June 26, 2019

High-Heeled Blues

“From Cinderella’s glass slippers to Carrie Bradshaw’s Manolo Blahniks, Summer Brennan deftly analyzes one of the world’s most provocative and sexualized fashion accessories in High Heel, part of the Object Lessons series from Bloomsbury. Told in 150 vignettes that alternately entertain and educate, disturb and depress, the book ruminates on the ways in which society fetishizes, celebrates, and demonizes the high heel as well as the people, primarily women, who wear them.

She writes: “We’re still sorting out the relationship between glass ceilings and glass heels. For now, the idea of doing something ‘in high heels’ is a near-universally understood shorthand meaning both that the person doing it is female, and that in doing it, she faces additional, gendered challenges.” Whether you see high heels as empowering or a submission to patriarchal gender roles (or land somewhere in between), you’ll likely never look at a pair the same way again after reading High Heel.

Brennan, an award-winning investigative journalist and author of The Oyster War: The True Story of a Small Farm, Big Politics, and the Future of Wilderness in America, has written for New York Magazine, The Paris Review, Scientific American, Pacific Standard, Buzzfeed, and The San Francisco Chronicle, among other publications. A longtime communications consultant at the United Nations, she’s worked on issues and projects ranging from the environment and nuclear weapons to gender equality and human rights.”

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