#KuToo Campaign in Japan Protests Pressure for Women to Wear High Heels

There’s a movement gaining momentum in Japan protesting the cultural insistence of women wearing high heels in the workplace.

Actor and freelance writer Yumi Ishikawa started the #KuToo campaign, the name referring to the Japanese words kutsu which means shoes and kutsuu meaning pain, and met with government officials to address the sexist dress code.

“Today we submitted a petition calling for an introduction of laws banning employers from forcing women to wear heels as sexual discrimination or harassment,” said Ishikawa after her meeting with labor ministry officials. During the meeting, one official told her “this is the first time voices of this kind had reached the ministry.”

The Realist Woman’s take:

This is an archaic issue. But so is every issue involving women from abortion rights to the fight for equal pay. Everything comes down to women fighting for control of their lives. The patriarchy wants to control our ability to make money, they want to control our bodies and they want to control our image. They want to be in control of our identities. But those days are over. We’re not having it.

I have no problem admitting that wearing high heels feels like they were sent from hell, but they look cute on us. And while we do love/hate our wearing our high heels, we should be the only ones deciding if, when and where we want to wear them. I’m rooting for laws supporting the women of Japan in this fight. This misogynistic culture isn't going to change overnight, but with movements and protests like this one, we can be sure that change is inevitable.