From the TUC

Why Nadine Dorries is wrong on high heels

06 Aug 2009, by in Equality, Working Life

My previous post called for greater gender balance in politics as a means to ensure that female interests are represented in political debate. I would now like to add the caveat, ‘except Nadine Dorries’, to that point. Today her blog reveals that she has ‘smacked it’ to the TUC with her hardline support for the heel wearing female public. She informs us that:

I’m 5ft 3 and need every inch of my Louboutin heels to look my male colleagues in the eye… The TUC need to get real, stop using overtly sexist tactics by discussing women’s stilettos in order to divert attention away from Labour chaos and debate something meaningful

To set the record straight the TUC couldn’t care less whether Nadine Dorries wears Louboutin or Clarks to work, our current policy, which is based on reducing long-term foot problems, is that employers shouldn’t require workers to wear uncomfortable or dangerous footwear. This includes a number of big city institutions and upmarket shops who insist female staff who deal with the public wear slip-on shoes or high heels as part of a dress code.

The new motion on heels has been been put forward to Congress by one of our affiliated unions – unsurprisingly it’s the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists – and calls specifically for:

all employers who have dress codes that promote high heels to examine the hazards their women workers face and ensure
that proper risk assessments are carried out, and that where these show the wearing of high heels is hazardous the high heels should be replaced with sensible and comfortable shoes.

This union is allowed to bring two motions to Congress, and this year has decided that this issue is of practical concern to their members and to the clients they support.

The idea that preventing women from being forced to wear unsuitable clothing to work is sexist is ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous as the idea that anti-abortion advocate Nadine Dorries is suddenly a champion of women’s rights.

7 Responses to Why Nadine Dorries is wrong on high heels

  1. Et tu Konnie? The stilettos go in | johninnit
    Aug 7th 2009, 10:55 pm

    […] 7/8/9: More on this from Nicola at ToUChstone, and Jenni Russell on CiF complains about the joyless utilitarianism of a health and safety motion. […]

  2. Liberal Conspiracy » No, the TUC is not banning high heels
    Aug 8th 2009, 2:15 am

    […] – which has long had a vendetta against trade unions. As Nicola Smith explains on the Touchstone blog: To set the record straight the TUC couldn’t care less whether Nadine Dorries wears Louboutin or […]

  3. Web links for 5th August 2009 | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC
    Aug 10th 2009, 9:42 am

    […] Mail Fail. Daily Mail unsure how they stand on stilettos (geddit?) Paul Cotterill has unearthed this very interesting Daily Mail health warning on high heels from last year – looks like they didn’t read their own paper too closely before running the TUC heel ban story […]

  4. Twitted by KerryMP
    Aug 10th 2009, 10:39 pm

    […] This post was Twitted by KerryMP […]

  5. Are High Heels Being Banned in the UK? « FashionPeek.com Fashion Clothing Fashion Jewelry Fashion Handbags Fashion Shoes
    Aug 12th 2009, 4:16 am

    […] up, the Trade Union Congress is apparently not trying to ban high heels. In fact, according to a recent post on the TUC’s Touch Stone Blog, their current policy “that employers shouldn’t require […]

  6. Katie
    Sep 16th 2009, 1:05 pm

    Do Nadine Dorries, the Tories; together with their all-pervasive tabloids and the rest of their vast (and it has to be emphasized) *monopolistic* media concerns similarly defend the right of a male-to-female transvestite to wear high heels to work when their (usually alpha-male) employer says ‘no’?

    And if not; why not?

    The truth is that there is NO justification for gendered dress codes at all – as all they do is attempt to prop up an already decaying, sexist, patriarchally-created and defined bi-polar gender construct.

    The widespread, virtually unquestioned, requirement to look like a replica of a Ken or Barbie Doll is all about sexism and transphobia – nothing to do with the ‘need to maintain a smart, professional appearance’ excuse so monotonously, and thoughtlessly, churned out by governing-‘elites’ whenever any defenceless worker or school student objects to it.

  7. High Heels, Low Politics « Left Outside
    Sep 16th 2009, 10:45 pm

    […] this TUC document the motion discussing footwear is 81st. This has been explained here by Sunny and here by Nicola Smith, not to mention being plain as day on page 40 of the original proposition that no one is banning […]