Love doesn't just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.

Ursla Le Guin (1929-2018)

The Left Hand of Darkness, 1969


This is a short clip from BBC GMT about campaigns against companies forcing women to wear high heels. No mention about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as with the protest by chess champion Soumya Swaminathan,

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Erh, now many corporate firms around the world enforce strict dress codes but one Japanese woman is taking a stand. The actor and writer Yumi Ishikawa, has launched a campaign urging the government to ban companies forcing women to wear high heel shoes to work. She's handed in a petition signed by nearly 20,000 people. She began her campaign after she was forced to wear high heels while working at a funeral parlour. Ramzan Karmali reports:

Yumi Ishikawa, the woman forced to wear high heels for a part-time job in a funeral parlour. Now she's campaigning. She wants the Japanese government to ban firms from forcing women to wear high heels to work.

"Many women feel that they should wear heeled shoes in the office or when job hunting. So I wanted to change the situation in Japanese customs.

Ms. Ishikawa handed in a petition signed by around 19,000 to the Ministry of Health. Her campaign has been named KuToo on social media to mimic the MeToo movement. It's also a play on two Japanese words meaning shoe and pain.

This isn't the first time a campaign has been launched to change dress codes at work for women. In 2015, a London receptionist was sent home from work without pay after she refused to wear high heels. Nicola Thorpe set up a petition calling for UK dress code laws to be changed.

"This was never just about a pair of shoes. It's about how women are viewed in the workplace. That there's so much pressure on women to, not just look professional, but to look attractive.

Following media coverage, the firm that sent Ms. Thorpe home changed their policy on high heels. In 2017 a Canadian Province scrapped the dress code which required female workers to wear high heels. The government of British Columbia said forcing women to wear them, was not only a form of discrimination, but wearers face a risk of physical injury from slipping or falling as well as possible damage to their feet, legs and back. Ramzan Karmali, BBC News

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The Pack

The pack contains the video in HD format together with a PDF featuring a crossword, the transcript, the transcript with gaps, a word list and a list of definitions. How to use the pack largely depends upon individual classes. Does a class need to go through any of the vocabulary first or will they be able to work out the meaning from the context?

One method to introduce the topic is to ask the students if there is any dress code at their school or place of work. How strictly is the code observed? What do the students feel about dress codes? Are rules about footwear ever reasonable? After thinking about such questions the students will be more ready to see the video. Afterwards, the main point to draw out is that high heels are actually hazardous to the wearer's health..

Rather than using the worksheets all in one go it's best to space their use out over several weeks with gaps in between. This way the vocabulary is more likely to stick in the memory.