That being said, it will shock and awe those of you who know me well to read that I experienced love-at-first-sight with a pair bright-red, patent-leather, Stuart Weitzman stiletto heels. I know. They are absolutely ridiculous. I'm completely infatuated. I have to imagine what kind of woman would wear these shoes. I flip through my mental picture album: Betty Friedan rolling off her cloud and klomping off to Heaven's Public Library to do research for the New, New, New Feminist Mystique? Not quite. She's the woman most widely credited with disarming the iconic housewife-in-heels image, and I have no reason to believe she's sorry now that she's crossed the Jordan. (Yes, I know she was Jewish, I just can't adjust to the idea that God didn't mean for the Jews to be His Chosen forever.) Or, what about Frederica Matthewes-Green schleping across the country to speak to church women's groups about how church women's groups are absolutely stupid? That takes some moxie, but it's fairly obvious that Freddie's particular brand of chutzpah don't come from nobody's shoes, y'all.
My mind's eye rests on an image of a woman I'm sure will fit: She's in an office dressed for work, she's in the kitchen cooking supper, she's strutting to the park with a baby in a stroller, she's at the crisis pregnancy center helping women figure out what their choices actually are. She's Oprah in Chicago, she's Katie in New York, she's Barbara in Birmingham. She's Dorothy, easin' on down that road to tell the Wiz a thing or two. She's US, y'all! Helloooo, Sexy!
It really isn't about those shoes anymore. It's about a feeling they give me that feminine is powerful. That woman is necessarily strong and sexy. That Jesus is more concerned about keeping women out of sexual slavery than keeping them out of the pastorate. (We've taken a wrong turn, y'all. We live in a world where little girls in our congregations get molested and it takes us hours and hours of discussion to figure out if you need a penis to come to a meeting or hold a communion cup. We're out-of-our-minds crazy if we think Jesus doesn't notice that. He notices and He cares more than we can imagine.) Just picture us, whacking through the phallocracy that is Corporate America, but also the Presbyterian Church in America, doing irreparable damage to the notion that women can't hold their own in business and that God has a small and prescribed place for women in His church and we're sinning if we step outside His borders. I'm ashamed, but I'm even afraid to ask questions anymore. Men and women hold these issues up as a measure of orthodoxy in the church.
My silliness can't last when it's informed by the gravity of and these issues. I'm thankful for those who seek to help.
I've been inspired. By a pair of $300 shoes. In my book, that makes shoes art and Stuart Weitzman a feminist. Boo-ya.
I'd like to point out, incidentally, that Nine West makes a great copy for about $45. (I've room for a little silliness, I guess, if only to stay the worry.)