G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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Three examples of feminist activism embedded in the nooks and crannies of our various taxpayer-funded institutions:
1. My alma mater recently hosted an event called “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes”. Here’s the writeup from the central chapter:
Each year, an ever-increasing number of men, women and their families are joining the award-winning Walk a Mile in Her Shoes®: The International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence. A Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® Event is a playful opportunity for men to raise awareness in their community about the serious causes, effects and remediations to sexualized violence.
There is an old saying: “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® asks men to literally walk one mile in women’s high-heeled shoes. It’s not easy walking in these shoes, but it’s fun and it gets the community to talk about something that’s really difficult to talk about: gender relations and sexual violence.
How sexist. Most chicks don’t wear high heels. They wear Toms or flip flops. Either way, whether for a good cause or not, I hate gimmickry. If you’re doing something just because everyone else is doing it or because of social pressure or because you might gain favor with the sorority chicks on your campus, then your heart isn’t in the right place.
2. The Washington D.C. Metro Transit Authority is working with HollabackDC, the anti-street harassment organization:
We encourage you to contact Metro Transit Police at (202) 962-2121 to report any sexual harassment or sexual assault that you experience or witness on a train, station, bus or bus stop. This includes all unwanted sexual behavior, such as extended leering, sexual comments, indecent exposure, stalking, and groping.
Over at Hollaback’s site, they avoid addressing a legitimate question:
Some do not find comments such as “Hello, beautiful” or “Hey, gorgeous” offensive. Many do. Others may find them intimidating, intrusive, or just an annoying pain in the ass. Keep in mind that many women experience unsolicited comments, as well as violent verbal assault, from men in public spaces on a regular basis. Rather than deliberating the “gray areas” of street harassment, treat everyone you encounter with respect.