Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Dancing in Red Shoes

by Bethany Maines

We are celebrating our new logo this month and discussing what our red stiletto means to us.  As I have been recently taking a trip through the Grimm’s Fairy Tales and the stories of Hans Christian Anderson, I was immediately reminded of the story of the Red Shoes. In the story an orphan girl gets a pair of red shoes and makes the mistake of wearing them to church. She’s very pleased with her red shoes and give a little dance step and from that moment on is cursed to dance whether she wants to or not.  Eventually, she gets a woodcarver and occasional town executioner to chop off her feet.  He carves her a pair of wooden feet, she begs forgiveness and eventually is allowed to return to church and presumably her life of appropriate poverty and boring clothes.  The story is a very obvious warning about dressing above ones station, acting without proper humility and of course having the audacity to be a pretty girl.  To which I say… bring on the red shoes, let’s go dancing.

Red stilettos are sexy, daring, and commanding, all of which are dangerous things for women to be whether it’s 18th century Germany or 21st century America. The Stiletto Gang doesn’t require our members to wear stilettos, but we do embrace the idea that there isn’t a particular way women ought to be.  Our members are diverse in ethnicity, ages, and outlook , but we all share the idea that women can be (and write) what they want.  To me that’s what the red shoe stands for—boldly embracing women’s right to be powerful.

Many thanks to my Stiletto sisters for their continued support and now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a little dancing to do.


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Bethany Maines is the author of the Carrie Mae Mystery Series, San Juan Islands Mysteries, Shark Santoyo Crime Series, and numerous short stories. When she's not traveling to exotic lands, or kicking some serious butt with her fourth degree black belt in karate, she can be found chasing her daughter or glued to the computer working on her next novel. You can also catch up with her on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.


  1. Love the reference to "The Red Shoes" fairy tale! And I'm so envious of those red shoes you're wearing at the end of your post. Red and embellished, my favorite kind of wearing apparel.