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#17 - Stilettos & Stupidity

Updated: Jun 16, 2021

During a shift at work, a colleague of mine posed the question "why do women wear stilettos?" This sparked my curiosity as I flicked through the wide variety of potential cultural, societal, evolutionary and personal explanations to this intriguing thought.

It was quickly followed up, however, with the statement "...I think they're stupid."

Although this confused and irritated me at the time, this once again got the cogs in my head whirling around, curious as to the origins of such a remark.

In the first part of this podcast, I explore some of the reasons why women* might wear stilettos including:

  • The social pressure from both workplaces & wider society

  • The links between heels, sexual appeal, masculinity & power

  • Personal enjoyment of aesthetics

  • Social mobility (or market mobility)

  • The disconnection from the long term physical effects

This leads us into the second part of the podcast where I examine more closely the idea of stupidity, starting by comparing the official definition with the everyday usage of the term and how it's more of an emotive word than descriptive.

I examine the different types of intelligence and how our society tends to only recognise and reward one specific type, as well as the need to destigmatise the judgement around different education levels.

There's plenty to get your teeth stuck into in this podcast, so why not loosen those jaws and get ready to munch down this tasty podcast snack!

* For the sake of this discussion, I use the term 'women' mainly to describe cis-gendered women. We live in a society that encourages cis-gendered women (or people it assumes are cis-gendered) to be in heels. I don't mean this to be exclusionary to any agender bigender, non-binary, genderqueer or transgender individuals. I'm sure many of them have faced the same pressures. This podcast was more about addressing societies view on gender (the outdated gender binary model) as opposed to the ever-expanding world of gender identity.


The Savage Balance Podcast is a weekly podcast offering a new story, essay, interview, thought or leftover scribble from the back of a napkin.

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