The university of Montana ran an event called Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. An admirable event if only for the fact that men paid $5 to walk a mile in heels, which I understand is a killer process which I can tell you from research done aged 8 with my mother’s relatively small heels. The reason for this was to raise awareness of rape, sexual assault and violence against women.
I will raise my hands and accept that heels are designed to make women’s legs look longer and thus more attractive. And it works on me. I would be a liar if I said that it does not. But speaking from experience with female friends and a few exes, heels are murder on your feet and am genuinely impressed by the scheme which shows a sense of humour in recruiting men to do this.
If by bare minimum this event has raised the awareness of other men who were not part of the walk, I figure that if a man is willing to wear high heels to raise these issues is probably aware of them. But the intention is to raise awareness. For every step forward we move, there are forces who attempt to reduce the freedoms of women not just at home but all across the globe. It is easy to say, well atleast those women have it good in the USA and Europe when compared to say Afghanistan, however women’s rights are being reduced in the USA as we speak with the passing of various restrictions on abortions. The greater the social equality that women possess in Europe, the easier it becomes to fight for their rights abroad. It provides women out in places like India and China an example to aim for. It provides a core of feminism that can be used to campaign for rights in places like the Middle East and Afghanistan and Africa.
However delving into this has caused me to run aground on another reef that haunts the smooth waters of internet use. The anti-feminist/male rights movement is a weird thing. It is an extension of the pick-up artist mentality, that women are simply vaginas with a combination lock and nothing more. Once you break the lock you are in, and that you’re entire look and persona should be geared towards having sex. The more and more I read the more and more disgusted I am with them and with the women who fall for their nonsense.
I hold no pretence of feminism, I have no understanding of what it is like to be a woman. So I cannot make any judgements on what to do beyond the simple hope that I don’t balls things up. I have been called out on sexist jokes in the past (stated in complete and utter sarcasm. If it was in real life as opposed to online, the person it was aimed at would have burst into flames. I have a degree in sarcasm from the Blackadder school of Mickey taking).
So ladies, your support from me is just one as a man. Of utter disgust that people assume that the majority of humanity is somehow incompetent at things and shouldn’t do certain jobs. That women themselves often cripple their own progress or that of their peers and junior by buying in to the idea that they cannot achieve anything that a man can solely due to the possession of a uterus.
I have seen heart wrenching things in India aimed at your gender. It is a frontline of a war on sexism across the world. I have had teachers (often women themselves) state that women cannot stand for long periods of time. I have seen a blatant disregard for educating female students in surgery and other mainly male dominated fields with the reverse being applied to male medical students in gynaecology for example. Women on my course have stated that they wouldn’t want to do surgery because it is a boy’s field. A lot of them are in the course to improve their marriage prospects (seriously).
My fight for women’s rights is that they are being reversed back by men who either don’t see the issue (I hope this is the case) or worse actively dislike women having rights as seen in my posts about Afghanistani women.
So, if men have to walk in heels for them to raise awareness of the plight of women’s rights? Then so be it. I wouldn’t mind joining you provided someone can lend me some heels.