Thursday, January 21, 2010

"Hair, Hemlines and Husbands...and Heels"

Those are the three things that conventional wisdom in politics tells female candidates they need to be worried about...that the issues, unfortunately for us ladies, take a backseat to those three things that the public seems to care about more when it comes to us. I don't agree that this should be the case, but it often is. I'd like to add one more...'heels'.

I recently was told that my name was being splattered all over the local newspaper's blog, and among all the other nonsensical things I was being accused of and blamed for, I saw posters taking shots at, of all things, my choices in footwear. Oh, there were some shots in there about my hair too, but there isn't much we ladies can do about that...we get what we get, curly or straight, blonde or brunette, and I learned long ago not to fight what I've got. I have better things to do with my time and my money.

No, there were actually people spending time writing about my propensity to wear high heels. Which, admittedly, is a choice. I don't have to, but I like to. I'm not quite sure but the tone from the posters (whom I suspect boil down to two or three people, as none of the given names are on our township's voters' lists) was that somehow, my shoes disqualify me to run for public office, speak at a public meeting, chair one of my zoning meetings, or attend the various political functions & meetings I do in an effort to stay up to speed on what's going on with our local government and local Republican committee. For the record, I do all those things in high heels.

All I need to qualify me for any of that is to be a resident, to be informed, and to have an interest and the time. And, if I can do what I did the last time I was a candidate - election day, primary 2008 - where I stood and greeted voters for all 13 hours the polls were open, plus before and after to put up and remove signs - in 4" heels no less... I can do anything.  

Heck, Sarah Palin, and three other ladies in local politics here - Colleen Eckman, Cathleen Rebar, and Marie Altieri - frequently wear high heels too, but I don't see anybody taking shots at them over that. I suppose that's the best my enemies can come up with.

My political friends and enemies know I can be a feisty gal when provoked. I come from an argumentative Irish family, so I am fine with the 'heat' of politics, and I'm comfortable with confrontation and debate when necessary.  To my political enemies: I'm staying in the heat of the political 'kitchen', high heels and all. As my kids are older, I'm not always needed at home. As a young widow, I am free to commit myself to my community instead of a marriage. Right now, that's my preference (along with my shoes).  Deal with it.

As Carrie Bradshaw once noted, “It's hard to walk in a single woman's shoes -- that's why sometimes we need really special ones”.  I think the same thing goes for women in politics. We need special shoes most of all...because of the 'heels' we sometimes have to deal with.


Bo said...


I had a pear of red heels all picked out for myself. From what I am hearing, I shouldn't wear them to the polls?


Anonymous said...

I don't trust a woman who is not in heels - period! If I were a chauvenist I might say, "Take those heels off and get in the kitchen". But as a true conservative man, I say, "Keep those heels on, grab a seat - I'll cook tonight."

Bill Shaw said...

Morons, misogynists, whatever you want to call them, there are still people out there who are afraid of strong, independent women.

I say wear the heels, chair the meetings then take them off and kick their lily asses in the parking lot if they don't like it.

And Bo, stick to flats, I don't think you have the ankles to pull off heels.

Donna Z said...

You tell them woman! Great article. Get a life people!

Tommy Richardson said...

Kind of makes you wonder are they looking at you as a possible date or the next political candidate. Let me just jump on the "love the heels band wagon"...If you are tough enough to slug it out for as long as you have in heels you are tough enough to get my vote...since I know that the brains and the heart atop those heels are all that and a bag of conservative values that don't fall short of awesome. How is it that so many time the other side needs to resort to personal attacks and can't focus on the real issues at hand.

In short Janice, I think they can't handle getting there butts kicked by a classy lady! You go and as always I'm in your corner 24/7 on demand..You are all that and I back you 100%!