During a recent investors event in NYC, the CEO of healthcare startup Kanteron Systems, Jorge Cortell decided to call out a group of women he’d spotted at the event who were wearing heels, thus creating a brand new type of shaming–stiletto shaming. Then he offered up this “creepshot” with the hashtag #BrainsNotRequired.
According to Jorge, high heels are just plain awful–from affecting your health to affecting your IQ, heels need not exist in the corporate world. What Jorge doesn’t seem to understand is that it’s not up to him to police what business women can wear. What he also doesn’t know is the heels make a woman feel powerful. Our legs are longer, our stride is sexier and our posture is more poised. All of these things add up to create a higher level of self-confidence.
Some of the most powerful women I know wear nothing but heels in the workplace. While I’m not the biggest fan of teetering on heels (mostly because I have a hard time walking in them), I can admit that when I complete my outfit with a pair of heels, I feel more confident.
Many people who saw the tweet immediately called Jorge out for being sexist. Jorge’s defense was that heels=dumb.
While Jorge is certainly entitled to his opinion, I think it’s ignorant to assume that women who wear heels aren’t smart or deserving to share space with venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. According to The Atlantic, the issue here is their place at a tech demo—an event that finds participants rewarded, ostensibly, on the strength of their ideas and execution, rather than their style. Jorge took it upon himself to focus on the style and stereotype said style in a way thatwas completely one-sided and pig-headed.