the inches department compensate with either discreet heels or a Napoleonic complex - or, in the case of the aforementioned Bono and Sarkozy, both. As sociologist Lisa Wade puts it, 'When women wear high heels, it's a way of elevating themselves to men's level. If tall is associated with masculinity, and masculinity is power, then height is power.'”

Financial Times (GB) /

Women don't want to be ornamental

The Financial Times sees the dress code at Pricewaterhouse Coopers as redundant and sexist:

“A high heels requirement certainly has no place in the lobby of a consulting firm that regularly bangs on about the need for diversity and even sponsors a blog about equality issues called 'The Gender Agenda'. ... Dress codes that force female staff to be decorative are particularly outdated at a time when companies are being urged to boost the ranks of women on their boards. No wonder more than 100,000 people have already signed Ms Thorp’s petition asking Parliament to intervene. Women are sick and tired of being told to toe the line.”

The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

High heels an outdated convention

The daily Telegraphs sees the whole high-heels trend as an unhealthy anachronism:

“There is something retrograde and depressing about the fact that many professional women still feel the need to wear heels to be truly 'dressed'. The history of women’s fashion is filled with impractical, grotesque physical distortions, but thanks to the much-maligned feminist movement, almost none now remain - except the high heel. I believe it is high time that society moved on from the gruesome convention of heels. Men’s fashion abandoned them over a hundred years ago. That’s not to say that women should be ostracised for wearing heels, especially lower, more practical ones.”