Normally when faced with the knowledge of an event concerning the ending of violence towards women, the mind forms a picture of well… mostly women. However, what’s different about the Ryerson White Ribbon Campaign is that it takes a different angle of womens’ rights: one from the side of men.
I first got involved with the White Ribbon Campaign last year, meeting their president, Jeff Perera, for an earlier post on this blog. Jeff is an extremely nice guy and passionate person, leading the White Ribbon Campaign and doing an immense amount of work to bring speakers on the subject of both masculinity and ending violence against women.
However, on Thursday Jeff’s work was of a different sort. The members of the White Ribbon Campaign (yours truly included) donned womens’ shoes in order to walk both a metaphorical and literal mile in another’s shoes. The aptly-named Walk a Mile in Her Shoes charity walk drew hundreds of men, including members of Toronto’s police and fire department. Seeing them in their uniforms, struggling alongside us to maintain our balance, added a little bit of hilarity to what was ultimately a harrowing experience.
I wear a size 12 shoe. Trying to squeeze myself into a pair of 2 inch high wedges was bad enough; walking the mile resulted in many a twisted ankle and keep-the-blood-flowing shuffle. However, it was for a good cause, and if you can’t laugh at yourself in the name of charity, what can you do?