Friday, April 11, 2008

Pursuing a theme? Can Skinheads have a shoes-off policy?

I recently asked the question of whether punks can have a shoes-off policy in their homes. But what about skinheads?

The obvious practical difficulty for skinheads is their liking for Doc Martens and combat boots. It is time consuming to unlace big bovver boots.

As it happens, I do own a pair of 14 hole Doc Marten boots (which I wear with my bomber jacket). However, I would never wear them if I expected to visit somebody's house. I would not want to be standing in somebody's hallway wrestling with my boots.

Being a skinhead is all about celebrating working class culture. Removing shoes is not necessarilly a part of that culture (though I am sure plenty of working class mothers and wives will not stand for shoes soiling their homes).

Nevertheless, the skinhead movement has historically been open to other cultures. Back in the Sixties and Seventies, skinheads embraced sould and ska music, which are of Black origin. So I suppose skinheads could embrace the practice of shoe-removal. It should also be remebered that the skinhead culture has spread to Europe, including shoe-removing Scandinavian countries.


richyrich said...

Interesting what you said about links between shoes off indoors and social class. I posted a comment a few months ago in which I drew attention to an article by Matthew Parris in the Times where he implied in passing that shoe removal in homes was a lower middle class characteristic

Also I once came across a discussion board on the topic which someone also commented that it was a lower middle class thing.

However, there was one instance some years ago now where I was staying at a friend's house and we'd been out for a few drinks during the evening. While I was out I met this woman and we got chatting and I found out that she was a single parent living in a council house, and firmly working class. I took her back with me to my friend's house. My friend wears shoes in his house and at that time I hadn't been fully converted into our cause either. But one thing I did otice when me and this woman had walked through the door was that she immediately started taking off her shoeswithout anyone saying anything but when she noticed that the rest of us kept ours on, she didn't do so and kept hers on as well. But I think that this episode does cast some doubt over the idea that shoes off policies are unheard of for working class people.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Working class people can be as house proud as the rest of us. Especially as they have less money to spend on getting their carpets professionally cleaned.

Though you do see a lot of women in council estates walking about the streets in their slippers. I think that is a really bad habit.

I saw a woman trimming her hedge in her slippers recently. She must have got twigs, leaves and thorns embedded in them. Silly woman.

God Bless


richyrich said...

I agree with you, after all if people wear slippers outdoors and also in the house, that defeats the whole point of having a shoes off policy.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

It does.

I think this is maybe a concept that English people find difficult to grasp.

They see slippers as simply comfortable footwear, rather than as an aid to shoes-off.

Why go to the trouble of changing one's slippers for shoes? It requires a mental adjustment.

God Bless