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Today's word on journalism

Monday, September 3, 2007

"I've always been all over the lot in my writing. Except for poetry -- even though they say all the old-time sportswriters use plenty of it. Maybe it's just part of what we do."

--Frank DeFord, 2006

Men take to sidewalks in heels for sexual assault awareness campaign

Photo by Gideon Oakes

By Gideon Oakes

April 12, 2007 | Men in high heels -- not something you'd expect to see very often in Logan, Utah. That is, unless there's a good cause involved.

Nearly 140 men from all walks of life (pun intended) took to the sidewalks of Utah State University to raise awareness about sexual assault. The annual "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" event was sponsored by the Sexual Assault and Anti-Violence Information office (SAAVI) because of April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

"One of the reasons I really like this event is because it uses humor in an appropriate way," said Rachel Brighton, SAAVI coordinator. "It makes it a lot easier for us to talk about a really difficult subject, which is sexual violence and assault."

The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that one in four female college students has been the victim of rape, or attempted rape, since age 14. This fact was one of the messages repeated throughout the day.

Four walks were held in total, one walk each hour. With some men opting to participate in all four walks, it's no surprise that the most common injury was blisters. A first-aid station was set up to dispense bandages, and in case of broken ankles.

Mike Green, a graduate student from West Jordan, said that although he didn't get any blisters from the event, he can appreciate heel-wearing women a little more.

"It gives you a small glimpse into what women go through on a daily basis to wear their heels," Green said.

Other walkers took a slightly happier outlook. Dave Haupt, a sophomore from Danville, Calif., made light of the situation, noting that he would walk again for a good cause.

"I thought the two-inch pumps that I was wearing were very attractive, somewhat conservative, and they worked well with my outfit. I didn't have any accessories to go with them, but I was happy to do it," Haupt said. "I think that this movement . . . is really going to take off."

Brighton said that she really appreciates the men who came out to walk, and that the high turnout gives her a feeling of excitement and hope.

"[The walk] gives all those good guys out there a chance to voice their opinion that they're not OK with sexual violence," Brighton said. "It says to me that we have a lot of great guys on our campus and they really care about the women in their lives."

For more information about SAAVI, visit


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