How an internal debate about shoes taught me about gender



The other day I was having an argument… with myself… on which gender had uglier shoes, the men or the women. Now, before you adjudge me to be suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), let’s take a look at the main issue here ­- who has uglier looking shoes.

I’d like you to take an objective look at the top men’s designer shoes -­ I won’t name names for fear of being prosecuted for libel and neither will I add images (those people may have their images copyrighted for all we know). They are simply outrageous -­ this being a milder word than hideous. I wonder how a pointy, boat­like looking structure is supposed to be classified as top notch footwear. Men’s feet are naturally longer than women’s but these things they call shoes are so long I’d cringe if any man’s feet are that long. And I won’t even go near how much they cost.

Now to women’s shoes -­ women’s shoes are generally attractive looking, whatever their class or grade. Then take another objective look, this time at women’s top designer label shoes. They are drop dead gorgeous! Again I won’t name names but you cannot pass by women’s shoes and not take a second look. Aside the fact that I have a secret shoe fetish, each time I pass by a shop or heap of shoes, I will myself to quit admiring. Moreover, I can’t possibly have all the women’s shoes in existence.


It suddenly occurred to me that some men’s shoes do actually look gorgeous and some women’s shoes on the other hand look hideous (block heel alert!).

“So, why am I engaging in this argument in the first place?” I ask myself.

Well, the argument on women vs. men has gone on for centuries -­ who is better, who lies more, who cheats more, who should be responsible for doing what, the list is endless. What’s more, we even argued about it in primary school (hello debaters, boys are better than girls ­ anyone remember that?).

Ages have come and gone, the argument is still there. I think that the argument, the struggle for relevance and all are premised on the mere fact that we are different yet alike in more ways than one. Our difference is the primary catalyst of the argument. I have observed from human relations the world over that humans struggle to accept those who are obviously different from them in appearance and mannerism. Only recently did man begin to intentionally counter such tendencies with the mindset of the universal human nature. Decades after however, we have still not won the war against notions of human inequality.

So, without belabouring the point, the sooner women and men began to view themselves as being human first of all, the better for us all. This approach is what I believe is the key to ending all the bickering and despising and bringing about total acceptance of the other gender. Otherwise, this argument will never end.

That’s the answer I gave myself.

Oh, and on the other hand, whichever of you does not talk to himself in his head should cast the first stone and tell me I have DID.

Feyisola Akintoye is a young lawyer and budding writer who gets excited by creativity.

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

One comment

  1. Refreshing and creative… well done!

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