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Letter: ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ is a divisive event


Sunday, September 16, 2018

The upcoming “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event held annually in Concord is a fundraiser with good intentions and sometimes hilarious results. In truth, the subtle implication this event conveys is highly troubling.

The event invites “everyone,” but participation is marketed overwhelmingly toward men in support of women. The event name itself is not inclusive at all and only supportive of women. The message this sends is blatantly clear: Women are the primary victims of domestic and sexual violence and men are their implied assailants. This is gender politics at its worst, and inconsistent with the data we have on violence.

One difficult truth is that single mothers are the most violent people toward children. Another hard truth is that women experience higher rates of violence from their same-sex female partners than they do from male partners. We also know that violence toward men by female partners is routinely dismissed and highly underreported.

Violence can occur from both men and women. Why are we holding a fundraising event that vilifies men and victimizes women? The trend within our culture has been to deride males as being “toxic” and isolate women within this victim narrative. What message does this send to our youth?

We should support all victims of domestic and sexual violence, regardless of gender. Events that classify men and women into assailant/victim roles is terribly damaging. There must be other ways to raise funds and awareness that don’t rely upon holding divisive events like “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes.”

PHILIP GEORGE

Concord