Japanese Women Want a Law Against Mandatory Heels at Work


TOKYO — Japan is the most recent battleground for ladies revolting in opposition to the tyranny of excessive heels, as a fledgling motion seeks authorities safety from workplaces that require the footwear.

Thousands of supporters have rallied behind the hashtag #KuToo — a pun based mostly on the Japanese phrases for shoe (kutsu) and ache (kutsuu). It was began by Yumi Ishikawa, a 32-year-old actress who stated she needed to change profession paths after having issue standing in heels for eight hours throughout coaching at a lodge.

She submitted a petition to the labor ministry this week, signed by greater than 18,000 individuals, that known as for a regulation barring employers from forcing ladies to put on excessive heels. As of Tuesday, there had been no official response to the petition, however Ms. Ishikawa stated her efforts have been greeted with skepticism by officers, who stated it could be tough to legislate the difficulty till the working world modified its tradition.

“I guess the government and corporate communities don’t want to take a risk to change the society,” she stated on Tuesday.

“This is not an ideal or acceptable work environment for many women,” she said.

In 2016, Japan’s then-defense minister, Tomomi Inada, apparently felt obliged to wear heels even on the deck of a visiting American aircraft carrier.

“It is true that high heels make the instep seem higher; but surely no proper-minded person would be guilty of a sham,” the article said.

In 1911, French doctors said the footwear led to “that tired feeling” and warned of what they said was a greater danger.

“Strong criticism is also made of women who, as soon as they return home from the theater or from some social function, give way to impulse and change their high-heeled shoes for a pair of soothing flat-soled slippers,” The Times reported. “This remedy, it is affirmed, is rather worse than the ill itself, for it causes the foot to pass from one extreme to the other, which in the end is bound to produce persistent suffering.”

And there were early attempts to seek government intervention, almost always unsuccessful. In 1920, the Massachusetts Osteopathic Society sought a ban from the state legislature on manufacturing, selling or wearing heels more than 1.5 inches in height.

A 1921 effort in Utah was even more drastic. A bill would have criminalized the possession of high heels, punishable by up to $500 for a first offense and up to $1,000 for subsequent offenses, along with possible imprisonment.

Ms. Ishikawa’s first tweet on the matter, in January, was shared nearly 30,000 times, suggesting she had plenty of sympathizers. But she has not received much support from businesses. One advertising agency told her it would be in “a difficult position” if it spoke out, she said.

“Women don’t even realize they are risking themselves, as this style has been deeply rooted in the work culture,” she said. “We should take this situation more seriously.”



Source link Nytimes.com

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