Feminising Dr Marten

Through my ups and downs, the highs and lows, many people have come and gone from my life. However, 20 years ago, my feet befriended a pair of Dr Marten boots and thenceforth, I rarely wore shoes, again. Thus, in tribute to the noblest of boots, I present my lament to Dr Marten and the issue of the loins of his creative mind.

A symbol of rebellion, since the 1960’s 3 generations of women have worn Dr Marten boots, with confidence and pride. A statement fashion, Dr Marten’s cross the boundary between functionality and style, and the women who wear them speak with their feet, the squeak of leather enunciating a desire for autonomy from the ideological hold of the masses.
Doc Marten boots have always been synonymous with countercultural identity. Originally, worn by working men, subsequently skinheads (pre-National Front allegiance) adopted them; their dress code reinforced their outsider status and estrangement from bourgeois culture. Thenceforward, representatives of most of the significant movements in popular culture, also, wore them, often as signifiers of their associated music taste. Although their popularity has fluctuated over the years, like a true classic Dr Marten boots have never become completely outdated, and to this day sooth the feet of millions who wear them.
In 2013, fashion designers may have once again appropriated notions of androgyny in their collections, however, wider society is yet to catch on. Men and women are still expected to dress according to rigid ideas about gender. The symbolic power of the woman wearing D.M boots reveals the primacy of the concept of an essential self. Posited against individuality is homogeny, the women who battle pain caused by their six-inch heels and the men who design them to fulfil sexual fantasies. Ultimately, however, individuality means being true to oneself, six-inch heels possess a language of their own. Maybe we should listen more carefully to the women inside the footwear.

The soul of The Poet

Hope by Emily Bronte

Hope was but a timid friend;

        She sat without the grated den,

Watching how my fate would tend,

       Even as selfish-hearted men.


She was cruel in her fear;

       Through the bars, one dreary day,

I looked out to see her there,

       And she turned her face away!


Like a false guard, false watch keeping,

       Still in strife, she whispered peace;

She would sing while I was weeping;

       If I listened, she would cease.


False she was, and unrelenting;

       When my last joys strewed the ground,

Even sorrow saw, repenting,

       Those sad relics scattered round;


Hope, whose whisper would have given

       Balm to my frenzied pain,

Stretched her wings, and soared to heaven,

       Went, and ne’er returned again!

Emily Bronte’s poem provides a glimpse into the soul of the poet. She casts herself in the role of an outsider, experiencing existence, like a flower, threatened by a fateful wind. Hope is not, “A timid friend,” but a creature of two faces; one promising to sooth her pain, the other rebutting her distressed advances, like a jaded existential psychiatrist.

The soul of the poet is a fragile entity. It is created by the spirit of observation, only to be destroyed by inevitability. However, when the soul marks reality’s soil, culminating in strokes of a pen upon paper, it helps shape the texture of the universe.

After Emily Bronte, other souls visited the physical realm. To how many of these have we humble, flesh and blood women and men gained access? The soul of the poet exists eternally.