“why can’t female heroes kick arse in heels” because it’s not practical and will literally snap your damn ankle you can scream weaponised femininity all you want but first off, you need to admit that they’re not an almighty symbol of empowerment, and secondly that if you do a job with a lot of physical activity in heels you’re risking your own safety. all these women fighting in heels on tv are going to end up seriously injuring themselves.
weaponised femininity is a concept made up in an attempt to get us to embrace the industries created to hold us back/profit from our insecurities so that we can continue to fit into the male expectation of what a woman should be and not question why we are forced to spend thousands on our appearance every year
just a small anecdote. I had a friend who worked in theater; she was the stage manager and an actress came to her in tears one day because the director absolutely refused to let her do a choreographed fight scene in less than 3 inch heels because “they’re platforms so you’ll be okay.” My friend, who is a woman’s size 10, brought her own heels in the next day and DEMANDED the director put them on and try the choreography before the actress did it. He finally agreed to change it, without putting the heels on.
so like I know you might think of “all those women on tv fighting in heels” as fictional woman who WOULD hurt themselves in real life, but its fiction so its okay…except those women are portrayed by real actresses who are actually fighting in actual heels, being directed by dudes who have never worn a pair of heels in their lives, alongside men who aren’t expected to constantly wear things that make their stunts 2x more dangerous than they have to be. Just a thought.
Men take “let’s see feminine women being badass” to mean “let’s see women impractically focused on their appearance in combat situations.“
Also, as a side note, the things we consider “masculine” usually are just the things that are practical and comfortable for a situation. Usually when when we say a female character is “feminine, but able to kick ass”, specifically in reference to costume design, we actually mean “there are some very impractical elements in this design (read: wonder woman and valkyrie), but her boobs aren’t on full display and she’s not wearing stilettos”. The idea that practical and appropriate clothing for dangerous or physically demanding situations is inherently masculine really has to go, because it is all kinds of fucked up.
Some really neat commentary on the absurdity of high heels as battle footwear, on the pretense that “weaponized femininity” excuses them and on the double standard that is their source.
It’s always morbidly fascinating to observe the implication that some things in character and costume design (flowy hair, skimpy clothes,
shoes etc.) are assumed to be inherently feminine, therefore mandatory for women in fiction, no matter the context.
And that female characters who don’t comply to them to some degree are automatically “tomboys” or “rebels” or cheaply-achieved “good” female representation.
related: This very long explanation of why high heels + combat =/= success | Why stuntwomen are in more danger than men