Courtesy of the Ohio Union
It’s not every day hundreds of men can be seen walking around campus in high heels, but expect to see it this week.
During “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,” scheduled to be held Wednesday, men walk about a mile in heels to raise awareness for violence against women.
“The gentlemen are going to walk a square mile in high heels that kind of shows and promotes that they’re advocates for understanding the women’s experience and perspective,” said Antonio-Phillip Lytle, Interfraternity Council adviser.
The walk is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. outside the Ohio Union on the west plaza. The men walk down College Road, turn on Woodruff Avenue, on to High Street and then back to the Ohio Union.
The event has been held annually on OSU’s campus since 2008, said fourth-year in marketing and IFC president, Jim Neidinger.
“Last year we had about 500 people walk and probably about 650-700 attendees. It is open to the entire campus and that’s always something we try to grow,” Neidinger said.
This year, they are hoping to expand the event to include more university participants.
“We are highly promoting this to our chapters in the IFC to be the walkers. But, it will be my hope that we have over 700 (walkers),” he said.
“Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” is part of IFC’s Men Educating Men week from March 18 to 22, an annual initiative that focuses on men’s education and men’s issues. Neidinger said the week involves a campaign on Twitter and a pledge people can sign to continue to be allies in bystander intervention and sexual assault.
Lytle said IFC has been looking into opportunities to raise awareness on OSU’s campus and in the surrounding Columbus community.
“We want to raise awareness and educate our members as well as the community about what sexual assault looks like and how we can stop and advocate that we end those kinds of things in our society,” he said.
In addition to the walk, there will be an educational speaker at the event.
“This year we’ll have Zak Foste, who’s a second-year master’s student at Miami University. He’s done a lot of research on men’s identity and how that relates to sexual assault and bystander intervention,” Neidinger said.
IFC’s vice president of civic engagement and a third-year in chemical engineering, Ryan Lysaght, has been working to coordinate “Walk a Mile” and said he is looking forward to the event.
“I really enjoy seeing Greek men come together for a cause that’s bigger than us and showing the OSU community that we’re much more than the stereotype,” Lysaght said. “We’re very dedicated to raising awareness and coming together.”
“Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” was founded in 2001.