That’s a good point. Going barefoot is gendered (it’s disproportionately male).
My first thought was “no one wants to see ugly female feet”, female feet being ugly because female. I wonder what other people’s reactions are. And now I wonder whether women go barefoot less because they think people think women’s feet are unsightly. (I am not talking about after being deformed by shoes.)
I would have thought the opposite: that nobody wants to see ugly male feet. On the other hand, stereotypically, females are “cute”, particularly when they remove normal items of clothing.
When I think of red carpet events, it is always the women who are removing shoes (because high heels are awful), and they get away with it without too much problem.
On the converse, there do appear to be a lot more male barefooters on the internet. However, is that just because there are more men on the internet (or they are more vocal in that regard and more visible). They are almost assuredly less like to have to put up with crap/trolls because of it.
I think there are more male barefooters, period. Bunch of reasons I can’t figure out how to explain, but it’s the same proportion men outnumber women in for a lot of other things as well.
I think my reaction was that women assume their feet are ugly, because we assume we are ugly (we can never compare to women in the media), because we’re lower status; not that women would expect men to find them ugly. Women are more likely to conform to social expectations because of lower status and less confidence. Of course, if men have foot fetishes, that’s not much better, because ewww.
There is no logical reason for gender disparity, Historically it seems to have gone both ways. According to http://english.svenko.net/ and other sites it’s been mostly the females in the gypsy/roma communities who went barefoot, the same seems to apply for European summer farming activities in earlier centuries where the man had boots to put on for certain hard/dangerous work whereas the woman and children usually did their tasks barefoot.
Then again in certain cultures it was natural for boys to go barefoot and girls had to keep their feet soft (or even hide them for “decency”), or it was even “tomboyish” for girls to go barefoot, and seen more befitting for them to put on pretty shoes even if they were impractical?
More recently I have heard “nobody wants to see male feet because they are ugly” which seems to imply that women get away with it more easily. Indeed there is the idea of “female pretty feet” (also sexually charged for those with certain inclinations), the same is rare when it comes to male feet.
Then again it seems to me that women are more likely to wear the kind of shoes that will deform their feet.
I hope these gender related inhibitions wouldn’t be such an obstacle. Nobody, whether female or male, should ever feel bad about their reputation when they choose to go barefoot because they enjoy it. Feet don’t have a gender, they may subtly vary but are what we make of them.