For every daughter

My first faux pas was wearing white ankle socks with crimson red pumps; the tartan kilt, I was told, was perfectly fine, as were the pale and hairy legs.

My first faux pas was wearing white ankle socks with crimson red pumps; the tartan kilt, I was told, was perfectly fine, as were the pale and hairy legs. But the socks just showed my complete ignorance of the feminine art of wearing women’s shoes.

I didn’t want to point out that the mayor was no better off with green socks and brown-suede platforms — and what was that 16-year-old thinking when pairing silver high heels with a rugby shirt — but that would have been petty. After all, we were all there for a good cause — and together we were a force to be reckoned with.

Over 200 men and even more women (who definitely shamed all us masculine brutes with their coordinated fashion sense and ability to balance on those kooky heels) took to the streets of downtown Victoria on Saturday to Walk A Mile in Her Shoes. The event was designed to raise money for the Victoria Women’s Sexual Assault Centre and, more importantly, raise awareness about violence against women.

The event brought in a total of $62,000, which will pay for crisis counselling and prevention initiatives for women.

If you’ve been following my columns, then you already know how much it sickens me when the wolves who call themselves men prey on the fairer sex. As a male, I can find no excuse for that abysmal behaviour. As a father, it boils my blood. And, if I encounter it, I won’t stand back and be silent.

How other men can live with themselves after participating in — or having unspoken knowledge of — the sexual assault of anyone is incomprehensible. Silence, or whatever bullshit code men like to put on such things, is as much a man’s problem as it is a woman’s. As far as I’m concerned, every woman is my daughter; every man, my brother. Everyone should be treated as such.

The good news? Every man, woman and child walking that day believed the same thing. United, we marched the streets to the cheers and applause of Victorians and visitors. People in cars, delayed from getting on with their day, leaned out of windows and signaled their approval. People leaned out of apartment windows, or stepped out from bars, stores and restaurants to show their support.

Everyone smiled at the goofy men in their awkward shoes, but they also understood why we were there. M

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