Barefooters are constantly explaining to others why it's okay for us to be unshod -- as if wearing shoes is the natural condition and bare feet are an oddity. Let's be clear: Going barefoot is our natural condition.
Imagine if someone were to say that we should wear gloves on our hands all day long every day. You'd get countless people asking why, claiming it's not necessary and going on without gloves anyway. There are simply not enough legitimate reasons to do such a thing.
It's really the responsibility of those who require shoes to tell us why we and they need them -- and to come up with legitimate reasons. This typically comes in the form of vague excuses of concern over spreading diseases -- which hands do a lot more of, potentially stepping on a sharp object -- which are very few and far between, social appropriateness -- which apparently simply requires any thickness of any material between the soles and the ground, questions of legality -- which, going barefoot isn't illegal, or other not-well-thought-out reasoning.
It's time to start turning the tables on those who discriminate against us. It's time that the burden of proof fall on them to legitimately justify why shoes are so necessary. We need to make them show us the broken glass and not accept their excuses until they do. We need them to take samples of the ground for viral testing to prove that it's unsafe for the public's collective health. We need to make them explain how going barefoot is not acceptable but vulgar t-shirts, patrons with foul odor and people who talk too loudly on their cell phones are. If they claim that going barefoot violates health codes or other laws, they need to show us the proof. If they cannot -- or will not -- do these things, they have no leg to stand on and we must refuse to put on footwear.
Are you a barefooter who finds yourself explaining why your natural state is okay? Do social norms requiring footwear supersede the burden of proof? Are you willing to stand up and turn the tables on discrimination? What do you think would happen if you did? Please leave your comments below.
Photo: Western Rite Critic