#kutoo Movement: Yumi’s Small Tweet Becomes a Movement to Help Women in Japan

All she said was, “I want to diminish this rule that women have to wear high-heel shoes or pumps at work.  When I was a student, I worked at one hotel for 1 month wearing pumps and it was not sustainable.  Why women have to suffer from foot and legs to be hurt when working while men can wear flat shoes, I wonder?”

Yumi Ishikawa tweeted the above in January in 2019, and her tweet was re-tweeted almost 65,000 times since then.  She started to collect petitions and I heard that 30,000+ were collected.  I assume she didn’t mean to start this giant feminism movement, but all she wanted to do is to remove this social pressure of “women are supposed to look like women,” starting with the form of shoes.

I have a privilege to work at the company in the U.S. where I can wear anything (almost) I want to.  I only have 2 pairs of high-heel shoes in my wardrobe and I wear sneakers and flats at work everyday , so I hadn’t thought (or forgotten, rather) about the culture of femininity of Japanese society.  Knee-high skirts and high-heels…the most uncomfortable attire to work, especially when you are on foot all day.  And mind you, they also have a long commute on the train and/or the bus, standing.  

I don’t oppose to people, man or women who want to wear high-heel shoes.  I am not stopping them at all, and neither is Yumi.  What I want for all of us, I mean ALL of us, is to have liberty of choice.  What to wear, how to act, what to eat, and how to speak.

I grew up in a household that my father would say something like, “You should act like a woman.”  I always wonder that the fuck that means.