Male cadets with the ROTC at Arizona State University say they were pressed to wear high heels and participate in a staged event in order to draw attention to sexual violence against women.
The program, “Wake a Mile in her Shoes,” isn’t new.
But a year ago, the Army put it forth as voluntary.
This year, ROTC candidates at the school say participation is mandatory, the Washington Times reported.
IJ Review reported one cadet wrote on an Imgr message board: “Attendance is mandatory and if we miss it we get a negative counseling and a ‘does not support the battalion sharp/EO mission’ on our CDT OER for getting the branch we want. So I just spent $16 on a pair of high heels that I have to spray paint red later on only to throw them in the trash after about 300 of us embarrass the U.S. Army.”
The Army openly promoted the event on its website in 2014.
A bit of its ad back then read: “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” is open to everyone. We are trying to get maximum participation and even if they can’t be there, we still encourage them to make a donation,” the Washington Times reported.
In early April, the Temple University Army ROTC participated in the event, posting a picture on Facebook of soldiers walking in battle-dress uniform and bright red high heels on the cobblestone walkway – and social media posters were quick to criticize.
“This is just embarrassing,” wrote one.
“That’s ridiculous. Who’s the rocket scientist that thought this up and how much did it cost the taxpayers and the soldiers? We should be reimbursed,” wrote another.
And still one more: “I don’t get the point here … how does forcing a person in uniform to wear high-hills [sic] relate to sexual assault against women?????”