Books set in the fifteenth century onwards in China and Japan have always been of interest, I like the descriptions, and have a real curiosity about those times, which are so far removed from present days.
And that brings me to the practice described quite in detail in this book, and many others about the foot binding. Disgust, horror and a real sorrow that this practice actually existed for so long. One might say there are enough such practices in the world which cripple womens lives literally. There is Sati for example in India- and while not for one moment am I glorifying it ,at least there is some amount of nobility involved. Sacrifice, martyr like, saint like- qualities which are always upheld in India, whether rightly or wrongly. Foot binding can at best be described as shallow, some perverse eyes seeing beauty and desire in a misshapen, sad little foot of a woman who was made to believe a lily walk was beautiful, desirable. And to think it continued till the 20th century. Maiming and forcibly disabling generations of women, under the guise of beauty and just to serve as an object of desire. A cruel practice can redeem itself slightly if at least it has some amount of a higher purpose behind it.
I hope of course that high heels worn today are not perceived in the same way years later! But in that, there is always a choice!