August 6, 2014

"Starter Husband Hunting" ad for high-heel shoes goes easily viral.



Who says you can't run in high-heel shoes? You can run right into the arms of the feminists who either can't take a joke or must generate another topic for another column about the cultural battleground that is the female body.

Maybe the men's-rights crowd is ventilating too. I haven't dug that deeply.

43 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Outrage! Cue the outrage!

They don't mention CFM pumps?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The very term Starter Husband is offensive to those of us who still take marriage seriously.

FleetUSA said...

Do guys really care about the shoes a woman wears?

Sorin said...

So, come hither pumps have a new name. What's old is new again.

Jim Gust said...

So, the ladies are now looking for "starter husbands"? Good to know.

BTW, the shoes are ugly. And FleetUSA nailed it.

traditionalguy said...

Is she hunting for a starter husband, like you would a starter house, but expect to trade up after the divorce divides his property?

Hunter-gatherers are again the norm in the jungle.

Seeing Red said...

It's a racist and sexist ad. Why did they go with a white woman?

Curious George said...

"Seeing Red said...
It's a racist and sexist ad. Why did they go with a white woman?"

Because it was "starter husband" not "baby daddy"

Just Mike said...

Don't be a starter husband. Avoid these warning signs.
#1:non-sensible shoes

mccullough said...

Do leopard print high heels arouse anyone but Tarzan?

Tank said...

FleetUSA said...

Do guys really care about the shoes a woman wears?

Well, a pair of fuck me shoes does send a certain message.

Chuck said...

"Maybe the men's-rights crowd is ventilating too. I haven't dug that deeply."

Nope. Not ventilating. Don't care. What was this supposed to be about, again?

damikesc said...

The Men's Rights Movement are arguing about actually substantive issues.

Feminism has become a sad, sad parody.

Do guys really care about the shoes a woman wears?

I couldn't tell you what any woman I've been with in my life wore for shoes.

William said...

I never notice a woman's shoes except when I notice a woman's shoes.

Fred Drinkwater said...

I read the ad as being for a "atarter kit" for husband hunting, not as tools for hunting a starter husband. Anyway...
For me, the meta-point is that the objectors to this kind of ad would prefer to see a world where literally EVERYONE behaved within bounds. They see every niche infraction as something to be eliminated, as if it were a global threat. Politically, one sees this most obviously in the urge to federalize rules, or indeed to hand them to the UN. In a weird way, its a throwback to a '50s middle America, e.g. as was satirized in the movie Pleasantville.

surfed said...

Who was it that said - modern feminism sounds like something that 12 year old boys would come with.

Doug said...

The very term Starter Husband is offensive to those of us who still take marriage seriously. Hey, I still introduce my spouse of thirty-three years as "...my first wife ..." just to keep her on her toes.

Lucien said...

Funny, but when I first read the thing, it was as a "Husband Hunting Starter [kit]", and now I'm still not so sure it's unambiguously referring to "Starter husband's".

Does anyone else see ambiguity here, or is it just some sort of Freudian inversion on my part?

LarsPorsena said...

Starter Husband? How about First Wives Club Shoe?

Peter said...

The ad is dumb because few men care about the shoes a woman is wearing. Although if you've got shoes to sell I suppose you might want your potential customers to think otherwise.

Other than that, it's just woman-centric. The "starter husband" is there to pay the bills and perhaps do some of the grunge work while you're off procreating with someone else. It's female-centric because it assumes the purpose of men is to provide whatever women want from them.

It's all about what (or whatever) that faceless woman wants. What a man might want is entirely irrelevant, except when it helps her get what she wants.

The ad's dumb, and probably not very effective. But it's hard to get outraged about it.

John said...

I just will never understand what it is with women and shoes. My wife probably has 15-20 pair and complains she doesn't have enough.

I suspect I am a fairly normal guy with 1 pair for normal wear, a pair of steel toes, a pair of sneakers and a pair of Crocs.

Why would I ever need more?

My wife asks me to choose shoes for her and I get confused. Whatever pair I choose, she never likes. You would think she would have learned by now.

John Henry

Ann Althouse said...

"I read the ad as being for a "atarter kit" for husband hunting, not as tools for hunting a starter husband. Anyway..."

I must assume they were aware of this ambiguity. Ad agencies are too smart to miss that.

It is one more thing for people to talk about.

Kylos said...

"Whether you're looking for Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now..." makes me think "starter husband", not "husband-hunting starter kit" is the correct reading.

