Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Social policing watch

People love to run other people's lives for them. The excuse for doing so is often that the policing is for the good of the person being policed but it never is. Notice the following example. It starts off as a mini-rant against high heels and then the writer promptly reveals that she not only has no evidence to back up her claim but that, rather, she has evidence that contradicts her claim.
Whenever I see a woman walking (or trying to) in stilettos — skinny heels over 3 inches high — my first thought is, “There’s a sprained ankle waiting to happen.”

An estimated 28,000 ankle injuries occur daily in the United States, most of them through sporting activities, including jogging on uneven surfaces. But while no one suggests remaining sedentary to protect your ankles, experts wisely warn against purposely putting them at risk by wearing hazardous shoes or getting back in the game before an injured ankle has healed.
The problem is not heels but athletic activities. It would have been a different article altogether if she had started off with, 'Whenever I see someone playing field hockey, my first thought is, "There is a sprained ankle waiting to happen." Field hockey is the activity most likely to lead to sprained ankles. The next three are volleyball, football and basketball. Nowhere in the article is there even a scrap of evidence that wearing high heels is bad for you.

That's not surprising as the evidence against high heels is surprisingly thin on the ground. I know, you remember reading somewhere that ... . Well, the thing is that if you wear high heels all day, every day, it's bad for you. If you ate nothing but broccoli that would also be bad for you. Wearing high heels for a few hours when you go out on Friday or Saturday night is not only not bad for you but is good for you.

But let's get back to Jane Brody. That's her work above. She doesn't approve of high heels. On others. She doesn't want you wearing them. That's why she drags high heels into a column that has nothing to do with high heels. For a woman like Brody, suppressing traits she doesn't like in others is a full-time job.

Why doesn't she want other women wearing heels? Well, that's an interesting question. She's lying when she says it's a health concern. Part of it may be an attempt to flatter her audience who are mostly seniors. I don't know but my suspicion is that women like Brody don't want other women to make efforts to be sexy because it puts competitive pressures on her. That's what makes what she does social policing.

One of the odd things about this sort of social policing, this is something I've noted before, is that it isn't intended to stop women from dressing attractively. No, the point is always to make sure that women dress attractively in the approved ways. Of course, these approved ways will favour certain body types and not others so it creates (or protects) a class system.

Anyway, keep an eye out for social policing; there's a lot of it about. It's done by men and women but more so by women.

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