New high heels law is long overdue

Andrew Weaver is making pre-election headlines with a bill that will end the requirement for some women to wear high heels for their jobs.

When we mentioned in our editorial on International Women’s Day last week that women have seen significant advancements over the last few decades but there are still strides to be made, this is exactly the kind of thing we meant.

Green Party MLA Andrew Weaver is making pre-election headlines with a bill that will end the requirement for some women to wear high heels for their jobs.

What? Some women are still forced to wear heels at work?

It seems so.

So what’s the big deal? The medical problems wearing heels for long periods of time can create to the feet, ankle, legs and back are serious. We’ve known some women who have been so damaged by years of wearing heels that they are now stuck in sensible shoes forever, without even a cheating foray into heels ever again. That’s if they don’t want to seriously damage their ability to walk at all.

Nerve damage, ligament damage, muscle damage — it’s all an outcome of too much time in heels too high.

Most women will tell you that they love to wear heels for special occasions, and we’re certainly not arguing against anybody’s right to do so.

But should an employer be able to force you to permanently injure your body for aesthetics? To sex up their wait staff? Absolutely not. It’s kind of a sad commentary that it’s going to take a bill in the legislature to force this change. Shouldn’t the health of employees be a priority to employers? Some inequalities are dying particularly hard, it seems.

The women in question who are still required to wear heels are mostly restaurant servers, too. That’s a painful enough job on the feet without adding three-inch heels to the mix.

We don’t know any woman who wants to wear her heels for an eight-hour shift. And their male counterparts face no rules of the kind.

It’s all a rather uncomfortably short hop from foot binding and corsets.

Some will no doubt continue to wear heels. But now the law will require women to have a choice.

This change is long overdue.