WikiFeet, "the collaborative celebrity feet website," has a simple purpose. Famous women have feet, men want to look at those feet, and here is an open-source compilation of 46,000 pages dedicated to those feet.
And not only do men come to look at the feet, they engage in lively discourses reminiscent of Plato's Symposium. They limn the inherent beauty of high arches, debate ideal toe length, imagine various foot odors, and fantasize about being used as a footstool by the feet at hand.
Like literally every forum, message board, chatroom, social-media network, and comment section, wikiFeet is also a breeding ground for pointless arguments. Regulars with names like Shoegazer69 and Pervert_Otis seem unable to help themselves from devolving into tiresome debates over things like celebrity foot rankings, sniping at each other over whether Taylor Swift's toes deserve four stars or five, or whether Jennifer Lawrence had bunion reduction surgery. Naturally, the rancor on wikiFeet seems to be most toxic when politics get involved.
Though wikiFeet is mainly concerned with actresses, models, and singers, there are also plenty of political figures floating about. You can find pages for senators Kirsten Gillibrand, Kelly Ayotte, and Elizabeth Warren. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has a page showcasing her foot in a cast.
Women in politics are often judged by their appearances. The media fixates on their hairstyles, their clothing and makeup, scowls and tics. Any deviation from the expectation of ladylike propriety is a judgement on a female politician's ability to do her job: There are bags under her eyes—maybe she can't handle the stress of campaigning?
What one finds in the wikiFeet comment section, though, is not that subtle machinery of oppression, but rather a ridiculous distortion of it. When these fetishizing commenters objectify women, they do so in the most literal way possible: by considering a single part of their bodies as actual objects and debating how sexually arousing it is. The foot purists don't watch female politicians on TV looking for ways to demean or upend them—Oh, she's wearing white, that must be a desperate attempt to convey innocence, how crass—but for those fleeting moments when a woman walks to the podium, in the hopes that the cameras will provide a glimpse of some open-toe high heels.
Take Hillary Clinton's wikiFeet page, where the Democratic presidential nominee's feet are rated about 2.5 stars out of five, and her comment section is a hotbed of debate.
Read the full VICE UK article: https://goo.gl/E0N6Co