#2 has decided on bridesmaid dresses that have a bit of an Ancient Greek thing going. There’s probably a lot of that going on in weddings across the country this year given their popularity at David’s Bridal.
While listening to a somewhat dull talk at a recent conference, I noticed these sandals (in black, not tan) on the conference-goer beside me. They look much better in person than they do on the website. And they have just that hint of an Ancient Greek thing going on.
“Where did you get those? They are perfect!” I whispered.
“Teva,” she whispered back.
“NO WAY!” I said quietly, causing the gentleman on my other side to give me a raised eyebrow. (He then teased me for shoe-shopping during a talk as I looked up the name of the shoe and emailed #2 to make sure the sandal was approved before purchasing. A few minutes later I suggested that perhaps that email he was writing was not about how exciting the talk was. It wasn’t.)
The next day as I told my former seat-mate that I’d purchased her shoes for the wedding, the woman she’d been talking to looked down and said they were awesome shoes and she wanted them too. Where did she get them?
After we had a brief discussion of their comfort and elegance, she wrote down the exact name of the shoe for later purchase.
As I related this conversation to DH, my oldest asked why these shoes being Tevas had produced such surprise.
Well, I explained, the patriarchy makes it difficult for women to wear the same kinds of shoes as men without facing social disapprobation. With women’s shoes, usually shoes are either comfortable or they’re fashionable but not both. Teva is a brand that is known for being extremely comfortable, but not something you can wear to work or a wedding. They mostly make hiking sandals.
With women’s shoes, the holy grail is elegant shoes that don’t hurt a person’s feet. When such an impossibility occurs, it naturally elicits surprise and happiness.
It shouldn’t be that way. Men and women should both have shoes that are comfortable and attractive. They should be able to wear the same kinds of shoes. But society says no. And society suggests that when it comes to formal or professional wear, only women’s shoes should come in styles that damage a person’s feet. Stupid patriarchy.