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  • Neil: Hello. Welcome to 6 Minute English,

  • I'm Neil. And joining me it's Rob.

  • Rob: Hello.

  • Neil: Today, we'll be discussing whether

  • wearing high heeled shoes is

  • a fashion statement or

  • a sign of oppression - and by that I mean

  • something you have to wear

  • because someone has told you to.

  • Rob: Now Neil, whatever style of shoe

  • you choose to wear, it's good

  • to polish them and

  • keep them looking shiny and new -

  • but one man from India called

  • Vickrant Mahajan set

  • the Guinness World Record for polishing

  • the most shoes. Do you know

  • how many pairs he

  • polished in eight hours? Was it...

  • a) 151 pairs, b) 251 pairs, or c) 351 pairs?

  • Neil: Well, if it was me, it would be

  • no more than one pair - but as it's

  • a world record,

  • I'm going to go for 351 pairs.

  • Hopefully you'll give me the answer later!

  • But let's focus now on high heels.

  • Rob: Yes. It's a style of shoe worn

  • by women around the world.

  • But why do millions of people choose

  • to walk on strange, stilt-like shoes?

  • Neil: Studies have suggested wearing

  • high heels can lead to damage

  • to the muscles and skeleton.

  • But despite this, they are worn to look

  • professional in the workplace or for

  • glamour - a word to describe

  • the quality of looking fashionable

  • and attractive.

  • Rob: And of course, they are associated

  • with female glamour, which

  • is something Tim Edwards,

  • Honorary Fellow in Sociology at

  • the University of Leicester has been

  • talking about on the BBC Radio 4

  • programme, Thinking Allowed. Here

  • he is describing why he thinks that is...

  • Tim Edwards: Women's shoes

  • in particular kind of have this kind

  • of transformative or even

  • magical quality - they can do

  • something for a woman, and it's quite

  • difficult to kind of draw parallels

  • quite like that with men, in a sense of

  • which it almost becomes something

  • slightly otherworldly... however one views

  • it as something which is a kind of act of

  • subordination or an act of empowerment

  • etc, there is a sense in which

  • your experience is changed - you are

  • suddenly raised 3-4-5-6 inches higher,

  • your balance is altered, your

  • experience is transformed.

  • Neil: So, he describes high heels

  • as having a magical quality.

  • He uses the word transformative -

  • meaning a great improvement or positive

  • change - so they transform or improve

  • how someone looks.

  • Rob: Well, they do make you taller and

  • that can make you feel more powerful

  • or important.

  • Tim even said it becomes otherworldly -

  • an adjective to describe belonging

  • to an imaginary world

  • rather than the real world.

  • Neil: Magical shoes do sound

  • otherworldly, but Tim also mentioned

  • that wearing high heels

  • could be seen as an act of subordination -

  • that's making someone do something

  • to give them less authority or power.

  • Rob: Well I guess that's only if you are

  • forced to wear them. But there's

  • another interesting point here - men don't

  • have a style of footwear

  • that can define them.

  • Neil: Yes, it's just sandals for you and

  • sports trainers for me. In fact

  • Tim Edwards says

  • it's difficult to draw parallels with men's

  • shoes. When you draw parallels

  • between two distinct things,

  • it means you highlight the similarities -

  • but here he's saying it's difficult

  • to find similarities - men have

  • nothing special to wear on their feet.

  • Rob: Of course there is nothing

  • to stop men wearing high heels -

  • although personally I don't think

  • I'd be able to keep my balance - but

  • Tim Edwards suggests it would be viewed

  • with suspicion. Let's hear

  • what he has to say...

  • Tim Edwards: I think the issue with

  • men and footwear is that if you

  • think of more contemporary

  • culture - I mean the guy who kind of

  • wears overly flamboyant shoes

  • or shoes which are

  • not kind of black, brown or flat is viewed

  • with a degree of suspicion - either in terms

  • of his sexuality, or in terms of his

  • work ethic - or in terms of his kind of

  • general moral, well, you know, his moral

  • standards in other kinds of ways.

  • Neil: He says that if you don't wear

  • a regular, ordinary black, brown

  • or flat style of shoe, you might be viewed

  • with suspicion. Men who wear shoes

  • that are flamboyant - that's brightly

  • coloured and that attracts attention -

  • have their sexuality or

  • their attitude to work judged.

  • Rob: He mentions someone's

  • work ethic - that's the belief that

  • working hard is morally right.

  • A man who wears flamboyant shoes

  • may have a different attitude to work.

  • It sounds like

  • quite an old-fashioned view.

  • Neil: It does, and let's hope people don't

  • judge you when you go out

  • wearing your sandals and socks!

  • But now, how about giving us the

  • answer to the question you set earlier.

  • Rob: Yes. I told you about

  • Vickrant Mahajan, who set the Guinness

  • World Record for polishing

  • the most shoes. I asked if you knew how

  • many pairs he polished in eight hours.

  • Neil: And I guessed 351 pairs. Come on,

  • was I right?

  • Rob: I'm afraid not, Neil. The answer was

  • 251 pairs. It's still quite a lot - that's 502

  • individual shoes and I'm not sure

  • if he actually got paid for doing it.

  • Neil: Right, let's polish up some of

  • our English vocabulary and

  • remind ourselves of some of

  • the words we've discussed today,

  • starting with oppression.

  • Rob: Oppression is when you are forced

  • to do something by someone

  • more powerful.

  • Neil: We talked about glamour - a word

  • to describe the quality of looking

  • fashionable and attractive.

  • Rob: Our next word was transformative -

  • meaning a great improvement

  • or positive change.

  • Neil: Otherworldly is an adjective

  • to describe belonging to

  • an imaginary world rather than

  • the real world - it's magical or special.

  • Rob: We also discussed an act of

  • subordination - that's making

  • someone do something to give

  • them less authority or power.

  • To draw parallels is an idiom meaning

  • to highlight the similarities

  • between two distinct things.

  • Neil: And we mentioned flamboyant -

  • that describes someone or

  • something brightly coloured and

  • that attracts attention.

  • Rob: Finally, we talked about work ethic -

  • that's the belief that working hard

  • is morally right.

  • Something that both Neil and I have!

  • Neil: And that brings to the end

  • of the programme. Don't forget to visit

  • our website at bbclearningenglish.com.

  • Bye for now.

  • Rob: Bye bye.

Neil: Hello. Welcome to 6 Minute English,

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B1 rob otherworldly oppression wear glamour world record

High heels: fashion or oppression? Listen to 6 Minute English

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/07/01
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