Close on the heels of the online #MeToo movement that brought to light sexual harassment against women, Japanese women are now engaging in another one – the #KuToo movement.
And, this movement is one that is calling for a change in the formal dress code for women in Japan. The de facto dress code requires women in Japan to wear high heels at work. Flat shoes are looked down upon and the unspoken requirement is for women to wear heels. Unfortunately, this causes much pain and, sometimes, also results in injury to the feet of women.
The #KuToo movement, then, seeks to spread awareness about the fact that wearing uncomfortable shoes must not be an obligation and that this misogynistic practice must be stopped. It wants women to have the freedom to choose the shoes they’d like to wear.
It was started by Yumi Ishikawa, a Japanese model and actor, who shared a tweet about the same in January 2019. The tweet went viral and so did the #KuToo movement. This is a combination of two words, kutsu (shoe), kutsuu (pain or agony). Since then, Japanese women have taken to social media to express their rage and unhappiness with this practice. What is wonderful is that they have also received support from women and men across the globe.
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It’s sexism. It’s unhealthy. That’s exactly the point. And that’s what this movement is all about. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼 #KuToo #Japan #Japon https://t.co/B9LXvJG3mP
— ゆ (@fearofbigleaves) March 22, 2019
I wore high heels every workday for nine years in Tokyo… now, after three years back in the states, my feet are finally beginning to recover. #KuToo https://t.co/LcDHbgXV32
— Nicolai Kruger (@nicolai_kruger) March 21, 2019
Save the feet of Japan! And those of every other country/culture where high heel madness endures. https://t.co/MGMSr5xYVd #KuToo #flatsforever pic.twitter.com/rOs1cgBZr2
— Charlotte Hunter (@EerieOg) March 21, 2019
Ishikawa also created a petition on Change.org in February asking for Japan’s Ministry of health, labour, and welfare to ask companies to forbid pressing women to wear heels at work.
What do you think about this interesting movement? Do let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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