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Real men wear high heels

heelsThink you’re a manly man?

Then prove it by wearing a pair of high heels.

That’s right, if you think you’re man enough, stuff those unmanicured toes into a sparkly pair of Jimmy Choo pumps or shiny Wal-Mart specials and, literally, take a stand against sexual violence by walking one mile.

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® is a relatively new event created to stomp out rape, sexual assault and gender violence. I first heard about it on “The Housewives of Beverly Hills,” when some of the cast members sent their husbands off with a pair of high heels to participate in the event.

Since then, it’s been gaining attention, and now it’s coming to Mississippi University for Women April. 4. (I checked the calendar, and I don’t see any other listings for it in Mississippi this year, but you never know when someone will decide to organize an event.)

Described as a playful opportunity for men to raise community awareness about the causes, effects and remedies for sexual violence, the intention is to get the community talking about gender relations and demonstrate that men are willing and able to partner with women in making the world a safer place.

In fact, many of the men who are sporting high heels in these events are the manliest men you’ll find anywhere – police officers, firefighters and soldiers.

The upcoming MUW event, hosted by the college’s counseling center, will feature about 60 men wearing high heels, including MUW students and staff, city officials and Columbus Air Force Base representatives. The event begins at 4 p.m. at the Bryan Green Gazebo on campus.

“April is sexual assault awareness month, and we want to promote sexual assault awareness on campus as well as in the community,” said Yvett Harris, a MUW counselor.

A woman is raped every 90 seconds in America, Harris said. More than half of sexual assaults are never reported to the police, and two out of three are committed by someone the victim knows.

“Women need to be prepared and know what they can do to keep themselves safe,” Harris said. “Men can assist as well by being advocates.”

To learn more about Walk a Mile in Her Shoes or how to organize an event in your area, visit walkamileinhershoes.org.

Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker.

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