The elaborate double staircases seen on Southern plantations are an archaic reminder of a time in which the very sight of a woman's ankle was enough to send men into frenzied sexual states (men went up one staircase, women the other). Today, that concept raises a jaded eyebrow, but it reminds women of the enormous erotic capability of the shoe--something Sandra Cisneros discusses in The House on Mango Street (the teenaged girls suddenly transform into women and receive unwanted sexual advances when they are wearing high heels). With the return of buttoned-up, ladylike fashion a la the 1940s, it is inevitable that fashion must counterpoint the conservative with the vampish. The proliferation of cut-outs in shoes for fall is the shoe version of lingerie, which simultaneously conceals and reveals its wearer's assets. However, vampish shoes offer women the freedom of being covered up without the total loss of innuendo.