Walk the Walk

In Uncategorized on November 1, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Today, men from all over campus will be squeezing their tootsies into fabulous high-heeled shoes in an annual awareness walk for sexual violence prevention.  By “walking a mile in her shoes,” each step represents a little of what a woman experiences.

The Walk a Mile in Her Shoes was started to be a “playful opportunity for men to raise awareness in their community about the serious causes, effects, and remediations to sexualized violence.”

Basically, with each step made at this event, we will be doing something to raise awareness of sexual violence, knowledge of prevention methods, and funds for the local rape response center, the Albany County SAFE Project.  Participating in events like this is something that everyone can do to help raise awareness about sexual violence on campus.

Outside of events like this, here are 10 things that everyone can do to prevent gender violence (adapted from Jackson Katz’s “Ten Things Men Can Do to Prevent Gender Violence”):

  1. Gender violence is a PEOPLE’s issues, involving both men and women of all ages and socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds.  We need to view both men and women as empowered bystanders who can confront abusive peers.  And we need to remember that both men and women can be perpetrators of violence.
  2. If a friend, family member, classmate, or teammate is abusing his/her partner – or is disrespectful to women in general – don’t look the other way.  If you feel comfortable doing so, try to talk to this person about it.  Urge him/her to seek help.  Or if you don’t know what to do, consult a friend, parent, professor, or counselor.  Do Not Remain Silent.
  3. Have the courage to look inward and question your own attitudes.  Don’t be defensive when something you do or say ends up hurting someone else.  Try to understand how your own attitudes and actions might inadvertently perpetuate sexism and violence, and work toward changing them.
  4. If you suspect that someone close to you is being abused or has been sexually assaulted, gently ask if you can help.
  5. If you are emotionally, psychologically, physically, or sexually abusive to others, or have been in the past, seek professional help NOW.
  6. Be an ally to others who are working to end all forms of gender violence.  Support the work of campus-based women’s centers and violence prevention offices.  Attend prevention/awareness events and rallies.  Raise money for community based rape crisis centers and battered women’s shelters.
  7. Recognize and speak out against homophobia and gay-bashing.  Discrimination and violence against lesbians and gays are wrong in and of themselves.  This abuse also has direct link to sexism (ie. The sexual orientation of men who speak out against sexism if often questions, a conscious or unconscious strategy intended to silence them.  This is a key reason few men do so).
  8. Attend programs, take courses, watch films , and read articles and books about multicultural masculinities, gender inequality, and the root causes of gender violence.  Educate yourself and others about how larger social forces affect the conflicts between individual men and women.
  9. Don’t fund sexism.  Refuse to purchase any magazine, rent any video, subscribe to any website, or buy any music that portrays girls or women in a sexually degrading or abusive manner.  Protest sexism in the media.
  10. Mentor and teach others how to be a caring individual that doesn’t degrade or abuse other people.  Volunteer to work with gender violence prevention programs, including anti-sexist programs.  Lead by Example!

See you today in the Union Ballroom at 4pm for the kick off of the 2011 Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Event!


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