North Texas Daily

Students participate in Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

Students participate in Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

Students participate in Walk a Mile in Her Shoes
April 12
18:59 2016

Lisa Dreher | Staff Writer

@lisa_dreher97

Thunder clapped outside while heels clunked on the tile. A severe thunderstorm and hail moved the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event from the Library Mall to inside the University Union Monday evening.

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is an event where men in high heels walk one mile to raise awareness about sexual violence. The walk is to make men appreciate and recognize women’s experiences by literally walking in their shoes.

“I think it’s important for everyone to be aware of the amount of sexual assault that happens,” UPC education coordinator Madison Meehan said. “It’s a college campus, and it’s important for specially guys to understand what qualifies as sexual assault and why they should stand up against it.”

UPC has held the event for several years during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The walk promotes discussion about sexualized violence because it makes some men uncomfortable and they do not talk about it enough, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ website says.

“Abuse goes a long way emotionally, spiritually physically, and mentally,” kinesiology senior Frederick Johnson said. “[I’m doing this] to show that you can be a macho man and still be who you are, just like how woman can take on a masculine role and take care of their family when a man is absent.”

A tornado warning delayed the walk by about ten minutes as people filled the first floor for shelter. If it were outside, the walk would start on the Library Mall and go to Highland Street and back four times to be a mile.

UPC members met walkers with cheers and applause as they stumbled into the room.

“I think this is a fun one,” UPC member Alyssa Kroll said. “It’s not an everyday sight of a flock of men wearing heels. It’s the hook.”

frederickjohnson

Kinesiology senior Frederick Johnson walks in the University Union during the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event. Lisa Dreher | Staff Writer

Marriage and family therapist Frank Baird founded the event in California in 2001 while helping rape and sexual assault victims recover. The project is by Baird’s own nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation Venture Humanity, Inc, according to Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ website.

“It happens a lot and not a lot of people know about it,” criminal justice Reginald Johnson said.”I believe it’s for a good cause.”

Women also walked in heels, even though only men were meant to walk originally. Participants took laps on the third floor of the Union and said it was in support of endangered women everywhere. A crowd followed and encouraged the men as they stiffly moved forward.

“I feel really strongly about women’s rights and domestic abuse,” fashion design junior Rachel McGee said. “I’m doing for all the girls out there who couldn’t stand up for themselves.”

The University of Arkansas, Columbia University and the University of Miami are some schools that have hosted the walk. Dallas County’s walk on April 9 was cancelled because it lacked participants and sponsors.

Featured Image: Criminal justice junior Reginald Johnson participates in the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event at the University Union. Lisa Dreher | Staff Writer

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