Women have to endure so many indignities!
And here is one of the very worst (hold your breath): Fictional women in Hollywood movies have to run while wearing high heels.
Imagine such torture, such humilation! And Megan Barber, writing for The Atlantic, has done exactly that:
There are several scenes, in the new movie Inferno, in which Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones)—Robert Langdon’s latest lady-sidekick—runs around Florence in a pair of wedges. Not full-on stilettos, to be clear, like the ones in which Jones’s co-star, Sidse Babett Knudsen, will end up sprinting later in the movie, but wedges that are, in Sienna’s case, multiple inches high, and made of patent leather….
Oh, and the shoes also have shiny little bows on them.
Little bows–the ultimate patriarchal put-down.
It’s a strange costuming decision all around, and firmly in the absurdist tradition of the heel-hampered heroine, which is to say of Ginger “backwards and in heels” Rogers, and also Claire Dearing in Jurassic World, and Lisa Reisert in Red Eye, and Juliet O’Hara in Psych, and Annie Walker in Covert Affairs, and Claire Underwood in House of Cards, lounging around her Washington home in her sky-high stilettos….
Women galavanting in heels—running in them, endangered by them, totally hindered by them but trying their best not to admit it—happens again and again in Hollywood productions.
Conservative blogger Steve Sailer promptly penned the following:
Inferno is only the latest Hollywood product to insist that its gentleman-stars race around in woolen office attire.
And sure enough, the Inferno still that accompanies Barber's article shows Tom Hanks, playing as he always does, novelist Dan Brown's Harvard-prof hero, Robert Langdon, fleeing the bad guys alongside Jones while attired in a blue business suit, a crisp white dress shirt, and black lace-up dress shoes that look only marginally less suitable for running than Jones's wedges (which are actually only a modest two inches in height).
Sailer bolsters his point with a YouTube of the famous "crop-duster" sequence in Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 North by Northwest, in which Cary Grant flees an airborne killer across the dusty plain attired in a suit and tie.
No matter: Barber's point isn't just that women in movies are costumed in what she deems impractical attire, but that it's men–who form the majority of producers and studio executives–who force them to do so:
Had Jurassic World had some female producers to complement its six male ones, they might have been around to mention that, symbolism aside, no woman in her right mind would be running around the squishy ground in heels. Those women might have been there, in the rooms where such decisions are made, to prevent such a silly thing as footwear from becoming “a subject of discussion,” thereby helping to save Jurassic World, just a little bit, from itself.
And had Inferno, similarly, had more women in the room as Dan Brown’s apocalyptic vision was being modified for the screen … the movie might have been (slightly) less absurd.
Right–it always boils down to gender quotas, doesn't it? Let's have more women producers around to ensure that every female character in a Hollywood film wears sneakers instead of glam Ferragamos during every scene. I can't wait for the current misogynist-footwear outrage to end.