It is available outside Australia via the internet, although I’m not going to suggest one particular site, for fear of offending all the others! Please Google it.
As I said last time, I did the chapter-heading illos inside – but not the gorgeous ones on the cover. Thanks to the very clever Emily O’Neill for them.
Local authorities in large cities should be obliged to provide shoe changing cubicles for women. Standing on one high heel, on a hard surface, while you try and cram on the second shoe, is a highly dangerous activity. Surely health and safety standards demand that comfortable seating be provided for it?
Also a hook for your handbag, so you don’t have to leave it on the ground during the shoe changing manoeuvre. This is a security issue, as it would be very hard to pursue a handbag thief while wearing one high-heeled shoe. Providing this simple amenity could instantly reduce the crime rate.
There are also clearly broader security issues for the greater public safety. If you think about the number of women you see – especially around 5.30pm near any business district – leaning against a wall changing their shoes, with bags littered on the pavements around them. Who is to know which bags belong to innocent shoe changers and which might contain an Improvised Explosive Device? The shoe changing cubicles could have bag checks with x-ray equipment and possibly sniffer dogs.
Most of all, though, providing adequate shoe changing facilities is a human rights issue. It’s extremely damaging to the self esteem to have to change your shoes in public. In some cultures it is considered highly offensive to show someone the soles of your feet. According to our own social mores, it’s devastating because everyone knows you can’t hack it full time in the heels. It’s humiliating. Your status as a woman is in question.
The other thing they clearly need to put on the statute books is a service of free osteopaths, who could operate in booths next to the shoe changing cubicles. These are obviously necessary due to the crucial woman hours being lost to back and neck pain caused by carrying very heavy handbags, containing the other pairs of shoes.
The recent availability of roll-up and folding ballerina pumps, specially designed for the mandatory double-shoe commute has alleviated some of the handbag weight. But as the bag is only lighter while the more challenging shoes are on the feet, this advantage is offset by the catastrophic effect on the spine of walking in high heels.
Perhaps the shoe-changing cubicles could also include a range of vending machine offering pain killers and a selection of podiatory requisites. Obviously the osteopaths would offer a complimentary foot massage after each spinal realignment.
Another way the government could combat the increasing problem of shoe-related female physical and mental health issues would be to provide adequate education in the area. It really is quite shocking that walking in high-heels is not on the junior school curriculum.
Studies have shown that women who do ballet from a young age find it much easier to walk in high heels in later life, so introducing the subject of walking on the balls of your feet in kindie makes obvious sense. Complimentary courses in bunion management and corn care can be introduced at the high school stage.
Another area where health policy is really slacking is in offering an adequate array of foot plastic surgery options. Toe lengthening for a more attractive sandal foot and the removal of the unnecessary ‘little’ toe, which senselessly restricts the range of shoes many women are able to wear, should all be freely available on Medicare.
Once these measure are in place, the next stage would obviously be a system of ‘walkers’. This could be a very useful way to get the long-term unemployed back into the workforce. They could be collected from pens on street corners, next to the shoe-changing booths, and be used to be lean on while negotiating kerbs, stairways and that tricky first escalator step.
If none of these proposals are adopted we will have no choice but to stop wearing ridiculously uncomfortable high-heeled shoes we can’t actually walk in without experiencing searing discomfort and ruining our feet.
What a ludicrous idea.