A Mile in Her Shoes

Front view of 2 WPU male athletes walking in high heels on the sidewalk outside of the school

By Johnny Everette

Gender violence is a real thing. All throughout history, there have been men that have assumed the dominant role of the two genders and used physical violence to demonstrate that dominance.

On Thursday, Oct. 10, the students of William Peace University worked to spread the word, and the word is “Stop.”

The school teamed up with Walk, an organization devoted to help stop gender violence, and had the athletes of WPU’s sports teams show everyone what it looks like to walk a mile in a woman’s shoes, literally. The participants walked two laps around the school, roughly one mile, while wearing high heels.

This event was made possible by SAAC, Student Athlete Advisory Commitee, and WPU’s psychology club for donating the shoes worn during the walk.

The event was part of Gender and Sexuality Diversity Week, hosted by the WPU Diversity Committee.

“I’m very proud to be part of a community that is willing to protest against violence in general and sexualized gender violence specifically,” said Dr. Elizabeth Kusko, professor of political science at WPU.

While the athletes were walking, organizers passed out flyers with important tips for men to help put a stop to gender violence.

These tips were:

  1. Realize gender violence is a men’s issue that affects women that you care about.
  2. Don’t remain silent-confront the abusive behavior in other males.
  3. Understand how your own attitudes and actions may perpetuate sexism and violence and work towards changing them.
  4. Gently offer your help and support if you suspect that a woman close to you is being abused or  has been sexually assaulted.
  5. Respect women and treat them as equals.
  6. Be an ally to women who are working to end all forms of gender violence.
  7. Recognize and speak out against homophobia and gay-bashing.
  8. Educate yourself and others about masculinity gender inequality, and the root causes of gender violence.
  9. Mentor and teach boys about how to be men in ways that don’t involve degrading or abusing girls and women.
  10. Refuse to purchase any magazines, videos, or music that portray women in a degrading or violent matter.

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