For a lot of jobs, both men and women are required to wear business attire. This includes suits, ties and nice shoes. But all that isn’t necessary for the job hunting part. In Japan, however, you need the full attire even for an entry-level job!
Men AND women need to wear full suits with ties. Women don’t have to wear a tie but are required to have heels. Flats are a no-no as they are viewed as being too casual. You don’t have to wear ridiculous heels but the shoes have to at least have a medium-height heel.
But when you’re job-hunting, you usually set a day or two where you’re traveling to get to all of your interviews. And Japan is a lot like NYC where most, if not all, of your traveling is done via bus and subway. But imagine, doing all that walking and moving in a day in heels. It will destroy parts of your feet. And trust me, the pain is killer!
Japanese Twitter user @udondon1234 showed what happened to her not long after getting off the train.
— うどんちゃん@趣味垢 (@udondon1234) March 13, 2019
“I want them to get rid of pumps for job hunting,” tweeted @udondon1234. “If you have bunions or a high instep, the shoe will rub against your skin and bite into it,” she lamented, going on to say “Pumps are the modern equivalent of foot-binding. It’s a mistake to force women to wear them. They say it’s proper manners to wear them? It’s a medical injury!”
The Twitter user also tweeted the hashtag #KuToo. It’s a mix of the Japanese word for shoes – Kutsu 靴 and the important #MeToo anti-sexual harassment movement. #KuToo has been appearing more and more in Japanese social media platforms but it doesn’t just apply to people looking for jobs. It’s also the cry of women working already in jobs that require them to wear heels all day.
— 浅川りか/Rika.A (@Rikarikari_a) March 6, 2019
But of course, not everyone feels it’s the sole fault of the workplace requirements and that it also falls on the woman. There have been people saying that she chose the wrong shoes or to carry inserts to prevent injuries. Some have even suggested to just bring a second pair of shoes that are better suited to walk in and just change when they arrive.
Now, there are quite a few workplaces that have locker rooms for female employees to keep their items secured and a place to change. But this is all ignoring the fact that sometimes life happens and one can be running late. Someone missed their bus or train. Or interviews could be lined up too close to each other so there’s no real time to get from one to the other. It’s also still horrible having your feet hurt so much but you have to remain in heels at ANY time.
It’s really not fair to allow men to be as comfortable as they can be with regular shoes while women have to suffer with heels. Why not allow everyone to dress comfortably? We do not revolve around fashion and it does not effect our work ethics. Why are there still such old ideals of how women should be and dress still around?
Why are we still blaming women?
It’s 2019. Personally, I believe that things have to change. People have worked hard while going through a lot of pain and suffering to make things better and easier. We don’t have to be like the old days anymore. Let’s use the same energy that empowered the #MeToo movement to push #KuToo. We work just as hard as men do to support ourselves and families. Shoes are not that serious.