Patricia J. Williams on stiletto “power” shoes:
Indeed, according to Jack Green’s discussion in his fascinating little volume, The Physics Factbook, a stiletto high heel exerts more than fifteen times the pressure exerted by an elephant’s foot:
Pressure is defined as force over area. Pressure is directly proportional to the force and inversely proportional to area. This inverse relationship is an important concept when it concerns the immensity of pressure. The significance of the high heel comes into play because it has such a minute area. Due to this fact, the pressure under that high heel is extremely large. If one were to solve the aforementioned problem, the solution is deduced as follows:
This is approximately 40 atmospheric pressures.
If only all this rogue elephantine female power could have found its expression in an aggressively adorned tea hat or a ferociously iron-fisted velvet glove. Instead it had to be the shoe, so relentlessly jack-hammering its liberatory tattoo upwards, into the spine.