Thus Spake Zuska

Rethinking The Shoe Thing

I’ve been thinking a lot lately, and it seems to me that I spend way too much time puking on other peoples’ shoes and not nearly enough time prancing about in my own fancy high heels. So this past weekend I did some shopping. Here’s one result:

i-480ebd942793cdc228c3536a783f34ab-cherry pop.jpg

Let me tell you, Mr. Zuska is happy about this turn of events! I also got these:

i-5e49bcd4d53bc3f7aff0a2eb2d3f7e6b-purple pump.jpg

Of course, after an evening in those, I couldn’t walk at all the next day due to my arthritic toes but it was all worth it, because I knew I had finally consumed my way into modern womanhood. I know this because I was reading Mechanical Brides: Women and Machines from Home to Office, a 1993 publication of the Cooper-Hewitt museum that accompanied an exhibit by the same name. And I came across this quote which explained it all to me:

A person articulates herself as female in part through the material objects and images that frame her daily activities. “Gender” is the set of behavioral norms and expectations that members of a given society attribute to the physical differences between women and men. In the words of anthropologist Gayle Rubin, who has analysed the difference between biological “sex” and cultural “gender,” the making of a woman is a social process. Feminist studies of design and technology look at products, buildings, cities, and media in relation to women users. Although the built environment is designed largely by men, much of it is constructed with female consumers in mind; design thus contributes to the “making” of modern women.

I gotta tell ya, I am tickled pink to be articulating myself as female today!


  1. #1 ScienceWoman
    April 1, 2009

    Oh noes Zuska. Those shoes just scream “tools of the patriarchy!” Of course, I should talk. I’ve been prancing around in these all week. they’ll be just perfect for my field lab this afternoon.

  2. #2 Chris Rowan
    April 1, 2009

    But think of the possibilities! You can puke on their shoes, and if they still don’t get it you can drive your pointy heels into a vulnerable area!

  3. #3 MissPrism
    April 1, 2009

    Haha! So pretty and springlike… perfect for the first day of April, eh?

  4. #4 Isis the Scientist
    April 1, 2009

    What the fuck is this, Zuska? Have you decided that your own cranky, hairy-legged feminism isn’t working so you need to steal my schtick? I am totally un-fucking-amused.

  5. #5 becca
    April 1, 2009

    I’m so relieved. I always thought maybe there was something wrong with me, that I wasn’t “feminine” enough. But this post made me realize- if that’s the case, all I need to do is buy more shoes!

  6. #6 Scicurious
    April 1, 2009

    If you’re going to go, go all the way. Bondage AND femme, is what I’m talkin’ bout.

  7. #7 Isis the Scientist
    April 1, 2009

    Whatever, you women can all kiss my ass. Ping.

  8. #8 ScienceWoman
    April 1, 2009

    I realize now that these may indeed be the most appropriate for this post. Next year, I shall wear them in your honor.

  9. #9 Anonymous
    April 1, 2009

    Wait a second. Where’s the leg hair? I thought you were supposed to be an angry hairy-legged feminist?!

  10. #10 Ian
    April 1, 2009

    How did you engineer your way into those in the first place?! I don’t like the first pair – the gave me spots before my eyes, but the second pair are a shoe-in….

  11. #11 stickypaws
    April 1, 2009

    Happy April 1st to you too!

  12. #12 DNLee
    April 1, 2009

    Those are cute shoes…and I like the kitchy feel, too – kinda sorta goth and punk. Hot!

  13. #13 Engr Management
    April 1, 2009

    Does anybody else think that Zuska and Isis seem to have switched personalities, in some weird sort of crazy, real world manifestation of The Hot Chick?

  14. #14 bioephemera
    April 1, 2009

    The articulations of my feminine toes hurt just thinking about hunting down the patriarchy in those stacked-wood heels.

  15. #15 jc
    April 1, 2009

    who are you and what have you done with Z? I shutter to think what’s hidden by those pumps? nail polish??!!?!?! PEDICURE!??!!?!

  16. #16 Goodness&Light
    April 1, 2009

    Ha Ha Isis can’t take a joke. She’d rather hobble around in her crippling heels pleasing men to the bitter end….

  17. #17 alphabitch
    April 1, 2009

    Happy Holiday!

  18. #18 JLK
    April 1, 2009

    Am I the only one who remembers that this is April Fool’s Day?

    Oh and: “Ha Ha Isis can’t take a joke. She’d rather hobble around in her crippling heels pleasing men to the bitter end….”

    Fuck you, Goodness & Light.

  19. #19 yolio
    April 1, 2009

    Those cherry heels are adorable.

  20. #20 Zuska
    April 1, 2009

    Why, JC, you know I did shave my legs before going out shopping, and after buying all those shoes I thought, what the heck, and I DID get a pedicure! How did you know??!?!?

  21. #21 Azkyroth
    April 1, 2009

    I’m not feeling up to sorting through the multiple layers of April Fools’ jokes involved here, but those really do look horribly uncomfortable. D:

  22. #22 deang
    April 1, 2009

    Some people can’t distinguish male from female if a man’s hair is too long or a woman’s hair is too short. Some get genders confused if a woman wears pants or a man wears a kilt. Others if a man wears makeup or a woman doesn’t.

    With me, it’s always been about heel elevation. If a woman’s heel is flat on the ground, I just can’t figure out what gender she is, no matter what else she’s wearing. She can have the largest breasts in the world, a traffic-stopping camel toe, and a pregnant belly, but none of that registers if all her weight isn’t thrown onto the ball of her foot.

  23. #23 Zuska
    April 1, 2009

    Exactly! And I, for one, am no longer willing to continue sowing the seeds of gender confusion in everyone I greet. Thus the high-heeled makeover. At least for today!

  24. You people are all stone crazy.

  25. #25 Pat
    April 1, 2009

    And a happy April Fools Day to us all

  26. #26 Samia
    April 2, 2009

    This is funny. *hearts*

  27. #27 msphd
    April 3, 2009

    hmm. Maybe this is why I increasingly find myself feeling un-female (and yet, still punished before being female at all!). Not being able to wear cute shoes just takes all the fun out of it. =-(

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