John said...

And what's with the arrows? Is she going to go out and shoot a husband with a tranquilizing dart?

When he wakes up: "Hi fella. Guess what? We're married!"

As stupid as the shoes look, it may be her only chance.

John Henry

Ann Althouse said...

The use of "em" rather than "im" suggests multiple targets for the "tiger" in leopard skin shoes, but the placement of the apostrophe after the "m" is wrong on any analysis, so the presumption of intelligent intentionality is shot to hell.

Eeyore Rifkin said...

Carpenter and her sisters in outrage can't tell the difference between 1950's advertising and the Nine West campaign because the mere mention of husbands or children gives them conniptions, rendering them incapable of discerning subversion, irony, ambiguity or wit. Explicit validation of their sexual mores isn't enough; what they want from Nine West is an exclusive commitment to love them and only them. In return, perhaps they'll deign to buy a pair of slippers, for the holidays, or whatever.

Fen said...

I think the only people who notice women's shoes are other women.

And I find the "starter husband" meme more amusing than insulting. Most the 20-30yr old women I know can't find a man to put up with their bs only a daily basis.

Maybe its a big deal in the elite celebrity circles or at Martha's Vineyard, but in the real world most the eligible men are playing video games and using women like klenex.

Captain Curt said...

Do guys really care about the shoes a woman wears?

Some years ago, my wife and I were having dinner with two other married couples at a nice restaurant in San Francisco. At a nearby table was a strikingly attractive blonde with her date.

In the middle of our meal, the blonde got up and walked by our table. All of us watched her go by.

After she passed, one of the women said, "Did you see her shoes?" and all three of them went on at length about her great shoes. I had to interject that I did not notice her shoes at all...

Michael The Magnificent said...

Jane and I are bicycling on the Interurban trail. We pass a woman who is jogging. Pretty face, red pony tail, lean muscular build, nice tan (remarkable, if a true redhead), compression shorts, spandex top.

Jane: "Should I get pink jogging shoes like hers to go with the rest of my outfit?"

Me: "She was wearing shoes?"

Seriously, girls, if I'm noticing your shoes, it's because you don't have any other attribute worth noticing.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

high-heel shoes = lack of common sense.

JMHO

Anthony said...

Any red - blooded American leg man notices the shoes.

For me Birkenstocks were the equivalent of a large red flashing DO NOT TOUCH sign.

buwaya said...

Expensive high heeled shoes are very much optional accessories for husband hunting. Sort of like silken pith helmets are for elephant hunting.
They serve to please the huntress, not her prey.

johns said...

my wife gave me a birthday card that said: "What men want from women: arrive naked, bring food." nothing about shoes.

Ann Althouse said...

You never hear about foot fetishists anymore.

Biff said...

You want to talk about outrage? I can't even begin to imagine how Mrs. Hughes, my eighth grade English teacher, would have reacted to the use of "We got" ... and in print, no less!

Sam L. said...

Well, I'm amused.

Anonymous said...

Well, I am happy to be a starter husband. The problem is that it never works for me.

traditionalguy said...

Women have told me stories about foot fetish guys they knew It made them laugh.

But I did have a friend who always stared at women's feet, or so the women told me.

And the women always get a red nail polish put on their toes when they are getting their nails done. Hmmm?

St. George said...

The new book "The Lost Art of Dress" by Przybyszewski (yes, that's how the author's name is spelled) contends that women should forego wretched high heels for hats which focus attention on their faces, not feet. That supposedly 'liberated' women teeter around, hobbled in painful pumps suggests some sort of unresolved psychological conflict.

Anonymous said...

It is not the feet, unless there is a foot fetish. The shoe, though: high heels accentuating the lower legs and the hips, flats accentuating the sway and the derriere. This does not only apply to transsexuals.

William said...

A push up bra can be a game changer. Kicky shoes are not a game hanger. However, on a set of fine legs, they are like an exclamation point. They serve to emphasize the point.

harrogate said...

I think on balance, men who flatly declare they "don't notice the shoes" are lying. Some reasons for why men notice them have been well-articulated by others on the thread.

Douglas said...

Since you are bringing up foot fetishes, Prof. Althouse, I might mention the late and unlamented Chinese footbinding practice. The sexual obsession that Chinese men had with small female feet was probably the single most widely practiced perversion in human history. Nothing in American life comes remotely close, not even the highest Jimmy Choo shoes.