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Bronnie’s shoes: a fractured fairytale

Back in the day, second-wave feminists warned us to ditch our high heels because they hampered us if we needed to move fast or even at a reasonable pace, and if you ever wear high heels, you know that to be true. I just dug out an ancient pair, red satin with a high gold heel and long pointed toes and if the heels don’t cripple you the toes will become trapped in pavement cracks and you’ll go either arse backwards or head forward and either way, your progress will be impeded and physical injury may result.

My heels aren’t anywhere near as high as those worn by the Speaker of the House of the Representatives, Bronwyn Helicopter Bishop. So I absolutely understand why, on a recent European jaunt, she ran up a bill of around $1000 per day on a specially equipped black BMW limo to transport her from her luxury accommodations to wherever she needed to be. Only a spiteful, ill-wishing fairy would think she should walk, or take a cab or even an everyday embassy car, none of which would be safe enough to accommodate both her and her stilettos.

Women’s feet, and the type of shoe in which we encase them, have been the stuff of fairy tales in many cultures. There’s the ancient Chinese custom of foot binding. There’s the Grimm’s fairytale of the pubescent mermaid, who so desperately wanted to love a landlocked prince she exchanged her glorious asexual mermaid’s tail for legs, feet, and a clitoris, and forever after suffered as if she was walking on daggers, unless she was flat on her back. Yes. We’ve all been there, haven’t we.

Then there’s the grotesque Hans Christian Anderson saga of the red shoes, which involves a little girl the author describes as vain, who, after complaining of her ungainly footwear is given a pair of red shoes that won’t stop dancing all by themselves, leading to a desperate amputation of her legs at the ankle, and crutches for life. The ill-natured shoes, with her mutilated and bloodied feet inside them, hubristically continue to boogie in front of her everywhere she goes, reminding her of the wages of vanity and self-indulgence. It is this latter story that is perhaps most pertinent to Ms Bishop, as us punters struggle to establish which is the larger insult: the helicopter hired to serve the country (club) or the limo cos shoes.

As accounts of Bronnie’s indulgences at the serfs’ expense continue to unfold, I am reminded of nothing as much as a syphilis maddened British monarch demanding the gratification of every whim, which surprises me, as I had previously held this image as belonging solely to the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott. But hey nonny, the two are apparently cut from the same cloth, and Bronnie, rumoured to be one of the Captain’s earliest picks (after his nose) continues to enjoy the unqualified support of her leader, against the advice of at least one of his party elders.

Bronnie is out of step with the times, so to speak. She would be far more at home in the Georgian era, getting about in a sedan chair with a couple of bearers she could flog if they didn’t keep up the pace or jerked her about. A couple of hair extensions fashioned into ringlets and she’s all set to go.

I don’t know that we should advocate severing Bronnie’s legs at the ankle. However, there is something to be said for casting her feet (in stilettos of choice) and ankles in bronze, and placing them in a glass case in the entrance hall of Parliament House. These shoes, the placard might read, caused taxpayers to fork out $1000 per day for over two weeks, as they rendered the wearer incapable of using her god-given ability to walk. Only women of calibre should contemplate wearing such shoes, and then only when some other patsy foots the bill for the limo.

This article was first published on No Place For Sheep.

 

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5 comments

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  1. corvus boreus

    High heels alter the body posture in a way that causes pain and damage, starting at the toes, through the feet to the ankles and knees, up through the hips into the spine where nerves get pinched all the way to the cerebral cortex.
    I call high heels ‘occidental foot-binding’.

  2. Lee

    If women are foolish enough to wear stilettos, they deserve all the problems caused by them. I cannot comprehend why they think it is a classy look to walk around as if they have shit themselves. It’s an even better look when accompanied by continual tugging at the hemline of a very tight micro skirt that keeps riding up.

  3. eli nes

    love it!!!
    Wonder, if she lost one, how many women would do a cinderella’s step sisters’ trick to fit it?? Sophie springs to mind or perhaps daddies little bully, michael(ia)????ps Lee no man can walk behind high heels and not be impressed by ankles, calves, bum ie women below the waist

  4. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    A very enjoyable read Jennifer. Even if the PM and the AFP are too gutless to get rid of this greedy old harradine, our collective jeering is appropriate punishment for now and a flag to tarnish her inglorious reputation onwards.

  5. king1394

    While I certainly enjoy seeing Bronnie getting some comeuppance, I am still wondering why the Liberal Party Branch that invited her to speak at their fundraiser was not and is not being seen as the entity that should have been paying Ms Bishop’s costs. When a little organisation that I belong to invites a speaker it seems expected by all that we (the organisers) pick up the costs. Makes no difference to the story overall, the people of Australia are still being asked to pay unnecessarily large amounts of money in this case, which are certainly not our responsibility. However, it would have been just as much a fraud if she had claimed for a car journey

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