CAN WE NOT FUCKING TALK ABOUT BIKING IN HEELS AS A SERIOUS WOMEN’S ISSUE?
If we’re going to talk about women on bikes – women who ride, women who want to ride, what they like, what holds them back – can we stop talking about biking in heels and get real about practical, enjoyable biking? Any woman who enjoys biking in heels is a slave to fashion – WHICH IS FINE, OK – but that has almost nothing to do with riding bikes except that there is some weird obsession with asserting fashion over real enjoyment, not to mention practicality. No woman can tell you heels are comfortable. One might say that she enjoys wearing them, and that’s valid, but heels are not comfortable.
Enough about the heels, though, really. I’m filing my grievance with all these discussions, articles and workshops on biking in heels. Why don’t you talk about fixing a fucking flat if you want to enable and empower a person? What, women don’t care about fixing things? What, it’s OK, they’ll just get someone else to do it? What about when that woman isn’t with or near someone who can help them if one of her bike’s tires goes flat? What then? Will she be stuck high-heeling down the sidewalk with her unfixable flat?
Of all the precious attention afforded women on bikes, how high on the priority scale is biking in heels to actually improving riding for women?? Stop it already and please talk about stuff like becoming self-sufficient, valuable resources for women like ladies nights at co-ops and women’s riding groups and helpful tips like carrying useful and portable layers, things that make rides easier or more enjoyable (saddle adjustments, anyone), developing environmental awareness, carrying things by bike, finding confidence in traffic, handling intimidation from drivers, experiencing sexual harassment on the street, pairing public transportation with biking, nutritional needs for women who ride. Even dressing for work and riding would be a relevant discussion, but you still won’t hear me saying I ride to the office in heels.
That said, I look forward to constructive conversations that help women bike more and enjoy biking more, and hopefully the #Womentalkbikes conversation on Bike Talk/KPFK next week will focus on more constructive issues. Heels be damned.
p.s. Riding in heels is actually easier than walking in them. So there.