why socks matter: unpacking the patriarchy



Our sock project is about empowering women from the feet up. With the aim of lessening the objectifying-habit that exists around us, we are more about promoting the true position that women can do amazing stuff too. Obviously we know this - from climbing mount Everest, to engineering, to surgery, to making art. imagine if women could have gone to university earlier? imagine what else could have been invented as well as all of the incredible stuff that men have invented or discovered?


In our eyes the topic of comfortable clothing is a good way to start to question and challenge this structure. By promoting socks for women, we are simultaneously encouraging flat shoes in the workplace. The women and equalities committee report on ‘high heels and the workplace’ published last year highlights the health problems associated with long-term use. The way in which heels affects your balance is frightening: they destabilise you, restrict your breathing and affect your concentration by virtue of the pain caused by wearing them.


so in unpacking the patriarchy we’re not saying women should replace men in the power structure that we currently have (although there are some matriarchal societies that still exist) but we are just trying to understand why it exists in the first place, and how we can change it.


any one who has read naomi alderman’s carefully imagined alternative universe 'the power' can see that it may not be all roses if women did have ultimate rule (and if they had electrical powers in their fictional skeins). as physical power becomes the dominant force and corrupts the women. surely it would be better to have a little less patriarchy and a little more matriarchy - somewhere in the middle. a vision we hope to see in the not too distant future.

Sarah Johnson