Sunday, August 2, 2009

You know what they say about guys with big feet right?

I only shoe shop about once every 5 years or so. Yes yes I know that sounds creepy as if my shoe shopping is an occurrence on par with the appearance of Castle Dracula but I really really really hate having to buy shoes. I have a 16EEE foot. Unless your foot is this large or larger you have no idea how aggravating it is to have to buy shoes.

There is no question that when it comes to footwear women have the advantage and a large foot man like me has it even worse than most men. Unlike the vast majority of women I just can't walk into any random shoe shop and find my size as part of the buy one get one free or half off sale. And unlike most men I'm not just going to walk into a store and pick up a pair for $30 either. For the last 10 years or so I have only found one store where I can just walk in and buy a pair of shoes and that is Casual Male XL and even then I'm staring down the barrel of at least $55 a pair.

I'm sure its nice to not have to order shoes off the internet but I'll never know.


Did I mention that I'm a guy with large feet? (Now I know that women with large feet have similar baggage in the shoe department but it does not compare to what I'm about to go into next.)

As far as dealing with guys are concerned the most they do is make a few Bigfoot jokes and maybe say that I can put out fires with my feet. But oh my goodness in my experience when it comes to a man with large feet women are the absolute worst.

True story. This past Friday (or maybe Thursday) morning I had to go over to another department to setup a printer for someone. Well while I'm working on the printer in her office two of her coworkers from her department come in and begin chatting about shoes. I knew where it was going to go and sure enough it did.

Okay all three of these women have fairly small feet so they were shocked when I told them I wore a 16 (they guessed 14) and then the real fun began. Two of them just had to confirm by placing their feet right next to mine (yeah they were all up in my personal space) and then it really jumped off when one of them mentioned that she wears an 8. Despite the fact that the calculation for shoe size is different for men and women they are marveled by my foot being twice as long as hers. Oh and they were grinning throughout this entire ordeal. I played it off, finished the install and got the hell out of there.

And believe me that is not the first time I've had that happen. You would not believe how many times I've had women just come up to me and place their foot beside mine and comment on how one of my feet is almost the same length as both of theirs. Oh and they do this while making general commentary about how large my feet are. But the real kicker is one that I have gotten from more women than I care to count and it usually comes in some form of:
"A size 16? Wow. I'd hate to be your girlfriend." (All the while smiling a smile that the Cheshire Cat would be jealous of.)
Yes there are lots of women out there that think there is a relation between foot size and penis size (and from there penis size to sexual performance).

For years I just joked about it and let it roll off my back but I think that is not cutting it anymore. I've got to find some sort of way to deal with this. I have to find a way to put an end to this and let women know that it is not alright to just invade my space by placing their feet next to mine (and sometimes leaning into me to keep balance) and that it is certainly not okay to try to draw some link between my foot size, penis size, and how I perform sexually. More than likely this has to do with the belief that men need to have their egos pumped up at all times when it comes to sex and they that they complimenting me when they make such remarks. They aren't.

So while I think about how deal with this in my own interactions a word of advice to women.

Presuming that it is okay to get close to a guy with large feet to compare is not okay. Going on about how his foot is so much larger than yours is not okay. And implying that having big feet means having a large penis and that he might hurt any women he has sex with is not a compliment. And by all that is holy please do not grab your crotch, contort your face, and wince a few times in mock pain as you comment on much sex with him would hurt (yes I've had women do this to me).


Sara Lacombe said...

"and then it really jumped off when one of them mentioned that she wears an 8. Despite the fact that the calculation for shoe size is different for men and women they are marveled by my foot being twice as long as hers."

Try to tell her if a size 2 is twice the size of a size 1, men or women. It's definitely not.
No system save maybe the Japanese, accurately actually uses sizes as a measure of the foot. Japanese is because their sizes are in centimeters.

If you wear a 25 from Japan, you have feet 25 cm long.

As it is, I wear size 8 women in US, which is size 6½ in UK, which is size 40 in France, and I think it's about 25 in Japan. Comparisons about feet sizes, if they must be done at all, should be about measurements taken with a ruler, as opposed to arbitrary denominations created by countries. In effect, that woman was clueless, or playing stupid.

I'm sorry you're having problems about people feeling its their right to invade your space and ask stupid questions. This probably gives you some insight about how a trans person feels being asked what their genitals look like out of the blue, in public, by strangers (it's not happened to me yet, thankfully).

Danny said...

Some insight indeed with emphasis on the some. Its one thing for them to make assumptions about my genitals but I can't imagine someone actually questioning what genitals I have. I was born male, present as male, and was born with my penis. Not sure how I would handle someone asking if I had a penis or not...

Your name looks familiar so you have a blog of your own by chance?

Sara Lacombe said...

I tried to connect using Facebook, this is my Facebook name, the thingy just didn't work properly, opened a tiny window and then nothing. I'm Schala from FC.

I was born looking somewhat male, though intersex (just wasn't visible), present as female, and was born with a penis. I didn't get asked yet, but that's because I have passing-as-cissexual privilege. People who know through other means still make assumptions or talk behind my back.

My boyfriend used to have tons of people go talk to him at work. Then I started hanging out with him at breaks (long before we dated), and only three people kept going to talk to him after. People at work have known in some way I was trans, probably the HR department.

My boyfriend also told me something about when I got hired. They knew I was trans when I showed up for the interview the second time (the hiring interview), since my name and appearance didn't match. One of the woman working for HR said I shouldn't be hired, wouldn't blend in, what toilet would I use etc. My boyfriend and the guy in charge of scheduling employees vouched for me though. I didn't know at the time, I only heard it recently from my boyfriend (who wasn't my bf then).

I was surprised to be hired to be honest. Given trans prejudice.